Late at night, father stands at the door. Half asleep, I open the door.
I sense mother’s presence behind me. Further back, under the shelter of
clouds, she seems to scatter like random threads.
Father places his hand on my head and blesses me just as he had done
before his death.
When I see him, I cry out, 'Father, I couldn’t save you even then, and
my countless poems have failed to save you once again.'
From somewhere far away, Mother’s presence gathers close around me,
spreads over my soul like a shadow.
Translated from Hindi by Alok Bhalla
Udayan Vajpeyi published five collections of poems including Kewal Kuchh Vakya & Wah, four collections of short-stories including Ret kinare ka ghar, three books of essays, a book on tribal painting and folk tales, Jangarh Kalam. He has written three plays for theatre director, K.N. Panikkar and a book on his works, Theatre of Rasa. He has authored a book on theatre director Ratan Thiyam. He has published book length conversations with film maker Mani Kaul, historian Dharampal, Philosopher Navjyoty Singh etc. He has published a novel, Qayaas. works are translated in around 15 languages including French, Spanish, Polish, English, Swedish, Odiya, Malayalam etc. He received Raza Foundation, Krishna Baldev Vaid, Spandan etc. Awards. He was a Writer-in-residence in Lavigny (Switzerland) in 2000, in Paris in 2003, and fellow at IAS, Nantes (France) in 2011. Has written texts for many documentary films of many directors including Kumar Shahani etc. and has written dialogues for Char Adhyaya (film based on Tagore's novel) by Kumar Shahani. He edits a journal on Arts, Literature and Civilization, Samaas. He lives and works in Bhopal.