Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

The Language of Denial and Other Poems— Jyoti Chawla

Oct 17, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

TRANSLATED FROM THE HINDI BY MOULINATH GOSWAMI

 

My Daughter’s Piggy Bank

My daughter wakes up every morning
and religiously drops a coin in her piggy bank
Her face flowers with an intensely innocent smile
at the jingle of the coins
She drops the coins in her piggy bank with the same diligence
with which the sun, the moon and the stars
appear in the sky

She thinks one day she’ll head to the market
with her piggy bank
and buy a handful of her favourite stars,
abundant delights, and whatnot
Every morning I stare at the smile that blossoms on her face
and I grin at her innocence

The four year old daughter of mine doesn’t know
anything about currency, inflation and global market
She doesn’t know why the value of rupee has fallen
at the scales of the world

She’s waiting for that day
when her piggy bank would be choc a bloc with coins
and she would step out of home with those shining coins
to buy dazzling dreams

I know, the day she’ll stand in the market
with those shining coins
she’ll have nothing but tears in the corner of her eyes

I picture the teardrops on her eyelashes
and become extremely sad…


 

The Language of Denial

He whispered softly in my ears —
come with me
I’ll take you on a tour of the moon.

Without a second thought
I hopped onto the cold of his cycle
He told me – I am in pain
feel it
And I closed my eyes at the throes of pain

He even said I love you
Understand the depths of my love, and
he placed his warm throbbing lips on mine
Passionately, I continued to feel his love

He said, we are not two but one soul
forget everything and lose yourself in me
All imprints of my identity began to blur

He kept on speaking, and I kept on listening
He kept on telling, and I kept on doing
In this manner one day
I became a stranger to my own tongue

I forgot the language of denial.

 


Also, read A Book Review of Asylum and Other Poems by Oudarjya Pramanik published in The Antonym:


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 Jyoti Chawla

Jyoti Chawla

Born in 1979, Jyoti Chawla is an Assistant Professor of Translation Studies in IGNOU. She is an award-winning poet and a prominent voice in contemporary Hindi poetry besides being a literary critic and translator. His poems have been widely published in magazines and journals and have been translated in Marathi, Oriya and English. She has also authored a short story anthology and a book of essays.

Moulinath Goswami

Moulinath Goswami

Born in Asansol, West Bengal, India, Moulinath Goswami writes poetry in Bengali, his mother tongue, as well as in English. Writing is his escape, his meditation. Though primarily a poet, he writes prose as well and does translations in Bengali and English. He contributes regularly to the prominent magazines and periodicals of West Bengal, Bangladesh, and overseas. His collections of Bengali poems include Dayal, Kuashar Tukrora. His third book Memoir Of A Girl consists of English translations of Bengali poems of Jhelum Trivedi. He has a collection of Bengali short stories Paranbiler Maath to his credit. He was an invitee participant in the Multi-lingual Writers’ Meet organized by Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal in February 2020.

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