Fate and Destiny

‘Taale ta Karam’… a Kashmiri poem in free verse by Mash’al Sultanpoori… Translated from Kashmiri by Shabir Magami…

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Lines/
Some straight/
Some crooked/
And some twisted/
I kept drawing on a sheet of paper/
Straight and Bent and Spiral/
Right to left and Left to right/
Horizontal and Vertical/
Here, there and everywhere/
Poorly drawn lines/
Some unfinished and some complete/
Some big and some small/
Some thin, thread-like/
Some thick like twined ropes/
Which lines mean what?/
And how many of them have meaning?/
Which mean the best and which mean the worst?/
And which are meaningless?/
Which to keep and which to erase?/
Head feels like bursting/
If I keep the straight line/
It has a crooked line entwined with it/
Lost and confused/
And thinking what to do/
Nails on the paper/
Scratching/
Applying the eraser/
Pruning and chiselling/
Erasing one and keeping another/
The sheet of paper is torn and shredded/
But the lines/
Straight and crooked/
Remain the same and are still there/


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