Monday, June 25, 2012

Let's talk of those other things - Shalini Sharma

tr. from Shalini Sharma's Hindi poem 'Kuch aur baat'

That which, fumbling,
is not held back at the lips,
which does not stay behind
and think, which tips
over the threshold of then and
now, perhaps that's how
we could talk, that which
does not trouble itself with the
idea of what I could be to you.
That which, distracted,
plays once again without care,
which takes the dare and
stretches for a flight, looks
for new gathering spots in
the night, beyond all this past,
come, let's talk of other things.

Shalini Sharma

Saturday, June 16, 2012

All this time

All this time when I saw the map
for your location, I obtained,
without fail, equivocation. Now
you tell me that you are near,
‘Come here,’ you say, ‘I am on
the other side of the lake, take
the shortest route and come,’
an' either ways I am left with
a fear, for if I remain behind,
what a sorry figure I would cut,
but, if I were to walk to you,
my love, I tempt fate - the
shortest route is always straight -
an' the winter has just set in,
the ice on the lake is thin.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Speaking of J.N.U.

tr. from Rohit Prakash's Hindi poem 'J.N.U. ke baare mein' 
jointly tr. by Rohit Prakash and Akhil Katyal

At the end of his story

dawn breaks,

sleep stakes its claim on us.

These past nights we spent waking,

coaxing dry rivers.

In J.N.U. now

even arguments

are like empty bottles of rum

left only with an odor

from which both - those who drink

and those who don't -

try an' save themselves.

How many years it took us

to realize

that J.N.U. was a part of this city called Delhi,

of this authorized reserve for rulers,

and even these rulers

ended up taking all this time

to make us more like Delhi.

Our cracked walls

are so shot with lines

(how omnipresent are the rulers

leaving their dents everywhere).

But look

how these thorns

now bleed the flowers,

how the butterflies

pluck their own wings,

and even so,

on this roadside

two feet in

whatever jungle you can see,

how fragrant is J.N.U..

Now what do we do with the worldviews

which we already had,

had even before entering this story.

In this twilight, now,

as they begin to fade,

we see the stones.

Rohit Prakash is a poet based in Delhi and is widely published in Hindi literary journals and magazines. He is currently a research scholar at the Department of History, University of Delhi.

Rohit Prakash