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GURDEV CHAUHAN
(Punjab)

 

Mr. Gurdev Chauhan  was born on August 10 at Village Kukran, Dist. Hoshiarpur (Punjab), India.  He has published several books of poetry, satire and literary criticism in Punjabi and Hindi.  He has translated Amrita Pritam's Ek thi Sara from Hindi into English under the title Life and Poetry of Sara Shagufta.  He was awarded fellowship for two years for creative work in literature in 1991 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi
Notable books : (1) Makki Da Geet (Poems  in Punjabi)  (2) Nikkian Berian Nikke Chappu (Poems in Punjabi)  (3) Kutta, Kitab te Gulab (Satires in Punjabi) (4) Sahitya Satyanaash (Satires in Hindi) (5) Amrita Pritam : A Living Legend. (Ed.) 
Other activities : Chief Editor <South Asian Ensemble>, a Canadian Quarterly of Arts, Literature and Culture
Visited:  USA, Canada, Germany, England.
Address : # 2630 Phase-XI (Sector 65), Mohali (Chandigarh)-160065, India. 
Phone : +0172-2231043, Mobile : ++98146-85559 e-mail: gurdev.chauhan@gmail.com; editor.sae@gmail.com
Address in Canada : Goreway Drive PO Box 59168, Mississauga ON, Canada, L4T 4J1, Ph. 905-956-1724, Cell 647-808-1724

 
 

Four Poems by Gurdev Chauhan 
(Translated from Punjabi by the poet)


 
 
That Woman

When that woman comes out of her house
All the doors of houses are
Snapped shut
Only the windows look out,
the meshed shadows
That woman comes out of her house
That much

She could never enter her own self
Why does she walk hiding her?
Innocent like grass, that woman
Has never done any harm to anybody
But there is something in her face
Unheard of and unseen
Which has yet not died,
Which is well rooted and is of substance

That woman does not hear anything
She only wants to cross the street
As one would do in sleep

She wants to lose herself
In the crowd of her own mind
With her supple breasts
The faceless crowd gives her a face,
A name, she becomes nameless and placeless

This woman is hearth less since long
She has never eaten anything
freely with ones mind in it
That woman has never slept her own sleep
she builds fire and obeys the orders
and takes care of others’ opportunity
she rejects every street and every eye
and tears up the page of her own being

but this woman is still rearing a dream
of her own home
home whose window has not yet born
and nor any door

The City And Me

I have become very old
for this city.
When my friends and I
meet near the Clock Tower
we start thinking
how yesterday’s celebration
can recompense today’s evening;
how a solitary day can
balance on its shoulders
an office packed full
of empty clerks?

My beard is becoming
one more historical object
for this city

When I laugh
I’m reminded of my expanse.
Man can lose himself
to his own multitude in this city
with such artful ease!
I didn’t know that the city would
lose itself with such practiced ease
in the wealth of its own relation

Hear The Poem

The poem comes out of the garden
Like fog and spreads over greenery
like an evening.

In company with the wind 
since morning,
the day suddenly gets restive.
Seasons and poems grow up
out of accidents of sorts
The poem coming 
out of the garden rain
has become sad

Some poems are 
like telephone wires,
lonesome and afar
Poems are the 
only means of spending
or outspending the time

Can you see milk 
pouring into the city’ cauldron
off the milkmaid’ eyes ?
Ask the poems to take us to
Biri smoking exasperated labourers
their hunger has become very singular
like their journey

The poem knows 
that when the soldier
would return home from war
his past would be standing 
on the doorway
of his house like an enemy

A poem is that 
bedside candle of time
the more it burns 
the better it’s flamed
.

Camel In a City

She’s a droplet
measured, quivering, just a trace.
Words slipped off her shoulders
She’s in a discotheque, like a bank balance
Her hair had cash

How foolish of me
I took railway compartment for a home
But I didn’t know
I was looking for books in a cattle market

Outside the railway station
Were voices of coolies,
Multiplications, subtractions,
Additions and totaling up of things.
Time tables, attaches, three-wheelers and taxis.
I ‘d become useless like a camel in a city

 

 

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