Poem 4: How some Hindus find their personal gods, by Arundhati Subramaniam


For AS who wonders about ishta devtas

 Picture credit- Karuna Ezara Parikh

Picture credit- Karuna Ezara Parikh

It's about learning to trust
the tug
that draws you to a shadowed alcove
in your life
undisturbed by footfall
and butterlamps

a blue dark coolness
where you find him
waiting patiently
that perfect minor deity —

 Picture credit- Srijan Jha

Picture credit- Srijan Jha

shy, crumbly, 
oven-fresh, just a little
wry, content to play a cameo
in everyone's life but your own. 

A god who looks
like he could understand
errors in translation
blizzards on the screen
lapses in memory

 Picture credit- Karuna Ezara Parikh

Picture credit- Karuna Ezara Parikh

 

who might even learn by rote
the fury
the wheeze
the Pali
the pidgin
the gnashing mixer-grinder
the awkward Remington stutter
of your heart, 
who could make them his own. 
After that you can settle for none other.