As intuition catches »temporality,« translations here seem to halt. Take a deep, deep breath in and fill up with as many particles and emotions as poetically possible – then release. While releasing, forget markers with (intuitive) clear messages, and somehow recall almost divine signifiers.
As we pursue our translations of »temporality,« blurred, accommodating locally grouped imprints emerge everywhere – unaccountable superpositions with endless contributing authors. Resolving temporal looping upon loops, we know it as काल/Kala – like an entanglement of looming (of time, of death, of everything othered), keeping safe of spaces, objects like its own bodily extensions, reciprocating to existence at great poetic depths, evoking glory, भक्ति/devotion, Shringar, and everything and the othered …
A language prescribed (no)map for familiar strolls. of waiting, of delays; of restfulness
As poetry cultivates a subatomic throb, a glaze of almost omnipresence – at the (contrapuntal) हिंदी/here and now of things, we try to locate viewpoints, their tussles, harmonizing with what could create a jam. Notice focal points of bygone time spooking poetic presentism, yet still tickling primordial percussive (time signatory) pleasures.
Voices emanating from arches of temporality land us shapes in timely emotions, in the elsewhere of things, possibly bringing us together in different temporal exposures. Probing language’s ideals and ultimately simulating a rest, navigating through temporal fevers offered by poetry, rests within poetic rests, through discourse in prose, without a set course, or a predecided notion of evolution. The poems are picked from the pauses in their surrounding temporality.
Thick blots of resting on the seemingly unidirectional timeline of this poetry have rested multidirectional poems within them. An implosion seems so regular; a yearning to reappear every time someone new reads them, they read themselves. If in विस्मृति/disrememberment, they move away and into different times, then how do we help disremember?
लौटना नहीं है जड़ों की ओर
-केदारनाथ सिंह (रोटी) (1934–2018)
उस विकट सुखाड़ में
सृष्टि पर पहरा दे रहे थे
–केदारनाथ सिंह (1934–2018)
Isn’t coming back to roots
–Kedarnath Singh (Hindi Poet, 1934–2018)
In an abysmal drought,
Watched time over cosmos
Barely three to four leaves
–Kedarnath Singh (Hindi Poet, 1934–2018)
करत-करत अभ्यास के जडमति होत सुजान ।
रसरी आवत-जात ते सिल पर परत निशान ॥
Through practice intellect garners subtlety
To and fro of rope creating smudges on the likes of rock
(in an image of a कुआँ /well) `
We enter this realm with devotion slacklining, arms attached to long, feeble, superimposing, sticks of waiting as our primary support system. Destined to be let go soon after(?). Devotees’ amnesiac – while walking on the rope we pray, requesting the sticks to reappear ontologically, magically trolleying spacetime to some of its halts.
Poetic ounces help us bounce into meeting their infinite projections and help hold each frame. Distributed equally among seers of ropes, are some tools – for freedom of reappearing —disappearing – erasing – blurring – hinting – for god resided, granular in all states …
वह घाटी नहीं तलहटी थी
जिसे हमने खोद निकाला था –
और जिसे खोद निकालने की धुन में
हम सैंकड़ों साल पीछे गड़ते चले जा रहे थे
इतनी दूर और इतने गहरे
की अब हमारी खोज में हमें ही खोज पाना मुश्किल था.
शायद वहीं एक सभ्यता का अतीत हमसे विदा हुआ था
जहाँ साँस लेने में पहली बार मुझे दिक्कत महसूस हुई थी
और मैं बेतहाशा भागा था
उस ज़रा-से दिखते आसमान, वर्तमान और खुली हवा की ओर
जो धीरे-धीरे मुंदते चले जा रहे थे.
इतिहास देखकर जब वह वर्षों ऊब गया
उसने अपने लिए कब्रनुमा एक कमरा बनाया
और एक बहुत भारी पत्थर को ओढ़कर सो गया.
–कुंवर नारायण (1927–2017)
It was a foothill not a valley
Which we had dug out –
And so engrossed in digging it out
We kept being etched back hundreds of years
So far and so deep
That now it was difficult to even find ourselves on our quest.
Maybe that is where the very past of a civilization departed from us
Where I found it difficult to breathe for the first time
And I had run recklessly
Towards that barely visible sky, towards the present, and the gale wind –
Which were slowly shutting down
For years, looking at history, it lost interest
Made a grave-like room for itself
Shrouded itself with a boulder and slept.
–Kunwar Narayan (1927–2017)
A viscosity in revealing language’s awareness, consciousness-ing mistakes, slips, tones, collective breaths, in the blink’s and language’s REM cycles. Language’s body often camouflages into grains, derived from the intermingling rates of temporal breaths. But in the midst of breaths with their own moods, where does one look for self? In dainty crevices, where past-like spheres promise conjuring an everlasting glue? In believing so seamlessly in the history of our absence, our abstinence to choose which stones have pores breathing towards vanishing into infraredness? The vastness of temporal breaths engulfs poems, text twists as slowly as stones, and we catch our breaths to capture the rumbles.
धीरे-धीरे रे मना, धीरे सब कुछ होय, माली सींचे सौ घड़ा, ॠतु आए फल होय।
Steadily-Steadily, Oh, Mana, steadily all accomplishes, a gardener waters with a hundred more pitchers, fruition settles only with the season’s coming.
Temporal peace, arrives so very scattered, like deserted inter-almost-planetary beings, transforming towards devotion – as if they were garlands with flowers disintegrating in a standstill’s glaze. The end of sentences brings gestures, indications that a disillusionment here opens doors to seeing elsewhere. A gesture that identifies what learning about parallels can do to mirror images. When-where statues are firmly placed, mirrors crack discreetly, so how does one trace these routes to parallels, to discrete-time? The devotional era is accompanied by the bass of meditations in fifths – पा-सा-सा-सा, a noise machine, looping without a willful signature moving in glee onto another – a verse-ailment hardly ever prescribed without a song. Exceptional poets here, exceptionally patient, and the other party immovable, aching anthologies …
|कोई कहियौ रे प्रभु आवन की। आवन की मन भावन की॥ आप न आवै लिख नहिं भेजै बाण पड़ी ललुचावन की। ए दोउ नैण कहयो नहीं मानै नदिया बहैं जैसे सावन की॥ कहा करूँ कछु नहिं बस मेरो पाँख नहीं उड़ जावन की। मीरा कहै प्रभु कब रे मिलोगे चेरी भई हूँ तेरे दाँवन की॥
|Someone tell of the prabhu’s (god) coming. Share of this enchantment. Neither they come nor send letters, keeping me forever tempted has become some habit of theirs. Like rivers in monsoons. my own eyes won’t listen to me. A lack of wings is now disarming. Meera’s Prabhu! When would you meet? I feel submitted to your (timely) bets!
If hundreds of years of war poems were immediately followed by hundreds of years of devotional poems, and together they eventually unfolded into a sloshed emotional oceanic lake, which migratory birds did time have in mind? A geomagnetic poetic mapping, which somehow managed to burrow itself into poetic DNA, and so mutations upon mutations still carried ligamental memories which nails can’t seem to scratch.
दूर दूर दूर… मैं वहाँ हूँ!…
…मैं संघर्ष हूँ जिसे विश्राम नहीं…
…क्योंकि मैंने डर नहीं जाना है।…
मैं अभय हूँ,
मैं भक्ति हूँ,
मैं जय हूँ।
– अज्ञेय (1911–1987)
|Far far farther… I am there!..
I am a struggle which has no rest…
In fact, I have not known fear…
I am unafraid
I am devotion
I am victory.
बेटा जाए क्या हुआ, कहा बजावै थाल ।
आपन जावन ह्वै रहा, ज्यौं कीड़ी का नाल॥
|Such loud celebrations over birth of a boy,
Coming and leaving (through multiple births) like worms of a drain
Threaded by bodies with undecided spans conversing in tilts, neither the flame goes for long walks, nor do those who carry within them the subtlest strings to measure the wind, that is those who keep an eye
like a waiting in and out of ephemeral moments holding quantum leaps. An awaiting which entangles without the support of shared life-spans.
जब यह दीप थके तब आना।
– महादेवी वर्मा
|Come, when this lamp tires.
दीप पत्थर का
लजीली किरण की
अरी ओ करुणा प्रभामय!
|Lamp of stone
Skittishness of rays
Silent sound of steps:
Oh you! Radiating, Karuna (dawn)
In a hanging network of ropes laid to dry, meshes – lucid, unopaque – are layered with angular curves so minor that these roundabouts in poetry look through possible temporal wavelengths, arguably directional free-falls. Here one continually quakes in a matter of time’s cloaks, residing in its seams, yet asking the peripheries to let in, asking, whose tempos are these? One mimes temporal presence while shuddering at the losses managed by a system of bodily tributaries.
तुझसे होड़ है मेरी ׃ अपराजित तू—
तुझमें अपराजित मैं वास करूँ।
इसीलिए तेरे हृदय में समा रहा हूँ
सीधा तीर-सा, जो रुका हुआ लगता हो—
कि जैसा ध्रुव नक्षत्र भी न लगे,
एक एकनिष्ठ, स्थिर, कालोपरि
मैं—तेरे भी, ओ ›काल’ ऊपर!…
– शमशेर (1911–1993)
I am contesting you: Undefeated you –
In you undefeated I reside.
And so, I am embodying your heart
Like a straight arrow, which seems frozen –
More so than stars, constellations,
A faithful, unwavering, transcending time
Faith, faith transcending
Prosperity, joy transcending
Truth, morality transcending
I – transcend over you, oh, time!…
वर्तमान ही मेरे शरीर का एकमात्र प्रवेश-द्वार है।
– राजकमल चौधरी (1929–1967)
|The present is the sole entrance into my body.
–Rajkamal Chaudhary (1929–1967)
Sitting with plexuses open, breathing, breathing long, breathing short, condensing breath like milk, and biting, without teeth. A temporal consolation.
Brick walls allotted to withholders of delayed »everything« a place to segregate »own,« and meditate upon private innumerable timelines. Documenting jitters through the language, while rubbing shoulders, unveiling a temporal curve in slo-mo, काक, वक्र, उक्ति.
Hindi is without capital letters – signaling it’s time to stress, time to stop, time to start another. Without these markers what does a (meta)body lacking in capitalization stress? A potential to sleepwalk? A body emanating in endless peas without signaling which ones are the heads, where are the tails – ingeminate garlands sweeping, towards knotless-nowheres, a sustained loop of delays.
हमें इतना दिलासा भर है कि
अपने समय में भले न हों, हम अपने घर में हैं।
– अशोक वाजपेयी (1941-)
|We have but the consolation that
We are »in« our home, even if we may not be in our times.
–Ashok Vajpayee (1941–)
…उदय-अस्त दिनकर का,
तिमिर-हर के अंतर से
तिमिर का उद्गम
और तम के हृदय से
निशानाथ का प्रकाश,
सब है स्वाधीन…
|The risings and settings of sun,
From the heart of every mirk
The origin of mirk
And the marking light
From the heart of darkness,
Each is independent…
कालचक्र, जीवन चक्र, दुश्चक्र, सौर चक्र, सुखद चक्र, दमन-चक्र, अग्नि-चक्र, वणिक चक्र, ब्रह्म-चक्र, नेत्र चक्र, ऋतु चक्र… चक्र/ Cycles, of the legs, of the brain, of the ovaries, of the wind, of the ocean … them too – independent.
…जैसे इन जगहों में पहले भी आया हूँ
इन बनती-मिटती छायायों में तड़पा हूँ
किया है इंतज़ार
दी हैं सदियां गुज़ार
इन खाली जगहों में भर-भर कर रीता हूँ
रह-रह पछताया हूँ
पहले भी आया हूँ
– कुंवर नारायण (1927–2017)
|… As if I have come to these places before as well
Have suffered in these emitting-elapsing shadows
Have traversed centuries
Time and time again
Have voided in these vacant places
Have regretted ever and anon
Have come before as well
Have passed before.
– Kunwar Narayan (1927–2017)
A hypnotic familiarity encircles dizzyingly, walks alongside shadows, echoing – buzzing, like fingerprints buzz engraving onto callouses, as if a wooden shaft disintegrates yet the engraving lives on – साया. These places/points of disorienting disenchantments hardly ever engrave their own memories upon us, leaving only a sense of making-unmaking relaying to origin points not of this world, lucidly coexisting with ours, dreamscaping in a wake-centric civilization.