Rituraj

 Rituraj born in 1940 in Rajasthan, is a Hindi Poet , who teaches English. He has published more than six volumes of poetry . Rituraj's  poetry talks about the time and people





What's an Eye Alone

It will not do to paint just an eye
There must also be some scenery around
Whatever is seen can be made unseen
Will a blind eye pierced by the date's thorn
turn into something besides
a dry, burning jungle?

What's an eye alone?
There could be ash as evidence
and they would call it an illusion
the powdered bones and tender flesh of children
will be delicacies in the century's great banquet

What's an eye alone?
Barbarity crushed it long ago.

 Translated from Hindi by- Nalini Taneja/Christi Merrill/Daniel Weissbort



Things Past

When the hushed hour grows still more hushed
countless smiles blossom
in the water
on a surface of clouds -
They were once women who liked to swim
a dream in my mother's breast

Some reached the age of divine beauty and drowned
Some drowned watching the glow of flesh
Some drowned mesmerized by the rainbow call of blood

Philosophers who perch on the clouds' surface
say it was all a lie, all an illusion

Nearby mould grew on the skeletons
then assumed form
and there arose the scent of flowering flesh.

` Translated from Hindi by- Nalini Taneja/Christi Merrill/Daniel Weissbort

Condolence

Everyone was alive in that house
The recently widowed wife was there also
invisible inside the house somewhere
just as she was in her husband's lifetime

Some woman made tea
and placed a cup before me
It was hard to believe he would not come back
It had happened many times before
I would wait for him
drinking tea to pass the time
But today I would not have that endless wait
His daughters' sad dry eyes
pleaded silently
maybe they wanted to ask me to keep coming back
to do something for them
even after the formal condolences were over.

The man was smiling down at me
from a childhood photograph
I was shown the mark on the stairs
the spot he made when he fell
I had seen him run up and down these stairs so many times

No one in the family had the courage to walk upstairs
and step on that mark
It was this small detail made me aware
he was really dead
and that I had not come to wait for him
but to offer condolences.

 Translated from Hindi by- Nalini Taneja/Christi Merrill/Daniel Weissbort
 


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