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Water / Everybody’s Crazy in My Family

Translated from Laishram Samarendra’s poems Ising and Ngaodaba Yaode Kanamatasu Eikhoigi Eemungda, which were originally published in Wakching-gi Kabita (1999). 




Water

Ising


all the experts gathered
all the superiors, all the masters
but from the pipeline the water ran not, never

the experts exchanged ideas
the superiors talk’d over
but never the water ran

then in a flash of light the lady arrived
she looked like the wife of a master or an expert
why should not the water flow
it can never be stopping and she shouted
it will surely be streaming in and she left
then pitter-patter, gushed forth the water



Everybody’s Crazy in My Family

Ngaodaba Yaode Kanamatasu
Eikhoigi Eemungda


Everybody’s crazy in my family
Crazy about tea, my first uncle is crazy about tea
The morning tea, afternoon tea, evening tea

About the cigarette my aunt
My boy, my cigarette, get my cigarette
And the thirty-three crores of god present themselves
Before her eyes my aunt says when she takes one hard puff

Bollywood songs are one thing my brother’s brainsick about
There is no song he knows not, no tune he hums not
No matter it is morning, afternoon or evening
No summer, no winter
No rainy day passes without his songs

My second uncle is lost in chanting the verses from the Gita
Seldom does he stop but carry on the incantation
But does he stop while he preach
Gandhi’s work, Bhave’s thoughts
Tilak and all their ilk
If it is in Sanskrit it is the truth
Stooping shoulder, scrunching eyebrows really he minds his business

My brother-in-law Kulachandra is mad about elections
The general elections, the assembly elections
The municipality elections
The public distribution system in the province
The allocation of kerosene and sugar in the locality
The image is a slightly tweaked mobile-phone
shot of the cover re-printed in the collection
Laishram Samarendragi Apunba Lairik.

Yaima, my saner brother-in-law is crazy about money
Sleepless nights he spends counting his money
Keeping accounts of his daily groceries
Keeping accounts of his trade
Never he stops blabbing about selling fields
Other dealing and mortgages paying off
Cash handling, borrowing, lending

In god Krishna my grandfather Krishnadas is committed full-time
Ever he throw himself down at the god’s feet
Cry, in some epiphany, proferring, praying
Everything’s is in the name of the lord for him

And amongst all of us it is my brother,
He hears not, the mortal saying nor the divine talking
But only in the wisdom of science and history is he occupied
And I,
They say we are the craziest.    


Postscript Even the most basic amenities like water and electricity are still not basic, but some sort of a luxury in our hometown. Regardless of the nationalists’ vain argument, we are pathetic and many of us will accept it without a second thought. Recently, water scarcity hit the province so hard in the ass, we started forgetting we are living in the 21st century.

Read A Complete Collected Work of Laishram Samarendra Released on His 87th Birthday

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