Monday, April 27, 2009

English Translation of Some Poems


Excuse us
It’s quite hard for us
to envisage the true image of Nanak
Legs messed up with the dust of the winding path
Cracked heals
Beard entangled by turbulent winds
Skin toughened in arid-cold seasons
Concave and skinny cheeks
Eyes popping from the facial bone structure
dazzling & renegade
Eyes, which refute-
the hierarchy
the monarchy
and clergy

The real Nanak can prove fatal to us
That Nanak, who we can’t even dream
He can
destruct our homely institutions
lead our children into the throws of non-conformism
Can create quests
to point our feet towards Kaaba
we can be injured and amputated
We may be motivated for many more wrong deeds
For instance

We may perceive the irrelevance of religious symbolism
we may bring out a manifesto
to divert the flows
to challenge propriety

We are wary of this preposterous Nanak
All we want is


We desire luxurious graces
familial blessings
and promotion and progress
in terms of wealth

Nanak depicted by Sobha Singh’s school of portraits
is well suited for us
White Sun-Silky beard
spherical shining cheeks
Fair and Lovely
rosy Tipsy lips
soft Gemini feet
delicate Barbie hands
Arielly cleaned messianic robes

The walls of our homes can only hold
in the pictures of Sobha Singh’s style

The true picture of dangerous Nanak
who rejected the well-traversed paths
is too momentous for our walls

Excuse us
we can’t afford ruining of homes
those we created with labour of blood
We can’t afford losing kids
those we got with prayers

We can not envisage the real image of Nanak
Excuse us please

Translation : Manpreet a research scholar at JNU
Jasdeep, a software engineer

Bhagat Singh

When my grandfather was born you were 12 years old
Saluting with reverence
the sacred soil of Jallianwala

When grandfather was 12 years old
you attained martyrdom at the age of 24 years

When he attained the age of 24 year
You were still a youngman of 24 years

When my father came of age
You were still a youngman of 24 years

When I was of 24 years
You were still a youngman of 24 years

I attained 25, 26, 27, ….37 years of age
You remained a youngman of 24 years

On my every birthday
I march towards old age by one year
But on your every martyrdom day
You remain a youngman of 24 years

Every mother blesses her son
For long life and youthfulness
But indeed you are ever living youngman
Enjoying eternal youth
You will be of the same age as ever
when any coming generation will attain youth


In a first class waiting room
of a railway station in a mega city
There is a struggle for some space.
Outside the room, a ‘Frowning Brow’
occupies an old rickety chair
unmindful of the plight of the passengers.

The frowning brow instructs every new comer
to fill in the details of the railway ticket.
The erect index finger orders to
fill all the particulars correctly.

In case someone tries to gatecrash
he is browbeaten.
The frowning brow starts emitting sparks
on noticing a lower class ticket
then the dirt on the sign plate
hung on this waiting room starts shining.
The erect index finger points towards this plate
the lower class ticket is
put to shame and is turned away.

The frowning brow soften a bit
on seeing a vender
and make this ticket-less
to sneak into waiting room.

The frowning brow is official
regular, confirmed and established
belongs to class four
but is above class one passengers
so the first class passengers are class five.
What is the class of other categories
can be asked from
the condition of washroom
inside this first class waiting room.


Whenever I am frolicsome..... smiling...... in dancing mood
Happy with work....... engaged in small talks
Death seems to be keeping pace with me
from a small distance
We exchange glances lovingly
I feel her face so pretty
that allures me as does life
No question of fears and apprehensions

When I am..... idle....... depressed
In low spirit....... disheartened
Annoyed even with God and everyone else
Death seems keeping
a long distance from me
Her face looks sullen and sulky
Averted a bit from me
At that time
She seems to me ugly as life
Fear of death runs through my spine
Translation: Prof. Niranjan Tasneem


we are the present
of an ancient civilization
that invented zero
zero closed from all sides
it has become our mantra
it got rooted in our blood
or is stuck in our mind
zero can be of any size
small, big, bigger or the biggest
but remains a zero
does not possess any value
but if it follows something
zero makes it ten times
it follows four
and makes forty
it follows seven and makes seventy
zero feels proud in following others
zero does not matter at all
if it leads something
we feel secure
being a zero
like zero we are accustomed to
follow others
sometime we thought to follow
a mercurial left side digit
and to be heavy amount
but the left sider vanished itself
and we were left alone
a mere zero again
we can't ask our baba
baba, the traveler of novel paths
to give us strength
to travel new paths
because we can
follow round paths like a zero
but can't look to discover new paths
can't fly in the endless sky
can't take a free flight
like a satellite
we can rotate in fixed orbit
like a zero
our path can be
circular or elliptical
the same past and future
we can't think of
a parabolic path
we are scared of
infinite and limitless future.
Translation : Jasdeep

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