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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

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