• “The newly dead is an unknown quantity”: Remembering Eunice de Souza

    Two poems by the poet translated into Hindi by Kanupriya Dhingra

    July 29, 2017

    Five days ago, we wrote to Eunice de Souza for her permission to publish a few translations of her poems for the upcoming issue of Guftugu. She replied within a few hours, agreeing to have her work published. Today, as we learn of her death, it is useful to remember that writers have an afterlife in other languages. Here, we publish two  poems by de Souza, translated into Hindi by Kanupriya Dhingra.

     

    Woman with a cat
    Fernand Leger, "Woman with a Cat", 1921/ Image Courtesy: metmuseum.org

     

    Advice to Women

    Keep cats
    If you want to learn to cope with 
    The otherness of lovers.
    Otherness is not always neglect— 
    Cats return to their litter trays
    When they need to. 
    Don’t cuss out of the window
    At their enemies.
    That stare of perpetual surprise
    In those great green eyes
    Will teach you
    To die alone

    औरतों के लिए सलाह
    (कनुप्रिया ढींगरा द्वारा अनुवादित)

    बिल्लियाँ पालो
    यदि संभालना सीखना चाहती हो
    अनुरागियों की अन्यता|
    अन्यता हमेशा अवज्ञा नहीं होती—
    बिल्लियाँ अपनी कूड़ा-किश्ती में लौट आती हैं
    आवश्यकता अनुसार|
    खिड़की से बाहर गाली-गलोच नहीं करती
    अपने दुश्मनों पर|
    सतत हैरत की वो टकटकी
    उन हरी भरी आँखों में
    तुम्हें सिखाएगी
    अकेले मर पाना|
     

     

    Death

    Under the dusky mango tree
    ceremonial shaving of heads.
    The newly bald make fun of each other.
    The newly dead is an unknown quantity
    urged on by the tuneless singing of the women, 
    and men in white standing their ground.

    मौत
    (कनुप्रिया ढींगरा द्वारा अनुवादित)

    धूमिल आम के पेड़ तले
    सरों का रस्मी मुंडन.
    नए-नए गंजे हुए एक दूजे की खिल्ली उड़ा रहे हैं.
    नए-नए मरे हुए एक अजानी तादाद हैं
    औरतों के बेसुरे गायन 
    और सफेदी में अटल खड़े मर्दों 
    से उकसाए हुए. 

     

    Kanupriya Dhingra is a research scholar at the Department of English, Delhi University. She writes and translates in English and Hindi.

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