न जाने कितने ख्वाबों को कुचल कर
आज सुबह दबे पांव आई है
उसकी एडियों टेल अब भी
कुछ मसले अरमान चिपके हैं
(Who knows after crushing how many dreams
Under its heels
Still sticking many crushed desires)
Dawn came goose-stepping
After trampling many dreams at night
Dismembered wishes still twitching
At the edge of the jackboots
It is hard to explain how one wakes up with entire lines fully formed but that is something I have done from childhood. There have been many times when I have woken up around 3 a.m. with many of my poems bursting forth like the waters of a reservoir breaching through cracks in the dam. (Excuse me for such overwrought imagery but it has be externalized for my own well-being.)
This morning I woke up with those two poetic constructs—in Hindi and English—in the precise form I have reproduced here. Admittedly, they are excessive in their pessimism but I see them not for their emotional content but for the vividness of the image of dawn.
There is a subtle difference between the way I conceived it in Hindi and English. In Hindi, morning comes “tip-toed”, the implication being that it seems to carry a sense of guilt having crushed many dreams. In English, dawn comes “goose-stepping” in “jackboots”, the implication being that it appears to have enjoyed the carnage it wreaked.
It has been my longstanding practice not to stand in the way when a poetic onslaught occurs in my mind. It has to be given way. It does not like being challenged. Whether or not the content is of any discernible poetic merit is extraneous to letting the waters in the reservoir burst forth.