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.

Two Hindi Poems— Geet Chaturvedi

Mar 1, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Hindi by Moulinath Goswami

 

Two Hindi Poems by Geet Chaturvedi

Image used for representation.

 

 

Someone Anonymous 

(Dedicated to that lad who used to bowl me out at the first ball) 

Some faces exist which do not have names
some names that have no faces
Just like two different people born at the same time
two different trains end up at the same station
two different worlds clock the same time somewhere

One name and one face crop up asking—
Do you recognize?

This entity arrives with such a pace
rushes through me with the coldness of steel
whispering his own name

Was that his name
that brews in my memory
Was that his countenance!
Could it be the case of voter identity card
with name of a different person
pasted against the face of someone else? 

I shall address him as ‘My Dear’
which would never be his name
I shall touch his face
which would never be his countenance

Wrapped in what name do we enter
the memories of people
By what countenance does someone recognize us
intend to call us names… so what?
They all remember us by our names only,
ending up safe and sound at the faces
for which they had reserved their reproach

My memory is an abode of such countless identities
that have no names, nor faces

It’s only at times like this do we realize the value of shadows


 
Pieces Of Paper 

Pieces of paper lay strewn everywhere
One such sheet sporting lyrics of old melodies
A horse on one, and some green grass
Love on the other
A paper had an invitation for a name ceremony
One had grief imprinted on it
In bold letters ‘murder’ was written on one
A piece was in such a bad shape
that the words written on it were illegible
There was a phone number scribbled on one
but it didn’t have any name
One such paper was stuffed with words
One had smudges of an overflowing pen
One with impressions of soiled fingers
One still clinging on to the smell of samosas in its depth
Someone had folded a paper and made an airplane out of it
One such piece was waiting to be folded into a boat
One was more precious than its yellow texture
One, than that of its whiteness
One was being called a green leaf
One page kept popping up
eager to have something written on its margins
One page will arrive tomorrow
and shall begin to dwell among all these pieces
and they shall never cross swords among themselves… 


Also, read an Italian fiction by Barbara Pumhösel, translated into English by Brenda Porster, and published in The Antonym:

Relaxing— Barbara Pumhösel


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Geet Chaturvedi is a Hindi poet, short story author, lyricist, screenwriter and novelist. Often regarded as an avant-garde writer, he was awarded the Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Award for poetry in 2007 and Krishna Pratap Award for Fiction in 2014. He lives in Bhopal, India.

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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