peeth kachchap ban jaati hai

There’s work and there’s work. And then there’s thinking about work. Thinking while working.

विचार आते हैं

लिखते समय नहीं

बोझ ढोते वक़्त पीठ पर

सिर पर उठाते समय भार

परिश्रम करते समय

चांद उगता है व

पानी में झलमलाने लगता है

हृदय के पानी में

विचार आते हैं

लिखते समय नहीं

…पत्थर ढोते वक़्त

पीठ पर उठाते वक़्त बोझ

साँप मारते समय पिछवाड़े

बच्चों की नेकर फचीटते वक़्त

पत्थर पहाड़ बन जाते हैं

नक्शे बनते हैं भौगोलिक

पीठ कच्छप बन जाती है

समय पृथ्वी बन जाता है…  

             – Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh

Thoughts arrive

not while writing

while hauling loads on the back

while carrying luggage on the head

While working hard

the moon comes up, and

begins to shimmer in the water

in the heart’s reservoir

Thoughts arrive

not while writing

. . . while heaving stones up

while hauling loads on the back 

while clearing snakes from the backyard

while scrubbing the children’s clothes

Stones turn into mountains

sketch-maps turn geographic

The back becomes a tortoise

Time becomes the Earth . . . .

(Trans. by a friend who’s a poet masquerading  as a tech. writer. )

********************************************************************

I reorganize my living room

asking each piece

Where it would like to be placed.

I give a new spot to the sofa and the lamp,

Change the drapes, and

Replace the old rug with a wall-to-wall carpet.

When everything is just right

I begin to wonder:

Where among these

Should I place myself?

(Panna Naik. ‘The Living Room’ Journal of South Asian Literature. Vol 21, No.1, 1986.)

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1 Comment »

  1. apu said

    Much enjoyed the first poem; in particular, these lines struck a chord…

    हृदय के पानी में

    विचार आते हैं

    There’s just something so beautiful about that hriday ke paani me.

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