Sunday, April 16, 2017

कल तक जो धधक रहा था (मसौदा)

कल तक जो धधक रहा था,
वह बारिश के पानी में बुझ गया है,
राख और अँगारे फैक्टरियों के नालों में बह गए,
हर ओर धुआँ है बस
इस धुएँ में दम घुटता है,
आँखें जलती हैं,
नज़र आती हैंअभी भी सभी ओर दैत्याकार फैक्टरियां,
रास्तों में सन्नाटा भरा है,
उस तरह ही जैसे स्टील की पट्टी से हाथ लगे चीरे के घाव में भरा हो मवाद,
बस बारिश के पानी की आवाज़, नालों में बहते पानी की आवाज़ आती है,
फैक्टरियों का शोर आदत बन चूका है,
रास्तों के कुछ कोनों पर लोग दीवारों की ओर मुहँ किये खड़े हैं,
शांत, भीगते हुए,
पर आँखों में गुस्सा है, भीषण गुस्सा।
जैसे नाटक के पात्र फ्रीज़ हुए खड़े हों,
ताप जो भीषण धधकती आग में पैदा हुआ वह ज़िंदा है अभी
पर अभिव्यक्त नहीं होता उन शांत मुद्राओं में,
खड़े रहना महज वक़्त काटना नहीं है,
यह इंतज़ार है
बारिश के थमने का, अपने सीनों के रिस्ते ज़ख्मों के भरने का,
उमस हर ओर है, बारिश तपिश को बूझा नहीं पा रही है,
अभी और बरसेगा पानी, घाव सड़ेगा और, नाटक का फ्रीज़ अभी नहीं टूटेगा,

उन चौकों पर जहाँ मज़दूर गुजरते थे,
जहाँ नारे गूंजते थे, सभाएं जमती थीं,
बंजर है रेगिस्तान की तरह, बस कुछ लोग खड़े हैं ढफली बजाते हुए,
बारिश का शोर ढफली पर भारी पड़ता है पर ढफली अपनी ताल पर
बजती है लगातार, पतझड़ में बसंत का आह्वान करते हुए,
पानी भरे गड्ढों ने चौकों को छैक लिया है,
मज़दूरों को कोनों में धकेल दिया है,
इन पानी भरे गड्ढों में बीमारियां पलेंगी,
पानी के कारण बनती बिगड़ती तस्वीर में लाल लाल रंग इन गड्ढों में बने डिबरों
में दीखता है,
लाल लाल अक्षरों वाले पोस्टर जिसके रंग बारिश में घुल रहे हैं,
वे स्मृतियाँ जो जिसमें संघर्ष की आग बाकी है वही पोस्टरों में झलकती है,
धधक बुझ गयी है पर उसके ताप को
मज़दूरों की आँखों ने सोख लिया है,
लाल लाल खून से फड़कती आँखों ने.   

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tired

Prison, today I surrender to you.
You know I have fought you,

Tooth and nail,
No holds barred,
These five months.
I’ve snapped my fingers in your fave
and sung lusty melodies
in the gloom of my cell.
I’ve held loud colloquies with the walls
Filling the loneliness with bragging defiance.
You know what you’ve done to me
these past lonely months?
You’ve denied me food and drink;
you’ve bulldozed my mind
and laid waste my dreams,
till the warscape of my thought
looks like Guernica,
bombed and blasted by fascists.
You’ve taken my wife and child from me
and amputated without chloroform
the wherewithal of
love and affection.
you’ve destroyed my habits’
taken me from my books,dammit,
and my work,
feeding me constantly on self-defeating perversion,
like rotten apples
tossed out from hotels
at dawn.
You’ve poisoned me,
 you’re good at it.
But today I’m tired and beaten.
You’ll admit it’s been
an unequal fight,
the dice have been loaded from the start ;
the entire state machine,
men, rifles, uniforms and spies
against one man.
I give up prison,
if that’s the way you wish to win
I throw in my tattered towel
and holler ‘enough’.
But don’t get me wrong,
you’ve not made me sorry for myself,
for I hate self-pity
as a virgin hates her chastity.
You won’t see me cry or whine
Or beg for mercy on my knees.
I won’t unsay a word I’ve said,
Won’t lick the spittle
I’ve once thrown up.
You haven’t made me want to live
a whit differently if
I were to live again.
I’m just a bit tired, prison, pardon me,
just a bit weakened by
hunger and loneliness,
and often I am so tired
that I watch my cigar burn between my fingers
and just cannot puff at it.
I wish to sleep now, prison
Prison, today I surrender to you.
You know I have fought you,

Tooth and nail,
No holds barred,
These five months.
I’ve snapped my fingers in your fave
and sung lusty melodies
in the gloom of my cell.
I’ve held loud colloquies with the walls
Filling the loneliness with bragging defiance.
You know what you’ve done to me
these past lonely months?
You’ve denied me food and drink;
you’ve bulldozed my mind
and laid waste my dreams,
till the warscape of my thought
looks like Guernica,
bombed and blasted by fascists.
You’ve taken my wife and child from me
and amputated without chloroform
the wherewithal of
love and affection.
you’ve destroyed my habits’
taken me from my books,dammit,
and my work,
feeding me constantly on self-defeating perversion,
like rotten apples
tossed out from hotels
at dawn.
You’ve poisoned me,
 you’re good at it.
But today I’m tired and beaten.
You’ll admit it’s been
an unequal light,
the dice have been loaded from the start ;
the entire state machine,
men, rifles, uniforms and spies
against one man.
I give up prison,
if that’s the way you wish to win
I throw in my tattered towel
and holler ‘enough’.
But don’t get me wrong,
you’ve not made me sorry for myself,
for I hate self-pity
as a virgin hates her chastity.
You won’t see me cry or whine
Or beg for mercy on my knees.
I won’t unsay a word I’ve said,
Won’t lick the spittle
I’ve once thrown up.
You haven’t made me want to live
a whit differently if
I were to live again.
I’m just a bit tired, prison,pardon me,
just a bit weakened by
hunger and loneliness,
and often I am so tired
that I watch my cigar burn between my fingers
and just cannot puff at it.
I wish to sleep now, prison,
sleep till my tensed flesh melts,
memories unknot, lungs emit
the foulness and stench
you’ve fed them on.
I don’t care if you keep me down,
spreadeagled under the
weight of stonesd,
crucified by your barbed wire
for fifty years more.
I know I won’t live that long.
I can see a strange person,
rather sad-looking, fleshless, white-boned
at the foot of my bed
night after night,
smiling liplessly, calli
ng me to the beyond.
I can’t sleep at
night, prison,
for this bore of a visitor won’t let me.
figs to you prison, for I’ll be off with him
long before decided
to kill me.
February 15,1966, Night. 
Utpal Dutt
Utpal Dutt was detained under the DIR in Calcutta in September 1965, along with prominent communists, for his political activities . He was released in March 1966.
son,
sleep till my tensed flesh melts,
memories unknot, lungs emit
the foulness and stench
you’ve fed them on.
I don’t care if you keep me down,
spreadeagled under the
weight of stonesd,
crucified by your barbed wire
for fifty years more.
I know I won’t live that long.
I can see a strange person,
rather sad-looking, fleshless, white-boned
at the foot of my bed
night after night,
smiling liplessly, calli
ng me to the beyond.
I can’t sleep at
night, prison,
for this bore of a visitor won’t let me.
figs to you prison, for I’ll be off with him
long before decided
to kill me.
February 15,1966, Night. 
Utpal Dutt
Utpal Dutt was detained under the DIR in Calcutta in September 1965, along with prominent communists, for his political activities . He was released in March 1966.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Lenin could not live any other way..

 Ilyich told the young people that it was necessary for them to devote all their work, all their efforts to the common cause.
And Lenin's own life was a model of how this should be done. Ilyich could not live any other way, he did not know how to. But he was not an ascetic; he loved skating and fast cycling, mountain-climbing and hunting; he loved music and life in all its many-sided beauty; he loved his comrades, loved people in general. Everyone knows of his simplicity, his merry, infectious laughter. But everything about him was subordinated to the one thing--the struggle for a bright, enlightened, prosperous life of meaning and happiness for all. And nothing gladdened him so much as the successes achieved in this struggle. The personal side of him merged naturally with his social activity....

-Krupskaya

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The beggars

I am skirting a high, mouldering wall, trudging through the fine dust. 
Several other people are walking alone. A breeze springs up and above the wall the branches of tall trees, their leaves still unwithered, are stirring over my head.
A breeze springs up, and dust is everywhere.
A child begs from me. He is wearing lined clothes like others and does not look unhappy, yet he blocks my way to kowtow and whines as he follows me.
I dislike his voice, his manner. I detest his lack of sadness, as if his were some game. I am disgusted by the way he follows me, whining.
I walk on. Several other people are walking alone. A breeze springs up, and dust is everywhere.
A child begs from me. He is wearing lined clothes like others and does not look unhappy, but he is dumb. HE stretches out his hand to me in dumb show.
I detest this dumb show of his. Besides, he may not be dumb; this may just be his way of begging
I do not give him alms. I have no wish to give alms. I stand above those alms-givers. For him I have only disgust, suspicion and hate.
I am skirting a tumble-down, mud wall. Broken bricks have been piled in the gap, and beyond the wall is nothing. A breeze springs up, sending the autumn chill through my lined gown, and dust is everywhere.
I wonder what method I should use in begging. In what voice should I speak? What dumb show should I use if pretending to be dumb? . . .
Several other people are walking alone.
I shall receive no alms, not even the wish to give alms.
I shall receive the disgust, suspicion and hate of those who consider themselves above the alms-givers.
I shall beg with inactivity and silence.  . . .
I shall at last receive nothingness.
A breeze springs up, dust is everywhere. Several other people are walking alone.
Dust, dust. . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dust. . . .

September 24, 1924
Lu Shun

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

दिशा है सामने एक धुंधली पथरेखा की तरह

 दिशा है सामने एक धुँधली पथरेखा की तरह
और लगातार स्‍पष्‍ट होती दृष्टि भी ।
चीज़ों को इस हद तक पहचाना जा सकता है
कि आशाओं का स्रोत अक्षय रहे
लेकिन फिर भी बहुतेरी समस्‍याएँ हैं
नित नई आती हुई और कुछ अतीत की विरासत भी,
कि नया अभियान नहीं बन पा रहा है ऊर्जस्‍वी, गतिमान ।

अभी भी आस-पास हैं झूठे कमज़ोर संकल्‍प
और खोखले वायदे,
और अविश्‍वास,
और पुराने मताग्रह और पुरानी आदतें,
और भ्रमित करने वाले अप्रत्‍याशित बदलाव भी,
जो तुम्‍हें लगभग अकेला कर देती हैं
और भीषण तनाव पैदा करती हैं तुम्‍हारे भीतर,
ज्‍यों धनुष की प्रत्‍यंचा की तरह
खिंच गई हो मस्तिष्‍क की एक-एक शिरा ।
तुम लौटते हो फिर-फिर
अपने एकान्‍त, उदासियों, अनिद्रा भरी रातों
और घुटन भरे अमूर्तनों के पास,
लेकिन गुफा में घुसते एकाकी योगी की तरह नहीं
बल्कि अपने खाली डोलों को लेकर
कुएँ में उतरती उस रहट की तरह
जो पानी लेकर ऊपर आती है
और डोलों को चुण्‍डे में उलट देती है ।

मानचित्र तैयार है लगभग यात्रा-पथ का,
लेकिन कड़वी पराजयों से उपजी दार्शनिकताओं,
अतृप्तियों-अधूरेपन से जन्‍मी विकृतियों,
पुरातन और नूतन कूपमण्‍डूकताओं,
आसमानी आभा वाली आध्‍यात्मिक वंचनाओं,
शयनकक्षों में रखी गई
पिस्‍तौलों और विष के प्‍यालों से भरे
हमारे इस विचित्र विकट समय में
चीज़ें फिर भी काफ़ी कठिन हैं।
चन्‍द राहत या सुकून के दिन आते भी हैं
तो देखते-देखते यूँ बीत जाते हैं
जैसे वीरान खेतों के बीच से
भागती नीलगायों का एक झुण्‍ड गुज़र जाए ।
-शशिप्रकाश 
(स्वगत कविता का अंश)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Regarding Art




Sometimes, I, too, tell the ah's  of my heart one by one  like the blood-red beads  of a ruby rosary strung  on strands of golden hair!  But my  poetry's muse  takes to the air  on wings made of steel  like the I-beams  of my suspension bridges!  I don't pretend  the nightingale's lament  to the rose isn't easy on the ears...  But the language  that really speaks to me  are Beethoven sonatas played  on copper, iron, wood, bone, and catgut... 
You can "have"  galloping off  in a cloud of dust!  Me, I wouldn't trade  for the purest-bred  Arabian steed  the sixth mph  of my iron horse  running on iron tracks! 
Sometimes my eye is caught like a big dumb fly  by the masterly spider webs in the corners of my room.  But I really look up  to the seventy-seven-story, reinforced-concrete mountains  my blue-shirted builders create!  Were I to meet  the male beauty  "young Adonis, god of Byblos,"  on a bridge, I'd probably never notice;  but I can't help staring into my philosopher's glassy eyes  or my fireman's square face  red as a sweating sun! 


Though I can smoke  third-class cigarettes filled  on my electric workbenches,  I can't roll tobacco - even the finest-  in paper by hand and smoke it!  I didn't --  "wouldn't" -- trade  my wife dressed in her leather cap and jacket  for Eve's nakedness!  Maybe I don't have a "poetic soul"?  What can I do  when I love my own children  more  than mother Nature's!


-Nazim Hikmet

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Made in Bondage (vinculis faciebat)


(The Trout, 1872, Gustave Courbet)

"When I am dead, let it be said of me: 'He belonged to no school, to no church, to no institution, to no academy, least of all to any regime except the regime of liberty."
-Courbet