I was potter’s clay, remember O Mahiwal, that day
How the fragrance of your breath filled mine,
Your eyes were sheer wine, from that moment holding sway.
I swore that day a smitten Sohni should become thine,
O Mahiwal, I knew why you came time and again.
With your balmy scent, my breath aligned, two souls entwined.
You stayed behind; thence, I fathomed love’s gnawing pain.
With gushing Chenab, flowed, far and wide, lover’s lore.
But who’s to stand by star-crossed lovers; love’s insane?
And when villagers caught us at the riverside shore
Father fumed, “Deceit! Youth sets passions aflame!”
Wedded to another, I dared trust my nightly oar.
Sail across, O earthenware, in love there’s no shame!
Love’s the only balm. Perhaps, the inebriating mead,
That can heal us. Under night’s canopy none durst blame.
Across the Chenab, I shall tarry, my soul’s hunger to feed.
Chenab embraces me. Ah, my half-baked clay gives way!
Into the waters -that’ll hide our union, our love will bleed.
Potter’s clay am I, shape me O Mahiwal, from this day.
Cover image is a painting by Keka DasGupta
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