Saturday, May 08, 2010

[Mother's Day Special] - The Eldest Kaunteya

So it is here again - Mother's Day. The day the world celebrates the word ‘Mother’. My introduction to it, like many fellow Indians, was only after the over-indulgent cross-culture exchanges that have happened over the recent years. Although I must admit I have sent a card or two to my mom, albeit aware that she does not know how to use a computer, it somehow never felt as a very relevant thing to do. Much like millions of others who are always quick to quip ‘Celebrating her for only one day in a year? How meaningless!’ I too am inclined to say that mothers are basically all of life itself. Without them the world wouldn’t exist. Period. However, I wanted to commemorate this blessed day with something, hmm, how do we call this…a little less orthodox?

So my thoughts ran to people who are not so blessed as the rest of us when it comes to the mother department. Why, there are even those who are aware of their mothers’ existence yet are in excruciatingly bizarre situations that doesn’t warrant a motherly embrace. Somehow it seemed fit to, for a change, think about those folks on this day. People who are deprived of a mother’s affectionate caress or the shelter of her warm forgiveness. And while on these lines, I thought of Karna. Something about this character from the Mahabharata always made me sad. If there really was such a being then he has my eternal respect. Given the kind of life he lived and the kind of death that was handed to him, somehow the context of the word ‘mother’ seemed a tad different in his tale. Despite knowing that the queen mother was his real mother and that he, in essence, was the first Pandava, he never really got his due. Maybe it was in that depth of loss, in that paradoxically aligned metaphor for a mother-son relationship that I decided to write something that hopefully was coherent enough for ‘Mother’s Day’.

To that end, here is my poem ‘The Eldest Kaunteya’. The scene depicted here is the evening of the sixteenth day of the Mahabharata war. Karna reflects on his life as he yearns for his mother’s presence and prepares for battle on the seventeenth day - the day he is killed in the battlefield by Arjuna at the command of his charioteer, Lord Krishna.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed looking at it from Karna’s possible perspective. It was, to say the least, a much needed creative exercise.

4 reflections:

Ravi said...


Absolutely True. Mother's are so special that they deserve to be celebrated every day.

You have touched upon one class of unfortunate people when it comes to mother's department. There are also some more unfortunate people like you and me who have not been able to be close to Mom today on her special day. Although technology brings her closer to me through emails, webcams, phone etc, but we are missing the true feeling of being with her, getting the "Jaddu ki Jhappi", sharing a meal with her and what not, on this memorable day.

On this day, I also think of those people who yearn to become mothers but for some reason cannot become one. Imagine the thoughts that go into thier minds for being not able to join the "Special" category. My heart goes to those peope.

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers of the World.

ShaK said...


Thank you for the much appreciated response, friend. To be able to pay tribute to a mother is like trying to capture the sun on film. Too bright and too intense. It is such an energy that can either make or break an individual. Hence, the status of a mother is the highest there is since time immemorial. I am glad you liked the piece and I do concur with the points you made.



Maharana Ganesh said...

am finding myself too small to appreciate this write up and poem.. awsome.. awsome.. awsome..

ShaK said...


Thank you, friend. You are too kind. Glad you liked it. :)