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Chandrakant Sheth

Selling The Sky

I once had been to a narrow lane
to sell the sky.
The residents of the narrow lane
took me for a lunatic.
I was made fun of,
I was manhandled,
I was pelted with stones.
My clothes were torn off.
They tried to make me unclench my fist.
But could the sky ever be in one's fist ?

Poor people of the narrow lane !
They don't know
that the sky could never be kept
in one's pocket, in a carpet bag, or a trunk, or a fist.
I was merely going to lift their drooping eyelids
and show them the sky !
They were going to get the sky scot free !
The selling of the sky was but a ruse !
But the residents of the narrow lane—
they drove me away
and went to sleep,
burrowing their faces deep in their pillows.

Once again I dragged myself
and kept hoping that the sky will be sold
tomorrow, if not today,
and kept breathing deeply, with determination.
Well to begin with
these residents of the narrow lane
and, what's more, the selling of the sky—
the transaction
couldn't possibly have been over that soon.

Translated by Sitanshu Yashaschandra


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