The Rain Song of Ganesh and Karthikeyan


By Akhil Katyal

Fighting over Narada’s gift, a golden mango, the fruit of knowledge, Ganesh and Karthikeyan had to compete for it. ‘Whoever will go round the world thrice,’ Shiv said, ‘and come back first, will win.’ Karthikeyan sat on his peacock and at a furious pace started his journey of the universe. The clever Ganesh just went round his parents Shiv and Parvati thrice, said ‘My parents are my world’ and won.

It has been a long time, brother,

since I played that trick on you.

I was lazy (he said ‘the whole

damn universe,’ thrice! Did he

even know that I rode mice?)

so when I could not think of

other plans, I replaced work

with wit (you would have liked

the joke) and fooled mom and

dad into believing it; we would

have laughed at them together,

the old folk, if you were here

now on Kailash, but it has been

a long time since you were gone.

I am waiting, little brother, bored

of the Gods who have finally found

‘the wiser one’ and they tell me,

overfeeding me with mangoes,

that from now on at every ritual,

they will pray to me first; really,

Karthikeyan, it feels more like I am

cursed, to stay here, watching them,

obsequious, blinking, while all the time

thinking which corner of the universe

is now your place, which new fruits
have you bitten, which new face has
you smitten, an’ with which friends you
play, how you see a world that is not all
made of ice (is it just like they say, is it
really nice?), how you must defraud the
world of its delight, while here I sit,
‘the wiser God’, and you are not here
on these icy peaks for yet another night.

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