Sunday, November 11, 2012

If It Rains: If It Rains Not

If It Rains: If It Rains Not
-Raja Puniani

 ‘Quaff the poison received as reward, if you can.’
‘Walk with a smile trampling upon your own smile-less bosom, if you can.’
‘Trudge on with a moonlit compromise on the pitch dark face of destiny, if you can.’
‘Lock up and leave your prowess inside the house, if you can.’
‘Drag along silently the entire sky that falls on you, if you can.’
‘Forgive the one that never forgives you, if you can.’
‘Be dumb and tolerate and only tolerate, if you can.’

…I suffocate! I am dizzy! I am nauseous!
My veins pulsate almost exploding. Here, look at this…
Merely thinking of this.

And, tell me why this shouldn’t happen. For us one bottle of
Kerosene is more worthwhile than the ‘Vision’. After all
A layman talks of ordinariness.
How splendid a saint seems in the ornament of tolerance. Wow!
Glittering armament of forgiveness! Fluttering ensign of fearlessness!
Worthless we – unable to wage a war of victory over our wandering senses.
‘Talk not, tolerate, forgive.’- This statement is Sanskrit to us. 
The matter is crystal clear- see here! In the interminable lanes of history
This object called ‘Human’ is but a blade of grass.

Even sky is weary of carrying loads of heaviness.
Unwarranted, unlimited- it may rain. It may not today.
When it rains- we fear landslides. We fear floods. We fear fears.
If it rains not- we fear drought. We fear famine. We fear fears.
Whether we fear or not, it definitely will rain. Or it won’t.

If it can, it will rain.
He will talk- after all he is man.
Not solely lump of soil, salt and sweat is he!
It suffices not that he has hunger, thirst, tears, joy, work…
He craves for a sterling life too.

“Well don’t mind.”

It’s not so easy to penetrate into the chapters of the mind.
The mind is the sky. Bit by bit clouds accumulate.
Regardless of whether the birds of dreams fly or not. 
Listen! The mind is the sky. The cosmos of the cosmos.
And so if it rains, we shall talk about the rain, our homes,
Pain and pleasure, and our resentment. Love and envy too.
Come on! In the celebrations this time, let the soul sing a rock ‘n roll.
The picturesque paintings of consciousness be hung majestically in
The art exhibition. Let trees play football-sun on the slushy soils.
(Ole… Goal!) Let tune lose consciousness bewitched by
The dance of crops wairing serenity.

If it rains, in haste we will pick our clothes and sun-dried grains.
We will shelter our fouls.
Let our footwear rest under our beds throughout.
The sky may rejoice when children play games outwitting life and death
On rainbow roads raked by the horizon.

As it rains, the cascading waters may have to listen to the dusting of things.
Scenic sights of sounds.
It will rain on the palms, the empty palms of earth.
Washing away the hollowness. Rinsing the silts of solitude.
Without the teacher’s permission, students will be soaked wet even
With their umbrellas. Drenched will be their innocent now.

Just wait till it rains. We will push out the sick seeds of abundance
And watch them getting wet from head to heel.
The fairy song mushrooms will spring up on the spine of time.
Tribal children of yonder village chattering gaily well come
To harvest these mushrooms next dawn.

Eyes turned inwards- hardened heart.
The law on one hand, the whip on the other.
If it rains not, some faithful illusion will be Charioteer to Arjun
Carrying him in the chariot of clouds- there where villages, cities,
Nations and market squares will transform into Kurukshetras.

Disfigured milestones with peeling numbers stretch their hands like beggars
At the roadside where countless lonely cars are caught in a jam.
But if it rains, leaves will rehearse their wetness in the musical notes
Of a new opera.
Even stones will be drenched- never mind even it’s just from outside
They have never tasted wetness before.

If it rains not, the rain will have to wait chewing on the seeds of hope
That germinated in the last rains.

In his own period of history, people has waited
For long periods of time. (Say not that people cannot wait-
The bird drags to the nest and waits for dawn).

If it rains not- mothers will for their sons weave stories of rainfall.
If it rains not- the streets where Ashok, the conqueror returned
Victorious as Ashok, the Great from Kalinga will return
Of thirst back to Kalinga. Again. Back to Kalinga.

Parched voices born in throat. Squeezed out dry sounds.
Withered pale looks. All these drenched will be
Dead banks of rivers may resurrect gurgling the genesis of flow.
But if it rains not- then let our expectations be like the rain
Falling over our infernal hamlets of hope.
The ordinary talker, the mundane life-bearer, the plain man
May say- “We cannot wait. Why wait for one who never turns up?”
But looking intensely at the quiet sky, he must to himself say-
“We have to wait. Not for the sake of waiting. Waiting while
Not wanting to wait for those that never waited.”

That’s alright- let not the lips of our eyes shut up.
It’s enough that the lashes of our ears are wide open.
We have to wait like one who waits for the waiting.
See – it is so easy!
Like the desolate home that waits for a distant letter.
Like this tree whose last leaf falls and it watches and waits
For the spring to sprout in the tender leaves of the other tree.
Like the travellers on this bank waiting for the boat
That has crossed over to the other bank like a hero
To return empty again.
The first flower in the bough. The first thorn. Waits for the first
Of some last revolution. The final war. The ultimate wound.

The matter is crystal clear. Like radiant reality.
If it rains- the rivers will rise. The sands will surge.
Drenched will be the pathways. Throughout the cosmos.

The pathways
Wherefrom till yesterday demons in disguise of personal dieties
Deluding themselves as our destiny
Circumambulated ceremonial fires lit of our lives
Consummating our tomorrows.

The pathways
Wherefrom the pathways spread their hoods
And slither with hisses to embed their poison fangs
On the Orion of pathways.

The pathways
Wherefrom faceless we- will be trudging on-
And may be trudging back will be our own alien faces.

Oh yes!
Before the rains, the sky may be delirious.
It may vomit lightning streaks. It is alright if it rains.
It is alright even if it rains not. It will be waited for.
The one that has been waiting will wait still
But tolerate – he will not – even the time
That he has been tolerating.
Now on. Now onward.
 (Originally written in Nepali. Translation - Shradha Mani Pradhan, Darjeeling)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Not One of the Ugly Truths

Not One of the Ugly Truths

Believe me

This is not one of the ugly truths

-You can see a flower

Blooming inside you like a crime

All of a sudden, you may lose your   

Happiness only to hug despair of your enemy

Your sun is also prone to death

Your godfather may have disgusting confessions

To share with your child

Believe me

This is not one of the ugly truths

-You are thrown always on the edge

While they are always on the centre

The time is frustrated

Masks look like faces

Your child is playing war games in computer

And you have started loving wars again

Believe me

This is not one of the ugly truths

-History is wounded

In a guilty evening

It was stabbed, dragged and shot

By some unknown capitalists

Happiness is also not happy

For it is always deceived by pain

Believe me

This is not one of the ugly truths

-Just now, a big truth of this small world

Has succumbed to death

After it gave birth to a thousand small truths

And as of now, nobody is able to see

These nascent truths growing

Everybody is looting their

Absurd happiness

Out of dark lies

Believe me

This is not one of the ugly truths

-Truth has become cheap

Cheap like popcorn

We can’t forget everything

We can’t forget everything

We can’t forget everything

We remember mostly those things

Which we like to forget forever

Why this world is not round even in its roundness

Why a toiling man can’t differentiate

Between tea and blood

Why tyrants look like messiah  

Why straight is not straight

Could you clear my confusions

Could you

I am not talking colour

Though, life is blue

Its like a kite

Flying free

For its shape, weight and threads

It has to remember always that

It has to come down to ground

Ride it safe

There are zigzags on the road

Like road of a serpentine hill

There are ups and downs in lives

Either you fall down like a slave to fight back

Or you are dragged like a king

You are a conqueror

If you can only make decisions

If you dare only to choose

This is not the last time that

You are hoping for well

This is not the first time that

You are feeling worse

This happens times and again

They pretend that

On the top of tombs of history

On the top of all civilizations

But we are able to realize

From the bottom of the society

That we are living in the times when

A dawn behaves like a dusk

We can’t forget everything

And it’s still not too late

To reach to conclusions

That all is not well

That something is missing

That history really needs a push