Children of Srinagar, Kashmir
Children of Srinagar, Kashmir
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  Amitabh Bachchan  

 Growing up
  Vol IV : issue 3

  Cover page
  Subhash Mukhopadhyay
  Lucy Nusseibeh
  Rajan Hoole
  Syed Mohammad Ashraf
  Vasant Abaji Dahake
  
Dilip Chitre
  Only in Print

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Vasant Abaji Dahake

Photograph by SUSANTA BANERJEE

Holding my six-year old daughter’s hand

I watch your screen-stirring presence, laughter, dance and song.

Watch you talk and act rebellious in the face of this life.

I don’t particularly like this life either.

And I’ve now sheathed that dislike.

This is what I keep sensing: through the screen she has smoothly

entered your world, the way you operate smoothly

in enemy territory, and of late I often find myself

in a seat at the theatre,

holding the rusty sheath in my hands.

At times you act for a moment, only for a moment in a way that could

trigger a tremulous remembrance of my generation’s watchwords.

Before me, tomorrow’s generation is mouthing your lines

even before you’ve moved your lips.

As if you were a reaper sure to gather

the first harvest of tomorrow’s generation on your threshing-floor.

When my daughter grieves

at turns in the plot that threaten your life,

my words of solace have the ring

of a reality beyond her grasp.

They are quite pointless, actually.

She pulls herself together in a while

— the way she’ll often have to do in the future;

and you’d have been left far behind by then.

 

Translated from 'Shubhavartaman', a collection of poems, by Mangesh Kulkarni

 
 
Vasant Abaji Dahake is a well-known poet in Marathi. He teaches
at Elphinstone College, Bombay