Saturday, August 31, 2013

In English

Do we, westernize desi sentiments, when we write in English?
Do we, our longings, appear bastardized or contrite in English?

I concur, puns lack the cultural context. Metaphors lack that bite.
Don't we Indians suffer from a self-imposed exile in English?

In Hindi and Urdu lie the battles of Sanskrit and Farsi roots,
I escape Indian divisions but territorial wars I fight in English.

More Indians speak/read it, than Americans plus British do.
Why is the universe surprised if I choose to delight in English?

Blacks, Southerners speak in drawl, British have an accent!
Should I worry if we can't count syllables right in English?

Can I become a revered poet-prophet without writing in Hindi?
Even my mother insists, I sound foreign, uptight in English.

Restrain, veils, euphemisms, religious propriety, traditions:
I break chains; let my Muse celebrate her respite in English.

Even the most illiterate in the East sing verses of the great poets.
I seek that ideal, immortality. Can I scale that height in English?

For ten centuries, the East has glowed in the candlelight of Ghazals.
Vivek blazes with the passions Shahid too sought to ignite in English.


Published first in Contemporary Ghazals, 2013