• Gems of Indian Poetry translated into English

  • Timeless Indian Poems now available in English language


Anjali Purohit

Whoever was born a tabula rasa?
I came from the womb
with the history of our ancestors
the forks in their tongues
and the venom on their lips
interwoven into the strands of my DNA
wash, scrub and rinse, abrade and buff
it won’t come off.

Put on all the liberal masks of the world
one over the other yet
there will be a chink where the cosmetics melt
and the BB cream cracks
to show teeth and fangs
and atavistic passions
that would put our tribal past to shame

haven’t we now devised means so clinical,
long distant, sophisticated and global
that we can vanquish
entire peoples without a spot of blood
on our manicured white hands.

Translated by

Picture me

Folina Chongthu

1. Picture me in a pictur eless book half-written
With no ending and no tears to chance upon as you leave yourself baffled
A script where the persona's fortune can be well transmuted.
Picture me in a road less taken
Where the street nourishes sand that has not been stepped on for forever
The wind carries crystals to the horizon in a duly demeanour
No one knows neither the book nor the road and where they will lead to.

2. Picture me in a chaotic modern art
Colours splash on every nook and cranny of the canvas
Imagine black, inexplicable artistry, residing in it.
Picture me in a lunar eclipse half-swallowed
A face that plays two aspects of emotions
And the implacable sadness that overshadows the light
Here is a root of the root that falsifies.

3. Picture me in a rising fire or high water
In a touch-me-not or a lost boat sailing under the drizzling rain.
In a random chat between two homeless people.
Picture me in a state of reverie inside a hollow bus or an unused station
Where lies the bitter truth revealed after the city sleeps.
I am but a frail moment of things empty and aimless
Like a gypsy wandering off to god knows where.

4. Picture me in a clock ticking back and forth
Everything exists on the verge of eternal timelessness
The ticking hand is merely a hand to tell a day's time.
Picture me in a woman loving a woman
The rough world throwing stones and casting them off
We are but ridicules of lost souls anxious to encounter righteousness
And time is merely time to remind us of our short, mortal lives.

Translated by

Home sickness

Shelly Bhoil

These ballerinas,
the migratory birds
lift their toes
unfolding feathers
in harmony
to perform the sky dance
and exit the horizon
leaving behind empty-nes(t)s
echoing with joyous, envious
songs of home and return
for this solitary immigrant
whose path is chartered on
a seamless ocean
of individual drops

In the sprawling waves
of loneliness and longing
I drift between things banal
tv, tea, smokes and car
to the corner street
where someone's soot-clad feet
comfortably dislodged
from a card box home
shatter my ballerina romance

for I realize-
home sickness is a luxury
unavailable to the homeless!

Translated by


Shelly Bhoil

That's right, I carry
between my legs
a bag with a napkin
soaked in blood.

Wait, haven't I been carrying
in me a fountain
of blood since the first mother
ever came on earth?

Indeed, I am, oh goodness,
an enduring river of blood
flowing in your veins
from my uterus urn!

And you! Where do you drain off
your mothers' blood each time
you carry your bloodless body
to the exclusive shrine of your mind?

Translated by
Home sickness


Gurpreet Anandi

Untill when
I will run after shadows
Defeated ... dejected

Constantly dynamic
Out of reach.
From ages
Trying to catch them
in Empty hands,
those flying shadows.

Smouldering fire
between your brows...,
Mind engulfed
in deep sadness...
The Eye seeking
Truths beyond horizon
Do not have shadows.

Untill when
I will run after Shadows,
Defeated ... dejected

Translated by the Poet from Punjabi


A J Thomas

Lying diagonally
In the wide bed, vaguely
Listening to the early morning sounds
Of bird-chirps, an occasional car-horn
Against the soothing murmur of the slow-falling rain
The fan swirling above at tempest-speed…
Smugly detached from the ballasting past
And the mirage smile of the future…
Sixty-one years of struggles and joys,
Blood-bonds close to the heart--
All suddenly a big void…
The haunting prods of should-have-beens
Strangely absent… no place
Even for ambivalence; each individual path
Fading into the fugue horizon at different directions…
Somnolence spreading like a blanket, inducing
Weightlessness—like a kite cut loose, the mind
Hovering around consciousness;
Life’s drama
Unfolding before the inner eye…
…Is this it?

Translated by
The Refugee

Jafar and me

Varjesh Solanki

Drank sharbat of Ramjan at Jafar'` home
Ate Shahi Biryani at his marriage.

His mother is just like my mother-
of splintered face
while working hard for the home.
The walls of his home
are just like the walls of my home-
of the detached crust.
His father regrets just like my father
while talking about the days of Partition.

The salt dried in his home
is just like the salt in the box at my home.
The water in his curry
has also streamed out of the same land:
the sunlight on my holy basil plant,
the sun set in the rustling of the neem tree\in the precincts of his mosque.
He has visited Tirupati once or twice
And has also visited Dehu.
I have also offered date fruits and the chadar
along with my wife at the Pir'` Dargah.

We consider Ghalib and Tukaram
as our contemporaries.
We always related ourselves.
with the world of stories
of Manto and Bhau Padhye
as if it was our life.
Even under the influence of alcohol,
never used a filthy word,
never abused each other'` communities.

For many days
the news of his mother diagnosed with cancer
troubled me like an ulcer in the intestines.

We were not the rumours
we were not the lables of the cults
we were the living struggle to meet the ends.
we were the commotion for the whole day
for peaceful sleep at lease once.
Don't know
but recently
someone is distributing the leaftlet
of difference between Jafar and me

in our lanes and mohallas
(Translated from Marathi by Dilip Chavan)

જફર અને હું
વર્જેશ સોલંકી

જફરને ઘરે મેં રમજાનનું શરબત પીધું હતું
એના નિકાહમાં શાહી બિરયાની

એની મા મારી મા જેવી
ઘર માટે ખપી જતાં
ઊતરડાઈ ગયેલ ચહેરાની ખાલવાળી
એના ઘરની ભીંતો મારા ઘરની ભીંતો જેવી જ
જેનાય ઠેર ઠેર ઊખડી ગયા છે પોપડા
એના બાપા મારા બાપાની જેમ જ વલોવાય છે
ભાગલાના દિવસોની વાત ઉખેડતાં

એના શાકનું મીઠું
મારા ઘરના ડબ્બાના મીઠા જેવું જ
એની દાળનું પાણી એક જ જમીનમાંથી આવેલું
મારી તુલસીના પાંદડાં પર પડતો સૂર્યપ્રકાશ
એની મસ્જિદના ફળીયામાં ઝૂલતા
લીમડામાંથી ચળાઈને આવતો

તેય એક-બે વાર તિરુપતિ અને દેહુ જઈ આવેલો
હુંય કેટલી બધી વાર પત્ની સાથે
પીરની દરગાહે ખજૂર અને ચાદર ચઢાવીને આવેલો

અને અને મને
સમકાલીન લાગતા ગાલિબ અને તુકારામ
અમારી દુનિયાના જ ભાસતા
મંટો અને ભાઉ ઉપાધ્યેની કથાનાં વિશ્વ માટે
અમે દારૂના નશામાંય એલફેલ બોલ્યા નહોતા
કે એકમેકની કોમ માટે ક્યારેય અપશબ્દ
કેટલા બધા દિવસો સુધી
મને આંતરડાના અલ્સરની જેમ પીડતી રહી
એની માને કૅન્સર થયાની માહિતી

અમે અફવા નહોતા
અમે સંપ્રદાયોનાં લેબલ નહોતા
અમે તો હતા બે ટંક દાળભાતનો મેળ પાડવા
કરાતી ટાંટિયાતોડ
એક વખતની નિરાંતની ઊંઘ મેળવવા માટેના
દિવસભરના ઉધામા

કોઈ જાણે કેમ પણ થોડા દિવસોથી
કોઈ વહેંચે છે અમારાં ગલીમહોલ્લામાં
જફર અને મારા જુદાપણાની પત્રિકાઓ

जफरच्या घरी
रमझानचं सरबत प्यालो
व त्याच्या निकाहला बिरयानी

त्याची आई माझ्याच आईसारखी
घरासाठी खपताना चेह-यावरचे छिलके निघालेली
त्याच्या घराच्या भिंती
माझ्याच घराच्या भिंताडासारख्या कुठे कुठे पोपडे निघालेल्या
त्याचे बाबा सांगताना अजून हळहळतात
फाळणीच्या दिवसाबद्दल बोलताना

त्याच्या भाजीतलं मीठ
माझ्याच घरातल्या डब्यातल्या मीठासारखं
त्याच्या आमटीतलं पाणी
एकाच जमिनीतून वर आलेलं
माझ्या तुळशीचे पडलेला सूर्यप्रकाश
त्याच्या मशिदीतल्या नीमच्या सळसळीतून मावळलेला

तोही कितीदा देहूव तिरुपतीला जाऊन आलेला
व मीही कितीतरी वेळा बायकोबरोबर
खजूर व चादर ओढून ओढून आलेलो पीराच्या दर्ग्याचे

त्याला मला समकालीन वाटत आलेला
गालीब व तुकाराम
आपल्याच जगण्यातलं वाटत राहिलेलं
मंटो व भाऊ पाध्येंच्या कथेतलं विश्व

दारूच्या नशेतही वंटास बोललो नाही कधी
एकमेकांच्या धर्माबद्दल अपशब्द
कितीतरी दिवस आतड्यातल्या अल्सरसारखी
छळत राहिलेली मला त्याच्या आईला कॅन्सर झाल्याची बातमी.

आम्ही अफवा नव्हतो
संप्रदायाची लेबलं नव्हतो
होतो फक्त दालचावलची सोय लावण्यासाठी
चालवलेली तंगडतोड
व एक वेळची झोप मिळविण्यासाठी
चालवलेला दिवसभरातला आकांत

काय माहीत मात्र
काही दिवसांपासून गल्ली मोहल्ल्यातून फिरवतय कोणी
जफर व माझ्यातली वेगळेपणाची पत्रकं

Translated by Kamal Vora from Marathi to Gujarati
If I Were born in Chechnya

The Refugee

A J Thomas

He came like a refugee from
The second world, craving human company;
Terminally ill, he seemed to seek
Vitality and hope; his past tumbling from
His lips, as if in a confession,
He felt visibly light and relieved.
Life and death, two sides of the same coin…
He seemed to traverse the thin mass in between.
Like a scout atop a tower who can see both
Sides of the railroad and the two fast-approaching
Trains on the same track, and not able to stop them,
He assumed nonchalance.
Destiny’s immediacy, and the dismay
At discovering it, made him seem
To disbelieve his own words…hesitantly in
A suggestive mode now, instead of falling back on
The assertive ways he was obviously wont to.
His days on earth defined; a reminder
To those who are still in the blind fray.

Translated by

If I Were born in Chechnya

Varjesh Solanki

If I were in Chechnya
I would have been killed
by the Russian soldiers.

In Vietnam
it would have been impossible
to evade the close pursuit of American planes.

In Uganda
it would have been the victim
of some unknown terribly contagious disease.

In Pakistan
I would have been chopped up
in the growing riots
between the Shias and the Sunnis.

In Germany
as a Jew,
in Africa
I would have been plundered
in the racial hatred.
my head would have been chopped off
for watching the moving against fatwa,
For laughing loudly.

In Colombo or Gaza
I would have always moved about
in crowded place
due to fear of human bomb

In Saudi
I would have invited the punishment
of cutting off hand and legs
for unknowingly dashing against a woman

In one or the other country
I would have been
killed-thrashed-hacked-or-blown away
Be it India or any other place.

(Translated from Marathi by Dilip Chavan)

ચેચેન્યામાં જન્મ્યો હોત તો
વર્જેશ સોલંકી

ચેચેન્યામાં જન્મ્યો હોત
માર્યો ગયો હોત
રશિયન સૈનિકોને હાથે

થાપ ન દઈ શક્યો હોત
પીછો કરતાં અમેરિકી વિમાનોને

કોઈક સાથીના ભયાનક રોગને
બલિ ચઢી ગયો હોત

કપાઈ મર્યો હોત
વકરી રહેલા શિયા-સુન્નીના ઝઘડામાં

યહૂદી હોત તો જર્મનીમાં કે
આફ્રિકામાં નાગો કરાયો હોત
વર્ણદ્વેષની ગૂંગળામણમાં

કંદહારમાં ઘડોલાડવો થયો હોત
ફતવાની વિરુદ્ધમાં સિનેમા જોવા
મોટેથી હસવા માટે

કોલંબોમાં કે હમાસમાં
ગર્દીમાં સતત થથરતો રહ્યો હોત
માનવ-બૉમ્બની ભીતિથી

હાથપગ ભંગાયા હોત
કોઈ સ્ત્રીને ભૂલથી ધક્કો લાગી જતાં

ક્યાંક ને ક્યાંક
માર્યો ધીબેડાઈ કપાઈ અથવા ઉડાવાઈ જ ગયો
શું ભારતમાં કે શું બીજા કોઈ ઠેકાણે?

चेचेन्यात जन्मलो असतो तर
मारला गोलोसतो
रशियन सैनिकांकडून

चुकवता आला नसता
अमेरिकन विमानांचा ससेमिरा

कुठल्यातरी भयाण साथीच्या रोगाला
पडल्यासतो बळी

पाकिस्तान मध्ये
कापला गेलो असतो शिया-सुन्नींच्या
वाढत्या दंगलीत

जर्मनीमध्ये ज्यू म्हणून
आफ्रिकेत नागवला गेलोसतो
वर्णद्वेषाच्या मुस्कटदाबीत

कंदहारमध्ये धडावेगळा झालो असतो
फतव्या विरोधात सिनेमा पाहिला
व मोठ्यांदा हसलो म्हणून

कोलोंबोत किंवा हमासमध्ये
सतत वावरत राहिल्या असतो गर्दीच्या ठिकाणी
मानवी बाॅंबच्या भीतीनं
तोडून घेतले असते हातपाय
चुकून बाईला धक्का लागला म्हणून

मारलातुडवलाकापलानिउडवला गेलो असतो
भारतात काय किंवा इतर ठिकाणी काय?

Translated by Kamal Vora from Marathi to Gujarati
Jafar and me

Terms of Seeing

E V Ramakrishnan

On our way home from school
We often spent hours in the abandoned
orchard of mango, cashew nut
and tamarind trees, where each season

had its fruit and each fruit tasted different .
There we raided the make-shift hidecouts
of bootleggers, and broke their buried mudpots.
The crematorium in the corner

revealed an occasional roasted vertebra.
Once we went further and discovered
a disused well, and peered into its vaporous depths;
the water smelt like freshly distilled alcohol.

Through clotted branches of close-knit
shadows floated white turtles with glazed, metallic
shells. Moving with monastic grace, they looked
knowledgeable, like much-travelled witch doctors.

If they cast a spell it was unintentional. As we
bent down, their shaven heads rose and met a shaft
of sudden sunlight at an angle, tilting the sun into
the sea. Still the light lingered over the hill.

like an intimate whisper of something forbidden.
By this time, the terms of seeing were reset:
the well was watching us now. Its riveted
gaze pierced us and even went beyond us.

In the dark cornea of the well, the white
turtles moved like exposed optic nerves.
And as if a word was spoken, we stepped
back into the world of gravity, in silence.

Translated by
Alzheimer’s Day

Alzheimer’s Day

E V Ramakrishnan

I did not reply to my father’s question,
“Who’s that fat woman over there?”
It was mother. He had gone past her
past his children into a land
without birds or flags.

He often said, ”All right, let me go.”
Once he walked out early in the morning
and was tracked down by a group
of neighbours. He had a vague sense
of being held there against his wish.

In his occasional lucid moments
he wept for words he could not find
for common things
like a bed-sheet or a newspaper.

All his life, he had taught children language.

Translated by
Terms of Seeing

Her Hand

Jayanta Mahapatra

The little girl's hand is made of darkness
How will I hold it?

The streetlamps hang like decapitated heads
Blood opens that terrible door between us

The wide mouth of the country is clamped in pain
while its body writhes on its bed of nails

This little girl has just her raped body
for me to reach her

The weight of my guilt is unable

Translated by


Jayanta Mahapatra

It was hard to believe the flesh was heavy on my back.
The fisherman said: Will you have her, carelessly,
trailing his nets and his nerves, as though his words
sanctified the purpose with which he faced himself.
I saw his white bone thrash his eyes.

I followed him across the sprawling sands,
my mind thumping in the flesh's sling.
Hope lay perhaps in burning the house I lived in.
Silence gripped my sleeves; his body clawed at the froth
his old nets had only dragged up from the seas.

In the flickering dark his hut opened like a wound.
The wind was I, and the days and nights before.
Palm fronds scratched my skin. Inside the shack
an oil lamp splayed the hours bunched to those walls.
Over and over the sticky soot crossed the space of my mind.

I heard him say: My daughter, she's just turned fifteen…
Feel her. I'll be back soon, your bus leaves at nine.
The sky fell on me, and a father's exhausted wile.
Long and lean, her years were cold as rubber.
She opened her wormy legs wide. I felt the hunger there,
the other one, the fish slithering, turning inside.

Translated by
Her Hand

My Pretty

Udayan Thakker

If complaints could construct clouds,
I too, would have composed sighing love songs,
“Who do you visit, my beauty,
on those nights
when you are not within my dreams?”

I do not have your portrait, but I have seen
an evening write letters of light
on a face

At times the night hums,
dandelions come
floating on breeze.

This I have heard:
A disciple of the Sage Vishwamitra
wished to ascend to heaven
in flesh and blood.

The Sage elevated him upward
But Lord Indra drove him down.
Enraged, the Sage created
angels and fairies, gnomes, and goblins
and an alternative heaven.

Come over, sometime,
to this alternative heaven,
in flesh and blood.

Upon this earth there were Dodo birds,
in millions,
in thousands really,
a hundred at the most.

If you happen to visit
circa 1690,
you will find
perched on a twig of autumn
the last Dodo
the very last
who will tell you
what loneliness is.

-અય ચંચલનયને-

નિશ્વાસથી બંધાતાં હોતે વાદળાં
તો હું યે રચતે પ્રેમકાવ્યો
કે અય ચંચલનયને!
મારા સ્વપ્નમાં નથી હોતી એ રાતે
તું ક્યાં હોય છે?

તારી તસવીર તો નથી મારી પાસે
પણ રૂપાળા ચહેરે
અજવાળાની છેકભૂંસ કરતી સાંજ મેં જોઈ છે

ક્યારેક ટહુકી ઊઠે રાત
ઝૂલતું ઝૂલતું આવે શીમળાનું ફૂલ

જાણે છે?
વિશ્વામિત્રના શિષ્યે સ્વર્ગે જવું હતું,સદેહે
ઇન્દ્રના વજ્રપ્રહારે પડ્યો પાછો
કુપિત વિશ્વામિત્રે સરજ્યાં
યક્ષ કિન્નર ગંધર્વ અપ્સરા
સરજ્યું વૈકલ્પિક સ્વર્ગ

આવ તું પણ આવ
મારા વૈકલ્પિક સ્વર્ગમાં

કહે છે કે પૃથ્વી પર ડોડો પંખી હતાં
લાખો-પછી હજારો
ના,ના, સો- બસો
જઈ ચડે તું સોળસો નેવુની સાલમાં
તો મોરિશિયસની પાળે
પાનખરની ડાળે
બેઠું હશે છેલ્લું ડોડો પંખી
સાવ છેલ્લું
જે કહેશે તને
એકલતા એટલે શું

-ઉદયન ઠક્કર

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri
Fancy Dress
M/s Anandji Kalyanji


Haraprasad Das

She rises to go. Her body opens
up like a hurricane held by velcro
all breasty and unaware, her synthetic charm

the basement where the dark gods defacate
at night, and hold conclaves by day
waits to received here footsteps, the clatter
and the hooves. Pure animal satiated by scent, the virus

of all nonbeings on the astral computer.

Translated by

Fancy Dress

Udayan Thakker

After forty years
we school friends met
at a fancy dress party
One was clad as Laurel and another as Hardy
Bob came as the Headmaster and Susan became Cinderella
And I? Hunchbacked monster!
Much makeup was not needed, in fact

“Do you remember the washroom? On the first floor?
A line was sketched on the wall
with the words:
If your stream can reach this far
then become a fireman”

“This fat Frederick! The teacher had chided!
Why is your notebook blank?”
He replied: “Sir! You wrote on the blackboard
I copied in my notebook
But then with duster you erased every written word . . .”

Freddie used to open a bottle of Coca-Cola with his teeth
Now his dentures come out when he laughs

And Paul, Jesus! He could rattle down numbers and tables
now he forgets his name even

Violins used to play when Susan would smile
She is still a spinster

Carl was a champion in High Jump
Leaped from the ninth floor

Venus used to wear a butterfly broach on her blouse
She has only one breast now

Till midnight
the fancy dress party went on
Slipping on childhood
we deceived death
for a few moments

ફેન્સી ડ્રેસ

ચાળીસ વર્ષ પછી અમે શાળાના મિત્રો મળ્યા,
ફેન્સી ડ્રેસ પાર્ટીમાં.
કોઈ મિયાં ફુસકી બનેલો,કોઈ તભા ભટ્ટ
નટુ હેડમાસ્તર,સુજાતા સિન્ડ્રેલા.
હું બનેલો ખૂંધિયો રાક્ષસ.
ઝાઝો મેક અપ નહોતો કરવો પડ્યો જોકે.

"યાદ છે પેલો બાથરૂમ ? પહેલે માળ?
દીવાલ પર લીટી દોરેલી ને લખેલું :
તમારો ફુવારો અહીં સુધી પહોંચે તો બંબાવાળા બનો "
"અને નટુ ! માસ્તરે કેવો તતડાવેલો:ચોપડી કોરી કેમ ?
તો કહે:સર, તમે પાટિયા પર લખ્યું, મેં ચોપડીમાં લખ્યું.
પછી તમે પાટિયું ભુંસી નાંખ્યું -----"

નટુ કોકાકોલાની બાટલી દાંતથી ખોલતો
આજે હસવા જાય તો ડેંચર બહાર આવે છે.
દુષ્યંત આંક અને પલાખાં કડકડાટ બોલતો
હવે પોતાનું નામ પણ યાદ નથી.
સુજાતા સ્મિત કરે ને શરણાઈઓ ગૂંજતી
હજી કુંવારી જ છે.
હર્ષ તો હાઇજમ્પ ચેમ્પિયન !
નવમે માળેથી કૂદ્યો.
મેનકા બ્લાઉસ પર પતંગિયાનો બ્રોચ પહેરતી
હવે એને એક જ સ્તન છે.

બાર વાગ્યા સુધી ચાલી અમારી ફેન્સી ડ્રેસ પાર્ટી
થોડી પળો સુધી
અમે બાળપણ પહેરીને
મરણને છેતર્યું
-ઉદયન ઠક્કર

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri
My Pretty
M/s Anandji Kalyanji

M/s Anandji Kalyanji

Udayan Thakker

How were the temples of Dilwara built?
Did the marble have a dream?
A signpost at the gate says,
“This place is run
by M/S Anandji Kalyanji.”

Who were they? Anandji and Kalyanji? *
Wealthy traders?
Veesa, Dasha or Oswal? * *
Natives of Rajasthan?

If truth be told
there were no such men.

These are but two
abstract nouns.

You may jolly well
put that signboard up
on your door.

* Names of Indian men, which literally mean happiness and goodness.
** Names of Indian trading communities.

આણંદજી કલ્યાણજીની પેઢી

દેલવાડાનાં દહેરાંઓ રચાયાં કેવી રીતે?
આરસપ્હાણને સપનું કદીક આવ્યું હશે?
દેરાસરોનાં દ્વાર પર ઝૂલે છે તકતી
"આ જગાનો સર્વ વહીવટ
શેઠશ્રી આણંદજી કલ્યાણજીની પેઢીને હસ્તક"
કોણ આ આણંદજી?ને વળી કલ્યાણજી?
શાહસોદાગર હતા? રાજસ્થાન બાજુના?
વીસા?દશા? કે ઓસવાળ?
સાચું કહું?
આવી કોઈ વ્યક્તિ જ નહોતી!
આ બે તો કેવળ ભાવવાચક નામ

જો તમે ચાહો
તમારે ઘેર પણ એ તકતી ઝુલાવી શકો

-ઉદયન ઠક્કર

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri
My Pretty
Fancy Dress

In Any House

K G Sankara Pillai

There is rainbow of love
In the rusted handle of the plastic bucket.
Though Nandan or Meera doesn’t see it.
Neither do they search for it.
How many days after marriage
do lovers begin to forget love?
To remember the period of love
like a lost childhood?
How many of them would
burn in the agony of their derailed love
and plant a new line?
How many would decide to separate
without hitches and screams?
How many would decide
to continue their love song?
Each day,
in each house
there is a youthfulness that ages.
an antiqueness to be rejuvenated,
the emptiness of a vessel to be filled,
a lamp to be woken up,
a coldness to be warmed up,
a shabbiness to be cleansed,
a litter to be discarded,
a lie to be worn,
a handcuff to be hidden,
a file to be extinguished,
Inside a mind made of houses,
some heavy doors always remain closed.
Some forgotten keys jingle.
There is the soul of a rainbow hiding
in the sanyasi-drop on a lotus leaf.
in the water gushing through a shower,
in the pacifying light streak on the river-ripples-
a fairy with new songs and life for
all that has been forgotten.
Though in the sightlessness of
washing, cooking, cleaning, and
innumerous other trivialities,
Meera and Nandan
Never knows or sees it

Translated by Aditya Shankar from Malayalam


Anwesha Singbal

From the seventh floor
of that building in process of construction,
With excitement in their eyes
And veils upto their foreheads,
The two of them were staring down,
Balancing their cauldrons full of cement.
A few years later, that building
Will be complete and shiney,
Will have diamonds and gold embellished upon.
The tik-tok of boots and high-heeled shoes,
And suits will resonate a modern song.
Those two, might be seen there someday,
Staring at the seventh floor, from their way,
And suddenly, watchman will come, running,
And shoo them away,
Shout aloud a few curses,
And say,
"Bloody thieves!"

चोर कहीं कीं ...

उस आधी-अधूरी
इमारत की सातवीं मंज़िल से
सिर पर घुँगट ओढ़े,
सिमेंट की अढ़िया संभाले
वे दोनों बड़े उत्साह से
देख रही थीं नीचे |
बनकर तैयार होगी
कुछ सालों बाद वह इमारत,
चमकेगी, हिरे-जवाहरातों से दमकेगी
सुनायी देंगीं आवाज़ें टॉक-टॉक बुटों की
और हाई हिल्स की
चलेगा सुट-बूट पहने शोर आधुनिकता का
कभी गलती से भी वे दोनों
पहुँच जायें वहाँ अगर
उस सातवीं मंजिल को
देखने लगें नीचे खड़ी होकर ...
वॉचमेन दौड़ा चला आयेगा
और भगा देगा उन्हें
चार गालियाँ देकर,
चोर कहीं कीं...

चोर खंयची...

ते अर्दे उबारिल्ले
इमारतीच्या सातव्या माळ्यावेल्यान
माथ्यार पदर घेवन,
शिमीटाच्यो कायली सांबाळत
व्हडा उमेदीन ती दोगांय
सकयल पळयतालीं.
कांय वर्सांनी ती इमारत
पूराय जावन चकचकतली
वज्रां भांगरां शिंगारून लकलकतली
टोक टोक बुटांचे
आनी हाय हिल्सांचे आवाज
सुट बूट मारूंन चलतलो थंय आधूनिकतेचो गाज
ती दोगांय चुकून
पावत थंय केन्नाय घडये
सकयल रावन तेळत तो सातवो माळो
इतल्यान वॉचमेन धांवत येतलो
धांवडायतलो तांकां
चार गाळी मारून,
चोर खंयची...

रचनाकार : अन्वेषा सिंगबाळ (गोवा)
हिन्दी अनुवाद : डॉ. सोनिया सिरसाट (गोवा)
अंग्रेजी अनुवाद : अंतरा भिडे (गोवा)

Translated by Antara Bhide from Kakani


Udayan Thakker

After defeating the armies of Bahadur Shah at Mandu, King Humayun put on a red robe and ordered a mass execution. An officer interceded, “Mercy, O King!
Spare Manjhu, the court singer . . .”
Humayun ordered Manjhu to sing.

From A HISTORY OF GUJARAT by Sikander Bin Mohammad, 1613 A.D.

Manjhu rendered “Malhar,” the tune of rains
The leaves of the trees harked
Drums began pulsating
And somewhere glass harmonicas started playing
Donning the wings of sparrows, the dust went flying
The clouds puffed
Fragrance emerged from the fists of soil
A dimple dented the air
Humayun’s robe turned verdant
From the eight thousand captives, he liberated seven thousand
Manjhu pleaded,
“Sire, let the remaining also be free . . .”
Humayun proclaimed,
“For your each note
I released a thousand
Now sing a new note beyond the seven
And all will be liberated”
When shall all be free?
When will the singer deliver
the eighth note?


("માંડુના જંગમાં બહાદુરશાહને હરાવ્યા પછી હુમાયુંએ રાતો પોશાક પહેર્યો અને કત્લેઆમ ચલાવી.કોઈએ ગુજારિશ કરી: હજૂર,આને ન મારશો,આ તો રાજગવૈયા,મિયાં મંઝૂ! હુમાયુંએ કરડાકીથી કહ્યું: મંઝૂ, કશુંક સંભળાવ!" - મિરાતે સિકંદરી, ઈ.સ. ૧૬૧૧ )

કંઠને મોકળો કર્યો મિયાંએ, મલ્હારમાં
વૃક્ષનાં પાન થયાં સરવાં
બજવા લાગ્યાં મૃદંગ,ક્યાંક વળી જલતરંગ
ચકલીની પાંખો પહેરીને
ધૂળ ઊડી
વાદળે મારી ફૂંક
માટીની મુઠ્ઠીમાંથી અત્તર નીકળ્યું
વાતાવરણમાં ખંજન પડ્યું
હુમાયુંનો પોષાક થયો લીલોછમ્મ
તેણે આઠ હજારમાંથી સાત હજાર કેદીને મુક્ત કર્યા
મંઝૂએ અરજ કરી:
હજૂર,બાકીનાને પણ...
હુમાયું કહે:
તારા એક એક સૂર સામે
અમે હજાર હજારને આઝાદ કર્યા
હવે કશું નવું સંભળાવ
તમામને આઝાદ કરીશું

ક્યારે થશે સૌ આઝાદ?
ક્યારે સંભળાવશે સંગીતકાર
આઠમો સૂર?

-ઉદયન ઠક્કર

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri
My Pretty
Fancy Dress
M/s Anandji Kalyanji

Chandni Chowk

Manisha Joshi

In the moon there are craters and mounds of mud.
There is a square piece of land too
called "Chandni Chowk."
Moonlight is unfurled across the whole chowk
and the sole inhabitant of the moon -
fair as a cotton ball -
a hare, with brown eyes,
surveys the entire land.

What is it like, to dwell on the moon?
Nothing here has weight.
Whether it slouches across the chowk
or breaks into a gym!
Here you’ll find neither green grass
nor the night’s relief.
No fear stirs, nor herds of deer timid.

There is only the breeze,
filled with light-sheets.
In the gush of howling strong winds,
this sulking two-bit of a hare,
stands transfixed,
dumbfounded and alone.
Light sheds the hair off his coat.
He is allergic
to the odour of his own fur.
He gets such sneezing fits.

Document what you will of the moon,
but presently this hare
is its sole occupant,
He is unwell at the moment.
Be it new moon
or moon of the second, third night,
all lunar phases at the moment, are amiss.

ચાંદની ચોક

ચંદ્રની અંદર ખીણો છે,માટીનાં ધાબાંઓ છે,
તેમ એક ચોક પણ છે.
નામ છે ચાંદનીચોક.
ચંદ્રનો પ્રકાશ આ ચોક પર પથરાયેલો છે.
અને ચાંદામાં રહેતું પેલું સફેદ,
રૂની પૂણી જેવું સસલું,
એની રાતી આંખોથી ચારે તરફ
આ ચોકને તાકી રહ્યું છે.
ચંદ્ર પર રહેવું એટલે શું?
અહીં કશાનું વજન નથી.
એ આ ચોકમાં લપાઈને ફરે કે કસરતો કરે!
અહીં નથી લીલું ઘાસ કે નથી રાત.
નથી કોઈ ભય કે નથી બીધેલાં હરણાંઓ.
અહીં માત્ર પવન છે.
અને એમાંયે અજવાળું છે.
જોરથી ફૂંકાતા એ પવન સામે,
આ રીસાયેલું સસલું,
એકલું અવાક ઊભું રહી જાય છે.
અજવાળું એના શરીર પરના વાળ ખેરવી નાખે છે.
પોતાના જ વાળની સુગંધની એને એલર્જી છે.
એને ખૂબ છીંકો આવે છે.
ચંદ્રનું જે કંઈપણ ગણો તે બધું જ આ સસલું,
હમણાં જરા માંદું છે.
અને બીજનો ચંદ્ર, ત્રીજનો ચંદ્ર,
ચંદ્રની બધી જ કળાઓ વ્યથિત છે.

Translated by Neeti Singh

lines for an infant who fell off a train

Mustansir Dalvi

If you could have asked your mother
for the moon, she would have plucked
it out of the night, and like Kaushalya,
trapped it for you in a than filled
with Chelpark Royal-Blue Ink.

Did the upside-down handles chitter
from the drop rails overhead,
play a metronomic rag
that brought you into the empty aisle
away from Baba's lap? Was it
the open doorway, the views
of the Parsik Hills beyond that made you
choose this moment to go walkie?

The instant that your father,
apropos of nothing, extended
a tentative hand to find lushness
swell under your mother's saree.
Like a recovered toy,

Baba became aware of Aai
as more than a partner
in the mandatory push-ups
of baby-making. She too,
looked up sharply, afraid
of the assurance of touch,

but the curling lips on the verge,
took her back a year and half.
before you stretched both her nipples
out of shape with milk teeth, before
your last few months of litany
‘Aaye! Aaye!' tugging at her pallu
to keep her attention.

Aai encountered a husband afresh,
when the train lurched
to halt at Khandeshwar.

You should have seen them then,
rubbernecking for you
in an empty compartment,
in the mindful moonlight
after you had made your giant leap.

Translated by
the Ladies Only

the Ladies Only

Mustansir Dalvi

The wooden bench is wide,
time enough to do God's work.
In the compartment, beyond
the grill from the Ladies Only,
sleepwalkers hum buzzsaw refrains.
Ten minutes to midnight. Borivali,
seven minutes away.

Adjusting for his comfort, not hers.
one open hand brings face to knee.
with the other he rips
rags that resist more than the girl.
Clothing struggles for honour
but the ardour of engagement, constraint
of time and freedom of space, overrule.
His real purpose is clear and tumescent.

Too shy to comprehend
what should have been
for a better time, a wiser time,
she gets an understanding of endurance.
Her mind-sieve senses an oozing away,
the changing of yugas.

Roused by the bumping backbeat,
unlike the train's familiar cadence.
childhood's end disrupts.

Guilt seeps through thickets of irony.
Slapping their side of the partition,

they stare, captivated by the mechanics
of dogs fucking in a busy street.

One minute to Borivali, the cleaven girl
retracts into the stillness of the catatonic,
while the one with the sense of urgency, reasons:
Come on, come on, before I lose my erection

Translated by
lines for an infant who fell off a train


Anwesha Singbal

I love to see
In the mirror,
My own face,
After a shower.
Observing those peaceful, serene facial features,
I feel ecstatic
And extremely happy.
As the day moves on,
The kitchen fumes,
The computer screen,
The sun rays on the way
Attack my facial skin.
It shrivels and scorches,
But nobody interferes
And neither do I.
A few days later,
Even after a shower,
My face
Fears to recognize itself.
And I rush
To the beauty parlour
For a makeover.
The next day,
After a shower,
Once again,
I see it bloom,
And I'm satisfied.
The wheel of the day spins again.
Laughing as it watches
This struggle of mine,
Says my soul, with a smile,
"Oh dear, do show that affection towards me,
Once in a while!"


नहाने के बाद
आईने में
अपना चेहरा देखना
बड़ा अच्छा लगता है मुझे |
देखकर वह
शांत, प्रसन्न चेहरा,
हो जाती हूँ मैं भावविभोर,
खिल उठती हूँ मैं खुशी से |
दिनक्रम शुरू होते ही
चुल्हे के सामने,
संगणक के समक्ष,
धूप में, रास्ते पर
मेरे उस प्रसन्न चेहरे पर
होते रहते हैं हमले कईं अक्सर...
कुम्हला जाता है चेहरा मेरा, झुलस जाता है वह,
उस तरफ मगर
न मैं ध्यान देती हूँ
न ही कोई और...
कुछ दिनों पश्चात्
नहाने के बाद भी
घबरा जाता है चेहरा मेरा
कर देता है इन्कार मुझे पहचानने से |
चल देती हूँ मैं
ब्युटी पार्लर की ओर
करने मॅक ओवर...
अगले दिन नहाने के बाद
फिर एक बार
दिखने लगता है वह प्रसन्न,
मिलती है मुझे थोड़ी-सी राहत,
और फिर शुरू हो जाता है दिनक्रम |
मुझे भाग-दौड़ करते देख,
हँसते हुए,
कहता है मेरा मन,
“किया करो ना कभी-कभार,
मेरा भी ऐसे ही लाड़-प्यार”..


न्हायनां फुडें
म्हाका म्हजे तोंड
हारश्यांत पळोवपाक
खूब आवडटा.
ते शांत, प्रसन्न
मुखामळ पळोवन,
हांव म्हज्यांतच मुरगूट्टां,
खोशी जाता.
दीस वता तसो
रांदनी मुखार,
कंप्युटरा मुखार,
वतान, रस्त्यार,
म्हज्या त्या प्रसन्न
तोंडाचेर हल्ले जायत वतात...
ते बावता, करपता,
पूण ताचे वाटेक
हांवय वचना
आनी कोणय...
कांय दिसांनी
न्हाल्या उपरांतय
म्हजे तोंड
म्हाकाच वळखूपाक भियेता.
आनी हांव धांव घेता
ब्युटी पार्लरान
मॅक ऑवर करपाक...
दुसरे दिसा न्हाल्या उपरांत
परत एक फावट
म्हाका ते प्रसन्न दिसता,
हांव धादोशी जाता,
दिसाचे चक्र परत सुरू.
म्हजी धडपड पळोवन,
म्हाका हासून,
म्हजे मन सांगता,
“आगो म्हजीय केन्नाय कर गो,
अशीच लक्तुबाय”..

Translated by Antara Bhide from Kokani to English

Chicken Licken

Pratishtha Pandya

Someone’s mind
a sky
With its wings spread wide
flies across the pages of the book
Cooing amidst the milky ways of thoughts
Broad strokes of imagination
Weaving into the little sequins of words
How someone’s sky sparkles in my eyes
At midnight
Peeping from behind
The flying word formations
I see
A stranger
Belonging not to the sky
Nor to me
So much like me
And yet so separate
Neither a ghost
Nor a reflection
Nor a dream
An acorn shaped sky
Waiting to fall
Before I
Perceive, fathom, catch, hold
It falls on my head
A cloudburst in the book!

ટાઢું ટબૂકલું
-- પ્રતિષ્ઠા પંડ્યા

એક ચોપડીમાં ફેલાવીને પાંખો
ઊડતું'તું કોઈના મનનું આકાશ
વિચારોની આકાશગંગાઓ મહીંથી ટહૂકતું'તું
વિશાલ કોઈ કલ્પનાના લસરકા
કોઈ શબ્દોની ટીલડીમાં ગૂંથતું'તું
આ મધરાતે મારી આંખમાં ચમકતું'તું
કોઈના મનનું આકાશ.
શબ્દોની ઊડતી એ રચનાઓ
પાછળ જઈ જોયું
તો ડોકાયું કોઈ અજાણ્યું
નહીં આકાશનું
નહીં મારું
મારા જેવું
ને તોય મારાથી અળગું
ના કોઈ પ્રેત
ના પ્રતિબિંબ
ના શમણું
કરતા લટકી રહેલું
એ તો હતું
એક ટાઢું ટબૂકલું!
સમજું, જાણું, ઝાલું, ઝીલું
એ પહેલાં તો
ટપ! કરતું ટપકયું માથે
ને પછી ચોપડીમાં
વાદળ વિસ્ફોટ!!

Translated by the Poet
Love letters

Chandri Villa

Anand Thakore

His name was Chandri-my grandfather once said-
Who was to live here, but died of plague. Each of us fails
In the end, but I was born in a house built for the dead:
On the red gate they hammered his name with nails.

Nineteen Nineteen. These bougainvilleas
Have grown since then; the dead leave us, leaving no trails-
Deep in the banyan-grove at Chandri Villa,
A secret sense of loss prevails.

And the very stillness of these trees carries me past an April
Long dead, newly strewn with banyan leaves; thick roots dangle
Above my head-ancient, knotted roots I cannot untangle,
Till I am a child once again though against my will,

The wide grove closing its arms as it to kill;
My veins so many banyan roots twisted into one,
And all their tangled knots come undone,
Till almost I see him – the plagued man I never will.

Translated by

Love letters

Pratishtha Pandya

He sends me oceans
In an envelope.
A desert
As far as i can see.
Oceans not roaring
but mute.
Restless for waves
turbulent and still.
He sends me
These oceans
All frozen.
Right above
He paints
A rectangle
Same big blue
And dots it with care
And clouds
He sends me
skies of blue
Not a sign of a bird or two.
For the sake of it
He puts a boat
That floats
Neither near or afar.
I blow
And breathe life into the sea.
I see waves carrying signs
What are these love letters you send?
Why these
Oceans of blue sand?

--પ્રતિષ્ઠા પંડ્યા
એ મને પરબીડિયામાં
દરિયાઓ મોકલે
નજરુંના અંત લગી
ફેલાતા રણ જેવા
દરિયાઓ ઘૂઘવે ના
એકટક માંડીને મીટ જાણે
બેઠા એ લહેરોની લાહ્યમાં
સહેજે ના ઉછળે
એવા ઉચાટમાં થીજેલા
દરિયાઓ એ મને મોકલે
દરિયાની ઉપર એ ચીતરે
એક એવું જ મોટ્ટું
ભૂરું લંબચોરસ
ને સાચવી સાચવીને
ચોરસમાં ગોઠવે
પંખીનું હોય ના
જ્યાં નામો નિશાન
એ એવા આકાશ મને મોકલે
સમ ખાવા પૂરતી
એક મૂકે એ હોડી
જે વહેતી
ના આગળ
ના પાછળ
ફૂંક મારી
કરું ચિત્તરને જીવતું
તો લહેરો સંદેશા લઇ નીકળે
આ કેવા તું કેવા તે પ્રેમપત્તર મોકલે!
તું શાને રેતીના દરિયાઓ મોકલે?

Translated by the Poet
Chicken Licken

Vadodara-Visarjan *

Neeti Singh

My dress is made of rain
my heart a hooting pair of owlets
perched atop a banyan’s hat
Dusk has dropped a curtain,
a mask has slipped.
Come morning you don dappled joy
in polka dots and sunshine print.
A faded pair of Levi jeans, stilts for legs,
or a climbing pair of eucalyptuses -

slender marbled limbs,
stone washed…
You strut besides the lion’s enclave
in KamatiBaug*
It rains.
The garden hangs its monsoon frocks –
trees, climbers, flowers, frog -
a score of puddles and sky-falls raise,
with ordinary worm and amoeba,
a stage!
With mongrels you cross the road
and enter the Arts campus at four.
It raises its dome and wags a tail.
Floral grill gates patterned to protect -
Systems ancient – keep the Faculty intact.

Free as rows of seasonal rice –
tulips and a tank of water lilies design
garlands of restless choice.
Fluttering indecisions -
pigeons pendulum from bajra to tub.
Their friends in green frocks
are content however,
to peck the soil at Shiva’s shrine.

Praised be the elephant headed God,
its Visarjan-time!

Ganesha gambols through Vadodara’s veins,
flaunting with fetish, his feet to Bolly beats,
On truck backs and tempos he rides
off for an annual dive -
his ritual fun with frogs and fish and more.

The city arteries are agog,
Throb! throb!
O elephant-headed god O!
Through narrow streets, rain-washed,
moves His cake-and-carnival walk.
Brown men in wet skin and girls in skirts that cling and cling,
they frisk and flounder, they jump they joust.
The river of joy’s a-brim!
And burst the hunger of hope.

O Vighana-harataa*, O G’pati!
Sweeper of pain and paucity!
Off with the dregs and dogs of streets,
off with beggars, the teachers,
off with paper and plastic…
and all that titters with the litter, let sink.

Learn well your lessons,
fashion yourself in buffalo-hide,
gulp down with pepsi or diet coke,
coins of complaint and ego.

Your soiled Ganapati-soul,
you hold in a bowl at city crossings.
Sometimes you curl up at railway stations,
or eat bananas on uneven sidewalks.
There are days when you even become a girl
selling lemons and gulab* and marigold.

Immersed at last
in his liquid tomb, the Ganapati
meets sunset
and a host of aquatic kin.

In the shadows of the king that rides a dark horse,
the drenched city laughs,
it burps and releases a foul smelling fart.
Drums roll back upon tide-tongues,

we dunk him so we may live.
Visarjan is our insurance to wellbeing.
*Visarjan – ceremonial immersion of the idol of Lord Ganesha / Ganapati.
*Vighana-harata – slayer of vighana i.e. slayer of hurdles and difficulties.
*Gulab – a rose.

Translated by

Let chandrakant be crushed to pieces

Chandrakant Sheth

let chandrakant be crushed to pieces
time rusts idly in his mind
scanty sky and earth
scanty air and light and water
all these lying decayed meaninglessly
he stains the mirror of time and place
let us efface the face of chandrakant
let him be scattered
                   and be earthed in the earth
he is a grave rock
he would not be tossed by the waves
though a thousand clouds may pour
he would be a dry land.
though vortex may blow
his sail would not be unfurled.
he stays swinging weighing anchor
having gorged thousand of breaths
he incubates shadows with shuteyes,
moss is gathered around his mind
a fish is fastened to a hook for a many years.
wherever he treads
he leaves behind cracks
chandrakant will pollute air, poison water
let all his ruins be flattened as early as possible
let the place be cleaned, be free from him
in his eyes
the sun turned out perfidious
                 and the day perfidious
                 the night perfidious
let chandrakant be ploughed hurriedly
let chandrakant be flattened like a field,
let chandrakant be crushed to pieces
let chandrakant be brought to an end.

ચંદ્રકાંતનો ભાંગી ભુક્કો કરીએ
...ચંદ્રકાંત શેઠ

ચંદ્રકાંતનો ભાંગી ભુક્કો કરીએ .
એના મનમાં ખાલી સમય સડે છે .

ચપટી નભ ને ચપટી માટી ,
ચપટી વાયુ , ચપટી તેજ ,
જરા મળ્યો તે ભેજ .

                   --બધું યે વ્યર્થ બગડે છે .
                    દેશકાળને દર્પણ એના ડાઘ પડે છે :
                    ચંદ્રકાંતનો ચહેરો ભૂંસી દઈએ ;
એને વેરવિખેર કરીને આ ધરતીમાં ધરબી દઈએ .
ભારેખમ એ ખડક .

                 નથી ઊછળવાનો મોજાંથી;
વરસે વાદળ લાખ ,
                 છતાં કોરીકટ એની માટી !
વંટોળો ફૂંકાય ,

                  છતાંયે એનો સઢ ન હવા પકડતો !
                   લંગર પકડી એ તો લટક્યા કરતો !

શ્વાસ કરોડો ઢીંચી ,
પડછાયા સેવ્યા છે એણે આંખો મીંચી .

ચંદ્રકાન્તના મન પર લીલ ચડી છે ;
એક માછલી , વરસોથી , કો ગલમાં બદ્ધ પડી છે .
કેટકેટલી તરડ પડી છે ,જ્યાં જ્યાં એનાં ચરણ પડ્યાં ત્યાં !
ચન્દ્રકાન્તથી હવા બગડશે ,

                                  જલમાં ઝેર પ્રસરશે .
એનાં જે ખંડેરો _એણે ખતમ કરી દો વ્હેલાં પ્હેલાં,
એને અહીંથી સાફ કરી દો વ્હેલાં પ્હેલાં:
એની આંખે સૂર્ય પડ્યાં છે ખોટા,

                   અને ત્યારથી દિવસ પડ્યાં છે ખોટા ,
                                         ખોટી રાત પડી છે :
ચંદ્રકાન્તને ઝટપટ હળથી ભાંગી ખેતર સપાટ કરીએ ,
ચં દ્ર કા ન્ત ને ભાં ગી કા ણ ક ણ ખ લા સ ક રી એ ...

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

Soul Song


I was always here
as blowing wind
or falling leaves
as shining sun
or flowing streams
as chirping birds
or blooming buds
as blue sky
or empty space
I was never born
I didn’t die

Translated by

Poet’s Will

Suresh Joshi

there is no tomorrow for me, perhaps,
tomorrow if the sun rises
tell him
a tear lingering to my shut eyes
is still there to be dried up.
tomorrow if the wind blows
tell him

a ripe fruit of a smile
stolen from a girl in adolescence
it still there to be dropped
from my bough

tomorrow if the sea surges
tell him
the deadly god
who is petrified in my heart
is still there to be shattered into pieces.

tomorrow if the moon rises
tell her
a struggling fish within
ready there to be released
by her hook

tomorrow if the fire lights up
tell him
a pyre of my pining shadow
is still there to be kindled
there is no tomorrow for me perhaps.

…..કવિનું વસિયતનામું
....સુરેશ હ. જોષી...

કદાચ હું કાલે નહિ હોઉં:
કાલે જો સૂરજ ઊગે તો કહેજો કે
મારી બિડાયેલી આંખમાં
એક આંસુ સૂકવવું બાકી છે .

કાલે જો પવન વાય તો કહેજો કે
કિશોર વયમાં એક કન્યાના
ચોરી લીધેલા સ્મિતનું પક્વ ફળ
હજી મારી ડાળી પરથી ખેરવવું બાકી છે .

કાલે સાગર છલકે તો કહેજો કે
મારા હૃદયમાં ખડક થઇ ગયેલા
કાળમીંઢ ઈશ્વરના ચૂરેચૂરા કરવા બાકી છે .

કાલે જો ચંદ્ર ઊગે તો કહેજો કે
એને આંકડે ભેરવાઈને બહાર ભાગી છૂટવા
એક મત્સ્ય હજી મારામાં તરફડે છે .

કાલે જો અગ્નિ પ્રકટે તો કહેજો કે
મારા વિરહી પડછાયાની ચિતા
હજી પ્રગટાવવી બાકી છે.
કદાચ કાલે હું નહિ હોઉં.

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

The Feather

Manoj Khanderia

the feather dropped from the birdwing,
comes down with the sky throbbingly.

the feather throbbingly dropped
carves some tiny forms in azure air.

the feather brim fully fills lonely courtyard
still the bird’s churping resounds in feather.

the feather sometimes floats in eyes
and heart-abiding bird come out.

the feather sinks in mysterious void of the sky
the feather dropped from the bird
is remembered by the bird.

.....મનોજ ખંડેરિયા

ગગન સાથ લઈ ઊતરે જે ફરકતું
વિહગ-પાંખથી જે ખરી જાય પીંછું

ફરકતું પડે ત્યારે ભૂરી હવામાં
ઝીણાં શિલ્પ કૈ કોતરી જાય પીંછું

હજી એમાં કલશોર ગુંજે વિહગનો
સૂનું આંગણું આ ભરી જાય પીંછું

હૃદયમાં વસ્યાં પંખીઓ બ્હાર આવે
કદી આંખમાં જો તારી જાય પીંછું

ગગનના અકળ શૂન્યમાં જઈ.ડૂબે, જે
વિહગને ખર્યું સાંભરી જાય પીંછું

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

Seminal Sunness

Adil Mansuri

the smeared sky trembles
in the hands of seminal moments,
trembles the slim sword of wind,
rust of dark time’s sticking to the sword.
city comes out of the rust breathingly.

city crowded with faceless persons
crowd spilt over with pale sunness,
sunness surrounded by seminal moments
seminal moments
with the smeared sky in the hands.

...............શુક્રિત સૂર્યતા
....આદિલ મન્સૂરી
શુક્રિત ક્ષણોના હાથમાં
ખરડાયેલું આકાશ ધ્રૂજે ,
હવાની પાતળી તલવાર ,
તલવાર પર
ચોંટી રહ્યો
કાળા સમયનો કાટ ,
બહાર આવે
શ્વાસ લેતું શહેર ,
ચહેરા વગરના માણસોની ભીડ ,
ભીડ પર પથરાઈ પીળી સૂર્યતા ,
સૂર્યતાની ચોતરફ શુક્રિત ક્ષણો ,
શુક્રિત ક્ષણોના હાથમાં
ખરડાયેલું આકાશ ...

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

Sailor’s Song

Ramesh Parekh

away from the motherland
this morning in strange sea.
on a raft

some salty sand of past shore
and few bubbles of inference in hand
perhaps this wind is blowing
in the direction of my streets
perhaps there would be the flowers of
my non-being
on the sea-lavender of courtyard
perhaps my cottage would have been
remembering me.
it is the fate of eyes
that in an abyss of water
they must see this raft running into
an acquatic beast
here now i know the significance
of the blackthorn
island disappear even from my reverie
spring comes and goes away quietly
quietly spring comes and goes away
and it is not perceived in the absence of a tree
if it were possible
to establish sovereignty on the raft
I would have shut up this ocean somewhere

here it is so much heat
that even wind would be
dried up and dropped off.

now my awareness of ocean
would make me drowned
It is not so that my sensation are rusted
It is not so that i do not know someone
otherwise how can i remember
someone glances and age stand confused?

did the village run swiftly
and keep the ruts behind on my palm?
was my village an ocean once?

o village
thou bloweth, not wind, in my marine-worlds?

after so many evening
after so many evening
after so many evening

before hands be tired
oars be slipped
would there be somebody
who would have been waiting for me
In this strange sea
and would say
“here ends your voyage”
would i hide my face in the bosom and cry?

ખલાસીનું ગીત
....રમેશ પારેખ ...
જન્મભૂમિ છૂટ્યા પછી અજાણ્યા દરિયામાં આ સવાર
અને તરાપામાં
વીતેલા કાંઠાની થોડી ખૂંખાર રેતી
અને હાથમાં અનુમાનના થોડાક પરપોટાઓ :
- કદાચ આ પવન વહી જાય છે મારી શેરીઓ ભણી ...
-કદાચ મારા અભાવના ફૂલો ઊગ્યાં હશે ફળિયાની બોગનવેલને...
-કદાચ યાદ કરતું હશે મને ઘર ...

પાણીની વ્યંજનામાં આ તરાપાને
જળચર બની જતો જોવાનું લખાયું હશે અહીં આંખમાં

હવે બાવળનો અર્થ સમજાય છે અહીં

દિવાસ્વપ્નમાંથી પણ ટાપુઓ ગાયબ
કોઈ વસંત આવીને ચાલી જાય ચુપચાપ
ચુપચાપ કોઈ વસંત આવીને ચાલી જાય
ને વૃક્ષના અભાવે દેખાય નહીં

તરાપા પર સ્થાપી શકાતું હોત સામ્રાજ્ય
તો આ દરિયાને ક્યાંક થંભાવી દેત

અહીં તો પવન સુકાઈને ખરી પડે એવો તાપ

હવે તો દરિયાની સભાનતા જ ડુબાવી દેશે મને
નહીં તો અનુભૂતિને કાટ વળી ગયો છે , એવું નથી
નહિ તો હું કોઈને ઓળખતો નથી, એવું નથી
નહીં તો એ કટાક્ષ કરે અને
સદીઓ ગૂંચવાઈ જાય તે મને કેમ યાદ છે ?
હથેળીમાં પૂરપાટ વન વહ્યું હશે તેના ચીલાઓ ?
મારું ગામ શું કોઈક દિવસ દરિયો હતું ?

હે ગામ.
પવન નહીં ,
શું આ તું વાય છે મારા જલપ્રદેશોમાં ?
અનેક સાંજ પછી
અનેક સાંજ પછી
અનેક સાંજ પછી
હાથ થાકી જશે
હલેસાં પડી જશે
એ પહેલાં અજાણ્યા દરિયામાં
મને એવું પ્રતીક્ષતું હશે કોઈ
જે મને કહે –
તારો પ્રવાસ અહીં પૂરો થાય છે...
-અને હું એની છાતીમાં મોં છુપાવી રડી પડું ?

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala


Rajendra Shukla

here, it is something like a gross solitude
of ages
i live in city of voices
in an abode of voices
I, he decreprit, breathe voices
first of all I had created voices
then, when I had been going on constructing
the city of voices
almost all organ become voices
now the organs can perceive voices only.

the banner on the skyscraper of voices
being spread out steadily
in the splitting space of voices
in friction of moment, i recollect your silence.

i feel silence sliding nearby
if i try to touch it little bit with a finger
infinite cracklings of voices thereby.

voices, fearful sweating of voices
you, who are free of voices
if i were able to meet you
i would be able to meet me.

i am agonised by fixities of voices
if i were able to meet me.
i would be able to move from here.

somewhere there would be the edge of voices
somewhere there would be the horizon of voices
somewhere there would be the end of voices.
some secret of voices must be somewhere
some secret of voices must be somewhere
in thousandth lower region.

Oh terrible nails of voices
tear out the big belly of voices
belly tuff like time
belly rough like crocodile’s skin

perhaps then i can meet him
who abides in abode free from voices,
perhaps then i can meet him
who abides in abode of sometime
perhaps then i can meet him
in burning bloodstream of voices
voices of shattered- clattered heart.

...રાજેન્દ્ર શુક્લ...

યુગો થકી સઘન એકલતા સમું અહીં
અવાજના નગરમાં વસતો,અવાજના
મકાનમાં જરઠ હું શ્વસતો અવાજને .
અવાજનો સમય તો ગ્રસતો અવાજને ,
રચ્યો,રચ્યો પ્રથમ મેં જ અવાજ ને પછી
અવાજનું નગર આ ચણતો ગયો ત્યહીં
થતાં ગયાં સકલ અંગ અરે અવાજનાં
અવાજને જ બસ ,અડકી શકે હવે .
અવાજના ગગનચુમ્બિત દુર્ગનો ધ્વજ
અત્યંત નિશ્ચલ કશો પ્રસરી રહે તદા
અવાજની તરડના અવકાશની ક્ષણે
ક્ષણાર્ધમાં સ્મરણ એ તવ મૌનનું મને
અવાજને નિકટથી સરતું લહાય , ને
જરાક જ્યાં અડકવા ચહું અંગુલી થકી
અનંત ત્યાં તડતડાટ થતો અવાજનો .
અવાજને સભય સ્વેદ વળે અવાજનો .
અવાજમુક્ત સ્થળનાં વસનારને તને
મળાય તો જ મળવું મુજને ય શક્ય છે ,
અવાજની અચળતા અકળાવતી , તને
મળાય તો જ અહીંથી ચળવુંય શક્ય છે .
અવાજના ઉદધિનો તટ તો હશે ક્યહીં,
ક્યહીંક તો ક્ષિતિજ્ જવું હશે અવાજને ,
હશે,હશે, મરણ જેવુંય હશે અવાજને,
અવાજનું ગુપિત ક્યાંક કશે,હજારમાં
પતાળમાં ગુપિત ક્યાંક હશે અવાજનું .
કઠોર આ સમય શા મકરત્વચાળવા,
અવાજના ઉદરને અવ ચીરવા મથો
અવાજના પ્રખર હે નખ ! તો કદાચ હું
અવાજમુક્ત સ્થળનાં વસનારને મળું ,
કદાચ હું ક્વચિતનાં વસનારને મળું ,
કદાચ હું હૃદયશીર્ણવિશીર્ણતા તણા
અવાજના ધધખતા રુધિરપ્રવાહમાં
અવાજમુક્ત સ્થળનાં વસનારને મળું...
કોમળ રિષભ માંથી

Translated by Chandrakant Topiwala

Where I Come From

Vinita Agrawal

I come from the sands
where words sprout like cacti
when girls are born.

I come from ochre, autumn-hued earth
baked dry under a fierce sun.
Where grit and wind needle the eyes
Where storms compel women
to live inside tombs of veils.

I come from a place
where dusk turns into a seductress by night
lying velvety warm on bohemian, linen charpoys.
I come from the land famous for making puppets
both from wood and flesh.
The wooden ones entertain children.
Flesh puppets entertain men - for life.

I come from a geography
where girls embroider silence,
unfurl quilts of wordlessness,
vast, like star studded desert skies.

Their quietude as deep as the space
where tears are born
high as the walls that keeps history in
subtle like the rivers that roamed these plains once.

Gurgling, buoyant ghaghra-clad girls
now untraceable, lost forever.
That's where I come from.


Translated by

Quarrying the voice is not possible

Labhashanker Thakar

Quarrying the voice is not possible
Not can silence be lifted
My rebellious friends
We cannot inter our sauntering skulls
And we cannot seam our ashen anxieties
Why plead before the barbed fence of this barren land
To let afloat our dreams like white swans?
It is true that taking advantage of our blurred sight
The trees have started flying.
But is it not true that we are cheated by the grant of eyes?
Weary friends, returning to the drudgery
After drinking a handful
from the lake water of the Muse’s eyes
It is true
That quarrying the voice is not possible
And silence cannot be lifted

Translated into English from Gujarati by Dileep Jhaveri

No es posible extraer la voz
Labhshankar Thakar

No es posible extraer la voz
el silencio no puede ser elevado
mis rebeldes amigos
no podemos inhumar nuestros cráneos ambulantes
y no podemos coser nuestras angustias cenicientas
¿por qué suplicar ante la valla de púas de esta tierra yerma?
¿dejar flotar nuestros sueños como cisnes blancos?
es cierto que aprovechando nuestra vista borrosa
los árboles han comenzado a volar.
¿pero no es verdad que somos engañados
por la concesión de los ojos?
cansados amigos, volviendo a la rutina
luego de beber un puñado
de agua lacustre de los ojos de la Musa
es verdad
no es posible extraer la voz
y el silencio no puede ser elevado

Traducido del inglés al español por Bernardo Massoia

Translated by Berni Sangit into Spanish from English


R Parthasarathy

You wake up and slip quietly out of the room,
shutting the door behind you. Eyes closed,
I clasp your pillow in hopes of smelling out
the faintest trace of your body’s secret perfume.
Never before have I held you more closely
than I hold you now in your absence,
but you hug the morning paper to your chest
in the kitchen and wash it down with a cup of tea.


Dúisíonn tú is sleamhnaíonn tú go ciúin as an seomra,
an doras á dhúnadh agat i do dhiaidh. Mo shúile druidte,
beirim ar do philiúrsa is mé ag súil
le boladh éigin a fháil ó chumracht rúnda do cholainne.

Ní raibh greim chomh docht riamh agam ort
is atá anois is tú as láthair,
ach cuachann tú nuachtán na maidine le d'ucht
sa chistin is tae agat á shlogadh siar.

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English


Amanda Bell

To make durable Writing on Paper,
dissolve gum-arabic in water,
and add thereto ivory black
– extremely well ground –
and write therewith.

Acids cannot discharge this writing;
and if you wish to secure it
against the steams of hot water,
the writing may be covered
with white of egg, clarified.

To revive old Writings
which are almost defaced,
boil gall nuts in wine;
then steep a sponge into the liquor,
and pass it on the lines of the old writing:
by this method the letters
– which were almost undecipherable –
will appear as fresh as if newly done.


Chun Scríbhneoireacht ar Pháipéar a dhéanamh marthanach,
leáigh guma arabach in uisce
agus cuir leis sin eabhardhubh –
an-mheilte go deo –
agus bí ag scríobh leat.

Ní ghlanfadh aigéid an scríbhneoireacht seo:
dá mba mhaith leat í a chosaint
ar ghal ó uisce te,
is féidir an scríbhneoireacht a chlúdach
le gealacán uibhe, léirghlanta.

Chun sean-Scríbhinnní atá beagnach millte
a athnuachan,
beirigh cnó-ghál i bhfíon,
cuir spúinse ar maos sa leacht ansin,
is cuimil ar línte na seanscríbhinne é:
ar an mbealach sin beidh na litreacha
- a bhí doléite geall leis –
chomh húr is dá mbeidís nuascríofa.

Translated by Gabriel Rosenstock into Irish from English


Vasant Joshi

Strokes of colours
On white canvas
Above all the black
Occasionally the moon would rest
Atop an erect pine
In the valley a gurgling spring
The forest inhaling the songs of crickets
Solitude rolling over the desolation
A patch a field on the slope
In the farm hut
A lantern lights up
The dawn of emerging day

આવતી કાલની સવાર /વસંત જોષી
સફેદ કેનવાસ પર
રંગના લસરકા
કાળો સૌથી ઉપર
ટટ્ટાર ઊભા સાગની ટોચે
કયારેક બેસતો ચંદ્ર
ઝરણું ખીણમાં ખળખળ
તમરાંના ગાનમાં
શ્વસતું જંગલ
એકાંતે આળોટતું સૂમસામ
ઢોળાવ પર કટકો ખેતર
ખેતર શેઢે ઝૂંપડીમાં
ટમટમીયું માંજે
આવતી કાલની સવાર

Translated by Dileep Jhaveri from Gujarati

Here you will find English translations of poems written in Gujarati –poems that will compare well with some of the best in the world.

Gujarat is a state in India, and its language, Gujarati, is spoken by about 50 million people world-wide. Gujarati has a poetic tradition of seven centuries. The subjects of Medieval Gujarati poetry were largely religion and mysticism. Social reform and national awakening were themes for the nineteenth century. If compassion for the downtrodden was reflected in the early twentieth century, in later years poetry strived for beauty for beauty's sake. The Modern poet was disillusioned with city life if not distraught.

Gujarati Poetry is rich in variety - the long narrative poem, the devotional song, the lovey-dovey ghazal, sonnets and haikus, couplets, the prose poem ...

Read on. Allow us to amaze you.