Sunday, February 16, 2014

Karna

Karna

I am the experimental result
Of my mother's curiosity;
A prime example of
A birth by accident,
Not by choice!
In the river she set me afloat
Just when my eyes were waiting
To be filled with the sight of her
She was gone and, I was...
Abandoned and forgotten

Fortunately, I survived!
I was raised as a charioteer's son
Now I am the price she has to pay
For I represent her grave mistake

It was Duryodhana alone
Who saved me from humiliation
He was the only one, who stood by me,
Put his hand over my shoulder
And generously gifted a kingdom
Without a second thought
When I was facing
Nothing but disgust
It was he, who took my hand
And offered nothing more,
But friendship
When everyone else,
Had forsaken me
For not being of royal blood

Now,
Only in the hour of need,
Only during the time of peril
You come to me
Afraid that my brothers - my enemy -
Will be slain by my own hands
Then, be it so!
Nothing will change my mind,
I won't change my stand

I know he is in the wrong path
But I will not deceive him;
If I do, I lie to my instinct
I won't be a prey of treachery
As nothing can be more
Hideous and cruel
Than betrayal
I will abide by my duty
And it is my moral right
To serve a true friend
I will not fail him at any cost!

I know death awaits me
For I am also in the wrong path
I will die, not as a coward
But as a hero, fighting for a noble friend
I will not dishonor the generosity
Of love and trust he has bestowed upon me
Thus, I will die for friendship
This is how my loyalty will be repaid
Which is due all long
And this is how the world will
Remember me!

Notes:
Karna is one of the most powerful characters in the Hindu mythological epic: Mahabharata. This poem is the retelling of Karna's words when Bhishma, badly wounded by the enemy forces, laying on a bed of arrows, tries to convince him to end the war by making peace with the Pandavas.
October 21, 2013