Packing Up

(Translation of my poem ‘పెట్టె మూసేసి by Sri NS Murty)

am sitting in some railway station

Whichever way I look, there is

Just this bench-long space to move about

I don’t know who these people are

What country and what language it is.

I don’t like railway stations

For, the rails lie there idly

Stretching into the unknown both ways

The signals suffer from drop head syndrome

And eons-old stains mark the walls.

Some X should come

Would he?

Something should happen

Like a train running onto the road

Or a bus speeding onto the rails…

Or some such thing.

Would it?

Whether or not that X came

Or that ‘something’ happened

Half-sitting on this choking bench

Like a timber adrift in a whirlwind

Waiting for another to drift elsewhere,

I should wait here shy, timid,

Reticent and gesturing with my head

For everything in “yes, yes”es or, “oh, yes”es,

“May be yes”es and “yes, it could be’s

Till somebody shifts me to some other place

Or till the awareness that nobody

Would ever come dawns upon me

And sweeps me off the platform

Thus I sit in some railway station

Oblivious of hours, days, years and ages.

Sivaram, My Pal!

Whatever I say, whatever I do

I need to do in this lone moment

That is in my hands

That’s it

And that’s all

After that I too should leave

Doffing the attire, cleaning up and closing the box

Whatever battles we win or lose fight

All that we have at hand

Is one fleeting moment

And an angstrom arena


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