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— Mohan Rana

Apr 6, 2023 | Poetry | 0 comments

Translated from the Hindi by Moulinath Goswami 

 

Two Hindi Poems by Mohan Rana

Image used for representation.

 

Ashes 

Riots resumed once the Peace March ended
This is the only news

What I could have done
what I am doing
what I would be doing

keep silent
keep listening
keep watching

keep walking
nonstop on a never-ending journey
talking to my own self
and to the anonymous-synonymous facade that I wear

Searing in the hot breeze
golden shower blossoms fall
turning to ashes
and I single them out from dust
soon they’ll all begin to drift with the dust storm

Shall I speak ill of that which is bad
shall I fight
shall I do something
halt the returning assassin on his way and ask
is there any meaning behind all this
Weren’t all of them human like you
they who shall never ever return to their homes…
him, a professor
him, a laborer riding to work on his cycle
And between all these thoughts
I shall cross the heavy traffic

You ask me
what am I going to do
I put this question before my own self

Shall I seek all the lost names
or simply pen diatribes of protest
on behalf of the dead?  


But Who? 

I never spoke, simply continued to listen
People hoped I would speak one day…
some word
that I still remembered

I dwelt in the domain of trees
in the universe of wind and sky
in the realm of night and day
in the sphere of the sonority of water
in the kingdom of earthworms emerging in rain
in a world of pain and pleasure
of hunger and thirst
in the planet of faces
in some space where I was always silent

Will this kid ever speak
Is he dumb?
people asked, calling me by my name
while letting out their own
And I would just laugh

One day I uttered something
and turned myself into a part of the last clamor
I could have swam, could have flown
I could have raced inside it
but I could never remain silent
I wanted to say something
No one would have heard my voice

There no one listens to anyone
The first word of this life that I till date remember
as if it was my identity
which I wish to write such that someone reads

but who?


Also, read a Bengali fiction about the erstwhile writer, Atin Bandyopadhyay ‘s house, written by Bhagirath Mishra , translated into English by Amita Roy, and published in The Antonym:

Atin’s Hearth And Home— Bhagirath Mishra


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Mohan Rana (born on 9 March 1964) is a Hindi language poet from India. He has published eight poetry collections in Hindi. His poems have been translated and published by the Poetry Translation Centre.

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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