Thirichariyal aka Recognition, Sugata Kumary Translation

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From Sugata Teacher’s Krishna Collection.

With love, on a Janmashtamy, also Teachers Day.

***

Thirichariyal(1988)\ Recognition

Who am I? Where am I rushing to, through

An unknown land,

Over such a vast road?

Strange, these unfamiliar green fields-

Barley? Maize?

The orchards, what are these full of?

Blue fruits, unknown to me.

Over there, I see sheep,

Near that field,

An old farmer atop his horse.

The bus stops by the wayside

Many get down to quench the thirst.

Underneath that nameless tree, small seating places

The sunlight intensifies, thirst harrows me

I get down , and stand all alone near the tree.

A young village girl offers red liquid

She is dressed in strange grabs, I do not know

If she is serving wine or grape juice

As I request for water, she shrugs , not understanding.

A blue eyed poet sits and sings, with a full tumbler

What is he singing about?

Love? Death?

The language,I do not know.

I do not recognise the bird chirping

On this sunlit tree branch either!

Machines rumbling across far off fields

Who am I ? What am I doing here?

A sudden depressing loneliness engulfs me

I do not recognise the language, not the bird chatter

Nor the tree murmurs, strangers all around,

An intense , vast, unknown landscape-

Surrounds me, starts to pull me down

With terror, scary darkness that grows within

As it turns into pain, tiredness

Strangulating me-

As I sink to the ground, letting go…

Suddenly I hear

A sweet flute music!

As I open my eyes in wonder

My eyes fall on a young lad

Clambering down the hill!

Dark skinned,dusty long hair

Touching his shoulders:

A bird feather tucked into it,

He is joyously , playfully bounding down!

Around his neck, an amulet shaped like a bell,

A stick to drive the sheep in hand

Curly hair springing all around his forehead!

Through his open shirt, I see

A sun, tattooed on his chest!

He stands so nonchalantly near me,

Drinks from his leather pouch

Strapped across his shoulders.

Turns to look at me

Stranger in a different garb

In that clime

Throws an open, sweet smile my way.

My body cools with exhilaration,

My child,

Your smile showers flowers across my forehead!

I return his smile, my heart blossoms-

You came all this way, only for my sake!

Though your eyes shimmer green,

Though the feather is of a white dove

Though your chest is tattooed

Though you are with sheep,

I recognise you!!

Because of your flute tucked by your waist,

The way in which you sipped your drink, wiped your lips

And turned to cast a glance at me

In the way you then ran off, whistling loudly

Scampering merrily away!

Gently, someone touches my shoulder

As I turn, the young girl stands behind me

Offering water.

As I drink it with gratitude,

The sorrow in the poet’s tune

Becomes two hands folded up high

In faith and devotion!

I recognise that I am never  really alone

Anywhere in the world !

This strange land, suddenly

Becomes mine.

***********

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