22/11/08

mehmaan

i said welcome to the guest
he said-- i am a refugee
from a certain hunting party
the dove that's escaped!
i regarded him as only a mehmaan
i didn't understand- what do i serve him
i didn't understand- what do i serve him
i asked him what he liked
'eating with my family' he said.
like a dried well
what did he hide inside
is this food?
with frightened eyes that had lost trust
hesitant..
the smoke's still coming out from somewhere he said!
pecking at a few fistfuls
remembering his family with every morsel..
it didn't seem like he was eating- drawing
sorrow from the seas inside
he seemed he's here
but wandering elsewhere..
the brother lost..the sister taken away...
the families destroyed
the estranged watan...remembering in delirium
his lane razed
friends killed
villages disfigured
nation scattered
because two eyes weren't enough
he seemed to grieve with his whole body!
finally without making a sound
departing like he came, he said-
'bloodthirst is a dangerous disease'.

- my translation of the telugu poem mehmaan by shahjahana (first published in andhra jyoti in december 2007).

11 comments:

Crazy Sam said...

Kufr, beautiful translation. Yeah indeed bloodthirst is a dangerous disease.

I'm sorry that I have got something to tell you that's totally unrelated to this post. I couldn't get your contact info, that's why I'm posting this here.

Could you please help me on the post about Dostana to get featured at Blogbharti? I already sent a mail to them, but I'm doubtful whether they will approve. Please dude, can you do something?

kuffir said...

sam,

welcome to this blog.and thanks for those kind words:) yes, i'd seen your letter and we've linked to it.

Crazy Sam said...

Thanks Kuffir! I'm sorry for all the troubles that I put you guys through. Wishing you a rocking weekend ahead.

Anonymous said...

thanks. what does mehmaan mean.

kuffir said...

anon,

'mehmaan' means guest, again. why did the poet use two words? i am still trying to understand.

anu said...

>>'mehmaan' means guest, again. why did the poet use two words?

I understand the word mehmaan as referring to a Muslim host, while the guest could be any or rather a 'global' refugee, no?

kuffir said...

anu,

the urdu word for host is 'mezbaan'.
but, as you say, the guest could be anyone.. and again, some muslims from gujarat had come over to hyderabad after the killings over there.

anu said...

mezbaan, ya!

I meant, by referring to her guest as 'mehmaan', the host kind of indicates that she is muslim........?


wonderful translation, thanks! :-)

kuffir said...

anu,

yes, that's a possibility. thanks :)

Kavi said...

Super cool ! Such works are appreciated because of people like you..what language fails to do, human understanding and action does ! Very well !!

Many thanks !

kuffir said...

kavi,

welcome to this blog and thanks. :)

 
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