Two Glistening Wheels, a Bell and a Tiffin-Carrier

On February 5, 2015 by admin

kalpit pic

Krishna Kalpit


Vishwa Hindi Sammelan


The language in which we wail

And shed tears

They ride on it

And fly up above those clouds


One says I did not go

Let me be counted among the tyagis

Another says I did manage to

Let me be regarded among the bhaagis


One was tossing down the list-of-contents from the sky

In the parched fields of Hindi-Patti


A latest Hindi sheikh

Had set up a harem of government committees

Exiting one

To enter the other


Someone was being wrecked at principal

The other at interest and the third in etiquette


One was screaming: All life insult has been my lot

Now let some honour be conferred on me too


One was saying: Let me be given all the dough

Into dollars shall I transcreate them

The other said, no, I am the only one to play

The unattainable veena


An imperialist

Was busy garlanding a communalist

A woman, with the blood of the guiltless

Went on signing strange advertisements


A freakish soiree, this

A piffling singer

Was singing obscene bhajans


An editor was looking for

Repose at the shoes

Of the foreign minister

A reporter, in a Shastri-Bhavan drawer

Fixed his permanent address


One used to say I shall breathe my last in Italia

One wished to be irrelevant in Spanish

One would play hide and seek

With an almost dead language


One was sulking

One was being sweet-talked

One professor

At Jawaharlal Nehru University

Harlequin, ludicrous

Spewing commentaries on Muktibodh


One deadbody

Was glued to the wings of the British Airways

The other

Had already chaired every

Literary Circle, every Goshti of the future

One soul had entered

Next year’s every representative body


A perplexing tableaux of globalization this

In some strange brothel in Soho

Someone was hoisting the Hindi langot


And in the distant East

In some dry, grainy desert village

In a language in which the child stammered

That used to be called Hindi


Wherefore all righteous opposition?

Shall only beggars of the future

Barter and transact in this great language?


A poet of this language

Cuts into two his liver and regrets

Chisels on with his poetry

Tearing off page after page after page…



Tale of the Bicycle


More humane than a human

Is traipsing travelling hope

A possibility, standstill


The supple fingers of a flying kite

The limber legs, their unwritten tale

One can pick-out from the shadow of that kite


Ganesh on mooshik

Shivji on bayl

Durga on sinh

Kartik on mayur

Indra on hathi

Saraswati on hans

Lakshmi on ullu

Yamraj on bhaisa

Mahajan in BMW

President in airplane

Mullah Nasiruddin on donkey

Crowd in a train


But on a bicycle, every single time a human being


A workman—weary, spent

A school going kid

Or in the streets of Patna

The wife of jankavi Laldhuyan

Tied up sewing-machine on the carrier

Cycle is the only conveyance in this wide world

Which is not a vahan of any God


There cannot be any memorial song for the cycle

It is the only machine running towards life

The oldest friendship between humans and machines

Made into poetry by the Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan

And Vittoria De Sica enacted it in his film

Through the dank and tortuous alleyways of poverty, pain and humiliation

Where human beings live

Till that point, only cycles can ply


From the site of the event, one cannot come to the conclusion

That the cycle was used against humanity

When dead-bodies were removed and gunpowder-smoke cleared itself

The glistening twin wheels of the cycle lay

Right at the centre of the road

The bell cast far away, adrift

And that tiffin-carrier, in which—bomb not roti,

That disappeared mischievously


Till the end: the story of a bicycle

Is the story of a man



The poems first appeared in

Translation: HUG

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