Not Prepared | a poem by Zinda Koul (1884-1965)

14 569

Not prepared…

The one who loves me more than I

My hope, my light, my tears and my Master
The one who searches for me
The one who waits for me, my eternal lover

He says, in this country, for some time
You must wait for me and let
The flowers of love and separation grow
You must gift the flowers to your neighbors and now

Your crossing, your salvation: that is my work, leave it to me
He says, the one who waits for me
If you water any plant, you water this Earth
If you love anyone, you love Him
Love leaves Him only to return to Him
This is what the wise and the seers say and
This is the secret of love, and this my prayer
He says, the one who waits for me, my eternal lover

You send me letters everyday
Everyday in a paper of a different colour
Everyday I get your messages
A flower grassland, a wide lake, a starry sky
And a river: the waterfall at Aharbal
Oriole, moth, narcissus
Young fawns, a lover, a beauty and
A wise man
A true ascetic of the Not-Self
The one who has Nothing
And calls everything his own
Everyday I get messages from you
The one who waits for me, my eternal lover

The fading moonlight in the last hours of the night
The sweet fragrance of flowers everywhere
The music of the heavens and the earth is one
The soft breeze of heavens and a magic in the air
Perhaps he is just about to arrive, perhaps he has come
The one who waits for me, my eternal lover

I am enveloped in this shame
Can I hide or atleast die?
He might turn away from me if I am in this state
I am unclean: inside and outside
But perhaps I have a few flowers for prayer
The flowers I never offered to my neighbors
I will string them into a garland but these have wilted

Can I find a clean place to invite him in?
But the things of the house have left no space for you
The door to the temple is a kitchen. And I wait
The one who waits for me, my eternal lover.

I do not feel that his love for me has changed but
This state I am in is a message from him
He would not come if I am not prepared

He saved me from this test, saved me from disgrace
The one who waits for me, my eternal lover

About the poet:

Zinda Koul was the first Kashmiri poet to be awarded ‘Sahitya Academy Award’ (1956) for his book ‘Sumran’. The book was published in Devanagari and was later printed in the Persia-Arabic script. Initially, he wrote in Persian, Hindi and Urdu. He started writing in Kashmir in 1942. His writing was primarily on devotion, philosophy and peace. His writing was influenced by Lal Ded and Parmanand. During his lifetime, he also translated the poems of the famous Kashmiri poet Parmanad into English.