Fancy Dress

Poet                      :               Udayan Thakker

Translator           :               Dileep  Jhaveri

  After forty years

we school friends met

at a fancy dress party

One was clad as Laurel and another as Hardy

Bob came as the Headmaster and Susan became Cinderella

And I? Hunchbacked monster!

Much makeup was not needed, in fact


“Do you remember the washroom? On the first floor?

A line was sketched on the wall

with the words :

If your stream can reach this far

then become a fireman”


This fat Frederick! The teacher had chided!

Why is your notebook blank?

He replied: “Sir! You wrote on the blackboard

I copied in my notebook

But then with duster you erased every written word…”


Freddie used to open a bottle of Coca-Cola with his teeth

Now his dentures come out when he laughs


And Paul, Jesus! He could rattle down numbers and tables

now he forgets his name even


Violins used to play when Susan would smile

She is still a spinster


Carl was a champion in High Jump

Leaped from the ninth floor


Venus  used to wear a butterfly broach on her blouse

She has only one breast now


Till midnight

the fancy dress party went on

Slipping on childhood

we deceived death

for a few moments

To read the original Gujarati Poem please visit:

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