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GULZAR



Deja vu


I wonder what it was that

I wanted to say to you today!


I met you and I forget

what I said

what I had thought I'd say,

when I met you

I had this feeling

I have already said it to you.


There are things I've never said to you before

but somehow it feels

I must have;

what strange confusion!


I swear I'm not absent-minded

or inattentive;

I have become only

a little forgetful

in your love.


Translation Rina SINGH



Books


They peer from beyond

Glasses of locked cupboards,

They stare longingly

For months we do not meet

The evenings once spent in their company

Now pass at the computer screen.

They are so restless now, these books-

They have taken to walking in their sleep

They stare longingly


The values they stood for

Whose batteries never died out

Those values are no more found in homes

The relationships they spoke of

Have all come undone today

A sigh escapes as I turn a page

The meanings of many words have fallen off

They appear like shrivelled, leafless stumps

Where meaning will grow no more

Many traditions lie scattered

Like the debris of earthen cups

Made obsolete by glass tumblers


Each turn of the page

Brought a new flavour to the tongue

Now a click of the finger

Floods the screen with images, layer upon layer

That bond with books that once was, is severed now

We used to sometimes lie with them on our chest

Or hold them in our lap

Or balance them on our knees,

Bowing our heads as in prayer

Of course the world of knowledge still lives on,

but what of

The pressed flowers and scented missives

Hidden between their pages,

And the love forged on the pretext

Of borrowing, dropping and picking up books together

What of them?

That perhaps shall no longer be!