Today's Beautiful Gem: `A Snapshot' by Hem
translated from the original Assamese by the author himself.
"On the Indo-Pak Frontier, near a tank,
I just chanced to see a girl, Anamika is her name.
"A snow-white sari, ribbons red,
hang on her body's curves in tight embrace:
I chanced to see a girl, Anamika is her name.
"Beyond that embrace, what is it that suggests itself?
Is it the freedom of the body, or of mind?
Of minds stratified through years?
My mind, lost in mazes of interrogations, became a ship of the desert.
"She is of the Indo-Pak Frontier, Anamika is her name:
A whisper of spring,-- a stifled voice of noonday depth.
In every nook of my body, there is a basket of weariness.
"On the Indo-Pak Frontier, there are bamboo groves,
a tank and a girl,-- where peace itself is a desert dream.
"Across the Frontier, there are Pakistan's men of gun,
and here, there is a girl, and I too, unknown to her.
"In their eyes, there is ball of fire,
edg'd and violent as booming bullets.
"What a spark of fire! What hatred! What dispeace!
"And there's a girl,-- of eyes as of doves.
Her eyes are white wings that buzz round a sky, hazy in smoke.
"Here, on this shore of the Frontier, that's a living dream:
And on the other, the devil-dance of Death.
"On the Indo-Pak Frontier, there is a girl, Anamika is her name.
Her mind's a sky, shimmering in purple ribbons of dreams.
"On the other side of the Frontier, bullets boom:
And on this, there's a girl painted in a frame of bamboo grove."
Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao