I Ask

I ask the Sun
flying across the sky –
Is this what they call time?

That events should trample
like crazy elephants
over all human consciousness?

That each question should be
no more than an error
of absorption in thought?

Why are we retold the same old joke
every time?

Why do they say
we live?

Think for a moment –
How many here have anything to do
with the thing called life?

What kind of God’s mercy is that
which falls alike on hands cracked
and bleeding
from weeding a field of wheat
and on the pulpy bodies
stretched on divans in a marketplace?

Why is it
that a loud-crying silence lies frozen
on faces besieged
by the noise of ox bells and of engines drawing water?

Who is it
that devours the fried fish of biceps
of dreams chopped
with swaths on fodder-choppers?

Why does the peasant in my village
beg for mercy
from a mere police constable?

Why is it
that every time someone being crushed
the cry is disposed of as a poem?

I ask the Sun
that flies across the sky


Translated by Rjesh Kumar Sharma