Saturday, November 14, 2015

Likhna To Hae Mera Rog—लिखना तो है मेरा रोग—Writing Is My Illness

Likhna To Hae Mera Rog
(Writing Is My Illness)
लिखना तो है मेरा रोग
لکھنا  تو ہے  میرا  روگ

I met once a poet of a caliber high,
A wordsmith of worth that none could deny.
I asked him, in English, the reason he wrote.
He replied in a tongue that was foreign. I quote:
“Badmaasho ne puuchhte hae – tum jaese log,
‘Likhte kyo~?’  Likhna to hae mera rog.”          \1

This was the answer he gave to my query,
With a look of disgust, in a tone that was weary.
And with my machine I recorded these sounds.
But what did they mean?  I have done since my rounds.
But no one can tell me their meaning, and so
I have learned now to mouth what I still do not know.
I now am a poet of a caliber low.
With my rhymes and my meters, I put out a show.
They ask me, to rile me, the reason I write.
I frown at them fiercely and say out of spite,
“The rascals like you have been asking me this.
It's an illness I have.  And my ass, you can kiss.”

2015 November 14th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York

1.  It has been discovered that this is Hindi/Urdu for:  “Scoundrels like you ask me, ‘Why do you write?’  Writing is my illness.”

As these twin languages are not my own, corrections would be welcomed.

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