Black darling of Vrindavan!
They are celebrating Your birthday today
They have washed You
with scented waters
Dressing You in that favourite
yellow silk
Adorning your head
with a nodding peacock feather
They gave you butter in one hand
flute in the other
In golden vessels
Food comes for you
Happy birthday Krishna!
as women sing bhajans
around You
I know you, Kanha
You have always loved beauty
especially in women
The food they give you
Leaves you longing
For Ma Yashoda’s fingers
Feeding your mouth
Her stories, feeding your ears
The flute you hold
missed you so much
Its throat blocked
with unshed tears
There is no space
on Your golden crown
To fix something
as lowly, to them
as a peacock feather
I know the fragrance of your body
The flowers in your Vanamala
Sending out the delights of smells
The way expat children
send home money
to parents back home
I know to undrape and drape
Your yellow silk expertly
So that none can say
You have been frolicking
With me by the Yamuna, all night
When the Moon conspired
To keep away from our trysts
They are celebrating Your birthday
My Kanha, I have clasped
Eternity in You
The very same Eternity
You found and lost
In kingdoms and palaces
Far away
From our Heaven, this village
where everything, everybody belongs to You
The way the way You
belong to us.
They prefix my name to Yours
Radhey Shyam, Radhey Shyam!
I, who daily
celebrate Your Life
Your Radhika
—Lakshmi Bayi

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