Kavitayan
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Nida Fazli


The Identification


No, he is not one of them,
Neither is he
Nor is he,
I wonder who they were.
These people here are just like me ---
They all have little moons lit in their heartbeats;
They are all, like me, the fuel of the furnace of time
The ones who invaded my hut on that dark night,
And, in front of my eyes,
Burnt my children to death ---
They were not of this world.

Your Honour, I cannot remember their faces.
But, yet, if they are close by,
I shall recognize them by their scent.
They come from that jungle
Where children on their mothers' laps
do not giggle


The Bridge of Words

Quiet is
the dome of the mosque
and silent are the bells of the temple
the ideal revealed in the scriptures
enveloped in ornate cases
having long been consumed by moths
colours
pink
blue
yellow
no more anywhere
you, on the other side
I, on this
the miles-long gorge between
the bridge of words has broken
you are alone
so am I

Translated by B. Bakht and Leslie


Bombay

What kind of place is this,
This settlement where I find myself ?
A thousand echoing voices fill the air,
Countless breathes seethe in the breeze.

As far as the eye can see
There are shoulders, hips, shins, legs,
But not a single face.
In the morning, each one, young and old,
Removes his shining eyes,
His cheeks and his smiling lips
From the hollow of his head
And puts them in his pocket.

It is a strange city,
There is no day, no night, no dusk :
The sun rises from the bus seats;
The moon rests in a dark hovel.

There is nothing here
But trains and buses,
Insensible seas crawling over the earth,
Buildings swallowing buildings.

How can you awaken this grave island ?
You will be broken struggling against yourself,
There is not a single face
To be seen.

 







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