Born under the shadow of the Pamirs,
Crossing through the Mighty Himalayas –
From the Land of Qin Shi Huang
To the Land of Indus –
O’ son of Brahma,
You flow majestically;
Fostering civilizations since ages and nations,
Across the tides of eternity
Until the end of another eternity.
Cutting the deepest canyon as Yarlung,
Cascading through the Land of the Rising Sun, as Siang;
Nurturing the Land of Asama,
And melting into the largest delta on earth,
Your water has seen it all,
Your water has done it all.
You’ve humbled the world with your might.
What am I before the might of the world?
Yet, I followed your path like beauty and beast.
Alas! I gave up midway after the midway I began –
Gelling, Tuting, Pangin and Pasighat;
Majuli, Tezpur and Pragjyotishpura.
No more could I follow your path,
Yet, you kept on,
Like a journey
Without a beginning, nor an end.
This poem is based on a series of personal trips across the Indian part of the majestic river known by various names: Yarlung, Siang, Dihang, Brahmaputra, Luit & Jamuna.
The Pamir —The junction where some of the tallest mountain ranges meet, like the Himalayas, Karakorum, Hind Kush, Tian Shan, etc. Rightly, known as the ‘Roof of the World’!
Qin Shi Huang – (Qin, pronounced as Chin) The first Emperor of China, after whom China was named, as per accepted belief. Also credited with the construction of the first Great Wall of China in antiquity.
Yarlung Tsangpo— The Tibetan name for the river which becomes Brahmaputra in Assam (Tsangpo = River, in Tibetan). The canyon formed by Yarlung is deeper than the Grand Canyon formed by Colorado River in the USA.
Land of the Rising Sun – Epithet of Arunachal Pradesh, where Yarlung is known as Siang.
Asama – A Sanskrit word meaning peerless, from where the name Assam was derived.
Sundarbans – the largest delta on earth made by the confluence of Ganga and Brahmaputra.
Pragjyotishpura— Ancient name of Guwahati, meaning, the ‘City of Lights’.