Agneya’s Mere Baad, Mera Ghar: My House, After Me(Translations from Hindi)

Picture 274

1.The Wall (Deewar)
The wall of complacent luxury
Crumbles
Do not offer your shoulder
As support
Bend heads are chopped off
Usually.
Do not lower yours.

It is a glass mansion
Will splinter and crack easily
Let it be-
Do not try decorating
With your bleeding hands

The Phoenix rises
From the mound of ashes
Give wings so that it can
Fly

In this city of rich
Do not cry like beggars
Surround it, vanquish it
But do not lower your head

Bend heads are usually
Chopped off.

2. When (Jab)

When all my limbs existed
When my body was complete
I found that I had lost
Everything by then.

Now I am half limbed
Without radiance, listless.

When I was on the ground
I filled my arms with
Those I loved
Now, I am on the
Pinnacle
But have become a dwarf.
There is no earth here
To set down roots.

A gem studded throne
On top of which is laid
Dung from the horses
Of the world conquerors.

I have to sit atop that
To do the royal duties
Until the horse dung
Engulfs me.

3. My house, After me ( Mere baad, Mera Ghar)

On the day I leave
Let my room stay as shiny
As tidy,
As it used to be before.

Let the books be spread
On the table
As I used to spread them before.

This is my promise to you
After I leave
The ink in the pot shall not dry.

Sunshine will come in through
The windows, searching
For me.
Not finding me, it shall
Still come daily
As it used to, before.

Only, keep the windows
Open
And entering through the door
You should not get vexed at
The sunshine,
As you used to, before.

4. Fear (Bhaya)

And then she makes me sit
Outside her house.
She moves inside to
Eat, or perhaps chat
With her sisters.
I keep sitting silently
Because, she is my friend.
When I feel like barking,
As the silence prolongs,
She returns with a cup of tea
In her hands, and offers it to me.
She talks and laughs, indulges me
As if I am her loyal, honest, domesticated
Dog.
And then she ties a belt around
My neck.
She is apprehensive perhaps that
The neighbour would steal me from her
If I do not have one.
Or that the municipality would shoot
Me down considering me an orphan.
Perhaps poison me and I
Shall become dizzy and collapse
On her beautiful lawn.
That after my demise,
Her sisters would get scared at night.

But she does not know that
Dogs can go mad.
That I, going slowly mad
Sitting silently outside her house
Will shred to pieces her shiny, colourful curtains
Run over her sofa, mattresses, carpets
Take a round of her kitchen and golden rooms.
That I might frighten her sisters
With my incessant barking.
That I might  run off and join the street dogs
Soon.
Seeing my animal revolution,
My friend
Might give up loving dogs too.
…………..

5. Completeness (Sampoornatha)

She kept looking
At the sky
And I stuck around her
Like a shadow.
Her hand was
On the shoulder of
Another woman.
When I was surrounding her

Like a breeze.

To win the complete love
Of a complete woman,
Like the desire for the
Last living breath-
I shall
Every second create her anew:

Like the complete earth-all

Tender creepers and fruits.
6. Tomorrow (Kal)

Chest puffed up, day and night
Majestic like the King Elephant
I roam around these roads.
In front of my friends and foes
My face, my words-
Full of arrogance.

Lazily I walk on that road
Daily
To the left is a cremation ground.
Like an ant, humility fills within:
Today, I have walked till here
By myself.
Tomorrow, I shall be brought on four shoulders
Till here.

7.Sleepless, Awake (Ratjagah)

I have to stay awake-
Please tell me another story.
If it gets over, tell me few others.
Of fishes which live in oceans
Of cranes that arrive from Siberia
Of majestic lions,sly foxes, laughing hyenas.
Of birds, trees and forests
Of silk worms, alligators
Of ice mountains in polar regions
Of life saving plants
Of eternal herbs, their stories.
Keep telling me, keep me awake.
Whisper into my ears.

These are hurt by the world of humans-
By telling the story of their sadness
Keep me awake.

8. War (Yudh)

Hearing
Of her son’s death
A mother
Burns alive
Sons of other mothers
Inside her straw filled house.
They were her
Guests.

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