Oct 31, 2007

I am not unknown

Uday Prakash

I too am riding this bus somewhere
I too would have an autobiography
You too would be a passenger
Having come from another life
You too must cross a threshold
To enter a house of
Inertia, defeat and exhaustion
You cannot know how old my shirt is
How much I like the sky before the rain
How old my dusty ragged thoughts are
How the silence of my failures and suffering
Is held in these books in my bag
I too have a silence that always remains silent
On the far side of which people come and go
Up and down, shoulders swaying
With the dry withered throat
Of my lost senseless soul
Filled with the total darkness of the river
In my eyes that grasp for breath like
Fish pulled from the water
Today I’ll say Goodbye
For the first time
So defeated
So alone
The rest of my life
I’ll see your sad back
Getting off at a stop unknown
Leaving me far behind
As all the kerosene lamps of childhood
Sooner or later leave
Everyone on the road going away
And return to their own city
Forever far away.

Translated by Robert A. Hueckstedt.
(Note: The Hindi original appears in the collection Ra¯t me˜ ha¯rmoniyam (New
Delhi: Va¯n.ı¯ Praka¯s´an, 1998), pp 139–140. Translation copyright c