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Mangalesh Dabral

These Times: Three Poems
Translated from Hindi by Sarabjeet Garcha

dabral“Reluctant Eve”, Shoili Kanungo


It was an illustrious Mir
who said, Love is an unwieldy rock
How would a weakling like you lift it?

I thought:
Let me pick it up in pieces.

But then how would it be love any longer?
It would be a massacre.

The Room

In this room, dreams appear.
You get transported to
the age of ten, twelve.

Rain falls on the floor here,
clouds hover over those asleep.

Every day a mountain slowly
breaks apart over the room,
a forest sheds its leaves here,
a river washes away some
of this region’s belongings.

Here god and man are for sale,
roving about in rags,
thinking of leaving
the house together.

These Times

Those who can’t see
can’t make out their way.
Those who are crippled
can’t reach anywhere.
Those who are deaf
can’t listen to life’s footfalls.
The homeless don’t build a home.
Those who are mad can’t know
what they want.

These are such times
when anybody can turn
blind crippled deaf homeless mad.

Read the Hindi originals here.