Four poems in Guajarati, thanks to Udayan Thakkar

 

Hemant Dhorda

THE LINE



All that he wished
was to draw a line befitting itself
He didn’t want to draw an equator
or no way even latitudes and longitudes
or a line in the soil, encircling a hut, as an inviolable dictate
to abide by for the ages and beyond
or a line along the rim of a disk-like-weapon
which displayed its auspicious and ominous aspects
or a line of a bow which lets out a high-pitched twang
or a slippery smile of a lady named Mona
or a waist-band around a waist of a slim lovely maiden
or the vertical and horizontal strokes in a day-to-day
account book of a Bania, the grocer
All that he wished
So many people counseled him on lot many matters
asked him to draw
a volatile line, to be carried away, on the running waters of a stream
or a fragrant line from flower to flower in woods and gardens
or a sweetly noisy line beneath a tree at a day-break
or a flash of lightening in the midst of the heaps of dark clouds
carded like cotton
or a saffron-coloured line joining the tips of the leaping flames of fire
In fact, he had drawn innumerable lines as such
of this kind
of that kind
of whichever kind
of whatever kind
of any kind
But could not there be a line, a mere glance at it
should soothe the eyes right away?
should pacify the tormented self to the peak?
should light up all the areas of visceral feelings?
should enable the artist to give a belch of contentment
for having drawn the immaculate line?
should fulfill the wish of a life-time within the time-span
from the start of a point to its ultimate point?
All that he wishes
is to draw a line befitting itself


Translated by Karamshi Pir

--------------------------------------


Kiritkumar Doodhat
 

MOTHER

Mother
has not
the looks of one’s sweetheart
and
is also a bit aged.
When we get
some understanding
we say
“Mother
you don’t understand anything.”
Then
Mother says nothing.
In a corner she sits
quietly caressing
her aching arthritic feet.
Then one day she dies
and we can’t even beg
with folded hands
“Mother…
please forgive.”
During our dashes
huffing and puffing
on the highway passing
between women’s breasts
once in a while
we wish to rest
in Mother’s aged shade.
And then we realize
that Mother is no more –
Mother, who was
not as pretty as a sweetheart.


Translated by Pradip N. Khandwalla

-----------------------------------
Pratishtha Pandya


SHAKUNTALA


Let the rings
Slide off your fingers
Let them melt away
Inside the dark abyss
Of a fish's belly
Let Shakuntala
Forget Dushyaant
Let her desert
Kalidas all together
Let her run away
From the story line
Of Adiparva
Let the family of Shakunta birds
(black kites)
Raise her
On top of tall
green trees
Let her wheatgold back
Grow wings
Giant, Smooth, Black
Wings
Not to be captured
Within the wiry confines
Of Dushyant's morals
Wings
Not to be burnt to ahses
In the firey flames
Of Durvasa's anger
Wings
Let her carry
Under her wings
All of the sylvan forests
As she fly
In the fluttering sky
Let Shakuntals fly.

Translated by the Poet


------------------------

Udayan Thakker


MY PRETTY


If complaints could construct clouds,
I too, would have composed sighing love songs,
“Who do you visit, my beauty,
on those nights
when you are not within my dreams?”
I do not have your portrait, but I have seen
an evening write letters of light
on a face
At times the night hums,
dandelions come
floating on breeze.
This I have heard:
A disciple of the Sage Vishwamitra
wished to ascend to heaven
in flesh and blood.
The Sage elevated him upward
But Lord Indra drove him down.
Enraged, the Sage created
angels and fairies, gnomes, and goblins
and an alternative heaven.
Come over, sometime,
to this alternative heaven,
in flesh and blood.
Upon this earth there were Dodo birds,
in millions,
in thousands really,
a hundred at the most.
If you happen to visit
circa 1690,
you will find
perched on a twig of autumn
the last Dodo
the very last
who will tell you
what loneliness is.


Translated by Dileep Jhaveri

 

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