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Translated from the Punjabi by Hunardeep Kaur 

Between you and me 

There is nothing to be censored 

But when your letter will tremble in torment in the hands of ignorance 

Many meanings will be misconstrued 

The policeman will distort the meaning 

Of your faith in God 

He will interpret your complaint 

About not meeting for so long 

To be a lament 

On the lawlessness of the society 

And the sorrowful mention of those beautiful moments 

That became rotten 

In the dust rising behind the running, horse-like time 

That sorrowful mention 

Will be understood as a lament for the martyred comrades 

He will misunderstand your complaint  

about inflation 

As a sign of change in the policy of the revolutionaries 

And your mourning of your soldier brother 

Who died in Bangladesh 

Will be seen as supporting the cause of China 

You will never know, what will happen 

When meanings will be misconstrued 

Your letter will tremble in torment 

In the hands of ignorance!  

Paash (1950- 1988), was the pen name of the revolutionary Punjabi poet Avatar Singh Sandhu, one of the major poets in Punjabi literature. His poetry articulates the concerns and interests of the agrarian society and engages in a dialogue with the Naxalite Movement in Punjab. His poetry collections include ‘Loh Katha’, ‘Ud De Baazaan Magar’ and ‘Saade Samiyan Vich’. He was assassinated by Khalistani extremists in 1988.

Hunardeep Kaur is a student of English Literature at Lady Shri Ram College for Women.

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