August 02, 2021
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In Such A Way Death...

From the collection Andhre mein Budh dedicated to her husband, Nirmal Verma

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In Such A Way Death...

In such a way death
Gleamed in her eyes

As if it were a twinkling star
As if it were the sky
Filled with birds
The breeze
Before the rain

In such a way the fish leaped
Out of the water
As if there were not death
But the yearning to be
Back in an old dream

In such a way she held
The water in her tiny teeth
As if it were the last time

She knew
She would die
In the ocean

She wished to return
For the last time
To the waters of the river

But then the fish drowned
In some other waters

(Hurried, literal translation by Sundeep Dougal)

kuchh is tarah mrityuu

kuchh is tarah mrityuu
uskii aaNkhoN meiN chamki

jaise TimTimaataa taaraa ho
jaise aakash ho
chiRiyyoN se bharaa
havaa ho
barsaat se pahle kii

kuchh is tarah lapkii machhlii
jal se baahar
jaise vahaaN mrityuu nahiiN
aadii-swapan meiN
lauTne kii laalsaa ho

kuchh is tarah usne
mahiin daaNtoN meiN apne
jal ko pakRaa
jaise woh antim baar ho

maaluum thaa use
mar jaayegii vah
samudra meiN jaakar

lauT aanaa chaahaa
usne antim baar
nadii ke jal meiN

phir Duub gayii machhlii
kinhii duusree hii paaniyoN meiN

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