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Hemant Divate

And Here Too He Gets Screwed


You gave me
The password of laughing, of crying,
Of living, of dying,
Of using and getting used
And I became human.


Now I live in the e-universe
Breathe e-air
No more believing in its naturalness
When I take the air in
Release it out
I canít figure out when it turns into a breath
The same way, when I slide over
From space into cyberspace
Crowing like a rooster
Trying to reach
The given address
I donít find you there
One more relationship
Dragged out and shoved
Into junk mail


You are my e-language
You are my e
I am because you are
If you were not, I wouldnít be
I have a culture
Because you exist
I would have no culture
If you did not exist


If your cultural gown
Is lifted up in the global air
I poke my finger into your navel
I donít smell any sweat there
But it gives me a culture shock
And tipsily
I dance to your beat
Now my own gown is lifted up too
And my umbilical cord
Entangled in e


I used to visit the Katodi settlement
Bring back with me tamarind, mangoes,
And cashew apples, karvanda berries
Used to shoot down birds with a slingshot
And leaving my school bag on the riverbank
Took a blissful dip in the river
How alive was I then!
That, as though unrisen, now am I debarred?
Now I am deep into this forest of computer software
Where I search for the world
Search for my culture in a dotcom
And while speeding past in a car
Applaud the India dot com hoarding from the flyover
There still remain people with holes in their undershirts
Wearing broken slippers and with tin pots
filled with water
Squatting in public by the railway tracks
This is India
A twenty by thirty advertisement of my
Simply brilliant


Gawking at them I bump into the Ďeís
e-mail internet e-commerce e-banking
India dot com, USA dot net,
Mumbai information dot com
Hungama dot com, Yahoo dot com, Chaipani dot com,
Khujli dot com, Gandmasti dot com et cetera
This global market
Invades homes
One for two, one for two,
Sell your old mobile at the price of the new
Buy a Maruti at your own price
Visit the site, hit the jackpot,
On sex dot com the cultural confluence of black and white
Free lifelong e-service
Free address and 10 MB space
Put anything to bed in your 10 MB
Send this e-mail to ten recipients and be happy!
If you canít send it, be miserable
No more assholes, no more assholes
Mumbai bandh, work bandh
Taaza Khabar
Tomorrowís news NOW
Log on
e-ads e-culture e-virus e-corruption
e-illness here ní there, here ní there
e e e e
And Hemant Dayanand Divate
Belongs to no one any more
He belongs to the e-universe
And here too he gets waylaid and screwed
But he hardly lets out an Ďeí from his mouth
He utters, ĎAai-ee ga!í ó O Mama Mia!

Translated by Dilip Chitre

The Fragrance Your Body Would Give

íIím remembering
The fragrance of ĎPondís Dream flowerí your body would give
And your e-mails
Iím remembering
Our intimacy
In the cacophony at Marine Drive
How we would go on talking without tiring
Canít recall any subjects we talked about though
Then sometimes
We would share a cigarette

I who had never seen the inside of a disco
Havenít yet visited one
Postponing my visit so far

Later you gave up smoking
Gave up drinking as well
And we gave up
The intimacy at Marine Drive

We continued to cling to each other
within four walls
Now as though we were caught in a wheel
We have no time to talk to each other
We sit reading the newspaper
Sometimes we have tea together
And if we ever talk
Itís about our child and our home
Or else about when we would return home
Making a phone call in the afternoon we ask
Each other
ĎHow are you?í
And nowadays, instead of the fragrance of ĎPondís Dream flowerí
At night your body gives
The desired-undesired odour of tired sweat

Translated by Dilip Chitre

And I Shall Be Released On A Piece Of Paper

Who is writing a poem?
With holes in it
That canít be blocked
Even if words are stuffed into them
Even the silence in the brain has them)

The TV is on
The kid is dancing in front if it
Heels over head, head over heels
Heís changing the channels
I am getting pissed at him
Should I spank him or not?
Even spanking makes
A hole in the silence
Not spanking too makes a hole

I am peeved
An ant has bitten me
I have crushed it
Iíve smashed up the ant
I am peeved
Shall I write this poem?
Or shall I stretch it for the kid
His name, a bat, a ball, a toothbrush, Colgate, a TV
I am peeved
The TV is on
I must smash the TV screen
The kid is hollering
Iím barking at him
Heís pushing his finger into a hole
In my undershirt
I am trying to close
The holes with the poem / the words
Gushing out from inside me

Dhullu is switching the TV on and off with the remote
Heís telling me to switch on one channel after another
Till his favourite channel is found
Any moment soon after
He begins to hate the channel
I am writing a poem
I write one word, then another
The kidís stubbornness turns me on and off
I am tormented
When will the poem come out?
Iím gnashing my teeth restlessly
Any moment now
The hole Iím looking for will be found
Iíll whoosh out of myself in a gush
And I shall be released on a piece of paper.


Like cigarette
Ash we
Ger d-e-t-a-c-h-e-d
From ourselves
Our awareness
In the ash-tray
Now we feel unsure
Living e-m-p-t-y
Between dream and reality
Thatís why
Thereís a greeting in my mind
But I wonít
Send it to you

Inside Outside

I got up
Switched off
The sound of all your seasons
Coming out from inside me
Tell me how to stop
The music of your memories
Fragrantly lingering inside me.


Outside inside
Iíve opened
The house of the man inside me
That was locked for years
One new man after another
Steps out of me
A crowd of many such people
Waits to get out of me.

Men Without A Navel

Negation is a rising and falling relief
Beating its own drums
The foetus of memories is eternally growing
How much should I wait for you
The flowers in my hands poured into my eyes
Now as I open the window of aching absence
To look inside, what do I find
But the paralyzed body
Of wasting, skinny words
What hospital shall I go to?

Sonofabitch this whole world has lost its navel
Now I do not feel
That I love anyone at all
Nor can I loathe them
And therefore I brush off
Her tactile script
The female poem rustling with abandon from the breasts to the bellybutton

Now I have to walk only a bit further
To reach a town which is not hers
Then I shall get the Aids of my mind cured
I shall get holes made into my thoughts
And get screws fitted into them
But now I swear
Not to remember anyone at all
Now one must wrap up the moon and bury it under a neem tree
Like we bury the umbilical cord of a newborn baby.

Translated by Dilip Chitre


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