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Translated by
                            
Sudeep Sen (India) 

Sudeep Sen was born in New Delhi, India in 1964 and studied there and the USA. As an Inlaks Scholar, he received an MS from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York. He was the international poet-in-residence at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, and, a visiting scholar at Harvard University.

He has published 15 books and chapbooks of poetry and edited several others. Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins) was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship (UK) and nominated for a Pushcart Prize (USA). His writings have appeared in leading publications: Times Literary Supplement, Guardian, Independent, London Magazine, Harvard Review, Times of India, Statesman, among others. As an invited author, he has read his work world-wide, and has been translated into several languages. Sudeep Sen is an editor for the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, and, Six Seasons Review.
 

 

LOVE : 1

 

Love : 2

 

Love : 3

 
 

A lot of difficulty
everything seems aimless
Just
a waste of time.
Without understanding

without giving
my heart is stiff
even though, all is clear.
 

 

With eyes closed
I make a diamond-choice
My heart is blissful

Though everything is lost

 
 

You love me quietly,
why then the abruptness
            in you?

I am a lowly poet,
a picture without colour
            lifeless.

 
 
  Love: 4  

Love : 5

 

Love: 6

 
 

with
nightmares       the
one                  days
can                   pass
live                  memories
reasonably.      fail to
                        last.

 
 

My heartís sky contains you,
Nilima
A star beyond the galaxy
A lotus in the river

Emerging as a new woman.

 
 

Love flies away
flies, flies to touch you
After touching you, returns
            to my lips

But still it seems
some of it is given and some not.
Love still remains
in your heart.

 
 

Love : 7

 

Life: 1

 
 

For so long, Iíve been searching for you
in this alley and that lane
            The result, always negative

In a crowd seeking shelter from heavy rains
In a nest where a bird heats her hatchings
If I find you, my own piece of diamond
I shall return to my village
set up home with my beloved.
I shall work my heart out, and
there will remain no folds in my life.
Only you shall remain, my love
 

 

Continuous      endless
Structureless    blue sky.
Wombís life
an all-conquering river.
Undesired rumours
Melt-fluid ganja
Humans are killer-machines

that lead to epidemic, the end.

 
  Life: 2  

The Sculpture

 
 

Just a while back, I
was very far away from my own senses --
where exactly I was,
I do not remember.
A few moments from my life
merged with the wind with a mere blow
from my mouth.
Was I eating, walking, or was I
making love to a woman?

No, no, I remember nothing.
I cannot remember anything,
not even
my own lost time.
 

 

From the mistís dense cape
I carve your bodyís shape --
gently sculpting, all morning.

With my eyes shut, I sit
amid the fogís heavy sheets
as its frost settles
on my cheek, ear, and nose.
The same hands,
the same lips, the same eyes --
I find them with such ease --
Your torso floats on that river;
I shall conquer its flow.
Your figure blossoms, freeing itself,
leaving behind sunís light
and fogís ephemeral body.
Youíre entwined with my soul --
its root, plinth, and depth.
 

 
  Kill Me      
 

Kill me with your dedicated heart.
Reduce me to smithereens through your act of sex.
Murder me with madmanís madness.
Burn me in your heart.
Kill me through your creativity.
Annihilate me with the wet-foam of sex.
Destroy me with your erogenous zones.
Tear me apart with your love.
Bite me bite my crotch.
Embrace me in my deathís ecstasy.
 

     
 

Heartís Shore

 

For You

 
 

You arenít there,
what shall I do?
Loveís
chalk-marks.

To Death,
To Life --
it is all
the same thing. 

When will I
and you
go to
the heartís shore?

Float away,
day and night --
with you.

Leaves shed,
flowers bloom --
on heartís shore.
 

 

If you really want,
there is nothing
I canít do for you?

I can die,
I can kill,
or I
can be saddened,
and walk
the endless paths forever.

If you really want,
there is nothing
I canít do for you?

I can shave off my
beard and moustache,
and
even give up
smoking

ganja.


If you really want,
there is nothing
I canít do for you?

Stand up,
sit down,
or
in mid-day sun,
chase
you.

If you really want,
there is nothing
I canít do for you?
 

 
 

Hai Hai

 
 

shoe
head                 ash
book                no                                where

kantha 
bowl.                           am I?                hai hai
rui
-fish song                             you?                 hai hai
you.                 dress                            you                  hai hai
bed                  you                              eat,                  hai hai
right.                watch                           eat                   hai hai
ditch                keep                             to heartís         hai hai
water.              mortar-pestle   fullness,           hai hai
everything        like book,                    day-                 hai hai
agreed. torn                              long,                hai hai
                        umbrella.                     starch- hai hai
                                                            moon.  hai hai
                                                                                    hai hai


 

 
  Solitary Dependence   Confusion  
 

Very little, can hurt me these days,
my griefís address lives on forever.

My solitary dependence awakens at midnight,
I feel the cold under my feet;
my eyes, wide open, sees the endless expanse
encompassing a courtyard-space of existence,
just your shadow.

Who are you? Who are you?

Sometimes you feel familiar,
at other times, unfamiliar.
Sometimes the play-of-light lives in you,
other times, only pre-dawnís darkness.
Sometimes you seem so simple,
at other times, full of doubt.
Sometimes you seem to be in this world,
other times, in some other.
Sometimes you are child-like,
at other times, just endlessly silent.

Who are you? Who are you? 

The night trembles, the heart flutters
like leaves whispering to the breeze.

The waves stir on the placid river,
the fish are motionless,
and the stars weave dreams.

Who are you? Who are you?

Engulfed in a soundless world,
I sit alone
as the ruddy-night bleeds away.

Another night arrives,
moves, moves on, turns back to whisper
its suicidal urges.

Who are you? Who are you?

Very little, can hurt me these days,
my griefís address lives on forever.
 

 

Little by little, everything is crumbling --
bricks, stones, my heart too is crumbling.

Even though there has been
no slack in applying enough plaster -- red, blue, green
yellow -- whatever colour we get, we mix.
They do not always mix, yet we keep trying.

I want to keep breathing and lie on the riverís breast,
live by seeing the skyís blue,
keep alive by smelling the flowerís scent.

Nevertheless, the confusion carries on.
The plaster peels off --
bricks, stones, and my heart.

This is the way I walk, talk,
live, and sometimes even die.
Nobody knows that, nobody understands.

Does the river understand, or the sky?
Does the sky understand?
Does the flower understand?

Do they really understand everything?
Or just console themselves in confusion?

Life and lifeís realisation -- whatís the relation?
Living and stagnation -- whatís the relation?
Human beings and monkeys -- whatís the relation?

Liking and loving -- whatís the relation?

Little by little, everything is crumbling --
bricks, stones, my heart too is crumbling.
 

 
 

Self-willed exile

  SUICIDE  
 

I longed to sit side by side till eternity
You and I were traveling together  
With luggage of dream
Wandering along I felt like touching your hand
You said ďyou will not touch meĒ
With mesmerized eyes
I glanced at your exquisite lips
You said ďturn aside your lookĒ

These so many days rolled into a year or more
Poetry has remained banished from me
Or I have led an ostracized life from poetry

I am taking food, walking along and talking to
you
Tell me correctly am I really in exile
Or totally steeped in the realm of poesy-

May be I have scarcely written a line of verse
All these days
But I dwell in the abode of poesy
My address is still the same old
- Stand of unfathomable ocean of poetry
Where windy doors remain open
Where joy of bliss trickles down from green leaves
Where water birds descend from clouds
I live there
And dwell in depths deeper than dream
Where it is possible to be in communion with soul
I live there
I shall remain there till eternity
Let that life be a life of exile from poetry.


Translated by A Z M Haider   
 

 

I am a demented and distracted child of time
Spontaneity and transparency do not
mark fruition of dream
Dream deception has spread out
Its incomparable hand
Untiring harmony of suicide

Ceaseless rapture of artistic endeavour
Infernal somersault characterize
Every pore of soul
Minimum soundness of health is plagued
Gradually fountain longed for is losing


Translated by A Z M Haider

 

 
 

NOSTALGIA

 
 

I hear the jingle of chains
and lose myself continuously in the never ending clinking
Intense pungency of old tobacco makes me dizzy
Again euphoria touches my soul.

I hear the jingle of chains
and feel invisible through my heart and soul
I humble myself like many
I crave to rise above the darkness

But again lose myself into a deep unconsciousness
I hear the jingle of chains
I look for them amidst the clattering
Brace myself to face them
they hit me with larger vigour
feel the breath through the backbone

I hear the jingle of chains
I see myself reflected in the faces
covered with bloody coffin
In the pebbles hidden by earth
and  I tremble with fear
And collapse while retreating
words approaches me as a shackle
And fasten my two hands
clattering of the chain goes and goes into a gradual wane.

 I hear the jingle of chains!!


Translated  by M S A Sarwar
 

 
             
             
             
             
 
       
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