Haibun Today
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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 3, September 2011



Kala Ramesh
Pune, Maharashtra, India

 

Gangotri

The Ganga—called the Bhagirathi at Uttarkashi—flows down the Himalayan range. We hear her through the day and through the night. We're staying in a small cottage, up somewhere hidden amongst the trees.

The owner is a middle-aged man who was brought up in these hills. He learnt mountaineering as a young child from his father, before it became a professional course in colleges, he proudly claims. He tells us that there is a Sanskrit quote which talks about the Ganga playing hide and seek with the mountains—here now, gone the next moment into a crevice, only to appear far away, continuing with her water song.

from the horizon
the rhythm of waves—
Stray Birds

From where we are talking, I look down. The Ganga in monsoon is in fearsome form, she roars and fumes down the mountains. To think she is that same gentle girl we see on Lord Shiva's matted hair-lock, when, to subdue her fury, he had pinned her down—a story our grandmothers often told us.

fireflies
in their own world—
jasmine rain

all the dates
square an unknown future—
the new calendar


Notes:

Gangotri, a town in the state of Uttarakhandd, India, is a site of Hindu pilgrimage on the banks of the river Bhagirathii.

Stray Birds—Rabindranath Tagore's famous book of short haiku-like poems.

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