Auditi Phalguni is a celebrated fiction writer, but publishes poetry occasionally.

Dream Girl, Come By

Water-gurgle in the breast
The crash of a waterfall
The hushed afternoon rainbow-coloured
Untouched by sin,
Bungled by your ineptitude, destroyed
In the egotistical vein of a proud master –
Now if you were to even collapse in a hundred sighs
What is that to the exhausted girl?

Now there’s some other afternoon, some other youngsters
Swings, horses, dolls, uncountable
(Had played with you in the playroom
The doll has been smashed in the devastating storm)
Today, it is only for you and me to watch the play
Should the days of hide and seek expire!

The footpath is lined with heaps of yellow leaves,
The days of fallen leaves are here already?
In Munrapara, the snake-charmers call –
Insignificant city, my pity for you.
Santali songs jitter in the noise of anklets,
“Dream girl, come by to me!”
Egotistical youth, stay back
In the owl’s lair of well-written dense books –

Touching salt mine and sunflower,
I will dance on a leaf mountain!

– Translated by Nuzhat Amin