Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Tenant

When you return
you will फंड
a black house.
The white लाइट
with which
we covered the walls
- like covers on cushions,
was not cleaned properly।
It gathered dust
- Why didn't u come and dust it?
I can sweep the floors
But i can't reach the high walls।
Why didnt u come and clean the cobwebs,
that had begun to grow
in the corners of our relationship?

There were other people here
wanting to rent the house।
I haven't taken off the "To Let" board yet
That's for you to do।
So people still see the board
and try to enter.
And you left
after paying the advance.

Why weren't you there
to answer him
when someone came
to be my tenant?

How much could i do alone?
Dusting the house,
keeping off other tenants and
Waiting for you?
So, i went ahead and painted the house black.
You will see when you come.
And the white light is pressed
under the black.
You will have to chip and scrape
the whole house
to take it out again.
That will give you an idea
of how i toiled
when i painted it black.

तुम आओ

तो देखना
सारा घर
काला पुता होगा
जो रौशनी हमने तुमने मिलकर चढ़ाई थी
घर की दीवारों पर
तकिये के लिहाफों की तरह
उसे साफ़ नहीं किया
धुल जम गयी थी उस पर
तुमने आ कर उसे झाड़ा क्यूँ नहीं?
फर्श तो रोज़ बुहार देती थी मैं
पर ऊपर मेरा हाथ नहीं पहुंचता
- तुमने आ कर वो जाले क्यूँ नहीं हटाये
जो हमारे रिश्ते के कोनो में लग रहे थे?
कोई आया था यहाँ रहने
मैंने किसी को नहीं बताया
की किरायेदार रख लिया है मैंने ।
सब मकान को अब भी खाली समझते हैं।
तुमने तो बस पेशगी किराया दिया
और चलते बने।
जब कोई आया
किराए पर लेने
ये मकान
तो तुम
क्यूँ नहीं थे
दरवाज़ा खोलने को?
तुम क्यूँ नहीं थे
उसे बताने की मेरा किराए चढ़ गया मकान?

मैं क्या क्या बचाती अकेली ?
उस धुल को साफ़ रखना
किरायेदारों को मोड़ना वापिस
और तुम्हारे लिए रोज़ खाना बनाना
- शायद तुम आज लौट आओ!

बुरे किरायेदार हो तुम -
इसी लिए मैंने सारे घर को
काला पोत दिया है ।
जब आओ, तो देखना ।
और रौशनी
जो काले रंग के नीचे
दबी बैठी है
उसे खुरच कर निकालना होगा तुम्हे -
ताकि तुम्हे पता चले
की मैंने कालिख पोतने में
कितनी मेहनत की है!


Amrita said...

why is my blog not in your blogroll :-|

zirelda said...

How very sad.

How do we know said...

Hi Amu: Bcs, my dear.. ur blog is on top of my mind.. i dont have to use my blogroll to remember ur url. :-)

Hi zirelda: :-)

Mampi said...

So like you. Such pain. But I am glad you wrote it finally, and that you posted it.
Beautiful, simply beautiful.

Esha - People for the Blind said...

Hi Mampi: I wrote it over 13-14 years ago. Posted it now :-) Thank you..

Amrita said...

loved reading this post.

You will have to chip and scrape the whole house
to take it out again.

..which they will not do..

Amrita said...

u wrote it soooo long ago!

Amrita said...

that detail shud go in the post :)

How do we know said...

Amrita: Yes.. which never does happen. :-)

Onkar said...

Beautiful. I liked the Hindi version better.

How do we know said...

Onkar sir: Thank you! The Hindi is the original, and the English is a poor translation.


bahut hi behatareen kavita.. is kavita ka kavi/kaviyatri kaun hai??

How do we know said...

hi Satyaatri: Ye meri kavita hai.