Unclaimed Body


Unclaimed Body

Bashir Athar
Translated from Kashmiri by *-Dr S. K. Raina
An unclaimed body

Abandoned mercilessly

In a bleak alley of

This dark-drab city.

Battered and shattered

Wrapped in utter helplessness

Aloof, uncared for

Besmeared with blood

Eyes open and firm

Complaining innocently

An unclaimed body abandoned mercilessly.

Oh God! could anybody

Come forward and help me out?

But that was not to be

Numbness grew deeper and deadly

Akin to the disasters of Hiroshama and Nagasaki.

Dogs sat around lethargically

Satiated with human flesh and booty

With eyes half-closed, heads down

Weeping, perhaps, on 'his'

Approaching death, mournfully

An unclaimed body abandoned mercilessly.

Mehndi (Henna) on his hands

Had not faded entirely

Hair of his beard had not

Sprouted completely.

Bubbling with youth

A blossom of promise soaring high.

Sister must have looked around

Mother must have waited at the door

Old father must have gazed around anxiously

An unclaimed body abandoned mercilessly.

A few days later

Quoted an Urdu Newspaper

'We killed him, he was an informer

An adversary of the Movement, a deceiver'

A reader reacted instantly:

'Yes, he was a militant

Foe of the nation, enemy agent--'

Yet another murmured silently:

‘Neither a militant nor an agent

A loved/misguided son of the valley

A Kashmiri youth

Done to death brutally

An unclaimed body abandoned mercilessly.
Translator's note: One of Athar's best poems, 'Unclaimed Body' very passionately underlines the curse of terrorism, its consequences and repercussions. The poem stands out both in form and content and touches the very soul of the reader. The images created by the poet are superb and speak of poet's realistic approach to highlight the fate of the youth in terror-infested valley of Kashmir.

Raina,Shiben Krishen MA(Hindi&English),PhD;Professor/Writer;
Born: April22,1942 Srinagar(J&K);
Education: J&K,Rajasthan and Kurukshetra Univs;Head Hindi Dept.Govt Postgraduate College, Alwar;Sought voluntary retirement from Principalship and joined Indian Institute of Advanced Study,Rashtrapati Nivas, Shimla as Fellow to work on Problems of Translation(1999-2001).
Publications: 14 books including Kashmiri Bhasha Aur Sahitya(1972), Kashmiri Sahitya Ki Naveentam Pravrittiyan(1973), Kashmiri Ramayan:Ramavtarcharit(1975 tr.from Kashmiri into Hindi), Lal Ded/Habbakhatoon-monographs tr.from English(1980), Shair-e-Kashmir Mehjoor(tr.1989); Ek Daur(Novel tr.1980) Kashmiri Kavyitriyan Aur unka Rachna Sansar(1996 crit); Maun Sambashan(Short stories 1999); Awards: Bihar Rajya Bhasha Vibagh, Patna 1983; Central Hindi Directorate 1972, Sauhard Samman 1990; Rajasthan Sahitya Academy Translation Award (1998) Bhartiya Anuvad Parishad Award(1999); Titles conferred:Sahityashri,Sahitya Vageesh, Alwar Gaurav, Anuvadshri etc.
Address: 2/537(HIG) Aravali Vihar,Alwar 301001, India

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