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A Poem

Kiddish though they may be,

Some of these poems of mine.

They represent the states of mind

At all these times, of mine.

I had written this poem about the river Ganga, several years back and I am sharing it with you now.

Holy Ganges!

Out of the cacophony of life,

Drifts away wherever it likes.

One day, my mind went back

To childhood, to the Holy Ganges.


Grandma had told me,

Ganga came to the earth,

Due to the penance

Of the King-turned-Sage Bhagirath.


To give the bliss emancipation,

From a curse,

To the sons of Sagar,

Did the Ganges arrive.


The Mount Everest

Had She to fall on.

To balance her weight,

Lord Shiva, the king had to call on.


From there she followed Bhagirath,

In a bizarre journey,

Falling from huge boulders,

Straight to the plains and then into the bay.


The bay or Sagara was formed,

Emancipating the princes who were in Patal.

The sweetest water of the world

Became the saltiest of all.


The Ganges was from then on

Worshipped as a Goddess.

She was named as

The Purifier of all the Beings.


Wherever She went,

She made the soil fertile.

There were grown crops on her banks,

Pulses, cereals and lentil.



Today’s Ganges as I see,

Is not all that Holy.

Industrial wastes fall in her

And make the waters mucky.


Purifier of All, she purifies

Man’s clothes and sewage.

She cleans the body of man and his pets,

But, into Her enter the pollutants.


I once saw a Mahapandit,

Who had a dip, uttering “Holy Ganges.”

When he came out of the river.

He accidentally stepped on a beggar.


Shouting “Holy Ganges!”

He plunged back into the river.

After praying in the temple,

He returned to cudgel the beggar.


Then, there was a thief in our town,

He went to the river.

He prayed and prayed that

His past sins be waved asunder.


“Holy Ganges, please help me

To resurrect my past.”

Then, the next thing he did

Was to rob the nearest temple.


(These kinds of people are seen in every religion and caste. They just bring bad repute to the others from their own community.)


When I looked at Her waters,

She cried to me and said,

“Help me or I will die an unusual death,

Your sins are getting too hard to bear.


“Lord Vishnu had blessed me that

The pollution due to sinners

Would be purified when

the purest devotees bathe in me.


“But today, the situation is like this

There are more sinners than devotees.”

“We are doing a lot of things,”

I replied to the dear Ganges.


“Ganga Action Plan and what not,

Will get you out of this tight spot.”

“But, pollutants will return and

So will the sinners.”


The reply left me stunned

And gave me food for thought.

What is the use of external cleansing

When the minds themselves are corrupt.


About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Multimedia Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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