I had forgotten how father had performed the last rites for Bauji on the banks of Godavari,
at the ghats of Panchavati. I remember only the stone-steps leading to the water.
How the mosquitoes bit my chin the previous night. We learnt about
the black-lord Vithoba in our Marathi poem-lessons: Tukaram singing abhangas.
Then, I was holy. I saw everyone as a lamp of light, their wisdom a flickering
flame of a jyot doused in the gunas ghee. No one expendable in my world.
I believed in signs – like the tulsi’s health was that of my mother’s mind. I thought
of birds as omens, too. All snake-dreams had to mean something: good or bad.
I studied how to dismantle the master’s house using his own tools, and arrived at the words
of Akka Mahadevi: and for the first time in years, the path of my bhakti began clearing.
Kunjana Parashar lives in Mumbai. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Indianapolis Review, Heavy Feather Review, UCity Review, Okay Donkey, amberflora, and elsewhere. She is on Twitter @wolfwasp.