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  Poems of the end  

  Vol II : issue 3

  Amrita Pritam
  Claudia Card
  K. Satchidanandan
  Daud Haider
Gagan Gill
  Merle Almeida

  Only in Print

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Gagan Gill

For Nancy

It is a bridge of sleeplessness

and you


his dream

In his dream he

is with someone else

with a new desire

in a different life

His body has shed

the skin of your memory

in his sleep

outside his sleep

Now the one

dreaming over there

isn't yours

he's a stranger

In this draining grief

if you wish, ignore his dream

drown this surge of pain

inside your heart

This night

it's a bridge of sleeplessness


in the air


you won't be able to cross

for all time

to that side

or this


The secret of his dream

has walked

right up to you

At the dining table

he sits beside you

you beside him

the infidelity of his dream

looks at you


He doesnít know yet

that heís been found out

He doesnít know yet

heís living

another life in his dream

Itíll take him a long time

to tell anything at all

Who knows

when heíll

confront himself

He wonít

part with you yet

Heíll cling on to you

till the end

Heíll wish to honour

all the sacred vows

Only you

will tire of it

of this invisible oneís gaze

sitting at the table

one day


One day

he, too, will know of his dream

Embarrassed, heíll wander about

avoiding your gaze

Suddenly, heíll start going on long walks

Suddenly, heíll like doing

tiring little chores

Sitting with friends

heíll get drunk late in the night

Wonít say a thing

Will laugh

louder than anyone

This is a warning

Heís looking around

for a hidden spot somewhere

he needs to cast away

this undesired dream

This is a warning

that anything can happen

Donít close the door on him


Donít tell him yet

that you knew it all

right up to the end

Heís walking

down this road

long and lonely

just to come back home


One day

your days together

will come to an end

It'll be the same old house

the same old things

Only, you two

will be orphaned

Your unborn kids

hovering like ghosts

Out there

the same old world

will be waiting for you

The shadow that razed

your well trenched home

will be nowhere to find

Sometimes the love

of a lifetime

fades away

face to face with a dream





Translated from the Hindi with Arlene Zide
with the poet


Gagan Gill is a prominent figure among the younger Indian poets. A former literary editor,
she writes in Hindi and lives in Delhi