Which Indian Language Poetry will you like to read ?

Indian Poetry


Bhujang Meshram

“When they came

There was Bible in their hands

And we had land.”

They said “No one is black or white before God

Come let us pray with our eyes closed “

I was overwhelmed.

My eyes got closed, unaware.

When I opened my eyes hopefully-

They had land and we had the Bible.

There is no other fairy story than this

To be told to grandchildren.

To teach wisdom to grandfather

On such occasion was something great.

Nevertheless I dare say a little.

After talking to yourself for a quarter of century

You came here with a loud voice.

You are the hero of the primitives

Do you want to see tribal India?

On the Republic and Independence days

The accident art dances in the capital.

At that time culture performs cabaret in the palaces.

Her palanquin and our procession pass

On the same royal road.

It’s great fun!

‘These prisons of forests are dear to everyone.

This forest cannot be Khandavavan

Because trees here are fell every day

You are welcome

Mandal commission is ignored

You are taken to visit Rajghat, Taj Mahal, Red Fort

Whereas Bastar, Belkheda, Jyotiba and Baba are hidden.

In reply to your felicitation

You narrate your own story:

“We quarrel with each other throughout the day.

In evening we go to church

And ask for pardon, then pray.”

The hall reverberates with claps.

Grandfather, there is nothing worth telling you

“When they came, they were wanderers

And we had history”

They said, “We will exchange everything

And transform the world”

We believed them.

Now they have history

And we have freedom.

Grandfather, do you know or not the Budhha?


Translated by Dr. Santosh Bhoomkar

The erotic couple on the Vishwanath temple

Chandrakant Patil

 The erotic couple on the Vishwanath temple

Khajuraho stands awkwardly

The woman, who had stood there from the Middle Ages

clasping the male

suddenly threw him off

and stood erect

like a soldier in an army march--past

The male, smiling, complacent, for ages

is suddenly confounded, crestfallen

the woman has become arrogantly triumphant

like the twenty--first century

What is the woman up to ?

what god asked her for all this bother and fuss ?

why does she think of this sinister act ?

Dismantled, in despair,

the erotic male has lost his confidence

his emotional defenses have collapsed

completely out of order is the male

Whatever has happened to the woman ?

Has she started ogling at the man on the next panel

or has she finally understood

the male cunning of love ?

Or is the woman trying to relate

the meaning of kama to artha ?

Translated by Chandrashekhar Jahagirdar from Marathi
The Men

The Men

Chandrakant Patil

Three Men
Chandrakant Patil

Three men went reeling on their way to Mahim
One of them seemed to me like a man
Who had died in his own dream
Meaning I saw his dream which was his
Or one might say that for the duration of the dream
I became he.

The second of them used to wrestle with words all the time
Since million of days he wrestles the same way on the road
So why should we throw at him the questioning noose
So paying no attention we went forward
As more than him his exhibitionist words
And all the words of the world
Appear like sawdust-stuffed birds in the museum

Three men went reeling on the street
One of them was I myself so told me the other two
So why should I deny and deny what

Translated by Vishnu Khare
The erotic couple on the Vishwanath temple

Accepting the risk

Prafull Shiledar

While writing a poem
An ant over the corner of the table
Came walking crouching and timidly
Avoiding the heap of booksand papers
On the table
It turned towards the old dictionary
On the other corner of the table

Thinking it might be termite
I stopped writing
And without much thought
Straightaway crushed it
With back end of my pen
Who knows who it was?
But there should neither be any doubt
Nor any clarification for it

An ant has no voice
No sense of creating nuisance
No legion of ants assault you
For its cruel killing
No one from any caste or religion
Gets hurt for its being this way
It’s foolish to think
If wife and children of that ant
Would become homeless
Or whether its friends would be sad

It’s beyond ant’s reach
To get organized, protest
Take revenge, to fight

It has a lot of hope from poem
She comes to a writers table
To enter in a poem
But even at that moment
It is encircled by dense fear and blindness

It cannot pick up the forgotten word
From an old dictionary
Like picking up a grain of sugar
And give it to me
For using it in a poem

It cannot scribble
A cryptogram of its joys and sorrows
With its legs on a plane paper

It has lot of expectations from a poet
That’s the reason why it tries to enters a poem
Accepting the inherent risk of expression

It gets crushed even before entering a poem
At the hands of poet

Translated by Dr. Santosh Bhoomkar

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

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