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Translated from the Hindi by Swarnika Ahuja

Once I wrote a poem here 

Here where I had disliked living 

And was sent to live. 

In that place too, where I like to stay 

And have continued to stay 

It is only perchance a poem was composed here. 

Today, again at this detested place, 

Like a leaf broken from a branch 

I have come broken and beaten 

And this poem has been written 

For this place, I am grateful 

I bow my head to this soil 

I don’t love this place, 

But shower it with respect 

This is a place of pilgrimage, 

Where I remained a traveler 

This is not a nation 

Where roots and peaks 

remain buried 

That take precedence over poetry’s inspiration

I have died here twice: 

First, when I wrote my first poem here 

And second is today, 

When I am writing a poem in the memory of this poem: 

I have lived in the city of my home 

And will continue to live even after death:

Imprisoned in a locket 

Displayed on some wall 

Preserved on the canvas of memory, boundless and unseen 

But I will take something away from here 

Have already found something : two poems 

I have given nothing, I have nothing to give

Apart from my salutations 

Take these away, take them. 

Nalin Vilochan Sharma (1916-1961) worked as a professor of Hindi at the University of Patna. He is credited with initiating the “Nakenwad” school of Hindi poetry. Apart from being a poet, he was also a brilliant critic, with a wide perspective on literary history. He is also known for his short stories, especially Vish Ke Dant, and for his critical writings on literature.

Swarnika Ahuja is currently an assistant professor of English at Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, GGSIPU. She has presented her academic papers in both national and international conferences. Recently, she completed her MPhil from University of Delhi. Her poems have also been published in Ghost Review Press, The Indian Periodical and gulmohur quarterly.

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