When it gets old
it gets left behind by itself
drops out of sight.
Sometimes it comes to mind the same way
we suddenly recall
Varah Giri Venkat Giri
was once the president of the country.
Translated from the Hindi by Mrinal Pande and Ariene Zide
For glory’s sake
give me a chance to tell the truth
to help others
Give me a golden chance, Lord!
Give me food, O God
so I may worship you
Send a few poor to my door
I’d like to feed their hungry mouths
God, allow me to give away
a few gold sovereigns
Give me a loyal wife, an obedient son
a good brother and civilized neighbours
Upon this earth, O God
give me a happy life
so that in old age
I can worry about the other world
my soul is yearning to sin
Give me a woman to sin against.
Born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, Katyayani is a Hindi poet. She has authored several collections some of which include ‘Saat Bhaiyon Ke Beech Champa’ (1994), ‘Jadu Nahi Kavita’ (2002) and ‘Footpath Par Kursi’ (2009). She has been published in several magazines of repute and her works have been translated into English and Russian.