February 14, 2009

This time

The following is the translated version of Prasoon Joshi's poem on the Mumbai attacks.


When the child comes to me with her wish,
I won't try to please her, this time.
Will allow her anxiety to continue.

When I'll see faces writhing in pain,
I won't sing to soothe them, this time.
Will allow the pain to penetrate, deep within.

I'll neither apply any cream, nor the cotton swab,
Nor will I tell you to close your eyes and look the other way,
And apply any lotion.
Will allow everybody to see the wounds.

When I'll see chaos, and desperation,
I won't run to help, this time.
Will allow the chaos to continue, until it can.

I won't serve my duty, won't take up weapons,
I won't make a try to start over,
I won't be an example of a dutiful person,
I won't make life return to normalcy, this time.
Will allow it to be dragged into the mud, along different roads,
Will not allow the blood on the walls to dry,
Will make it stronger than the spit of paan, this time.

I want to see,
The wounds up close, this time.
For a longer time.
Some decisions,
And then, the hopes,
Will have to start from somewhere.
This is what I decided, this time.

Translated, from Prasoon Joshi.

Paraphrase: The meaning of the poem is self explanatory. Although it might appear defeatist in sentiment, what with the poet saying that he won't do anything to uplift the society this time, in reality his view might be to allow the society to realize its shortcomings by itself without any aid. He wants us to realize our mistakes on our own, without his help, make corrections, and then move on.

The original, for comparison.

Is baar jab woh choti si bachchi mere paas apni kharonch le kar aayegi
Main usey phoo phoo kar nahin behlaoonga
Panapney doonga uski tees ko
Is baar nahin

Is baar jab main chehron par dard likha dekhoonga
Nahin gaoonga geet peeda bhula dene wale
Dard ko risney doonga,utarney doonga andar gehrey
Is baar nahin

Is baar main na marham lagaoonga
Na hi uthaoonga rui ke phahey
Aur na hi kahoonga ki tum aankein band karlo,gardan udhar kar lo main dawa lagata hoon
Dekhney doonga sabko hum sabko khuley nangey ghaav
Is baar nahin

Is baar jab uljhaney dekhoonga,chatpatahat dekhoonga
Nahin daudoonga uljhee door lapetney
Uljhaney doonga jab tak ulajh sake
Is baar nahin

Is baar karm ka hawala de kar nahin uthaoonga auzaar
Nahin karoonga phir se ek nayee shuruaat
Nahin banoonga misaal ek karmyogi ki
Nahin aaney doonga zindagi ko aasani se patri par
Utarney doonga usey keechad main,tedhey medhey raston pe
Nahin sookhney doonga deewaron par laga khoon
Halka nahin padney doonga uska rang
Is baar nahin banney doonga usey itna laachaar
Ki paan ki peek aur khoon ka fark hi khatm ho jaye
Is baar nahin

Is baar ghawon ko dekhna hai
Gaur se
Thoda lambe wakt tak
Kuch faisley
Aur uskey baad hausley
Kahin toh shuruat karni hi hogi
Is baar yahi tay kiya hai

... Prasoon Joshi


  1. Nice translation :) And Prasoon Joshi is a brilliant poet! I love his use of words, simple yet very effective.

  2. nice translation and and a poem which i am no one to comment on. Prasoon Joshi is a legend.
    Thanks for sharing it here and its never to late to reach out. :)

    Happy valentine's day to you :)

  3. i just love this poem... hats off to Parsoon joshi for this awesome touching write !!

  4. Thanks fellas.. yes Prasoon da is superb..


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