‘The law courts within us’ and ‘In the broken mirror’

Telugu originals1 by: Mohammad Khan

Translated by: Atreya Sarma U

Cover of source book: Prakriti Santakam

The law courts within us

Every country has its supreme court

And so has the world its International Court of Justice.

In fact, every person within himself

Has a central court set up by the Almighty.

Anyone who obeys the judgments

And goes ahead in life

Can rise to lofty heights unimagined.

But the moment we defy the judicial verdict

Every second will experience a veritable hell.

Everyone knows the consequences of contempt of court.

The court within us responds more than the courts

Of the people or the judicial system.

The people’s courts and the judicial courts

Depend upon evidences and witnesses

And they have the facility of appeal as well.

But the evidence and witness for our innate courts

Throbs in every pore of our body and conscience

And they hesitate not to give us away if we’re guilty.

The appellate court above our innate court

Is the Almighty Himself. If He finds in us virtues

Like repentance, righteousness, and godly devotion

He may after considering them holistically

Either revoke the punishment or commute it.

I resolve all my problems in my inner court itself

With every pore of my body and conscience

Guiding me forward and clearing the way.

Most of the cases filed in my inner court

Are against minor and unmotivated offences.

Whatever its verdict, I have no guts to defy it.

It’s how I take meticulous care to ensure

That my path is free of thorns and prickly bushes.

It’s the inner beauty that makes us aglow

And to acquire and preserve that inner beauty

There is only one means – Purity of word

Which keeps our conscience clean.

The inner court expects us to be guiltless and transparent.

If we are soiled in our senses or in our conduct

The inner court doesn’t brook it even a little whit.


In the broken mirror

When the specs break, the syllables are hurt.

If the mirror of our heart breaks

Our life turns into a torn book.

If we throw a stone into a pond of calm waters

Will it be wrong for the disturbed pond

To hurry up in waves to the shore

And cry out its agony?

Can the pond show your reflection

In its agitated waves?

If a syllable is hurt, we may bear it.

But if the shape of the syllable changes,

And thereby the sentence is deformed

How can we speak of that danger

In the form of words?

Like how reading something

Through broken glasses is difficult,

So does a walk with torn shoes become an uphill task.

Our heart is as sacred as a flower;

A syllable is as tender as our heart;

Whichever is hurt, the nation is hurt;

And the life tumbles topsy-turvy.


1. The two poems are from ‘Prakriti Santakam’ (The Sign of Nature), a collection of poems by Md Khan. Publisher: Sahiti Mitrulu, Vijayawada, 2020. Pp 130. ₹ 70.


Mohammad Khan
Mohammad Khan

Mohammad Khan, BA, BL, originally from Kaikalur (earlier Krishna Dist./ now Eluru Dist.) and settled down in Vijayawada, is a prolific and accomplished Telugu poet, with 20 collections of poetry to his credit, and with 10 more in the pipeline. With Khan’s literary oeuvre as the topic of his doctoral thesis, a scholar Ch Zachariah has earned a PhD from the Acharya Nagarjuna University in March 2020. Recipient of over 60 awards so far from different literary associations, Md. Khan retired as a Grade I Executive Officer from Panchayat Raj.

Mobile: +91 9440137475


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