Poetry In Action: The Game Of Dice by Bina Biswas, Hyderabad

The silence could be sliced through with a knife.
The rustle of silk
From the blind, old king,
Dhritarashtra –
Obscene.
The uproar, the ruckus; all were put to a stop.
Draupadi stood there, arrogant, haughty,
And in rage,
Her torso bared for all the world to see.
Her dark skin glistened,
With droplets of sweat
Trickling down her heaving breasts.
The end of her sari
Slipped from the grip
Of the nerveless Duhshasan,
To fall unheeded on the marbled floor.
Draupadi’s question
Had silenced all.
“Are women comodities?”
The Kuru elders sat with eyes downcast,
As if in shame.
They knew not the answer.
~~~~
A game of dice –
It all had begun just like a game.
The Kaurava prince Duryodhan
Had challenged his cousin,
King Yudhisthira of the Pandavas,
To a game of dice.
His own place on the carpet was taken by
Uncle Shakuni, a mean, crafty, scheming man –
A wizard at the game.
He played to win,
And win he did.
Yudhisthira lost everything he had
One after another.
He lost his riches, his possessions, his arms, his crown,
Then he put his four dear brothers up for wager
And lost them all –
The hundred Kaurava brothers,
Together with their cronies,
Were in raptures.
~~~~
“Do you give up, dear nephew?”
Shakuni had asked.
“I have nothing left.”
“But you have a jewel, nephew,
A jewel unparalleled.
At one bet you could win back everything you have lost!”

~~~~

The hall erupted with the gleeful shout
Of Kauravas.
Draupadi has been lost, and won!
~~~~~
Draupadi, Queen Draupadi, was not in a fit state
For appearing in public.
There she had sat, draped in nothing but a sari,
Exchanging pleasantries with the women
Of the Kaurava household.
She was in her cyclic flow…
Duhshasan the lecher
Had stormed in
And had dragged her by her hair
To the hall,
Oblivious of her shame, her femininity, her state,
Deaf to her cries of pain and anguish.
~~~~
“Strip her naked!”
Duryodhan’s command reverberated
Above the din.
Duhshasan approached her
With cacophonous laughter
Billowing out of his throat
Like malodorous vomit.
Her husbands, now slaves,
Sat silent, with clenched fists,
Gnashing teeth,
Smarting eyes,
Sinews taut,
Helpless.
With a violent tug
Duhshasan bared her torso.
All hell broke lose.
Then Draupadi,
Standing fearless and noble
Like a wounded tigress,
Eyes blazing like burning coal,
Tears of enraged frustration
Rolling down her cheeks
Like boiling lava,
-The elders had sat there, silent.
Statues carved out of granite
Would have been more lively –
Draupadi had questions for all of them.
~~~~
The questions ricocheted off the marble walls,
The marble pillars adorned with
Gold leaves and serpents,
And the stony silence.
The elders knew not the answer.
The Kauravas knew not that they had signed
Their own death warrant.
Doom and destruction had been invited into their household.
~~~~
None would escape.

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19 responses »

  1. Avijeet chatterjee says:

    giving the sense of mahabharat aeosome keep it up

  2. pushprajsocool@gmail.com says:

    lovely so powerful………..

  3. Shilpa says:

    Thank u for sharing! Poignant and intense.

  4. Md Rahman says:

    If you love somethings let it go, and if it comes back that dosent mean a damn hing, it can just leave you again later

  5. Yagni Brat says:

    Felt the passion, the anger pulsating through..please go on Bina…this story never gets old…cheers!

  6. Dear Bina,

    Such a lovely, beautiful poem. Poetry with all its emotion and reflection oozing out of words that touch the soul.

  7. sudha says:

    very powerful,reminds me of Chitra Banerjees novel Palace of Illusion

  8. Linda Sante says:

    I was moved and captivated to the very end…to this experience that’s similar to personal stories that are so familiar….people don’t change. And brilliantly written. “The Game of Dice.”

  9. nadi says:

    she had questions for all of them…..

  10. Eva Bell says:

    Your words conjure up a visual so powerful and unforgettable

  11. Rahul says:

    Very Well written! Absorbing..

  12. Ananya says:

    Awesome… Great Publish.. 🙂

  13. gc1963 says:

    Dramatic! Engrossing! Astounding visual imagery! Intellectually stimulating!

  14. A classic poem! Refreshing and thought provoking too.

  15. vimalaramu says:

    Beautiful, intense poem whose theme never pals.

  16. Beyniaz says:

    Standing fearless and noble
    Like a wounded tigress,
    Eyes blazing like burning coal,
    Tears of enraged frustration
    Rolling down her cheeks
    Like boiling lava…
    lovely words Bina.

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