Sundara Kãnda - Hanuman’s Odyssey (Part 3, page 1 of 2)

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Part 3

Canto 2 - City in Clouds

On the landmass of Lanka

Chitrakoot was the king mountain

Kissed its peaks all clouds in skies

Reigned Ravan from peak foremost.

Climbed as Hanuman that mountain

Rained all trees then flowers on him.

Such was stamina of Hanuman

Fresh he looked from that short rest.

Felt he had still left in him

Strength to circle earth itself.

Flying wonder that Hanuman

Powerful soldier none the less.

Green all yonder found Hanuman

Reached as he that mountain range.

Valleys all of that hill range

Had thick trees ’n wide gardens.

Had he thus a full measure of

Land of Ravan that was green.

Bore all trees there fruits varied

Besides date palms and santras.

Thick were bushes on those hills

Fragrant flowers all bloomed therein.

Birds well nestled on trees all there

Rustled leaves were by southern breeze.

Graced flowers lotus tanks all those

Swans in them swam with rare grace.

Grew fruits well in all seasons

Well-grown farms in scores there lay.

Itching to search Ravan’s town

Hanuman in time reached its gates.

Lest Rama should sneak in there

On high alert were Ravan’s troops.

Bricks of gold made Lanka’s wall

Kissed its castles clouds in skies.

Mansions it had in millions

Wide ’n well laid were there roads.

Climbed creepers green gold arches

Looked like Lanka heaven on earth.

Seemed as Lanka city in clouds

Lay dwellings on mountain peaks.

Built it was by gods’ builder

Earned it fame in Ravan’s reign.

Lankan fort in that sea then

Seemed like saree clad maiden,

Compound wall its laid in gold

Looked like virgin’s narrow waist,

Long-range guns its plaits parted

Seemed as gables gold ear-rings.

Moved as Hanuman languidly

Thought he thus in wonderment:

Sky scrappers these of Lanka

Won’t they lead to heaven itself!

None but Kubera owned it once

But vile Ravan grabbed from him.

Demons then came to own this place

Teeth that protrude seem them fiends.

Such as reside in Lanka

Circled by seas as it were

Foe to fear made king Ravan.

Came as cropper demigods all

Of what avail Rama’s vanar force!

Maginot line that Ravan built

Find would Rama hard to breach.

Rich as Lankans ’n powerful

Bribe ’n bravery might not work.

But for Angad, Neel ’n Sugreev

Rest might get stuck at these gates.

Place why horse before the cart

Makes it sense to strive my best.

So felt Hanuman it’s proper

Handled he better task on hand.

With my normal simian form

Won’t I hoodwink Ravan’s men?

Big and powerful they are all

How to throw wool in their eyes!

Why not I turn tinier

And wait till the sun goes down.

Lying in wait Hanuman then

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