Categories
Poetry

Poetry in Translation

Aditya Shankar translates Sandhya NP‘s poetry from Malyalam to English

Sandhya NP
 
 
 

 Photograph
  
 This photograph
 Like the solitary bogie 
 That was arrested to a halt
 Even as the rest of the train 
 Sped past.
  
 (Photo, translated from Malayalam by Aditya Shankar)
  
 Solitary
  
 Would the yolk of the egg 
 Be wondering
 If it is alone in this world?
  
 Even if it assumes so,
 Would it consider 
 Posing that query to anyone?
  
 Once the egg hatches,
 It would know by default—
 Even the 'I' 
 Is absent in this world.
  
 (Otta, translated from Malayalam by Aditya Shankar)
  
 Light at the Bottom of the Pond
  
 The sun gleams on me
 just as it does 
 At the bottom of the pond.
  
 I will wipe it off with a cloth
 And go to bed.
  
 (Kulathinadiyile Velicham, translated from Malayalam by Aditya Shankar)

Sandhya N.P (b.1981) completed her education in Brennen College, Thalassery. Her poetry collection Svasikkunna Shabdam Mathram was published by Current Books, Thrissur.

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Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Poetry

Human Immortality Project

By Aditya Shankar

Human Immortality Project (HIP)

Never pictured itself

beneath the dark skin of a Dalit,

sipping tea from a stained glass

that hung outside the restaurant.

As a microcosm of the conventional eye,

he stood there, alone, ignored,

separated from the gala inside.

The stray cat that dashed over the wall

won the loving glance of the lady.

Through the tube,

the world poured into that room

with news of war and blood.

A brand-new car on the street

kept the young man hooked.

A bagatelle heightened the

emptiness of paper light happiness.

Yet the rejoicing world

failed to notice that deserted man

like the far side of the moon.

The rope to which

his mug was tethered

felt like the chains of a slave.

His, a sip of survival, a sip bereft of taste.

The techno futurism of HIP saw

only those in the gala: maybe,

shame wasn’t worth prolonging.

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Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

Categories
Humour Poetry

Anti-Ode to Poems that Begin with O

By Aditya Shankar

If you do not know poetry beyond high school, all poems are odes. They go O…! Haven’t read any contemporary poetry? Haven’t seen poetry recitals except on primetime tv? All poems still go O…! Do not share your new poem in a circle of school friends or relatives. Even if you do, hear their comment ‘Wow! Awesome! Lovely!’ as ‘grow up to an ode that goes O…’. The retired revolutionary poet glances through your poem and says: not even worth the Z-division league of O Germany, Pale Mother. Not even a shadow of O, We are the Outcasts, reminds the senior postmodern poet. Poems titled Orange, Omelette, Oxygen aren’t quite the O poems, declares the lyric poet who reads O Blush Not So! twice daily. A tired and old O Do Not Love Too Long and his pal O Western Wind confess to a friendly new prose poem: we long to idle in our graves. But alas! Here they are, in ill-fitting attire of teleported primitives, holding centre stage in a bandwagon that fades around the corner. As good as a failed interworking attempt between H.323 and SIP or a brand-new showroom of CRT televisions. A retro hackathon in Fortran, an MMO Pacman event or the B side of an old VHS tape. The street is a river, a carnival of clichés and bygones.

Note:

O Germany, Pale Mother by Bertolt Brecht/O, We are the Outcasts by Charles Bukowski/O Blush Not So! by John Keats/O Do Not Love Too Long by W.B. Yeats/O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

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Aditya Shankar is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL. 

Categories
Poetry

No warplane has ever flown like a bird

(Translation of Karunakaran‘s Pakshi Pole Parannittilla Oru Yuddhavimanavum by Aditya Shankar)

Karunakaran
No Warplane Has Ever Flown Like A Bird

No warplane 
has ever flown like a bird,
has lost way like a bird,
has halted mid-flight reminiscing a bygone aroma.

A warplane
	has flown evoking a rage,
	beside a war-goddess-shaped cloud
	grunting in the memory of a rage, like an animal.

Not that,
a warplane has ever flown like a bird.

Karunakaran is a novelist, poet and story writer hailing from Pattambi, Kerala. Published works: Makarathil Paranjath(Stories, Pathabedham), Kochiyile Nalla Sthree(Stories, Sign Books), Paayakkappal (Stories, DC Books), Ekanthathayekkurich Paranj Kettittalle Ulloo (Stories, DC Books), Athikupithanaaya Kuttanveshakanum Mattu Kadhakalum (Stories, DC Books), Parasyajeevitham (Novella, DC Books), Bicycle Thief (Novel, Mathrubhumi Books), Yuddhakalathe Nunakalum Marakkombile Kaakkayum (Novel, DC Books), Yuvaavayirunna Onpathu Varsham (DC Books), Yakshiyum Cycle Yathrakkaranum (Poems, Green Books), Udal Enna Moham (Essays, Logos Books.

Aditya Shankar is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL. 

Categories
Poetry

The Girl Who Went Fishing

By Biju Kanhangad

(Translated by Aditya Shankar)

Beneath the blue waterline,

father’s catch basks in the sunlight: a fish.

The gray-black of crows shroud the pale oar.

Reddish crabs reach the shore, transcending

the festered basket discarded by mom.

In the houseboat, the yellow flowers on

the worn rouka* are still wet.

Unable to submerge the shark, remnants of

the blue spreads into the sky, bawls.

*Bodice in Malayalam, can also be used to see connections

Biju Kanhangad is a poet, painter and post graduation in Malayalam literature. In 2005, he represented Malayalam in the national poetry seminar conducted by Sahitya Akademi. He was awarded the Mahakavi P poetry prize (2013), Moodadi Damodaran prize (2015), Joseph Mundassery Memorial Award (2017), Thamarathoni Kavita prize (2020) and other awards of repute. Thottumumbu ManjayilayoKanhangdu, Azhichukettu, June, Ucha Mazhayil, Vellimoonga, Puliyude Bhagathaanu Njanippozhullathu, Ullanakkangal, Ochayil Ninnulla Akalam, Mazhayude Udyanathil are his anthologies of poems. Essays: Vaakinte Vazhiyum Velichavum, Kavitha Mattoru Bhashayaanu. His poems have been translated into English, Hindi, Kannada, and Tulu.   

Aditya Shankar is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

Categories
Poetry

Katsaridaphobia/Gospel According to Cockroaches

By Aditya Shankar

1

And the insect haters, repellent sprayers, broom

wielders will eventually reside beneath soil:

the second life. The hand that swats thy loved

ones will lie defenseless. Time of cockroaches

and oppressed shall arrive.

2

Soil will erode like the layers of sandwich. The

one who seeks will traverse its depth. The one

who licks the world shall know and conquer.

3

Our itchy legs shall crawl and penetrate the fire

in the flesh and the temptation of the wood coffin.

4

He who comes digging for forefathers and lost

cities shall tremble at our conquest and return to

house of darkness, referred hereafter as hell.

5

Punish them with your touch. Tease them

with your shadow. Crawl in their nightmares.

Appear as rarely as God among sinners.

6

And when you take an avatar, infest his cup-

board and attic with the thousand children you

beget. Fear shall have no face.

7

The army of your lineage shall be the

messenger of colour. Fire, soil, and life beneath

shall have your shade.

8

Eat the sleep of men and women from whose

country, the messenger never returns.

9

Bore holes in their books and clothes. Plough their

notions until they turn into roads that lead nowhere.

Aditya Shankar is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His work has appeared in international journals and anthologies of repute and translated into Malayalam and Arabic. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.

Categories
Poetry

The Tiniest Man on Earth and more…

By Aditya Shankar

The Tiniest Man on Earth

Was so tiny

he did not belong among humans.

Too big for microbes and fungus to befriend.

Too small for mushrooms

to feel the entitlement of a rain shelter.

Eliot’s practical cats were too practical

to respond to his queries.

Orwell’s Old Major

was busy inspiring a rebellion.

With none to acknowledge,

his happiness bore no relation to happiness.

His grief bore no relation to grief.

He watched the communion of men from afar—

their greets, hugs, smiling eyes.

He was happy.

But with none to share it,

his happiness hurt worse than grief.

He watched the war of men from afar—

their slit throats, longing, silence.

This hurt him.

But with none to relate with,

his grief grew light and comical.

He roamed the lonely world,

depressed and happy at once,

a microcosm of the humanosphere.

On his epitaph, he wrote:

Emotion seeks a watching eye

and lay in his grave.

But death never came for him.

It did not want to devour a breath

that wouldn’t distill into a potion of loss.

Notes:

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot.

Old Major, a character from Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Annapurna// A History of Food

Mouth opens like the door of a shrine.

God, hungry and veiled by gloom is within.

She clutches her children tight.

Sets her men and women to work on barren lands,

pickaxes in their hand.

They plant crops, harvest the yield.

Chases away pigeons and crows.

War, they charge at rats in the granary.

Time is but the rushes of a never ending film on food—

the land our ancestors moved/ oxen ploughed,

earthworm that wiggled/ lizard fish that splashed,

cranes and parakeets that flew.

Not to forget the much more ancient recordings.

Spears that we darted/ meat that we roasted,

forests that thronged the fields once/

hills that we scaled.

No love story, without an episode of meal.

No battlefield, without a thirsty dying throat.

No captivity, as unbreachable as hunger.

Grounded by roots that we assume are severed,

an indoor sapling channels light.

A hand fed parrot pecks from our digital nest.

Concise and edible in its beak,

the epic of Annapurna, my mother’s fond deity.

Note: Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food and nourishment

Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author and translator. A Best of the Net and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Aditya has his poetry translated into Malayalam and Arabic. His poems have appeared or is forthcoming in The Little Magazine, Chandrabhaga, Asiawrites, Indian Literature, Poetica Review, Columba, Periwinkle Literary Magazine, Reality Break Press, Brasilia Review and so on. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.