Long ago, in days of yore
A mighty yoke Mahabali bore
‘Twas none but ability, grace and compassion
Which urged denizens of upper echelons to bash ’em
So they set out with plans afoot
A little boy, his grace to loot!
So Mighty was he, the King
‘Twasn’t easy his neck to wring…
With teasing irony, and gentle demand
The boy, a mere God, asked three paces of land!
All-knowing, more wise, the King relents
(His Guru’s pleas while he rejects)
Thus proving, in his gesture, who was more generous
Leaving the said denizens of Heaven, looking preposterous!
Thus blessed, and granted his wish, forever more
He graces this day, Thiruvonam, so goes the lore
To bask in his country’s pleasure, the love of his people
Hopefully, he’s not disappointed, with response, feeble
While his erstwhile countrymen lol about, placid
With a full tank of alchohol, smelling rancid.
Still, some, like me, foolish perhaps, but filled with anticipation
Still await his visit, with bated breath, with happy fascination
For in a little child’s eyes, we see, hope yet, love yet, joy yet
And that in itself, a season to celebrate, will be our best bet!
Online, 21 August, 2010
Happy Onam everyone 🙂 May the season’s best dog you right through this Onam 🙂
Edited to add, 1800 hrs: Well I took it for granted that the story of King Mahabali must be a familiar one; and then realized that it may not be so 🙂 You see, legend has it that Onam is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, who once ruled this place, in which Kerala now stands, who was sent to the Patala (the lower areas of Hell) by none other than Lord Vishnu who came disguised as Vamana, a young small brahmin boy. King Mahabali was just, fair, a noble King, and utterly generous, but bordering on being a mighty king. So the devas decided that must not be so, and with the help of Lord Vishnu, ensured that his generosity would stall his plans. The young brahmin boy asks for just three paces of land, and being granted so, takes the Earth and Heavens, in two and asks where he might place his third step. King Mahabali offers his head, and is then pushed to the Patala, before which he is granted the wish that he be allowed a day to visit and mingle with his countrymen, once in a year. And so Onam celebrates this great King’s return!