Usha Amulya Narem is a lawyer based in India & a fan of South Asian historical texts and literature. Her published works include an anthology book, titled “Filter Kaapi by the Peach Blossoms"
She has won various accolades, child star award in poetry in Uncle Babjee’s 47th All India Child Art Competition 2012 (National Level) by Child Art Club, Hyderabad and its state award, Jury Choice Award in TATA Building India Poetry Contest 2014,l. She is featured in various online journals & magazines including Delhi Poetry Slam & various Newspapers. Her poems trace themes of revolution & liberty set in historical & modern tones.
Dusted archives & vaulted remains
"Circa 324", reads the stone tablet, Behold the emperor, retold his sonnet, Daggers down, stood the warrior poised, Deciphers the curator, his voice bruised.
The armour, a 1000 smelten ingots, Inlaid rings, motifs of his strife in knots, Golden coffers, his iron throne proclaimed; Soiled sandals and territories claimed.
" Salve!", i count the plums on the porcelain, " Salve!", i gaze at the peony tapering within, " Salve.", quid vis?" I turn, yammering unbridled, The brass casket to the left spiralled, "11:11", the ticking ancient dial reads, Leaving the museum, bemused, i tread.
Fastening the window, i draw the shades on; For tis blinding light, flashes upon, Due past 10 days, warns the withered card, I alight the stairs to the library, jarred.
I turn-in the card, its dues unpaid, " Salve, salve!", the calls deluge, Down the aisle of the scrolls refuge, Dusted runes, i read the chronicles dismayed.
" Salve, salve", the calls reverberate, Quivering, i unroll the sealed scroll, Someone seizes my hand, tugging in control, Alarmed i dart across, my eyes dilate.
The ceiling transmutes, the skies testify, Twilight, the skylarks & swallows fly, Clouded up above, the moon's grin, Leaves the way for parade, chariots in, Gaping, i smack my wrist crimson, Startled, the horses rear up and halt, The emperor & empress glance, gaurds risen.
Swiftly, curator slams the scroll & rolls, Unfazed, yanks me out & censures, " lady, do not venture the forbidden vaults, Lest by heavens ordain, you shall remain, In history's shackles, fettered rein."
I tread back to my room, muddled, Unbolting the door, clearly befuddled, The tea brews, " it's 12", the clock cuckoos, I gaze aloft the sky, the heavens virtues, The moon ascends the stairs ov'r the stars, Beyond the cursed tombs, travails & scars.
I fill the rusted inkpen's cartridge, For tonight, the ink's treads, rushed, Stains the paper, crimson flushed, Of the archives & chronicles unhushed.
Amongst the dusty racks of the fraying bounded thread; Of the musty palettes & tattered leaves that shred; Weaving the tales, sat the old man in his mahogany chairs; For his words glided & sled with endless snares. The ripples entwined a tapestry of intricate weaves; For the dawn gently swayed the old man's enclaves; As his majesty's grace swept all their backwaters; For his reaches bestowed taels of silver's and coppers. The golden sedan chair carved with Dragon at crown; Stood majestically laced amidst all in imperial town; For his majesty's coffers amassed all his rivals riches; as each territory marred in its tarnished breaches . And the sun stood overhead as he ferociously tread; For his greed lavished all his subjects reverent dread; As the conquered stood shivering in abhorring disdain; Even as the old man stood wearing a deferential feign. As the twilight marked his travails of ruinous conquest; His majesty bestowed the old man, a gracious bequest; And the rare imperial jade ink stones, gold & silver taels; For the old man, weaved his majesty's distorted tales The leafs of the history, bound in flattering disguise; As the old man distorted majesty's avarice as wise; For no slave or subjects offered his life for his majesty, graced; As the conquered are but their kinsman disgraced.
Coalesced the clans of each tribe lord as the realms of purandara stood by accord for the sacrifices by the shadows of creek by the shards of epochs, hitherto meek
Beseeched the pantheons, forged in iron unbeknownst to thee, the calleth of return kubha, kruma, gomathi, swastu, beyond where the spoils of war & riches, dawned
Thus spake, Vashishta, the venerated sage "Oh, the descendant of tritsu, listen thy travails of wanderings lest rage beyond thy murky dwellings, glisten for thriving path of honour, reckons to crown thee, the heaven beckons eternity, thee name shall be famed thee shall be throned, it is heavens ordained.
Oh mighty, sudas raise thy sword thy horses by ruins, stood saddled by the river parusni, chariots rattled for thy commands, thy tribes, my lord"
Clanking metals and sharpened saws armours bound, threatening jaws for now, treads the saviour heavily clad the battle throngs of the extolled lad, and, stood each tribe by the river, duly oblations offered to lord Agni, in fury for now heralds the new era, returned puru, yadu, turvsu, others, yearned
bled the earth crimson, for rivers welled as the lord said, "behold the glorious warrior sky traverse the clouds, mountains high" and thus began the battle to supremacy, unparallelled
P.S. (The above poem is based on the Battle of 10 kings which narrates as to how the ancestors of Bharata (Sudas)(Ancient India)came to India after conquering over other tribes of kubha, kruma etc. This poem narrates the mythical (basedon the event which happened- battle of 10 kings) as to how sage vashishta supported Sudas and boosted hismorale to fight the 10 kings.
Of Slaves & Emancipation
The sluggish lord commands, “you moron, Fill my glass with the blood of thy body drawn, Lest you shall be ordained a banded criminal, Of your land, that bred, the slaved subliminal” Stood the lipid lord, paunchy, his treasures, Feasts, the unprocessed imbecile, his pleasures, Gobbled the grain, esurient, his rapacious beast, Usurping the serf’s fields, the master leased, Weaved tapestry of veins & lies innocuous, Unctuous predators, their flags, vacuous. Tenacious, the serf & the slave, await, By the cannons of dust and rust, their fate, Riveted by bolts of iron & steeled cripples, Scarred by the marks of chained whips & riddles, Rugged their skin & inviolable, their spirit, By the travails, the lead sky, shadowed their merit. And as their iron blood smelt in deep furnace, The lord, his smith struck the iron, sternness, And the iron sword, forged from their gore, divine, Unbeknownst to the lord, wallowed in wine. And now, the arms that schlepped the lord’s spread, Crusaded for emancipation, equal, their bread, And as lord heaved his regal hammer, that lead, Encumbered by his unbridled feast, dropped dead.