Touch Screen: Poem by Kalpatta Narayanan (Translation from Malayalam)

Here is Kalpetta Narayanan’s vernacular poem Touchscreen (title is the same) from Mathrubhumy Literary mag March9-15 issue:

Translated by Yours Truly:Picture 081


My finger is hardened,yet
It refuses to budge-
Though I keep on  pressing.
“It is touch screen father-
Just touch it gently.
Need not even press,
Just a mere touch.
To be truthful, not even a touch,
See, do like this.”
His fingers travelled
Like Christ walking on the water.

Was it because of this
That the world did not yield?
Did I use more force
Than needed?
The way I desired those
Who were not as strong or intelligent?
I kept cribbing to God, why he made
Things easy for my enemies.
I could never walk lightly
Across the surface.
In my first step I sank
Deep down.

Have you not seen a flower bloom?
Did any one use force?
But I twirled like a faulty fan-
Making too much noise.
I boiled my forehead’s sweat drops
And cooked bread.
Could not even give to five, let alone
Five thousand.
My Christ is not the Christ of miracles,
My Christ suffered more than needed.

I have seen those,
Who opened closed doors with great ease.
A paramour smile
In the flashing eyes of a friend
Who used a thin nail to open,
A seven hearted lock.
The one who did the impossible,
Did not struggle like the one who
Did the possible.
I have heard the cheat
Being praised as a magician.
I built on a rock,
They built on water.

In front of the door which
Does not need force to open,
A lonely soul stands
Forgetting why he came.
“Just touch it gently.
Need not even press,
Just a mere touch.
To be truthful, not even a touch…”

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