• Gems of Indian Poetry translated into English

  • Timeless Indian Poems now available in English language


Yogesh Joshi

When I was a kid
I felt embarrassed
To carry a tiffin box to school
So I would come home during recess
Have a bite
And scamper back to school
Barely in time.
Dashing back to school
I would see students cycling back
And think-
If ever I had a bicycle
I would offer a lift
To a kid galloping to school...

When I stood in que waiting
For a public bus
Some scooter would slow down
Take an acquaintance on the rear seat
And speed away
I would say to myself:
If only I had a scooter
I would also offer a lift
To somebody from the crowd
At the bus stop...

Now I have a car
But it does not slow down
Approaching any bus stop
Just speeds past...
It is not as if
I do not remember the past

-યોગેશ જોષી

નાનો હતો ત્યારે
સ્કૂલમાં નાસ્તાનો ડબો લઈને જતાં
શરમ આવતી
તે રિસેસમાં ઘેર આવતો
ને નાસ્તો કરીને
ભાગમભાગ, દોડમદોડ પાછા જવું પડતું
ક્યારેક બેલ પડી જતો.
દોડમદોડ પાછા જતાં
સાઈકલ પર સ્કૂલ તરફ જતા
વિદ્યાર્થીઓને જોઈને થતું –
મારી કને જો સાઈકલ હોય તો હું
દોડમદોડ જતા કોઈક ટેણકાને
મારી સાઈકલ પાછળ બેસાડું…..

લાલ બસની રાહ જોતો
ભીડમાં ઊભો રહેતો ત્યારે
કોક સ્કૂટર બસ-સ્ટેન્ડ નજીક
ધીમું પડતું
ને કોક ઓળખીતાને
પાછલી સીટ પર બેસાડીને
સડસડાટ દોડી જતું
એ જોઈને થતું –
મારી પાસે જો સ્કૂટર હોય તો હું
બસ-સ્ટેન્ડ પરની ભીડમાંથી એકાદને
મારી પાછળ બેસાડું….

મારી પાસે કાર છે
લાલ બસના
એકેય સ્ટૅન્ડ પાસે
મારી કાર
ધીમીય પડતી નથી
દોડી જ જાય છે સડસડાટ…..
જૂની વાતો મને
સાંભરતી જ નથી એવું નથી

Translated by Udayan Thakker


Harsh Brahmabhatt

If one runs out of tears,it is a cause for concern
If this fact is not understood,it is a cause for concern

Why did he laugh after saying 'May you prosper'?
If indeed I prosper,it is a cause for concern!

God is safe till he is unseen
If he is spotted,it is a cause for concern

You have filled me to the brim
If you add even a drop more,it is a cause for concern

If relationships are entangled, they survive
If they are not tangled up, it is a cause for concern

જો આંસુ ખૂટી જાય તો ચિંતાનો વિષય છે,
આ વાત ન સમજાય તો ચિંતાનો વિષય છે.

“જા, તારું ભલું થાય” કહી કેમ હસ્યા એ ?
સાચે જ ભલું થાય તો ચિંતાનો વિષય છે.

દેખાય નહીં ત્યાં સુધી ઈશ્વર છે સલામત,
ક્યારેક જો દેખાય તો ચિંતાનો વિષય છે.

તારાથી છલોછલ છું હું ઢોળાઈ ન જાઉં,
છાંટોય ઉમેરાય તો ચિંતાનો વિષય છે.

જો ગૂંચમાં સંબંધ પડે છે તો ટકે છે,
જો ગૂંચ ન સર્જાય તો ચિંતાનો વિષય છે

Translated by Udayan Thakker


Pratishtha Pandya

Let the rings
Slide off your fingers
Let them melt away
Inside the dark abyss
Of a fish's belly
Let Shakuntala
Forget Dushyaant
Let her desert
Kalidas all together
Let her run away
From the story line
Of Adiparva
Let the family of Shakunta birds
(black kites)
Raise her
On top of tall
green trees
Let her wheatgold back
Grow wings
Giant, Smooth, Black
Not to be captured
Within the wiry confines
Of Dushyant's morals
Not to burnt to ahses
In the firey flames
Of Durvasa' anger
Let her carry
Under her wings
All of the sylvan forests
As she fly
In the fluttering sky
Let Shakuntals fly.


સરી જવા દે વીંટીઓને આંગળીઓથી બધી
ઓગળી જવા દે વીંટીઓને માછલીઓના અંધારા પેટમાં
છો ભૂલી જતી શકુંતલા દુષ્યંતને
છો દોડી જતી છોડીને કાલિદાસને
છોડીને આદિપર્વની વાર્તાનો તંત
ઉછરવા દે શકુંતલાઓને શકુંત પક્ષીઓના ઝુંડ મહીં
ઊંચા,લીલા ઝાડની ટોચ પર
ખીલવા દે એની ઘઉંવર્ણી પીઠ પર
બે સુંવાળી,વિશાળ કાળી પાંખો
મર્યાદાઓના તારમાં દુષ્યંત બાંધી શકે નહિ એવી પાંખો
દુર્વાસાના ક્રોધની જ્વાળાઓ એને જલાવી શકે નહિ એવી પાંખો
ને પાંખમાં ભરીને લીલાં વન આખેઆખાં
પછી ઊડવા દે
ફડફડતા આકાશમાં

પ્રતિષ્ઠા પંડ્યા

Translated by the Poet

Rustic Vignettes

A J Thomas

The wind is the same
As ever, over the centuries
Blowing in stiff, straight draughts
Keeping the tree-leaves akimbo
And the black-tipped clouds in great, straight streams
The sky looks clean-washed and dipped in indigo
Hung out to dry
The sunshine seems to shimmer more
As if it has a life all its own
The rural spirit
Superimposed with
The aspirations of a fast-globalising world . . .
Young women flash away on Kinetic Hondas
Older women on mopeds slug away
With funny caps on their heads!

Translated by
The Refugee


A J Thomas

My mother’s leathery face and
Caved in lips, sans teeth or denture
The broken arm in plaster rubbing
The side of the left breast once fed me
But now turned septic. Her three months
In the hospital had got her life back
To be snatched away anytime;
Death was on the prowl we knew.
She who was so full of life and hope
Suddenly turned to me one day and said:
‘Why should I live on? My time is gone.
Let me go now. Don’t worry about me.’
There was a blank listlessness about her
Eyes and lips.
In her last stint in the hospital
When she went in and out of
Cubicles of consciousness
Her roving eyes could not see
The reassurance her son sought
To bring, the security of wellbeing—
Only blankness, blankness.

Translated by
Rustic Vignettes
The Refugee

The Ladies compartment

Akila G

We are a motley crowd
with handbags, laptops and lunch bags,
sporting IDs of rings and toe rings,
buffering dark circles
for un-waxed conversations of etcetera
in food, fabric, finance, family.

We manicure safety and freedom
in lip-glossed songs, henna cones and
social network pages on the phone.

Nasal calls of peanut and samosa vendors
are flipped by in bookmarked pages
hoping that one day,
a rainbow would find the puffed eyes
gazing vacant at the window.

Our laughter
indulges in anonymous company
of dry sweat, an aura of our anatomy.

We waltz
with our Body Mass Index,
pH of pimples, dimples, wrinkles and
uneven tones of our skin
on pedicured sandals, cracked slippers,
stiff joints and a numb lower back.
The overhead bar syncs our pursuits.

We are one in many;
many in one.

Soon we would slumber to cricket songs
leaving the lady in the welcome poster near the door
to rattle alone with empty shadows.

Tomorrow will be a new dawn,
sun- screened with another ticket
for this daily soap in the ladies compartment.

Translated by

Dogs, Mobs and Rock Concerts


At 7 am today,
a pack of mad dogs rushed into a building and castrated a man.
It happened too fast for the police to be called
or the BSPCA van to rush in and take the raving canines away.
Five dogs came.
Six left.

At 12 noon today,
a herd of hired goons drove up in a truck and threw flowers at a mob.
The mob, which had assembled silently all morning,
pulled the stalks out with their teeth and exploded
in a fury of pamphlets. The pamphlets read
Stay Out Outsiders and then sang themselves into a stupor.
The hired goons were fired
for failing to disburse the crowd.

At 7 pm today,
a stadium flung open its gates to the sky.
The earth rocked and the people stoned.
Enormous rubber lips turned electric blue with the sound.
On the ground, crushed between a dressed-down executive
and a made-up mother of two, an ageing Indian singer
shook his locks. In the champagne seats,
the liquor baron bubbled
tidily out of his tux.

At 7.10, 12.22 and midnight,
the city felt a tremor of longing.
Strange things had happened and passed it by.
Tomorrow all that would mark the hours would be the trains,
the 7.10, the 12.22, the midnight,
each rattling its chains,
returning thousands to their cages,
till dawn.

Translated by


Udayan Thakker

Had it been bigger, the shark would have glided
Had it been smaller
I would have put it to my lips

On that side
is heard
the cooing of doves getting wet in water’s shadow
On this side
is the popping of bubbles
the breathing of moss
the flowing laughter of water

During the monsoon
how can it enjoy standing
dressed in a thin wrap
between water and water?

Had it been a cloud,
it would have rained with
a peacock’s flared feathers
instead from a faucet

A sparrow dips its beak in the water-tank

A crystalline lake oscillates
The cedars sway
The wind plays flute
A squirrel offers a shelled peanut
to another
The shadow of the cloud shifts
The chariot of Indra descends
indolently from the Mountain of Gold


સહેજ મોટી હોતે તો સેલ્લારા લેતે મગરમચ્છ
સહેજ નાની હોતે
તો મોઢે માંડત
પેલી તરફ
પાણીને પડછાયે પલળતાં પારેવાંનું ગુટર્ગું
આ તરફ
પરપોટાની બુડ બુડ
શેવાળનો શ્વાસોચ્છ્વાસ
જળનું હાસ્ય ખળખળાટ
પાણી અને પાણી વચ્ચે
પાતળું પડ પહેરીને ઊભા રહેવું
કેમ ગમતું હશે આને?
આ વાદળી હોતે
તો નળની નહિ
મોરલાની ચાંપે વરસતી હોતે
ચકલી ચાંચ ઝબકોળે ટાંકીમાં...

આંદોલાય અચ્છોદ સરોવર
ડોલે દેવદાર
વાયુ વાંસળી વજાડે
ખિસકોલો શીંગ ધરે ફોલીને
વાદળની છાયા સરે
હેમકૂટ પર્વત પર હળવેકથી
ઇન્દ્રનો રથ ઊતરે

-ઉદયન ઠક્કર

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


Ashwinee Bapat

The province of my
Is like the expanse of
An arid river
Quite often
I come here
Accepting its call
I walk through
And collide with
The brambles of
Old dreams
And unsolved truths
The entire stretch is
Full of prolific roots
Impossible to
Pull out
And the sun, the moon and the stars
Appear together in the sky
Of this province.
A little further at the bank
Where i live,
There are green glistening woods
Of events cultivated
With artificial light,
People are fast asleep
After cleaning
Crimson bloodstained floor.
Most often
I sleep too
The same way
After the daily work
Under artificial light
Of the office and markets
While playing the stress buster Candy Crush
I too fall asleep.
I figure out here
That kind of sleep
That it is here,
That the province of real sleep exists
So what if it is dry here now
But there,
There is neither sleep nor wakefulness
There is no Vikram
Neither the hanging corpses
Nor any inquests
I find here
Turtles living since
Thousand years
Waiting for me to speak.
The moment
My speech uncoils,
The streamlet of
Real sleep will spring out


સુકાયેલી નદીના
પથારા જેવો આ
આ અનિદ્રા પ્રદેશ
અડવા પગે જ
નીકળી આવતી હોઉં છું
એનું આહ્વાન ઝીલી લઈને
કે અડફેટે ચડે
ઝાંખરાં સ્વપ્નોનાં
વણઉકલ્યાં સત્યોનાં
ઊખડ્યાં ન ઊખડે
તેવાં મૂળ
આ સમસ્ત પથારામાં
ને અહીંના આકાશમાં
સૂર્ય ચંદ્ર તારા
એકી સાથે નજરે પડે
જરા છેટે કિનારે
જ્યાં મારો વસવાટ છે
લીલાંલીસ્સાં વન છે
પ્રકાશ પાઈને
ઊછેરેલી ઘટનાઓનાં
લાલ લોહિયાળ જમીન ધોઈને
નિરાંતે સૂતાં હોય સહુ
હું પણ
એમ જ અનેક વાર
સૂતી હોઉં છું
નકલી પ્રકાશમાં
કામ કરીને
સ્ટ્રેસ બસ્ટર કેન્ડી ક્રશ
રમતાં રમતાં
સૂઈ જતી હોઉં છું
આમ જ અનેક વાર
એવું સૂઈ જવું
તે સમજાય છે મને અહીં
કે રહ્યો ખરો તો
નિદ્રાનો દેશ
ભલે હમણે સુકાયેલો
પણ ત્યાં
નથી નીંદર કે નથી જાગૃતિ
ત્યાં નથી નીકળતો કોઈ વિક્રમ
નથી લટકતાં કોઈ પ્રેત
નથી કોઈ પ્રશ્ન
મળે છે મને
હજારો વર્ષથી
જીવી રહેલા કાચબા
મારી વાચા ફૂટે
તેની રાહ જોતા
મારી વાચા ફૂટશે
કે ફૂટશે

Translated by the Poet from Gujarati


Shelly Bhoil

it was about then when we didn’t understand what it is
and set out into meaning-making exercises

                                  i gently stole a strand of hair from my class-
                                  mate’s blazer and pulled one mine to juxtapose
                                  the two in sunshine. a few more strands got
                                  pulled and stolen. then my head scratched to not
                                  understand how some hair could be ‘thin’ and
                                  some not!

my talkative twin chased words that danced on elders’
lips and struggled to speak every split second their lips
sealed that she should be speaking now because she has
understood a ‘conversation’ (at the end of which she was
allowed to speak) means a word.

    the father’s face became red while the mother tapped her forehead!

we traced the patterns of O and C in the moon, Y the trees
we climbed, V W and M in valleys and mountains we saw,
hanging from the trees, upside down. the mountains, a few
walks away on our last birthday, appeared distant now. the
grandfather explained the phenomenon to our growing tall.

                          we settled down to writing when my twin rhymed
           flower with shower. I wrote ‘a smiling flower in the
                          rain shower.’ we tried to bring in even ‘power.’ Then
           we discovered the dictionary and began replacing
                         ‘condition’ with ‘predicament’

the rhyming became inexpedient as meanings socialized

those un-publishable poems and experiential meanings had a joy lost to us like those years in the years we have grown up to understand what it is
                   and that my twin never was nor will be

Translated by
Home sickness


Gurpreet Anandi

Starts the journey
of Internal Kailasha

Highest peaks
Deepest troughs
of Conscience....
Mind sheds everything
on the way
and then ....
The Mansarovar of
Eternal bliss.....

Passions ......
Starts the journey
of Internal Kailasha

Translated by the Poet from Punjabi

Water Song – 5

N Gopi

The one there, the one there, he is the sun.
He’s the emperor of heat and light.
As he pervades the universe
he’s the resplendent starry universe
that physical eyes can’t capture

He makes the planets
go around him like prisoners.
Falling from the eyes of these prisoners
how many oceans have evaporated into the infinite!
How many rivers have
shrunk and left their traces on their cheeks!

Can’t interfere with the sun,
but continues to caress
other planets with telescope eyes
for the fingerprints of water.
Budha is close to the sun.²
He is a workman who wakes up earlier than the sun
and toils hard.
What use!
If you kiss a ball of fire
will water fall?
Shukra knew no happiness.
Adorning the name of goddess Venus, the epitome of love
he wears a cloud veil.
Though he knew the art of restoring life
he could not pour life into water.

Kuja is the deep, round, red stone
that rolls with the snowy crowns.
What is the point of adorning clouds
When there is no water?
Poor Guru!
In a way he’s a second sun.
What if he’s this or that
when there is not even an iota of compassion?³
The eyes searching for the entire universe
have focussed on the earth.
There, there is mother earth!
The one with resplendent atmosphere
The one covered by pure white clouds.
The one enveloped by deep blue sea.
The one inlaid with the wealth of snowy gems.

However great he may be
the theatre for sun’s existence
is the earth
Earth is the curtain
for his infinite beauty
Earth is the merciful one
that wets his blazing, fiery lips.
who files the cosmic ways
bows his head and salutes the earth.

Translated from Telugu into English by M. Sridhar and Alladi Uma


હા, એ જ ,એ જ છે સૂર્ય
ઉષ્ણતા અને ઉજાસનો ભૂપ .
એ જ પોતે છે આખું વિશ્વ .
ચર્મચક્ષુની મર્યાદાથી દૂર દૂર
એ ઝગમગ તારામંડળ .
ફેરવે બધા ગ્રહોને આસપાસ
જાણે હો કેદી.
આ બંદીવાનોની આંખોથી ઝરમરતા
કેટકેટલા સાગર
બાષ્પ બની ઓગળતા !
કેટકેટલી નદીઓ
એના ગાળો પર સુકાઈ ગઈ
રેખાઓ મૂકી !

છેડછાડ ક્યાં કરી શકે છે સૂરજ સાથે
અને છતાં પણ
ટેલિસ્કોપ લઈ શોધે છે
જળની આંગળીઓનાં ચિહ્નો-
અન્ય ગ્રહો પર .
બુધનો ગ્રહ શું મિત્ર સૂર્યનો ?
કે એનાથી પહેલાં જાગી
સેવા કરતો કામદાર એ ?
શું મતલબ છે જરા કહો તો ?
કદી આગના ગોળાને ચુંબન કરવાથી
પાણીના બુંદો ઝરમરશે ?
મહાઋષિનું હોય કોઈ સંતાન
એટલાથી શું થાતું ?
જુઓ,શુક્રનો ગ્રહ સુખને શું જાણે ?
રતિ પ્રેમની દેવી ,એનું નામ રટીને
વાદળની ઝીણી ચાદર ઓઢી લેતો .
સંજીવન કરવાની વિદ્યા જાણે તો પણ
પાણીમાં એ પ્રાણ ક્યાં સમર્થ છે ?
હિમ- મુકુટ ધરી ગોળ ગબડતો
મંગળ તો છે લાલ-પિંડ પથ્થરનો કેવળ .
હોય નહીં મહામૂલું જળ તો
વાદળના શણગાર બધા શા ખપના ?

બિચારો ગુરુ !
બળે કહેવાતો બીજો સૂર્ય
હોય ગમે તેટલો મહાન
જરા જેટલી ભીનાશ તો છે નહિ એનામાં !
અખિલ વિશ્વને શોધી રહી જે આંખ
છેવટે અવની પર જઈ ઠરી
જુઓ ! એ ભૂ-માતા છે .
ઝળહળતા વાયુમંડળથી આચ્છાદિત એ
શુભ્ર-શ્વેત વાદળ
ને ભૂરા સાગરથી ઘેરાયેલી
હિમ-રત્ન જડિત સંપદની ધાત્રી
માત્ર ધરિત્રી .

સૂરજ હોય ભલે ને મહાન
એના હોવાનો આધાર
રંગભૂમિ પૃથ્વીની .
પૃથ્વી તે જવનિકા
એના અનંત સૌંદર્યોની
એના દઝાડતા જ્વાલામય હોઠોને –
ભીના કરનારી
કરુણામય માતા છે પૃથ્વી .
વિશ્વ-ગગનમાં ઘૂમનારો માણસ
ધરતીના ચરણે આવીને
શીશ ટેકવે .

Translated by Ramnik Someshwar from English into Gujarati


Ramanik Agrawat

Without windows
We would have never heard
Birds flying like prayers.

Without windows
Calls of our pals would have grown old
Reaching up to us.

Without windows
The oxygen between my wall and yours
Would have utterly stunk.

Without windows
The pleasing, pretty scenes on the road
Would have got butchered unprotected.

Without windows
The unused stoppers getting shut
On our relations would have forgotten to open.

Without windows
You and I would still rot,
Walled within our separate exiles.

Without windows
Our homes would be narrower
and the earth staler.


બારીઓ ન હોત તો
પ્રાર્થનાની જેમ ઊડતાં પંખીઓ
આપણને કદી ન સંભળાત.

બારીઓ ન હોત તો
ભેરુઓની બૂમ આપણા લગી આવતાં આવતાંમાં
વૃદ્ધ થઈ જાત.

બારીઓ ન હોત તો
મારી ને તમારી દીવાલ વચ્ચેનો પ્રાણવાયુ
થૂ થૂ ગંધાઈ ઊઠત.

બારીઓ ન હોત તો
રસ્તા પરનાં નમણાં દૃશ્યો
નધણિયાતાં રહેંસાઈ જાત.

બારીઓ ન હોત તો
આપણા સંબંધોમાં વસાઈ જતી હવડ ઈસ્ટાપડીઓ
ખૂલવાનું ભૂલી જાત.

બારીઓ ન હોત તો
હું ને તમે પોતપોતાના દીવાલવટામાં
હજીયે સબડતા હોત.

બારીઓ ન હોત તો
ઘર થોડાં વધુ સાંકડાં થઈ જાત
પૃથ્વી થોડી વધુ વાસી.

Translated by Dilleepsinh Chauhan, Lalubha and Nandita


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

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

Movement –Rest

Mukesh Vaidya

My arms outstretched upto the horizon
Desperately desire
To catch hold of an orange rolling far away.
No matter from where, when or whatever little
May it be procured
I want to taste the kemel of this earth.
Like a huge heap of oranges
Trickling juice in my tiny Fingers
Oozes out in sleep.
The arms keep struggling.
The earth goes slithering.
Arms outstretched, waist twisted
Tom apart at tugging
Swept off in shreds
I am hurtled at the horizon.
Outstretched upto the horizon

My arms return and come to rest
And settle down as arms of a chair.


ક્ષિતિજ સુધી લંબાયેલા મારા બન્નેય હાથ
સરક્યે જતું સંતરુ પકડવા
વલખી રહ્યા છે.
જ્યાં કશે, જે કંઈ જરી, જેવો મળે તેવો જ
મારે આ પૃથ્વીનો ગર ચાખવો છે.
નાની ટચુકડી આંગળીમાં રસછલકતું
મબલખ પડેલા સંતરાના ઢગ જેવું
ઊંઘમાં ટપક્યા કરે છે.
હાથ વલખ્યા કરે છે.
પૃથ્વી સરક્યા કરે છે.
હાથ લંબાવતો, કેડે મરડાતો
તણાઈને તૂટતો
તૂટી તૂટીને તણાતો
ઝીંકાઉ છું ક્ષિતિજ સુધી
ક્ષિતિજ સુધી
લંબાયેલા મારા બન્નેય હાથ પાછા ફરે છે.
ખૂરશીના હાથા બની બેસી રહે છે.

Translated by Karamshi Pir from Gujarati


Mukesh Vaidya

Inside a puddle
At Mid-day
The sun
Lay indolent like a burly buffalo
Whom fishes nibbled away
By the evening

Puddles lie framed like windows
Putting out their heads peer out
Might be estimating the distance travelled
In between lies the limitless sky.

Children swaying school-bags on the backs
Threw pebbles at a pretty large puddle
And caused countless ripples.
The entire puddle was filled with pebbles.
When the children return from the school
They wouldn’t have to wander far in search of pebbles.

I put
A paper-boat in a puddle
And –
It floated.

I set my eyes to observe the puddle
I felt then that something grazed against my eye-ball
Nevertheless I enjoyed it.
Keeping my eyes set on the puddle I moved forward.
Crowds tom in two joined together again with one another,
Signboards, ceilings, buildings on the verge of collapse,
Broad reversed massive wheels of an overturned bus---
All moved over my eyelids
As I stepped closer the sights revolve, crack and get changed
Puddle zoomed in at my eyes
Not a thing there.
Only white-washed sky;
Deep down my eyes suffered in stinging pain.
Like a shiny sheet of tin
Pretty half of the puddle pierced through my eyes
ripping them open.
Far upto the horizon in the front
Across the blood-stained broke cranium
In the rear

(પાંચ કાવ્યો)
એક ખાબોચિયામાં
માતેલી ભેંસની જેમ જડ થઈ પડી રહેલા
સાંજ સુધીમાં તો માછલાં ફોલી ફોલીને ખાઈ ગયાં.

બારીની જેમ જડાઈ ગયાં છે ખાબોચિયાં.
વૃક્ષો એમાં ડોકાઈ ડોકાઈ જુએ છે.
તેઓ ક્યાં પહોંચ્યા એનો તાગ કાઢતાં હશે.
વચ્ચે અમેય આકાશ.

પીઠ પર દફતર ઝૂલાવતા નિશાળીયાઓએ
મોટા દેખાતા એક ખાબોચિયે કાંકરા નાંખી
અનેકાનેક વલયો જન્માવ્યાં.
પછી તો આખું ય ખાબોચિયું કાંકરે કાંકરે પુરાઈ ગયું કાલે ક્યારે નિશાળિયાં છૂટીને પાછાં ફરશે ત્યારે તેઓએ કાંકરાની શોધમાં દૂર રખડવું નહીં પડે.

મેં એક ખાબોચિયામાં
એક કાગળની હોડી મૂકી
અને –
એ તરી.

ખાબોચિયું જોવા મેં આંખ માંડી
ત્યારે આંખના ડોળા પર કશુંક ઘસાતું હોય એવું લાગ્યું હતું પણ મને મજા પડી.
ખાબોચિયા પર આંખ માંડીને જ હું આગળ વધ્યો.
અડધાં કપાયેલાં, ફરી એકમેકમાં ભળી જઈ જોડાતાં ટોળાં, દુકાનોનાં પાટિયાં, છત, પડું પડું મકાનો ને ઊંધી વળેલી બસનાં ઊંધાં પ્હોળાં મસમોટાં વ્હીલ મારાં ઉપલાં પોપચે ફરવા લાગ્યાં.
નજીક પહોંચ્યો
તેમ તેમ દ્રશ્યો ચકરાયાં, તૂટ્યાં ને બદલાયાં.
આંખસરસું પાસે આવ્યું
ત્યારે તો કશું જ નહીં.
માત્ર ચૂને ધોળ્યું આકાશ;
મારી આંખોમાં
ઊંડે ઊંડે અસહ્ય પીડા થવા લાગી.
ટીનનાં પતરાં જેવું ચળકતું ખબોચિયું
ખાસ્સું અડધું એવું
મારી આંખો ચીરીને ઊંડે ઊંડે પેસી ગયેલું.
સામે ક્ષિતિજ જેટલું દૂર
ને પાછળ
ફૂટેલી લોહિયાળ ખોપરીને પેલે પાર………

Translated by Karamshi Pir from Gujarati
Movement –Rest


Mukesh Vaidya

Submerged totally I stand
Under the waters of touch.
Several sounds
Like tiny little Fishes
Gnaw at my wounded limbs.
Spilt blood of the Sun
Is poured into my closed eyes.
On the banks
Among the cluster of canes
Through moist silvery mist
Of grassy fragrance
My ears walk
Like a call of a golden oriole.
My ears--
Cocking for a moment
Then fluttering in fear
Once again folding their wings
--Continue to walk

સ્પર્શના જળમાં
હું માથાબૂડ ઊભો છું
ઝીણી માછલીઓની જેમ
કેટલાક અવાજો
મારાં જખ્મી અંગોને
કોતરી કોતરીને કરડી રહ્યાં છે.
સૂરજનું લોહી
મારી બંધ આંખોમાં ઢોળાય છે.
કાંઠે નેતરના ઝૂંડમાં
ઘાસલ સુવાસના ભીના રૂપેરી ધુમ્મસે
પીળકના ટહુકા જેવા
ઘડીક સરવા થઈ ફફડી ઊઠતા
ફરી પાછા પાંખો બીડીને
મારા કાન ચાલે છે.

Translated by Karamshi Pir from Gujarati
Movement –Rest

Monologues of a Selfie

Ashwani Kumar

Hey, you love me. Does it matter?

I don’t need anyone. I love me. I say it loudly. I love me.

I am not someone. This is my body-made for myself.

This is such a nice thing. I am no good, bad or evil.

It’s not hard to meet someone like me these days.

I feel like I have really made a genuine connection with myself. What a discovery?

You know my name. Nope. You guess – Abiku, Azaro, Sinai, Analogue, Android, Andromedean.

Ah, I am my generation. No name calling.

Forget your father, mother, uncle, aunt, siblings, and a series of absurd filial connections.

Forget family planning also. You are your own Gene.
Don’t think wrong of me. I tell you something about my personality traits.

I am no ascetic, no pragmatic, no conservative, no free thinker, no humourist, not follower of any leader or sect. Don’t get me wrong.

You think I am a bestseller. Yup. You got it right.

I am attractive, intelligent, confident, and successful. I make no mistake. I rock all the time.

I don’t want to know you. Yet I got lots of friends and contacts on Facebook, Twitter.

I often bare myself on Instagram. You want me. Don’t lie. You want me.

Tell you frankly. It is Impossible. I love myself. We are new monogamous. We date ourselves.

Don’t think we don’t have reproductive organs. We procreate and replicate.

We are like various brands of the milk – like soya milk, almond milk, coconut milk, chocolate milk, lactose-free milk, skimmed milk, regular milk etcetera.

We don’t age. Just grow old. Carry on.

Is it true that memory is like a room without windows? I can’t hear you. It is only me here.

Who is she? Who is he? I like to talk. What about you. Don’t care if you also like to talk.

So, the problem of finding common ground is over.
I feel like we are learning so much new about ourselves.

Hey, I don’t invite my boyfriends or girlfriends to my apartment. Gender is so boring. Male or female, it makes no difference. It makes things uninteresting.

I prefer walking by night. You like tram rides in the day. Fine. I earn my work. You also work for the Ministry of Future. A lot of you are afraid of me. But you like my pictures –

Let’s move a bit forward. I know all your quotes. You know mine. It’s great. I change my DP every day. Wait. Nothing changes though.
I love my own fragrance. Oh. Its so nice, so erotic as well.
Sure, you’ll love your own.

I don’t go to any public library or watch films at multiplexes. Neither do I withdraw cash at ATMs.

No hanky-panky. No ketch up. Damn it. Sing this ghetto-blaster-DUP-DUP- dudududu-DUP-DUP.

You know Kai Miller – that Jamaican poet. He loves singing DUP-DUP-dudududuDUP-DUP.

Don’t tell me a reason why you like it. Just sing DUP-DUP-dudududu-DUP-DUP.

Oh, life is so beautiful these days. Me, Me, Me, Me Only Me. It is queer. Downright queer.

Are you still not convinced? That’s O.K. Good news.

These days, we don’t have to be in the same picture frame. Don’t we?.

I know you are like me. You just don’t want to admit you love yourself.

It looks like you just got a new alert. Hey, don’t delete me. I confess. I am just a selfie –

I love my simplicity!

Translated by

A Hot May Afternoon

Jayanta Mahapatra

Not a breath of air anywhere.
Just my sinful shadow
Keeps craving for a kindred being.

Windows are shut tight
In houses everywhere.
And outside, farewell after farewell.

How can I break
This granting silence of the river’s
Burning sands inside of me?

When I muster
Enough courage
And reach for my lover’s breasts.

With a half-smile
She hands me the first Book
Of an untouched life

Translated by Gopa Ranjan Mishra from Odia
Her Hand

A Tale, To Begin With

Jayanta Mahapatra

Jayanta Mahapatra never did anything worthwhile;
Today’s young are unaware of what he did
Those who knew him a little are dead and gone.
He was a awful person.
To tell the truth, no one had ever seen him.
Neither his friends nor relatives, or his enemies.
But then, how would they know him?
He was on fire day and night.
Burning in the flames of his own karma.
People noticed only the fire
And some smoke, hazy, unclear.

The body of Jayanta Mhapatra
Had somehow worn out through the years
And all that remained
Was a vain palm-frond hat on his bald head.
So wily was he
That nobody could win him over to their side.
A juicy tale for hot, sleepless summer nights
When malicious plots against him
Were hatched all around.
Jayanta Mahapatra could never break down
The formidable walls of his body.
Never veering away, those walls
Had moved up on him day after day
Until nothing was left of his body,
And whatever was left behind was perhaps not his.
It had somehow flown away from him
As it kept searching for gold and silver,
In the deeps of earth and wells of stone,
In the hills and forest and rivers of words
But had never found anything of value.

No, there’s no sense
In looking for Jayanta Mahapatra.
At times he moves about in the cold winter skies
In the starry constellation of Scorpio,
A question himself.
And sometimes he loses himself
In the sweat-smell of the girl he loved.
Many insist he keeps reeling under some unknown fear,
A fear that lies deep down in every pore of his skin.
In a climate of fear
Can anyone make another his own?
Who can tell where this fear of his came from?
Was it from his mother’s wrathful eyes
Or from the inhuman taunts of his schoolmates?
That fear, however,
Clung to his skin forever.

That’s why Jayanta Mahapatra
Can never enter darkness.
The darkness that lives on in the history
Of blood-soaked thighs of our women.
The darkness that rests in God’s listless eyes.
But you can find Jayanta Mahapatra in Cuttack
On the weary bank of the Kathjodi
Or at the Attendants-Quarters of Christ College
In the sobbing breasts of the peon’s raped daughter
You’ II find him surely
If you really look for him.
You’ II find him surely
In the ageing leaves of the mango in his backyard
In the anguished call of the bird with a broken wing
Or in the disconsolate cry of the child
Whose red balloon got burst
In the jostling crowds on the eights day of Durga Puja.
No, you’d never find him in a church or a temple.

Had he done anything that people would know him?
Yes perhaps, he could weave dream after dream
Much like a bird perched
On a branch of his mind’s bare tree.
Wandering far and wide
He settled at lat in his home town of Cuttack.
If you ask the mechanic Mama
Who’s there all day at his bicycle-repair-shop
Or Kalu, who sells paan in his tiny wood cabin
About Jayanta Mahapatra,
They would of course tell you where he lives.
The monsoon rain could easily point him out
And even the mild misty mornings of December;
The lame pariah dog too, who hobbles over sometimes,
Wags his tail and fondly licks
His hands near his front door.

And poems? His poems simply can’t say
Where he lives.
They lie all over like the dead.
Those impetuous poems of his couldn’t subdue his mind
They just shut every door of his body.
Like the tired old peepul standing all alone
In the abandoned Buddhist monastery in Lalitgiri,
He’s there, inside the chaos of words.
Of course he’s been living in Cuttack
But not many there known him
Sometimes they’d say :

Oh! Jayanta Mahapatra?
That man?
Oh he lives in dreams
and will die in his dreams one day
How long can he hold on
to the vast sky all alone?
That’s right
Jayanta Mahapatra never did anything worthwhile.
He had a heart of course
And whatever little space was in there
He kept it solely to bury his friends and lovers
In the earnest hope
That he would finally find himself

Translated by Gopa Ranjan Mishra from Odia

In the Bazaar

Panna Naik

How I enjoyed
going to the bazaar with you!
We drove in a horse-buggy with leather seats.
We took a purse, a mesh
of filigreed silken threads,
holding money.

Everyone there knew you.
The shopkeepers
welcomed you warmly.
You bought my favourite
fruit and vegetables
and sometimes even print fabric
my favourite color, rust
for my dress or skirt.

After shopping,
you would order
the same horse-buggy
with the same driver, Fakir,
you had known for years
who brought us home
from every trip to the bazaar.

I remember--once
when you were haggling
with a vegetable vendor
over his prices,
I sneaked away
and got lost
in a toy shop
shutting you out of my mind.

Losing sight of me
you became hysterical,
retracing your steps to the shops
we had visited
asking everyone
When no one could help you find me,
with tears in your eyes
you stepped into a temple
praying to
Krishna, the Lord Protector
to protect me
You stopped
at the poor astrologer’s sparrow
which, perched in a cage on the city’s pavement,
forecasts bright futures for people.
just when you stood still at last,
not knowing which way to turn,
I emerged from the toy shop.
Our eyes met.
You ran,
took me in yours arms,
and hugged me so hard
that I have never been
able to get away
from you.

Today, too,
all by myself,
I wander on my bare feet
in a bazaar
among faces that seem familiar
yet remain unknown to me

Translated by


Lalit Trivedi

You do not know what eyes are!
That is why you have not seen God

Water-vendors are roaming on this street The very street which covered a well

I shall hear you before you speak
If only you will speak from within me

First put out the flaming scenes
Then you will be able to see each other

We shall discuss the cosmos some other day Today lets just open windows of our house

Cages have sprouted from branches and boughs Where will you build a nest?

આંખનો મતલબ કર્યો ખોટો તમે,
એટલે ઈશ્વર નથી જોયો તમે !

પાણી પણ વેચાય છે તે આ સડક,
જે સડક નીચે પૂર્યો કૂવો તમે !

બોલો તે પ્હેલાં જ તમને સાંભળું,
મારી અંદર આવી જો બોલો તમે !

દૃશ્યનો દીવો કરો રાણા પ્રથમ
એકબીજાને પછી જોજો તમે !

વાત કરશું કોક દિ’ બ્રહ્મરંધ્રની,
આજ ઘરની બારી તો ખોલો તમે !

જંગલોની ડાળને પિંજર ઊગ્યાં,
કઈ જગાએ બાંધશો માળો તમે !

– લલિત ત્રિવેદી

Translated by Udayan Thakker from Gujarati


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


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
Rustic Vignettes
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
Rustic Vignettes

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
A Hot May Afternoon


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
A Hot May Afternoon
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

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.