Thursday, July 12, 2012

Claiming Myself

Someone told me I write well
But when I write about the things I know
 And that is mainly Manipuri in character
 Whole lives are lost
 Lost in translation.
 English was never suited for the tongue
Of people struggling with life
Amidst bullets and floods
Obscure, forgotten people speak
Their own obscure, forgotten language.
 For how can you translate warouba ;
The kind you feel when the person
 You gave your whole life to
Forsakes you to please people
 He once claimed didn't like him much?
Can you say pendaba is a sub-part of warouba;
The kind when your nights are wet with hot tears,
Visited by convulsions of sickness,
A life which has spiraled out of control?
What in English is called the leihou
 Barring from some ugly scientific name?
Nongjabis drive away the rain,
They paint the sky red, merry orange.
All I have with me are words now,
 Words of a language I neglected so long
 Which I am now tasting, swallowing,
 Slowly claiming myself.

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