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On Reading

A translation of noted theatre personality, Ratan Thiyam’s Lairik Ouraibathe original poem in Manipuri is from his anthology Mangkhraba Sahargi Loikhraba Wari that was first published in June 2014

The lazy boy he was alone
He was asked to read his books, unassisted, alone
With a boatload of books
And there he was reading his books
Waiting for time.
He flunked his exam
And he was blamed for his failure
And he became a brat
Indocile he was—
He became a low life in the locality
And he was blamed again for the blunder
The police were called to catch him
The police locked him up in the prison
And the police were bribed to get the boy out
Such a lazy boy, he was alone
He was asked to read his books, unassisted, alone
But he was never, never taught;
The boy made a run for it
And on the road a vehicle ran over him,
A whole society was admitted to a hospital.

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