आज़ादी विशेषांक / Freedom Special

अंक 13 / Issue 13

Nazms: Meena Kumari

Past & Present

Each happiness
Is a devastated grief
Each grief
A devastated happiness.
And each darkness is a raped light
And each light a raped darkness.
Each present
Is an annihilated past
And each past
An annihilated present

Last Wish

This night, this loneliness
This sound of heartbeats—this silence
This silent rendering of ghazals
By sinking stars.
This solitude sleeping
On the eyelashes of time
This last tremor
Of the feeling of love
This pervasive symphony of death—
These are inviting you!
Come for a moment
Decorate the dream of love
In my closing eyes.


The moon is lonely, the sky alone
Comparable with my heart alone

All hope is gone, the star has sunk
Only the smoke remains trembling alone

Even if you do find a friend
You will still walk with him alone

Underneath a flickering light
Stands a dilapidated dwelling-place alone

It will wait for me for centuries
I shall quit this world alone

Foolish Attempt

I sit and brood for hours
About which heartbeat
I should turn into poetry
Which colour
Capture in my fist
Which moment imprison

Over this foolish attempt of imagination
I sit and think.
Whoever has arrested a moment
Or captured colour
In the bogus framework of words.

The soul resides in a nameless vacuum
Everywhere a dense twilight
No morning or evening.

In the rustling air
There is an awesome silence
The rain has worn anklets
But there is no resonance
There is a tremor
On the lips of my heartbeat
But no sound

Each verse is limp
And poetry displeased
Wrapping myself in
This weary weight
I silently muse for hours
Which heartbeat to turn into a lyric
Which moment imprison.


See, how stagnant
This lake in Bombay
And the lakes
In Kashmir go berserk
At will.
What is to become of me?

(Translated from the Urdu by Noorul Hasan.)

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