A woman approached king Asoka post the Kalinga war and lamented -“you have taken away my husband, brother and son – what reason do i have now to live for” – this influenced him
I am one of those not dead yet-
You came with time to end our time
pestilent emperor, your fatal tide
of wreckful daggers, swords and spears
condemned my store of frozen tears
to flow for all my living line.
But now -when father husband son
at rest -cold hard and dead ,
the river daya tainted red
and soaring dhauli hill -with scant
pretext for living green-
why must i live,dissembling grief? instead
perpend what shadows own this land
no light to cleave ,what chance
some breathing heart
within these soulless piles
by boundless dusk concealed ?
You witnessed well your sovereign work
enhanced your kingdoms space
what age will dare to grant reprieve
a victims curse must aim to please
the gods which bless you still.
Surrounded by these sounds which pierce
encircled by these sights which bind
i would begin to crave your death
an equal measure living hell
clear choice i cannot hope to quell .
Can pray perhaps to crease your brow
or hail another king to sway
your victory stance forever now
vile ventures for a piece of death –
all night my pitiless heart contends
but follows to forgiveness when
the sifting by the light of day
i living grant you peace to find
new pleasures , while you contemplate
by bold regret and altered mind
full favoured by these scenes post- strife
direct you to a piece of life –
what will revive the future holds
the present hangs ,the past no threat
will wait and watch this king unfold
am not dead yet,am not dead yet!
king asoka- greta mauryan empire king in india who waged the great battle of kalinga the outcome of which transformed him – to accept buddhism as a way of life
kauravarti- fictional name for a woman of those times who lost everything as a result of the destructive battle .
dhauli hill – the site of the kalinga war
daya- the river in that area