THE CHILD  LAUGHS

Malayalam Poem by :V.Madhusudanan Nair

English Translation by P.K.N.Panicker

 

I have freedom for anything and everything,

to construct palatial buildings,

to revel in food and beverages,

to sell off rivers, to scoop out the mountains,

to create destructive floods of tear

and fish in those waters,

to teach that the two – men and women

are eternal foes,

to divide the people,

to distill out wealth – to gain from other’s sweat

and to ensure that divine blessing possible

only with wealth.

 

I have freedom for anything and everything,

to rewrite history the way it suits me,

to turn lies into truths,

to inject slow-acting poison

in the words and dreams

of the weak, the fickle minded;

outwardly secular

in the heart religious fanaticism;

To kill is the target

on the lips alluring compassion;

The shadow-gods I created

on my own volition

use array of belligerent, confusing conflicts

to rewrite the meaning of ‘Freedom’.

As I march forward, leading the procession

celebrating my freedom

with the intelligence-torch in my hand

there stands one with a crutch

by the side of the road, as a prop

and surrounded by beggars.

 

Oh! Gandhi Jayanthi+1 has come,

has not it

even as early as a century and half back –

this tranquility of non-violence;

Let us pick up a broom,

we shall clean this Gandhi Statue,

decorate with garlands,

Khadi+2, red, green or saffron;

Times have changed

and changed are our perceptions of freedom.

Let us replace that staff in his hand

with this sharp dagger.

What?

Is that from behind this dilapidated Gandhi statue

comes the laughter of a brave child?

 

+1       Gandhi Jayanthi   –  Means Birth Day of Gandhiji.

+2   Khadi+2  –  Khadi is handspun cloth and used to be in white colour, though today it is available in all

colours – here the colours may be a representation of different ideologies or religious affinity.

AKSHRA
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