Hindi Poetry: Anjana Verma

Ranjana Sharan Sinha

Translation by: Ranjana Sharan Sinha

1. Voice of a Female Foetus

After all
why do you wish 
to kill me, my father?
Let me take birth
and then
even if you will give me
Iess food
I will survive on
half-stomach meal
I will never complain
You know
it happens with daughters
And they don't feel bad

If you don't want
to educate me
I will remain uneducated
and never claim
the right to education
If you don't like
to get me married
I'll become a spinster
serving you in every possible way
without casting aspersions!

Tell me
why do you desire
to eliminate me
inside the womb?
You have an option
of throwing me on a rubbish heap
and you'll get rid of me!
So why do you want
to kill me in the womb itself?

I am listening to your negotiations
that you are planning to
nip me in the bud!
I wish to say
let me see the light of the world
After that you'll have
thousands of ways
to get rid of me

Give me a chance to survive;
after my birth
dispose of my body like a litter
somewhere on a garhage dump
but do let me come on the earth
Some childless may
pick me up and adopt

Please, please my father
do me the favour!
If you'd accept me
as your daughter
I'd have proved my worth
better than a son!

Anjana Verma
2. Roots, Branches, and Leaves

The roots never get a chance
to look up at the sky
and flourish with a smile
in the azure space,
but those dependent on them
bloom in an open
and airy terrain!

Flowers receive praise
and get recognition
Fruits and crops are noticed
while roots remain in oblivion

Roots are the base
that bless the branches
with life and light
They breathe in darkness, though!
Unseen and unknown
they struggle for the nutrition
erasing their existence--
Unnamed creators 
of sweetness and delight,
colours and contours!

There are so many names:
Our jawans and  kisans
cleaners and mazdoors 
and many many more names
who are ignored and forgotten!
Names drenched in sweat and blood
that go  on providing us
a sky of joy and
brightness of fame!

3. Call of the Soil

The earth
that's neither a living being
nor a human
nor some other creature

The blue planet
that tolerates the
tramplings of feet

The soil
that accepts our
prayers and worships
and our dirt and garbage, too
with the same spirit

The pure innocent dust
that lies under our feet
is prodded and walked over

The same dust
has immense power
It calls an emigrant
settled a thousand miles away
without a voice!

And the man
living in a faraway land
listens to her silent call
again and again
and yearns to meet her
longs for her companionship

Terra firma! You
embrace without arms
You call without a mouth
You never forget them
who play in your lap
You fill their bodies and souls
with your motherly scent

Considered to be 
an inanimate object
all the time
You are more than
an animate being--
A kindred soul
giving love!

So much
that the person
who left you
continues to pine for you
The magnetic attraction
of a mother
Keeps on pulling him forever!

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