Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Amen:Prakashchandra Karandikar

Prakashchandra Karandikar


Cast: his lordly lordship
His virtuous wife her ladyship
Two plump, sugar-dipped doughnuts
Within a red triangle
Like an ad of infant food
The set: a living room, small and handsome
A settee stage up
A diwan stage centre
With a foam rubber mattress
A show-case in the corner
Chock-a-block with knick-knacks
All like still tombstones in a cemetery.
A plumage of plastic flowers in a pot
An aroma of saffron-flavoured semolina in the air
A television set
That declares
Nothing is too expensive for pleasure
A teapoy in the centre
Laid with a fresh newspaper
(saleable later to the old-paper man
a rupee-and-a-half a kilo)
earthquake in Guatemala, disaster in Chasnala
thousands dead. A hundred and fifty beggers arrested
inhuman rape on Harijan woman
jobless youth, depressed commits suicide
children sold off
for subsistence.
And much, much more. Sundry. Trivial.
On the wall hangs Lord Ganesh
Remover of obstacles
A cold-eyed legacy
Of one’s own bread-and-butter.
God’s in His Heaven.
All’s right with the world.

Translated by Shanta Gokhale

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