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Translated from the Hindi by Kartikay Agarwal


Stones they wrap 

in loincloths, 

they dress up shrubs 

in ghaghras & chunaris. 

Woods, mountains, 

the open sky — in their bare 

nakedness — aggravate them, 

so they find ways

to rejoice in vulgar traditions. 

They gild the deities 

with jewellery, 

and the temples 

they bless 

with conditioned air. 

Many such ways 

to put God 

in place.

Naresh Saxena (born 1939) is a Hindi poet from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. His poetry is notable for brevity and he is well-known for recitations.

Kartikay Agarwal is a 27-year-old bilingual Indian poet living in Mumbai, who forever finds his voice traversing between English and Hindustani. His original work has featured in Narrow Road Journal, The Alipore Post, deCenter Magazine, gulmohur quarterly, and Jaggery; while a translation was featured in The Usawa Literary Review.

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