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Arun Kamal


So long as there is someone to listen to
I'll go on telling my story
all through the night without sleep

I desire nothing else
but this :
that I go on telling stories
sitting under a tree
or in a square in the school veranda;

if there is an assembly of five or ten
it's chitrakoot for me

Go tell all, old and women all
I'll do a bit of interpretation too
Oh yes, child : I will
blow the conch shell too

I wander here and there
carrying my harmonium
not yet settled anywhere
the bhaktas are no more keen too.
Times have changed, attitudes altered.
Even one square meal
is hard to get these days

This is how the uttarkhand of my life
will come to an end
in an unknown village.
The voice will break suddenly
telling stories
and the charpai of life will collapse midway
and the meaning remain incomplete.

Translated by the poet


It's dhanteras today,
the day of buying new utensils
and this day we are moving from shop to shop
selling our last containers

Nothing to gain only to lose
Whatever little we had is going

Look, how ruthlessly they crush our old pots
and how gleefully arrange their new utensils

Translated by the poet


Give me the guava bit opened by a parrot
with its inner red peeping through
Give me the black jamun full of dark juices
bearing the marks of a squirrel's teeth
Give me a sharifa fruit
bursting with its own ecstasy
Give me that stick of sugarcane
whose nodes are bursting with the rush of sap
And give me milk of the cow with heavy udders
spraying milk as she walks

Not the fiftysix dishes for me
Give me just one fruit
        the red fruit of the sun
        the black fruit of the dark
Just one bite of it
is enough to make me immortal
That same amarphal

Translated by the poet

This Is The Time

This is the time
when the harvest is over
but not yet time to sow anew

The fields are lying open
Embarrassed is the soil exposed to the sudden sun
There are shadows of hedges here and there
and the stubble gleaming in the sun
Flocks of sheep grazing in the near distance
and molehills
and powdered earth at the mouths of antholes

This is time
when the old is gone
and the new is yet to come

Translated by the poet


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