Sachin Ketkar


Sachin Ketkar is a bilingual writer, translator, editor, blogger and researcher. His most recent book, Changlya Kavitevarchi Statutory Warning: Samkaleen Marathi Kavita, Jagatikikaranani Bhashantar (2016), is a collection of Marathi articles on contemporary Marathi poetry, globalization and translation. His books in English include Skin, Spam and Other Fake Encounters: Selected Marathi Poems in Translation (2011) and (Trans)Migrating Words: Refractions on Indian Translation Studies (2010). His collections of Marathi poetry are Jarasandhachya Blogvarche Kahi Ansh (2010) and Bhintishivaicya Khidkitun Dokavtana (2004). He translated and edited Live Update: An Anthology of Recent Marathi Poetry (2005). In 2000, he won the ‘Indian Literature Poetry Translation Prize’, given by the Sahitya Akademi’s Indian Literature Journal. He has translated the fifteenth-century Gujarati poet Narsinh Mehta and modern Gujarati writers like Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh, Bhupen Khakkar, Jayant Khatri, Rajendra Patel, Nazir Mansuri and Mona Patrawala into English. He works as a Professor of English at the University of Baroda. Most of the poems of the Abhidhanantar poets included here are translated by him, including his own poems.


 James Bond Announces Retirement

I simply want to stretch out
On the voluptuous blue beach of Hawaii
And quietly sip
The Martini or the Vodka
Of my renunciation

Apart from the sea or the sky
I don't want anything mirrored
In my tourist sunglasses

I don't want to do anything now

Age has arced
The women I slept with
Like a bow
My friends have evaporated
Into this incomprehensible world
My one-time enemies
Have metamorphosed
Into potbellied asthmatic old men
Their malice melted down
Into their arthritic knees

Once I used to give away my friends
To my enemies
My enemies to my friends
These days however
I can't tell friends from foes
The CIA from the KGB
FBI from the Al Qaeda
MI-5 from ISI
Friendship from betrayal
Perhaps I have grown old

I have already returned
My license-to-kill to the Queen
I have already given up
The folly of picking up women
I have discontinued
These makeshift remedies
For desolation

Today I am not sure
Whether those I killed
Were really terrorists
Or fuckwits like me

I have sold off my rusted Berretta
I am dreadfully weary of blood
Today I can't tell
Whether this damned blood
Is that of a villain
Or my own
Or tomato ketchup from Hollywood

Yes, probably I have aged ungracefully

That's why I want to submerge
Tepid memories of the Cold War
In this liquor which is fragrant like the honeyed breath
Of aroused young women

I no longer intend to hound spies
Or women or myself
At breakneck speed

I just want to recline
On the beaches of Hawaii
Watching quivering smooth buttocks
Of bikini clad women
I only want to sip peacefully
My detached martini
Whose flavour is like that of death

iii) Harry Potter's Mislaid Love Letter

In mid air
Have I scribbled
In an enigmatic transparent script
This invisible love letter for you

Only you know its secret
It will remain here
For ages to come

Only the reader
Who has something of you
In the soul
Can decipher
This sibylline language

Death has left this mark
On my forehead
Commingled a mysterious satanic force
With my blood

It will take your memories
Beyond the Red sea of Death

Every time the latent witch in you
Responds to my call

She will find before her eyes
This misplaced letter
I wrote only for you

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