Sanjeev Khandekar is
a poet, editor, socio-political activist, commentator and visual
artist. His six books of poetry include Kavita (Granthali, 1990)
and Search Engine(Granthali, 2004). These collections were
followed by All that I Wanna Do (Abhidanantar, 2005);Mutatis
Mutandis (Poetrywala, 2006);Two Poems (2006) and Smiles (2007).
His first book of visual poetry was 1,2,3... Happy Galaxy
(2007), and his latest book of visual poetry, Sick Paintings,
was published by Poetrywala in 2013. In 1982, he edited Sankalp,
a collection of essays by social activists in Maharashtra. His
novel, Ashant Parva (Season of Unrest, 1992), concerns itself
with the construction of a politically sensitive self in
post-industrial India. He has exhibited solo and in
group-exhibitions in India and abroad. The following poems are
translated by Sachin Ketkar
Death of the Search Engine (Error number not given)
Dark as a forest, a gigantic engine
Naked and sprawling
Gaping wide its mouth and
Vomited logic, dry was the slaver.
Search, search, how much I searched
This globe this sky this universe
Processing and information
In the waste bin, cultivating earthworms.
Thus came looking
My agony perpetual
The sky parted its lips
Molten were meanings of my words.
How many stairs have I descended
But forgot all my sums
How shall I turn back now
Someone erased memories of my village.
Where are the rootages, where are my ariel roots
Where are the branches, the flowers, and the fruits
Nowhere now can I sink my pot,
Inadequate now is my receptacle.
Where is my address, my name too is come away
My village is underwater, to surface in my art
All my numbers and letters
Are a handful of bones and seashells.
He knew exactly where it would hurt the most
For instance, if one punches nose
Or under the eyes or smash the head.
Or you could give a terrific blow
On the neck or throat, like a knife.
Or batter the breast.
Or if one would jab the stomach
Or give a stabbing kick
On the lower abdomen
Even if one would just sharply flick the balls
The pain would surge right up to the head.
So he punched and smashed to pulp
There and then itself. Thatís that.
He made a list of such spots whole heartedly,
He drew figures of these places.
He painted them
And hung them in the front.
His boss saw them and glared.
Then the boss whisked away the paper
Then the boss crumpled the paper
The boss scrunched up the paper repeatedly.
Then the boss turned it into pulp. And flung it away.
So he made a penis out of it
And put it on his nose like a clown.
The boss said, this is not a cock it is a horn.
People said yes yes itís a horn.
Then an eye grew on the horn.
It turned 360 degrees and set before the very eyes
Like the setting sun.
ĎMarket is heartlessí everyone said.
He nodded and so the cock nodded too.
People said see see the horn is nodding.
The boss said, how rude of you to shake your horn at me!
The boss whisked away the cock
Made a ball out of it
And threw it away into the dustbin.
I picked it up in the evening.
I put into the shredder in the routine way.
The shredder ran all the night.
He too ran all the night.
It sliced in the way
It blew the shreds in air
As it usually does.
As if they were stars in the moon light.
I even gathered them.
Every day I flew each moonbeam like a kite.
The boss said Ď Bravo! Bravo ! well done!
I said thatís the secret of promotion!