Friday, September 04, 2009

Very often, there is a hollow inside you. Inside your head. Inside your day as it steadily chews its way from breakfast to lunch, when there's nothing to show for your time but a spat-out glob of four hourly despair.

And you know that there is a word for this condition. That the condition is universal. That is not about you at all, but about the things you cannot find words for and the questions nobody seems to be asking, and if they were to ask, you know you'd wish they hadn't.

At such times, I go looking for poetry. For a certain kind of poem by a certain kind of poet. Tonight I found three poems like that. One is here with a ready translation, and below, I have done a rough translation of two more for readers who cannot read Hindi.

Kya Phir Vahi Hoga?/Will it be like that again?
- Kunwar Narayan

Will it happen again
the thing we are afraid of?
And the thing we'd hoped forwill it never be?

Will we go on, as we did,
sold in bazaars,
slaves to our own idiocies?

Will they buy up our kids
and take them to far-off lands
to build their futures?

Will they once again
rob us of our gold
by holding out pieces of coloured glass?

And will we, once again,
generation upon generation,
go on showing off
the ruins of our ancientdom,
our temples mosques gurudwaras?

Chaand se baatein/ Conversing with the moon
- Shamsher Bahadur Singh

(a ten eleven year old girl talks)

You're very round but
you seem a little skewed.

You wear the whole sky
showing just your face
fair and smooth
all rounded,
your outfit spread out

You do seem a little skewed
and how!

Oh really!
You seem to think I'm stupid!
As if I don't know about your illness:
when your body starts to get small
it just gets smaller and smaller,
and when it gets big,
it just keeps getting bigger and bigger,
and you just don't stop until
you are totally round.

One perfect round.
It doesn't seem like your illness
is going to go away...



Pareshaan said...

Loved "Kya Phir Vahee Hogaa" especially the last para - Bahut Khoob - thanks for posting.

dipali said...

All three poems were great reading. Thanks for posting.

Trisha Gupta said...

how lovely these are. thank you.

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