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VITASTA ANNUAL NUMBER: Volume XXXIV (2000-2001)

Poems from : "Waves"

Arjan Dev Majboor

The Topsy Turvy Tree Rootless Prison
I saw a topsy - turvy tree.

It said :
"Sir, my roots are in the sky.
This way the world will be set right."

I shuddered and said :
"What do you mean?
You are a puzzle."

The tree said :
"Be quiet.
You are a rebel.
They will imprison you.
Here truth is proscribed,
the guilty thrive,
virtue has decayed
and
morals are dead."

I said :
"Listen!
There will be no forests.
Eagles won't fly,
they will walk.
Love will wither.
Compassion will burn
and
man,
along with the snake,
will enter the cave."

The tree said :
"You are a rebel.
Don't call a day a day
or
a night a night.
Say that two suns have risen.
All are making merry.
Man is for sale."

I said :
"Mister, your roots will dry up
in the hot sun."

The tree said :
"This earth will turn into a blazing inferno.
My roots don't need water."

I said :
"What shall we eat ?
Water is life."

The tree said :
"Why need water
When all are mad?
Henceforth,
flowers will bloom up in the sky,
a whirlpool will trap all,
it will rain acid,
beauty will be auctioned,
the wise will weep,
the ignorant will multiply,
greenery will disappear,
stones will cover the fields,
the lakes will turn into sand
and
moans will resound.
Even memory will end."

Each warm evening
wet memories
transfix my heart
and
cripple me.
Helplessness floods the room.
Objects shiver.
My existence is a knot.
Home and river and rustle
flit and pass.
Hope is hazy.
That city is a litter of
broken bricks,
burnt houses
and
choked gutters.
Their present,
our past
and
your future
fall to pieces before the gun.
The gaping wound
speaks
of broken man's
chopped fate.
That gaol is comfort.
Release from it means sweet home.
This gaol is torture.
It has fetters for the innocent.
Heritage has gone astray
because
the past has burnt.
Blossoms have bloomed
even in the dry sand.
In the dark cells
they still try to know
On the door of hell
they yearn for their yesterday.
Patience breaks stones
and
tired ... recall
the marigold
and the green leaf.
There is a crematorium
by the prison gate.
The prisoners smile.
Waves, is a collection of poems originally written in Kashmiri by Shri Arjan Dev Majboor, translated by Prof. Arvind Gigoo and published by Kashmir Bhawan, Kolkata
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Views expressed by authors in Vitasta Annual Number are not necessarily of Kashmir Sabha, Kolkata.

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