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Swarup Mohapatra

If The World Changes

I am not convinced yet
that everything would go wrong
if the world changes.

Even when
the houses are changed into shops
a distrait shopkeeper would surely be there
to stare at the gamesome sparrows in the foliage.

There would still be someone
to hum a forlorn tune to himself
and yet another to run out into the open
to soak himself in the rains.

I am not sure yet that the people
would all go dusty if the world changes itself.
The begging hand of a man
has been the same all through the ages.
People of bowing heads have been retaining
the same postures all along.
The burdened spine, the leaking eyes
and the faces small with disgrace
haven't ever changed a shade.

If ever all the people get cankered down
a few others would still be there
and you would discover they aren't any more the beings
they have very subtly
changed themselves into the snipping sorrows
the unalterable sorrows of this world.

Translated by Shyama Prasad Choudhury

Somewhere Here

Somewhere here
a fair of mustard flowers is held.
Let us go, Hemant Sini Babu
Come Prasanna Paltu
along the path by the river side.

But listen, do not get tired
even if the legs ache
do not forget the black-stone ghats
the fish swimming in the glittering lake.

Go on peeping into the water for a while
the sand full of pebbles and stones
look carefully at your own clean feet
dip your throat in a little water
and start your journey again.

In the sky
the hide and seek of day and night goes on
overhead the trees spread their lofty umbrellas
the wind caresses a delicate hand.

Looking at it, you yourself will become the sky
light and darkness
you yourself will become the tree
the centuries old wind by the mountain side.

Somewhere here
a fair of mustard flowers is held
Come, let us go !

Translated by Jitendra Kumar

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