You are mine, I need no certificate

Property papers or orders from the court

You stand there bejeweled

Even Your crown is of gold, it’s hard,

Tight rim, marking Your  forehead

Yashoda used to kiss again and again

Before putting a U shaped tilak on it

Your hands so used to eliciting

Music from the flute, pleasure

From all the women of Vrindavan

Who also consider you their own,

More than lover, more than husband

Now  holds a whip and the reins

Of Your cousin’s chariot in a war

It is not yet clear, Your  father’s sister

Who cleverly made her sons share a wife

Was good at using emotion for her ends

Did You not see through her?

If Your wife Rukmini is by your side

So is Sathyabhama, did none

deserve alone time

With you, or were there too many

To divide time with each?

But You shared

In the raas – leela, that none of us

Had complaints

Though each of us sought exclusivity

In the green pastures

By the dancing Yamuna

You were mine, I held You in my arms

Your midnight skin was mine

Your locks tied up with the

Proud peacock’s tail was mine

Your yellow silk and all it hid was mine

The right to blow into Your  flute

Was mine, though it squawked

In dire protests, till I understood

Its need to be Yours  just Yours

The way the whole of Vrindavan

Was Yours just Yours

The gaudhooli our cattle raised

Was the cue for we women

To welcome You home for

An evening meal, well before

Our trysts in the forest


Who are those who guard you against miscreants

You, who could handle any demon

By Yourself , even in your childhood

Devotees  are allowed in

As are the locals who threaded

You garlands, with wild flowers

And prayers, gave You a pat of

Fresh butter on leaves

And thought of You as theirs

The priest does not know those

Nicknames of Yours we made up

As we lived with You, loved You

Man Mohan! Who can know

Who can not know

The right to own You

Came only with love for You!      —  Lakshmi Bayi