just imagine mother, that you and I are travelling once from somewhere far you're in the palanquin with four beheras going heiyA-hA, your door's slightly ajar, so you can see my chestnut pony, raising a storm of red dust it's evening now, it's getting dark we come to the heaths of joRAdighi barren as far as you can see you are thinking perhaps, "what's this place we've come to?" i'm telling you, "don't worry mA, there you can see the dead riverbed." bramble and brier hem us in on our dark narrow path even the cows have returned to the safety of the village. one can barely see where we're going suddenly you call out to me: "khokA - what's that light flickering by the water?" just then, "hAre re re re re" who are these yelling hordes you're scared, praying in a corner the six beheras run into the brier it is only i who am telling you "mA, what's there to be scared, after all, I'm with you!" waving lAThis they are charging at us curled hair, red flowers stuck in the ear i yell out, "don't come near! just one more step and you'll taste the sharp edge of this sword you'll all be in pieces, i warn you!" but they just jump up - "hA re re re re re" you're telling me, "khokA, sit still!" i am saying, "mA, just wait and see!" i charge my horse into the mass shields ring out on my cutlass o what a terrible battle that was even telling it tingles my spine! so many of them just ran away and so many heads i had to cut off! you're crying, "o gods! khokA is surely dead!" just then, i get back, bloody from battle i call, "mA, the fight is over!" you get off the palanquin then, and lift me up and kiss my cheeks while hugging me tight you say, "thank heavens my khokA was here!" so many things happen all the time why can't this be true as well o it would be just like a fairytale everyone would be struck with wonder dAdA would say, pah! how can this be? khokA can't be that strong!" but all the neighbours would say, "lucky for mA, he had gone along!"
transl. amit mukerjee
kanpur, 2 october 2007