A poem by Razu Alauddin
(Translated by Arts & Letters Desk)
I was born with numerous deaths.
Deaths are, in fact, my siblings.
It is with my flow of blood that they run to all the distant countries in the world!
So close they stand and so intimate are they
That it seems they, like a lover, want to plant a kiss on my cheek,
Mounting me from behind the left side of my shoulder.
Like my pet cat the deaths on winter nights lie beneath my quilt in absolute comfort.
Gradually, slowly, death has emerged as a lover in this small, lonely life of mine.
To me she sings a Tagore song—“You are like my Shyam!”
Indeed, I failed to realize that numerous deaths like one sees during an epidemic
Were born into this world with me.
All these deaths are so powerful
All these deaths have grouped together in such ceaseless processions
That I have actually become lonely in the end …
My deaths are exhibited in fancy galleries
In Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan.
All of those shows are inaugurated by the US president
And each of their brief prefaces is written by the Secretary General of the United Nations!
Quite a lot of those deaths I have secretly sold to our ministers and MPs;
I have sold some deaths to police stations at a high price.
I have also scattered around many deaths over our busy highways!
These deaths keep me alive, day in day out!
They grow at geometric rates and travel to distant places at home and abroad
The deaths leave me tired in my sleep,
My heart is indeed filled with the rich harvest of deaths!