Padmaja Iyengar 'Paddy'

- Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy

KSA based NRI poet from Hyderabad Mahtab Qadr (Syed Sarfaraz Ali) invited me to a Multilingual Poetry Evening hosted by his Hyderabad-based dentist son Dr. Sohail A. Syed, Redesign Dental Clinics. It was truly an honour to be amidst and hearing the poetry of some of the greatest Hyderabadi poets. Being a lover of Urdu poetry, the evening was a real treat for me!!! All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening as multilingual poetry flowed till midnight!!! And befitting the evening, I read out my translation of Bahadur Shah Zafar's famous "Na kisi ki aankh ka..." and "Dentistricks" (in good humour since the event was hosted by a Dentist!!!) Thanks to Dr. Sohail and team for being such a sport!!!

My translation of the famous "na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon' of Bahadur Shah 'Zafar' was published in March 2017 issue of Setu. My other poem is presented below:


Pinned on the dentist chair,
I cried out in utter despair,
“Doc, remove my tooth,
The whole tooth and
Nothing but the tooth!”

The doc smiled indulgently,
“Worry not my dear Paddy,
I never remove a tooth,
And this is the whole truth -
Just Fill, Cap or Crown only.”

As I looked at the ceiling grim,
“Why, oh why?”, I asked him.
What he said didn’t make sense,
In my gone-case tooth’s defence.
Pain too made my senses dim...

In the good old days of my childhood,
Dentists always thought it was good,
To extract a useless and harmful tooth,
As it served no further purpose forsooth,
Except harbouring particles of food.

After some pain, the gums got healed,
The problem thus got forever sealed.
Today a variety of Fillings, Crowns, Caps,
Keep fees pumped up in the dentists’ taps,
As Dentistry now, is an advanced field.

After all these dental adventures,
Will I finally end up with dentures?
So, why not here and now,
Dear Dentist, end my woe,
And spare me from further tortures...?

1 comment :

  1. A witty poem, which I first read at the Your Space section of Muse India a few years ago; and then again while penning my endorsement to Padmaja's collection of poems "P-En-Chants" where it was included; and again now. A coincidence is, only yesterday I visited my dentist for a fresh crown, since the one from an earlier impression didn't fit well enough. The moral is, teeth or no teeth, one should set one's teeth.


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