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Archive for April, 2014

‘Storyteller gone’

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

(For my grandfather)

Yogesh Maitreya

Today, there is longing in my eyes

To play on your shoulder,

But your bones are liquidated

Into particles of scented soil.

Sorry for that.

I don’t mean to delay.

But I realise much later

In the university’s library

That you are the book of my history,

A storyteller of bloody tales,

Mirror of my old self,

Clue to my possible martyrdom or yours

To being an untouchable

Outside of the village,

Which I die to read again and again

In this age of identity crisis.

When I ask papa now, about

The name of your grandfather,

He finds no books

In which the story of his name

Was written.

Well, he doesn’t read books as well.

You both are silent now,

You, behind my eyes,

As binoculars through which

I can see the blur

Of our vanished stories.

And papa, before my eyes,

With handicapped words

Of alcoholic silence,

Of which I am the victim,

Deprived of stories

Of our old selves.


Yogesh Maitreya is from Nagpur and is doing his M.A in Criminology and Justice (2013-15) from TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai).

Easter Drum

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

P. Dayanandan

glory lily

(Glory lily (Gloriosa superba) also known as the Flame Lily is the State flower of Tamil Nadu and National flower of Zimbabwe. It started blooming at our house in March 2014)


Earth trembles, sky thunders like the parai drum

Heavens open up, pouring un-polluting waters

Mingled with red earth, flowing like blood on the cross

Give me the chalice, Give me life!

It blooms as thunder lilies, Easter lilies, Valley lilies,

Flame lilies

See the glory in the lily?

True Life never dies!


Dr. P. Dayanandan retired as a professor and chairman of botany after teaching for 38 years in the US. His interests range from all aspects of botany to Pallava art history, Tamil literature, Dalit issues, education, space biology and spending time with young people to explore social consequences of oppression and empowering them to pursue studies in India and abroad. Ten years ago he helped organize a student and youth group called 'THUDI' involved in educating, agitating and organizing.

शुक्रिया बाबा साहेब

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Gurinder Azad

शुक्रिया बाबा साहेब !
आपके चलते
हमें किसी से कहना नहीं पड़ता
कि हम भी इंसान हैं !

उनके अहं को जो भी हो गवारा
लेकिन अब तस्दीक हो चुका है
कि बराबरी थाली में परोस कर नहीं मिलती
आबरू की धारा किसी वेद से नहीं निकलती
बड़ा बेतुका है
कल्पना करके सोना
सुबह अलग सा कोई नज़ारा होगा
या धीरे धीरे सब सही हो जायेगा
अपनेआप !

कुछ मुद्दों पर कोई बहस नहीं होती
जैसे रियायतों में ढला इन्साफ
वेदों धर्मों के मुंह से कंटी छँटी इंसानियत का जाप

कुछ चीज़ों से समझौते नहीं हो सकते
जैसे कि भगवी विचारधारा से

कुछ लड़ाईयां जड़ों की होती हैं
ज़मीन से जुडी होती हैं
वजूद में पिघली होती है
आज हम इन सबसे
खूब आशना हैं !

शुक्रिया बाबा साहेब कि आपके चलते
मैं ये सब लिख पा रहा हूँ
डंके की चोट पे!

~ गुरिंदर आज़ाद

The Farm is Sad – Om Prakash Valmiki

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Translation from Om Prakash Valmiki's Hindi poem 'Khet Udaas Hain

The bird is sad
for the emptiness of the forest.
The children are sad
for – hammered like a nail 
on the doors of the big houses –
this grief of the bird.

The farm is sad —
that even after a full harvest
he, with mortar on his head,
is going up and down the ladder
against that wall being built.

The girl is sad —
till when can she hide the birth.

And the rented hands
are writing on the wall
'To be sad
is against the spirit of India!'.


खेत उदास हैं / ओमप्रकाश वाल्‍मीकि

चिड़िया उदास है
जंगल के खालीपन पर
बच्चे उदास हैं
भव्य अट्टालिकाओं के
खिड़कीदरवाज़ों में कील की तरह
ठुकी चिड़िया की उदासी पर

खेत उदास हैं
भरपूर फ़सल के बाद भी
सिर पर तसला रखे हरिया
चढ़उतर रहा है एकएक सीढ़ी
ऊँची उठती दीवार पर

लड़की उदास है
कब तक छिपाकर रखेगी जन्मतिथि

किराये के हाथ
लिख रहे हैं दीवारों पर
'उदास होना
भारतीयता के खिलाफ़ है !'

Source: From here

Akhil Katyal is a writer and translator based in Delhi. He is an Assistant Professor at the Department of English at Shiv Nadar University. He finished his PhD from SOAS, University of London in 2011 and his poetry, fiction and translations have been published widely.


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