Friday, December 30, 2005

This Characterless String

Bazaar mein,
baune khambe ke upar
Teen baar mudi hui
eik charitraheen rassi

Koi khambe ko chhue
to fanfukaarti hai,
Naagin si bal khaati hui
eik charitraheen rassi

Do premiyon ko dekhkar
thoda hilti hai
maano laaj se ho simti hui
eik charitraheen rassi

Aur saamne madiralay mein
shaam guzaarti hai wo
dekho, jhumkar nikalti hui
eik charitraheen rassi

Hai to wo khaane peene ke thelon ke beech,
pur unse duur uska apna chulha hai
alag khichdi pakati hui
eik charitraheen rassi

A translation by my friend Tanzan Senzaki:

This characterless string
Is clinging to a stumped pole,
Going around it three times,
In the vendors’ street.

Many lovers she has.
But this one,
This pole is special,
For the characterless string.

Should someone touch the pole,
She uncoils fast like a snake
And snaps back sharply at him.
This characterless string.

When she sees two lovers together,
She acts as if drenched in shame.
This characterless string.

She spends her evenings at the pub.
Look there she is,
Walking out all drunk.
This characterless string.

Though in the middle of vendors’ street,
She cooks her hotchpotch in a pot,
Placed in a hearth away from street.
This characterless string.


Manisha Sahay said...


jasleen said...

Rahul: I have printed this poem out and read it out loud to anyone and everyone (willing out otherwise :) ...