Sachin Ketkar

(29 September 1972 - / Baroda, Gujarat / India)

The City Which Doesn't Go Anywhere


(For Surat)

A city in the middle
Of a flourishing obese market

A convoluted net
Of shortcuts and flyovers
Trammeling the babies of the sun

Here refuse piles up even on the sun.

Even the sun's daughter is reduced
To a mere gutter.

Leptospirosis has infected the human gaze itself

A sack of plague-spreading rats
Thrives in the voracious bellies.

Here the line that separates
The homes from the shops is pretty unclear
You can't really tell where a shop ends
Where a home begins
Or where a home ends and the shop begins.

Here the statues of various leaders
Point in various directions.

Surat, however, doesn't go anywhere
It merely sits
Amid the deafening discordant concert of horns
Clouds of toxic smoke
With garish red lipstick
Waiting
For one or two more customers
Even after all the customers have left.

[Translated by poet himself]

Submitted: Thursday, September 13, 2012

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