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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Poems by Sahil Parmar

Translated from the Gujarati by Dr.G.K.Vankar

Conversation with wife

It’s a pity that that we are
Human beings, h u m a n
Pearls, pushed to the depths of the sea or
Diamonds, buried at the bottom of the earth
And that’s why, for them
we do not even weigh as much as
A blade of grass.

Rather than being human beings
If we were a dhatura flower
We could have grown for sure
Like your shapely breasts
In blooming youth,
And our white
Could have attracted
The bee-black eyes
Gazing with child’s pure heart.

Or else we could have taught
Even without the help of microscope
School pupils
Lessons of reproduction
Without being disturbed,
Without being dishonored,
With as much ease as
Our daughter Ulka
Spitting on the slate
With hand
Erases letters
Written earlier,
But now useless.

Yes, like that we could have erased
from their psyche
the figure of the viraat purusha*

*supreme man

(From Mathaman)

When I was born

When I was born I was not a child
I was a dream, a dream of revolt
that my mother, oppressed for thousands of years ,

Still it is untouched in my eyes
Covered with wrinkles of thousand years, her face
her eyes, two lakes overflowing with tears
have watered my body
I remember she went for water at your well
a mile away scorched by the summer sun
breathless she returned home and what she offered me,
was not water
but her sweat.
You taught her respect:
‘brother, sir, father, mother, we are your children, let us live, father”
I remember
You allowed her not near the village well
You allowed her not near the village hall
You allowed her not near the letters
In the marshland of your cunningness
You trapped my mother and she struggled.
In your empire so violent
every moment my mother was slaughtered.
She will now breathe in a free air
Her body scorched by sun will get cool shade of neem
Your well will wash her feet and
Your village office will be her throne.
Your letters will become her weapons
Look, I am the lord of Saraswati who was thus far yours and yours alone.
I am the lord of Lakshmi who was thus far yours and yours only
My daughter pulls ears of Ganpati considering him an animal
I do not decorate her eyes with lampblack, but with defiance.
Now they will burn and burn
Your flats and tenements, your schools and your offices
Your chains and your police stations, your village offices and your temples.
I am the live coal , the coal that burns
In the hut that you set ablaze.
I have some wind of the freedom
Now I am the fire.
I remember
When I was born I was not a child
I was a dream,
A dream of revolt
That my mother ,
Oppressed for thousands of years dreamt.

(From Mathaman)

Mother, give me moon

‘Mother, give me moon’,
Do not sing a stubborn song, O’ Rama,
Here we cry for a crumb of bread.
Digging and digging, twelve long years went and yet
Not a drop of water in the pond, such is this house.
On all sides, there are mud walls, the layers of paste on them.
In the monsoon the holes in the mat
Generously gift water of the rain.

Like the wheel of a cart, the rupee coin of queen was large,
Thinner and thinner has it grown, so much so
that the salary of your father does not meet the ends.
The stories of Rama are of still older times,
Reading them, you do not scream.

Your father is not king Dasaratha, nor I, the queen of Ajodhya.
Rama asked for the queen’s tomb, has your skull too, a hole so large?

You talk about the house of a king
But first of all, know the corners of your own house.

(From Vyathpachisi)

The Poet
Sahil Parmar
Sahil Parmar, born 1 October 1958, is a Government employee. His collections of poetry are Vyatha Pachisi (1984), Ek rakabi futi (1991), and Mathaman (2006). His poetry is burning lava of rebellion against injustice. He also has wonderful crafts-manship in love poems.His address: Plot 1411/2, Sector 2B, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. And his Tel.: 93282 42528.

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