Five Poems by Bina Sarkar Ellias, Translated by Asad Alvi

Featured Artwork by  Eugène Delacroix©



a scavenger
of words –

i seek rainbows
in the rubble

of time.


الفاظ کی خوراک

 پہ جینے والی

میں قوس قزح

ڈھونڈتی ہوں

وقت کے

ملبے تلے

A River

a river
once ran

my girlhood

bearing boats,
and fish,

and laughing

of naked

browned by
365 suns ––

days of

as its water.

the river

has met
the ocean,

its pure
white foam


of lost

fruit of
the womb,

and shoals
of kinship.

the river
now is ocean,

the ocean
is sky,

the sky
my skin ––

a nimbus
of light.

ایک دریا

ایک دریا

 کبھی چلتا تھا

میرے  بچپن سے

کشتیاں لئے ، مچھلیاں لیے

اور ہنستے دکھ

ان  ننگے بچوں کے

جن کی جلد

۳۶۵  سورجوں نے

سانولی کر دی تھی

بے شرر وہ شمسی دن

بے داغ

اس پانی کی طرح


وہ دریا

سمندر کو جا ملا ہے

اس کا سفید پاک جھاگ

اپنے اندر خزانے رکھتا ہے

کھو ئے ہو ئے جزیروں کے

کوکھ میں پلتا پھل

رشتوں کا ساحل

وہ دریا

اب سمندر ہے

وہ سمندر

اب آسمان

وہ آسمان

میری جلد

روشنی سے برستا

اک بادل

Morning Mess

it’s like the morning mess,
sheets in disarray, pillows on floor,
cigarette stubs in coffee cups,
milkman at the door.

the news of course, is daily dirt,
how many governments do you curse?
the cacophony of silent tweets
makes the waking even worse.

it’s like the morning mess,
the tangled words in my head.
how does one stack them neatly so,
in visual splendour to be read?

صبح  بےحواس ہے

صبح  بےحواس ہے –

چادر پر شکنیں، فرش پہ تکیے

کافی کی پیاولیوں میں سگریٹیں

دودھ والا دروازے پہ

روزمرہ کی خبر، ہاں، ہے گندگی

کتنی حکومتوں کو کوسیں؟

پرندوں کا شور

بناتا ہے اٹھنا مشکل اور

 صبح  بےحواس ہے

ذہن میں الجھے ہو ئے الفاظ

کیسے اتاروں کاغذ پہ

لگیں جو پھر ممتاز

Santiniketan 1

in the still night
of Santiniketan,
a red road rolls out,
astonished —
like Kali’s tongue.

شانتنی کیتن ۱

شانتنی کیتن کی

رات کی ساکت میں

ایک سرخ سڑک پھیلی ہوئ ہے

کالی کی زبان جيسے

Night Crawls

night crawls
in my coffee cup,
dregs of day yawn;
a poem writes itself.

رات رینگتی ہے

رات رینگتی ہے

میری کافی کی پیالی میں

دن کا میل اباسی لیتا ہے

اک نظم خود کو لکھتی ہے

Featured poems excerpted from FUSE (Poetry Primero, 153 pages).

About the Poet

Bina Sarkar Ellias is the Editor, Designer, and Publisher of International Gallerie, a global arts and ideas journal founded by her in 1997. She was the recipient of the Times Group Yami Women Achiever’s Award in 2008, and the FICCI/FLO Award for Excellence in 2013. She has edited, Fifty Years of Contemporary Indian Art, 1997, for the Mohile Parikh Centre for Visual Arts, Mumbai, and has written for The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Hindu, and the Hindustan Times, amidst other publications. She has been published in literary journals worldwide. Her chapbook of poems ‘The Room’ was published by AarkArts, and another collection, FUSE,  came out in 2015, which is currently being taught at Towson University, Maryland, USA.

About the Translator

asadAsad Alvi is a poet and translator from Karachi, Pakistan. In 2016, he was the recipient of the  Nasreen Anjum Bhatti Poetry Prize. His work has been published in a collection of short stories by the Oxford University Press (OUP), The Express Tribune, The Equator Line in India, Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature, and in an anthology of contemporary feminist poetry titled, We Will Be Shelter. Recently, he collaborated with the Clayman Institute of Gender Research at Stanford University on ‘Uprooted: An Anthology on Gender and Illness’. His translations of Sara Shagufta’s collected poetry, ‘The Color of Sleep and Other Poems’, is forthcoming by Speaking Tiger, India.

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