Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wall: D.S.Dudhalkar



I recently took a contract
To demolish the walls of buildings.
Its not only buildings
That have walls ; villages do,too.
And we’ve heard of world wars
Fought for the walls of nations.
For the time being, I’m just demolishing walls.
I don’t know how many generations have gone by
But these walls
Built by grandapas
Of that time
Are really tough.
Did they need to be so hardened
To protect human beings/
Many people on many occasions
Raised their hands against them
For some, their hands
Become bloodied.
While the flags of others
Succeeded in fluttering.
Just the other day
Reading history
I realized my eyes
Had been entombed in walls.
And my organs of sense
Lay mutely by those walls
Like motionless refugees.
On enquiring, I found out
The walls themselves
Had drugged them with opium
Maybe that’s why I see
Even today,
Machinations in walls.
What does one say to these people
Engrossed in politely hiding
That they’re slaves of the age!
I myself
Should break down these walls
And become
A compass to them.
That’s why, with a special purpose,
I’ve taken this job:
It won’t be finished right away
But I too don’t wish
To finish right away.
Once I’ve smashed these walls-
New houses will take birth
Spacious and lovely.
Only those who can endure
Space wide enough to gallop in
Should live-or else
They’re welcome to die.
I’ll offer a memorial prayer,
And be done with it.

Translated by Priya Adarkar