A New-old Story (6)

Hanuman, the celibate deity

Of wrestlers, lifters & c.

Is popular next only

To Shiv and Shakti

In ancient, holy Kasi.

Shiv Shakar, Bhole Baba

Is king and principal deity.

His consort, goddess Shakti

Comes next in popularity

Then Hanuman, the monkey-god,

On all the days save two:

On Tuesdays and on Saturdays.

These two days all devotees

Of gods and goddesses other

Just go to Hanuman temples.

On that day it was Tuesday

The faithful temple goers,

The regular Kirtan singers

Were all eyes and ears.

Absorbing with full power

The new-born god: dog-monkey.

It’s infernal red streaks

Made prominent, deep, persuasive

His fur now darkish ochre

On a moonlit night half-somber

Hail Hanuman! Yelled they with joy.

Hail Hanuman! Our savior, today

Has come for us on earth

His blessings on us to shower.

And thus, on that very moment,

A god was born, established

In people’s minds strongly

As Hanuman incarnate.

What they had overlooked

And overlooked willingly,

Was dogness of dog-monkey.

For he was not so common

As scores of  others roaming,

Terrorizing, attacking Kasi,

Revered, protected, hated.

A monkey; he could bark.

To hear his was surprising

Surprising but forever,

For nature made him what he was,

And probably never another

(Thought every onlooker).

So clearly and conspicuously

This newly anointed god

Resembled himself not

The monkey-god hitherto-

The mighty Hanuman.

Though none had heard him speak

But widely was it known

He spoke full well, like humans

Barked he not. Amazing!


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