Kavitayan
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Shiv Kumar Batalvi


Noble Father

When the cotton flower blooms,
O noble father,
Bring that season back for me,
O noble father.

It was in that season that I lost my song.
Separation choked its throat,
Sorrow ravaged its face,
Like water in ruined wells were its eyes.
It was a song that brought to lips,
The scent of musk.
O noble father.
Bring back that song for me,
O noble father.

One day my song and I,
In that enchanted season,
Ploughed the earth of my heart,
Sowed it with seeds of undefiled dreams.
No matter how many tears I poured on it,
No flower bloomed,
O noble father.
Bring back one flower for me,
O noble father.

What use your fertile lands
If daughters wilt?
What use your lakes
If the swans are parched?
What use your ample wealth
Your granary of pearls,
O noble father,
If you cannot bring back the season,
When the cotton flower blooms,
O noble father.

Dharmee Babula : Translated by Suman Kashyap


I Wish Every Hearth's Fire To Leap...

I wish every hearth’s fire to leap
And break all bounds
With its scorching and burning
Tear up the pages of oppression
Why should anybody weigh our fire’s warmth
Against a handful of rice?
… … … …
One day this fire
Shall speak out
Its eyes shall deliver
Instead of a tear
Blood of fi[e]ry rebellion
Which shall burn down the pride
Of the fire-eating salamadar, man

Excerpt from Loonan : Translated by Sant Singh Sekhon


The Tree

Some trees look like sons to me.
Some like mothers.
Some are daughters, brides,
A few like brothers.

Some are like my grandfather,
Sparsely leafed.
Some like my grandmother
Who used to throw choori to the crows.

Some trees are like the friends
I used to kiss and embrace.
One is my beloved
Sweet. Painful.

There are trees I would like
To throw on my shoulder playfully,
There are trees I would like
To kiss and then die.

The trees sway together
When strong winds blow.
I wish I could render
Their verdant, leafy language.

I wish that I could
Return as a tree.
And if you wanted to listen to my song
I would sing it in the trees.

These trees are like my mother,
May their shade stay intact.

Rukh : Translated by Suman Kashyap


Tender Of Fire

I will pay you with my tears,
Roast my store of sorrows in your pan,
O tender of the fire.

Tender of the fire, you are a branch of frangipani,
Roast my store of sorrows

I am late already,
The shadows are fading.
The cattle have returned
From the forest.

The birds have raised their clamour,
O roast my store of sorrows in your pan.
Tender of the fire.

Hurry, hurry
I have far to go,
To the place where
All my friends have gone.

I hear the road to that town is difficult
O roast my store of sorrows in your pan.
Tender of the fire.

Why, when it is my turn,
Is your bale of kindling damp?
Why has your earthen wok
Turned flaccid?

What has gone wrong with your fire?
O roast my store of sorrows in your pan.
Tender of the fire.

Just a handful is my measure
Let me go on my way,
Don’t leave them raw
Roast them a little more.

I beg you, bring an end to this trouble,
O roast my store of sorrows in your pan.
Tender of the fire,
The wind has dropped
Wept its mournful cry.
The stars are emitting
A sweet heat.

O roast my store of sorrows in your pan,
Tender of the fire.

Bhatti Waliye : Translated by Suman Kashyap


Murder Of Milk

I still remember it today
And you must remember it too
When together we murdered our mother
They killed my childhood they killed my mother
And a cold corpse was left at my place to rot.

I have a longing to die young
To go to realm of youth
After my demise.

I sing to conceal my agonies
Under the guise of lyrics
Sweet and serene the curses
Miserable and doleful verses.

I have been occupied
With burning the lamps
Of my own existence , fears
Feeding it with flowing oils
From my own saline tears.

Dudh da Katal


 







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