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The Request - Poem by Shiv Kumar Batalvi

The sun that you stole
Was mine.
The house that you threw into darkness,
Was mine.

The sunshine that smiles in your home, is mine.
My life is bleak without it,
The odor of my grief is heavy on it,
It was mine yesterday and is mine today.

It is I, bereft of light, who am its father.
It is my fire that is embedded in its limbs.
The smell of my sun is in it,
The sun that was stolen from me in broad daylight.

But you cannot be blamed for this theft.
The sun has been stolen in every era.
An afternoon has always died,
Weeping for the sun.

I, lightless, beamless, have a request,
I, a faithless father, stand at your door.
Let me place a sun upon your forehead,
And beg you for my sunlight.

I, who died long ago, beg you to bestow this on me.
Never utter my name again in the sunlight.
If ever some ray asks a question, remain silent,
Or call me a ‘black sun' and let it go.

This is the request of a father of sunlight.
From this day, on my sunshine is dead to me
Along with the sun it is yours now,
Wherever it smiles, is the home if its father.

The sun that you stole
Was mine.
The house that you threw into darkness,
Was mine.

[Translated from 'Arjoi' by Suman Kashyap]


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