Poetry in Translation

    by Hussain Haidry & Kartikay Agarwal

    Snakes (“Dogle” by Hussain Haidry)

    These people who spin tales far and wide,
    These people who never ever pick a side,
    These people who speak of both sides,
    In the middle, they spend their lives,
    In front of the world, today
    They are preaching love.

    “Forget it, what is done is done”, they say.
    “Forget the shops and the hearts that were burnt”, they say.
    “Forget the atrocities committed in your homes”, they say.
    “Forget the murderers and their names”, they say.

    They tell us to go and bury the dead silently.
    They tell us to stifle our cries now, silently.
    They tell us to go out on the streets at night silently.
    They tell us to listen to words of peace silently.

    In our sorrow, they don’t shed a tear.
    In the time of need, they always disappear.
    With a sly smile, they turn a deaf ear.
    They keep dying every moment in fear.
    The ones who are preaching love in front of the world today;
    I’m telling you my friend, they are snakes.

    The oppressor’s crimes, they do not want us to recount.
    All sides equally they want to blame on every account.
    Horrors, they do not wish to be questioned out and about.
    Sorrows, they do not wish us to grieve too much about.
    Blood stains, they do not want on their clothes, standing out.
    Justice, or any mention of it, they do not want to be spoken out.

    This cunning is an old trait, their stories we have heard before.
    Sidelining real issues, they are ashamed– and afraid even more.
    They sided with killers, this truth bears heavy on their very core.
    Fearing the inevitable trial, they are washing away all the gore.

    These people being insulted now,
    These people losing face in history now,
    These people who have lost self-respect now,
    These people are just saying one thing…
    They are snakes. They are snakes.
    Two-tongued, two-faced snakes.

    Translated from Hindi by Kartikay

    Hussain Haidry is a poet, screenwriter and lyricist, who shot to fame when his poem Hindustani Musalmaan went viral on social media. Hussain switched out of a successful career in Finance in Kolkata, and moved to Mumbai to become a full-time writer. He has written lyrics for films like Gurgaon, Qarib Qarib Single, and Mukkabaaz; and many popular web series. As a screenwriter, he has co-written the web series, Laakhon Mein Ek Season Two, on Amazon and is presently working on several films.

    Kartikay Agarwal is a bilingual poet from Kanpur (UP, India) with his heart sitting by the sea in Mumbai. Returning to the fold of poetry after a hiatus of half a decade, he is currently traversing voices, themes and forms – while finding ties between his two languages, English & Hindustani.

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