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Yashoda: Poetry in Translation

June 26, 2015 | By and

A beautiful spiritual poem by Girija P.  Pathekkara about the fascinating and intriguing interrelation  between Lord Krishna and his foster-mother Yashoda, translated in English by Vineetha Mekkoth.

Madana Mohana Temple in Vrindavan, India on Thomasa Daniell's painting

till you left for Mathura
I was a mother.
Only a mother!
I fed you and  sang you to sleep.
I played and  quarreled with you.
I filled the earthen pots
hung from the roof,
with fresh butter and curds
for you to steal.

Watching you grow, with
untiring eyes,
then my heart
was brimming
with this mother!

Later after you
left for Mathura
to win wars one after another,
to conquer, to become a hero
I was left alone
in the darkened  gloom of Vrindavanam.

Into the cold pool of silence
I sank.

Then one day
on your memory-drenched banks of Kalindi
I met Radha.

With her, I dove
and swam.
Discarding the old
I was born anew
as poet, as lover!

which means mother,
has disappeared somewhere.

I have forgotten the lullabies.
Now I know only to sing
songs of love and romance.

If you return
in the future
I have nothing
to offer you.

1) ‘Yashoda’ – Lord Krishna’s foster mother ,  the epitome of motherhood.
2) ‘Kanna’ –  The pet name  of Lord Krishna.
3) ‘Radha ‘ – The eternal lover of Lord Krishna.
4)  ‘Kalindi’ –  A tributary of river Yamuna on the banks of which Lord Krishna  spent his childhood.  Kalindi has often been personified as a young girl madly in love with Krishna.

Note: This poem  is based on Yashoda, Krishna’s foster-mother who is considered to be the epitome of motherhood.  It conveys her thoughts to her son Krishna who has left her to go to Mathura.  Yashoda speaks of the loneliness that envelops Vrindavanam, his home, after his departure.  Radha, his lover, shows her the way through love to be reborn as a woman.

More poems to read

A Woman’s Strength
The Touch of a Mother

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Girija P. Pathekkara is a poet who writes in Malayalam. She is based in Kottakkal, Kerala.  Her subjects include the events taking  place  around  and  be  they  political,  social  or whatever their leanings – she  interprets these events from a woman’s point  of  view.   And therefore her poems have often been called feminist poems.  A woman’s world is different from that of a man’s. The problems a woman faces, her joys and sorrows, her experiences -  all these form the subject of Girija’s  poems.  Her anthology of poems titled ‘Penpiravi‘ was published by DC Books, Kottayam in 2012.
All Posts of Girija P. Pathekkara
Poet, writer, translator. Based in Calicut, Kerala. Has published poems in various anthologies. On the translators panel of the Kerala Sahitya Academy. Her poems have been included in the Brian Wrixon anthologies 'Words on the Winds of Change' and 'Women of One World'. She has also co-authored a poem with Gaurangi Patel which has been included in the 'Duet Anthology' brought out by Xpress Publications. She has been selected for the ICOP Critics Award for March 2015 and her poem 'Reflections' is on the list of Highly Commended poems for the month of March 2015 selected by Destiny Poets, UK. Her poem ‘Ashtavakra’ was selected as the ‘Poem of the month’ for April 2015 by Destiny Poets, UK.
All Posts of Vineetha Mekkoth

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