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Poem, ‘Theatre’, by Alok Dhanwa. Photographs and translation by Saudamini Deo.


पार्क की बेंच का
कोई अंत नहीं है
वह सिर्फ़ टिकी भर है पार्क में
जब कि मौजूदगी है उसकी शहर के बाहर तक

There is no end to
a park bench
it only touches the park
while its presence continues outside the city

Theatre 1

पुल की रोशनियों का
कहीं अंत नहीं हैं
मेरी रातें उनसे भरी हैं
मुझे तो मृत्यु के सामने भी
वे याद आयेंगी

The lights of bridges
have no end anywhere
my night is filled with them
even in front of death
I will remember

Theatre 2

लंबी चोंच वाला छोटा पक्षी कठफोड़वा
मुश्किल से दिखाई पड़ा मुझे
दो-तीन बार
पिछले दस-‍बारह वर्षों में

The small bird, woodpecker, with a long beak
was seen by me
barely two or three times
in the last ten or twelve years

Theatre 3

वह फिर दिखाई देगा
इस बार थियेटर में

It will be seen again
In a theatre

Theatre 4

थियेटर का कोई अंत नहीं है
थियेटर किसी एक इमारत का नाम नहीं है।

There is no end to
a theatre
theatre is not the name of a building.

Theatre 5


Born in 1948, Alok Dhanwa writes poetry in Hindi. Influenced by the Naxal movement, his poetry often explores themes of oppression and resistance. His work has been translated into English, Russian, and Bangla. He is currently the head of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Bihar.

Saudamini Deo is a writer and photographer. She lives in India.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Monday, May 18th, 2015.