What happend to the elephant?

Sujata Bhatt

What happend to the elephant
the one whose head Shiva stole
to bring his son Ganesh 
    back to life?

This is child's curiosity,
The rosy imagination
that continues
probing, looking for a way
to believe the fantasy
a way to prolong the story.

If Ganesh could still be Ganesh
With an elephant's head,
Then couldn't the body of that elephant
find another life
with a horse's head-for example?

And if we found
a horse's head to revive
the elephant's body-
who is the true elephant?
And what shall we do about the horse's body?

Still the child refuses 
to accept Shiva's carelessness
and searches for a solution 
without death.

But now when I gaze 
at the framed postcard
of Ganesh on my wall,
I also picture a rotting carcass
of a beheaded elephant
  lying crumpled up
on its side, covered with bird shit,
vulture shit-

Oh, that elephant
    whose head survived
for Ganesh,
he dies, of course, but the others
in his heard, the hundreds 
in his family must have found him.
They stared at him for hours
with their slow swaying sadness...
How they turned and turned
in a circle, with their trunks
facing outwards and then inwards
toward the headless one.

This is a dance,
  a group dance
no one talks about.

   ( From 'Point no point'  by Sujata Bhatt)