Nand Chaturvedi.

Some day

Iíll look at your face

Bearing melancholy imprints

Of the carnival


Now the days of carnival

Are worthless

Stealing like a thief

A leftover memory


Who will come for the festival

Vasantsena, Vasavdutta

Michael Jackson, Chidambaram

Or a wild boar

Wonít she come?


Miss World

Whatever her name?


The festivalís terror turned

The village indifferent and indigent

Like a defoliate tree

On the shoulders of woman

Are astride naked kids

A little shy

Hiding their member within thigh


Delhi is where the festival is

And the President too

But the Nation?

Sunín the moon in its eyes

Elongated sad shadows on fields

A Nation in the shape of the bread

Is festival of residual desires


They are tired

A day before the festival

A village girlís dead body was found on road

Still clutching the child to her breast

A day before the festival

Girls were loaded in the truck

To be carried like lambkins

To the slaughterhouse


Which festival you come from


Which festival is

These days

In the capital of darkness


Walk slowly, O dear!

Walk slowly as to see

This desolation

And behind you



The callous moment of carnival.






 Nand Chaturvedi.

Parijat forests aflame in TNT trenches

Under each Devdar death doubtless stand

Huentsang, did you take these very routes to India?


Children of this generation have torn those pages of history

Where your countryís name is written

On your image some uncanny black-yellow or blue

Coloured signs drawn

Ah! Huentsang it is difficult to explain

That an invader you were not

But a traveler


Listen Huentsang! Jealousy is venom

And it is spreading

Youth these days of love, romance or maidens

Talk not

The adult and old walk fast

Talk sharp and indifferently swing the sticks

Maidens tie their hair in different knots

With clenched fist public convey

The inexpressible agony

Anger and revenge

All bow in reverence at the Buddha

Yet train to fire a gun

Because they have been deceived


Ah Huentsang! Mao-tse-Tung didnít make bridges

He repeated historyís meaningless tables

Because he didnít know that historyís

Ink isnít blood


India has fought wars, Huentsang!

But mere wars they were

Now its both jealousy and war

Wars are not remembered

But jealousy is a wounded snake

That on historyís door

Strikes its hurt head

And people pick up arms


You are not unknown to India Huentsang

Its sky is still clear and blue

But in the veins of many future generations

When the blood of jealousy shall flow

Who will bear its onus

Its sad, Huentsang whenever guns are raised

People forget the Buddha




Translated by Ashutosh Mohan from theoriginal Hindi poems of the renowned poet Nand Chaturvedi.

Ashutosh Mohan