I stare at you with glassy eyes – over a haze of my chillum,
to brandish my feather broom on you as you pass me by —
whether or not you care to bow in seeking my blessings
or to let me apply on your forehead — a pinch of my ash.
Don’t be repulsed by my earliest homo-sapien looks
that I’ve imbibed from living in the hills and woods:
I’ve now creatively adorned to project to you a distinctive look —
With Rudraksh beads, flowers, artefacts, trident and sword.
My nudity is no concern of mine, so then why make it yours?
My yoga-fit body with mud and ash I anoint – in heat or cold,
to remind me that in dedication to Shiva – my life is renounced:
would I then – for my long matted-hair – crave your opine?
I squat or crouch, even sleep bare on the banks of the Ganges now,
cook in earthen pots from alms I’m allowed – on charcoal kilns I mount:
In Varanasi, I’ve halted in transiting from Khumb Mela at Prayag –
as from civilization I recoil – living in seclusion of the Himalayas long.
At the early age of sixteen I denounced the regular life you live,
all connections of family, friends, even society I vehemently perished:
yet killing my youthful male libido was my most challenging sacrifice —
that my Akhara beat out of my phallus to attest my spiritual incline.
I now live on an extended new life after my pind daan and shradh —
my own death rituals, that I’ve conducted to validate total renunciation:
only then was I inducted with my guru mantra after six rigorous years,
ten more to prove myself – so that at 32 – I was reborn a Naga Sadhu.
You think my life’s regressive, as it’s impossible for you to envision —
eating, sleeping, existing without purpose – in a make belief ascetic world:
but I dread duties, pain and strife you juggle – of mistrust, jealousy, hate
and trivial rivalry over all else, to die and turn just like me to mud or ash!