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Bibhu Padhi

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Bibhu Padhi

Common Rosefinch Male, Ladakh. Photo by Nitoo Das


What if you don't care?

Every leaf knows how I feel,
every bird and bud, every human
pathway in between hedge-rows.

What if you don't know,
or rather wouldn't, for reasons
best known to you?

I needn't speak to you.
Each small thing in your garden
will speak for me.

Every small thing has laid itself
bare, my gardener!


The sky is clear.
No movement of clouds.
No clouds.

I ask my companion:
"Where're you taking me,
beyond the sky, the stars?"

And she answers:
"Whenever I see a flower of
translucent blue, I remember you."

I tell her: "You need not go from here
to elsewhere, need not take me
beyond the transparent blue."

And, from some place where
the winds are not there, and
a medieval stillness reigns, she says:

"Haven't you seen me? I stay so close
to where you do. Shouldn't you know
I am lonely too, just like you?"


Summer: You are just about here,
somewhere, yet wouldn't come.

How do I call you in?

It always seems as if my voice
is too low for the seasons,
their arrivals, departures.

They will not come,
will not go.

Summer: I shall not
call you now, when

the erratic February
rains are here.

May you come following
your very own wishes.

Your body, your breath.

Summer: I can
almost see you now.


Small print: I think I know
you will betray me
again, and I'll feel alone.

Daughter of now:
the wild hills of Dhenkanal,
have failed to comfort me.

Daughter: I've seen smiles
mellowing over
years of a quiet loss.

My gypsy heart
longs for a retreat.

(Dhenkanal is a small town in central Orissa, a state on the east coast of India)


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