Varjesh Solanki works
an engineering firm in Mumbai. His first collection of poems
Varjesh Ishwarlal Solankichya Kavita 2002 was published by
Abhidhanantar. He has won prestigious awards like the Kusumagraj
Pratisthans -Vishakha Puraskar and the Vasant Sawant Puraskar.
His most recent book of poems is Ta ta pa pa. His poems are
translated in Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and English and
part of various syllabuses. His first language is Gujarati.
Diddamdina is his recent non fictional prose. The following
poems are translated by Sachin Ketkar.
About the bolt on the door of public lavatory which doesn’t
work from inside
About the bolt on the door of public lavatory
Which doesn’t work from inside,
You cannot complain anywhere
Instead what one experiences
Is intimidation in its noises.
An incomprehensible collage
Hanging from the wall of an art gallery
In the engraving on
The walls of lavatory
As if it were a signature campaign
Started by the local activists in order to obtain
Or reject some official regulation.
One sees the zigzag spew paintings
Of paan or tobacco spray on the tiles
One sees all of a sudden
An excellent couplet of Ghalib
In true bambaiya Hindi
As if by forced religious conversion.
When people start stirring or there is flurry outside
Then you should understand
That this is the bell tolling for your exit.
A poem included for typesetting by oversight
When a poem was just about to germinate in me,
On my door landed
A letter from Mr. Editor
“Read the poems you sent me.
Your poems are very raw and crude.
You need to read more deeply and
You need to have wider experience of life
In order to be able to express yourself.
Can't publish you poems. Sorry."
I smack away
The poem like a cockroach
From my body
In addition, step out.
It seems that even here
You can’t achieve anything without advertisement.
Vasai, Virar: suburbs of Mumbai
Swadeshi apnao! Desh bachao: ‘use indigenous goods and save the
nation’, a slogan
Konkan: Southwestern coastal part of Maharastra known for its
Jo cahe ho ... enjoy: slogan for Coca Cola, enjoy Coca Cola
Akkalkot Maharaj bhajani Mandal: Akkalkot Maharaj, a famous
saint. Bhajani Mandal, a troupe of people for singing bhajans or
Yeh davakhana ... chaloo hai: This hospital runs here from past
Nirodh: condom, a cheap brand by that name.
Vada Pav: a common fast food item
Bambaiya Hindi: slang Hindi used in Mumbai