Musafir; Poem By Varavara Rao

Poem_ Varavara Rao
Translation_ N Venugopal

Could anybody from you
Protect him in your heart
He is seen roaming with
A band of death around his forehead
He rides a bike as if
The bike is riding him

Except revolutionary spark in those eyes
Besides his pointed nose
You can’t find
Even a speck of flesh on his body

He looks like a forest dweller
Lost his way in the forest of city
He looks like a tanned Palestinian
Walking all the way here
From Gaza through Kashmir

Under his sweat-filled shirt
Have you ever tapped
His back, an over burnt potsherd
That bled and dried
In police torture for a month
Have you ever heard
The Sufi music
That always flows into his ears and heart
Have you ever felt his forlorn loves

Indeed, he looks like
A guitar he himself is
Playing in Lamakan

He is persistent Telangana
On the eastern horizon
He is the heartbeat of Virasam’s organ
That continues to unite as you slice
He is the language of alternative

He is not an earner
He is an editor
A collection of human emotions

He lost his job
For writing truths between the lines
In the false propaganda of ruling newspapers
He quit from the list of poets
By writing proscribed poetry

Is it today only?
No, he has been a lamb
Hounded by wolves
For the last twenty years
What support he has except
People’s power and human’s company
What does he have except
Troubled life tagged to dreams

Oh, I forgot to tell,
He is an insomniac
Consumes only air
He doesn’t relish food
With an angry pledge
Of spelling out August 15 treason

It’s only yesterday
He shattered the enemy’s cordon
To meet his own people
But today
While he was asleep in mother’s lap
Caught unawares by the onslaught named search
Like a chirping pigeon
Grabbed by a rough fist of conspiracy

He might not have left space even for his signature
On the flexis, posters and cover designs
He made for us with his imagination of a new world
But can we provide some space for him
Amidst us, in our eyes,
In our embraces, in our homes
As one among us
In response
In solidarity

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