That I am

Astride my pet Thestral

I course through the grey nimbus

Its dense whispers of vapours

Humming notes of cheeriness into my ears

A supernatural, luminous chill embraces me

Enhancing the colourful aura of freedom

Radiating about me.

Thus awakened with spiritual contentment

I fly back to my four walls

To my earthly everydays

I have, in this lifetime

Embraced death

Makes me value the preciousness

Of every minute

Cry I do not, anymore

Of lockdown claustrophobia —

That anguish, that yearning for freedom

Was but a reflection

Of my limited knowledge of myself

A form I have, but I know now

I am not this body!

Thoughts — yet, not me this mind!

Love, pain, fear — I do feel

Yet I am beyond my emotions!

Duties, responsibilities — mine

But not me

Restrained I am not by the intellect!

Born I was, die I will

But eternal I am!

Locked down I can be

Yet, unbound I can become

Of the four walls of my home

For, I am the universe

Also Read: Seasons of Love

My excursions into imaginary clouds

Upon magical steeds —

Not an escape from desolation of Death

But an acceptance of Life!

Why waste a lifetime

Hankering after the ephemeral

When in equilibrium I can be?

Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham!

Footnotes:

Thestral: One of the magical creatures in the Harry Potter books, thestrals are a breed of invisible winged horses that can be seen only by people who have witnessed death.

Chidananda Rupah Shivoham Shivoham: I am Shiva, That I am, pure consciousness and bliss, one with the absolute reality. This chant is taken from ‘Nirvana Shatakam’, composed by Adi Shankaracharya, over a thousand years ago.

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Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar, a widely published Indian poet, writer, editor, English teacher, and a “book” in the Human Library, says poetry is not different from her. A recipient of literary awards and recognition, she uses the power of her words to sensitize her readers about environmental issues, mental health, and the need to break the shackles of an outdated society. Vidya is the author of two poetry books, The Flautist of Brindaranyam (in collaboration with her photographer husband, Shankar Ramakrishnan), and The Rise of Yogamaya (an effort to create awareness about mental health.) She finds meaning in her life through yoga and mandalas.