Sundara Kãnda - Hanuman’s Odyssey (Part 10, page 1 of 2)


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Part 10

Canto 9 - Harem at Night

In the midst of Pushpak lay

The Palace Royal of Ravan.

Built it was with gems all rare

Plinth it had of two score miles.

Went in Hanuman in the hope

Therein he would find Seetha.

Having got in he sauntered

In those royal chambers there.

With their knives drawn to the hilt

Found he guards there door to door.

Saw he Ravan’s wives in scores

Maidens that he grabbed by force.

Found he ponds of ocean size

Lived where crocodiles with white whales.

Amidst the riches it sported

God like Ravan lived in there.

With sons ’n siblings there Ravan

Bettered thus lifestyle of all gods.

Entered harem Ravan’s Hanuman

Pushpak’s that was star attraction.

Custom built was that Pushpak

By God’s own architect for Brahma.

In the times of yore Kuber

Sought and got it from Brahma,

Wanting it to serve his needs

Grabbed it Ravan waging war.

Spoils of war as it made

Pictured bullfights on its walls.

Stretched its ceiling to high skies

Cellars its touched depths of earth.

Pushpak’s glitter makes Lanka

Seem as daytime during nights.

Emeralds it had for doorknobs

Windowpanes were crystal class.

Pearls it had all paved for floor

Gave that look of white carpet.

Woodwork of its red sandals

Made the place all smell so sweet.

Shaped so well were secret vaults

Deceive they would the best of spies.

Entered Hanuman its pantry

Feed which could a million mouths.

Aroma of all recipes there

Reached him with a come-hither tag.

Entered he then that portion

Lived where Ravan as the god.

Stairs it had of gems inlaid

Handles of them ivory made.

Pillars it had gold ingots

Glowed they all like candlelights.

None was taken for granted

Flawless was the way it shaped.

With woven Atlas on them bright

Laid were carpets continent size.

Birds on heat were perched on trees

Cooed they in their scores well pecked.

Smoke that scented sticks emitted

Got spread throughout Ravan’s land.

Kept its aura gloom at bay

It’s where Ravan set his shop.

At home Hanuman felt therein

Entered though he enemy’s place.

Felt he was in heaven itself

Fit for gods of every faith.

Finding no scent of Seetha

Seemed he gambler who lost all.

With his person ’n harem

No less Ravan added then

Lustre to that bright Pushpak.

Maidens there were in thousands

Dressed they like for fashion show.

Drunk they were all to the dregs

Bent their eyelids all downward.

Slept one by one all of them

Seemed the place as swan filled pond.

Postures theirs were well composed

Breath their smelled as flowers at dawn.

Petals like lotus their faces

Seemed in sleep all lotus buds.

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