Hindi Poetry: Pravin Sharma Translated by Madhu B Joshi

Hindi Poetry: Pravin Sharma

Translation from Hindi by Madhu B Joshi

Pravin Sharma

Inside-outside
(Andur Bahur)

In the blinding sun outside was peril,
insecurity,
hunger, fear.
In the dark
of the dungeon was security,
the illusion of assurance.

Signing the treaty
I was aware
of the condition.
***


The Dungeon of Rooms
(Kumuron kee kaaraa)

Let us rebel against the walls of these rooms! Run away
on the wings of some soundless car and set off
with some Columbus swimming in far away Pacific ocean.

Float on saltwater, be the food
of some rock-like marine animal
or
die of thirst
amidst the expanse of water.

         But do let us escape
         Rebel
         against the walls of these rooms!

What sin did I commit? What fawn did I shoot? When did I break
the eggs of the sparrow?

Why then this dejection, frustration, calamities
disrupted dreams,
ruined brushes?

Come let us too watch Malvika’s act read Urvashi’s letters
in a deserted corner of the lonesome country.
Why suffer the sorrow of living?
Come let us run away!
***


That Town
(Vuh Shuhur)

It could have been any town.
That place could have been anywhere.

Ready to depart
the train on the platform could have gone anywhere
there was a town in every direction.

From a town
I could have boarded
any train going anywhere
and de-boarded

at my desired place anytime.

That protruding at the front yellowish house
a little beyond
the turn opposite or across the road where the narrow lane turns northwards
a little beyond that standing in front
of the brown house
I could have glanced inside through a window could have knocked
at any door
could have walked in unannounced-

I had to be back immediately.
Were folks going in different directions going to the same place?
Or getting together to come here!

It could have been any town
that place could have been anywhere.
***


Mystery of the Murder
(Hatya Ka Rahusya)

The mystery of the murder would have been revealed before I woke up.
With clear cool water

poems themselves will erase all relics of defeat.

On humiliated faces will shine the sun
of assurance before waking up.

With me will be- molten snow
the sunshine
the flight of birds
in the cloudless sky
on waking up.
***


Words
(Shubd)

I too have to fight this war unarmed, unarmoured, alone.

Facing me stands
a war-crazed army
its war-cry resounding in all directions.

I only have words for arms.
The words are all sick, old, wounded. Just detritus.
With these
I have to strike,
express victory, defeat.

In the battlefield
I will fight
not with symbols not with signs. With these broken

words shall I wage war and make all-out effort
to fell every warrior
standing opposite me.

Symbols are liers all; signs are cowards- mere feints, moves
the last resort of every beaten warrior.

I will fight
not these beaten, tired, poor warriors- I will fight with
the defencelessness of these helpless words
I will sharpen these somehow.

Will breathe new life in their lifeless forms Live these words
in an absolute moment of audacity -
in some new contexts- so the warriors standing opposite me
stand astounded.
***


Journeys 
(Anubhav Yatrayen)

Several journeys remain.

I have to explore
the hidden sources of several lakes.

I have to wake with the passion of my touch
the oblivious sleeping waterfalls.

I must get wet in the deluge of words in the rainy madness.

The uninhibited flow
of the torrential stream will flood my
parched origins.
***

Madhu B Joshi
Translator: Madhu B Joshi
Born in 1‎956, Delhi
Communication Practitioner and major Translator
Taught translation and self-designed
Course of Indian Culture
Author of short stories for children
Poet and published articles on socio-political and cultural issues

Poet: Pravin Sharma
Born 23 January 1943
Graduated with English Honours and did Masters in English Literature from the Department of English, Punjab University, Chandigarh.
Joined IAS in 1967.
Published poems in eminent literary journals and anthologies of poetry during the initial years 1961 to 1967 and then again from 2000 onward.
A collection of his poems named Aisey nahin phir kabhie publ‎ished in 2002.

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