Kaala Chakkaram

by Sandeep Mukerjee
Going back is not possible
For where is the past to which to return

Time demolishes the steps we climb to reach the present.
There is no going back
only going forward is possible
forward and forward
and the journey is endless!

There is no goal, no destinations
only resting places,
where the tents are dismantled
as soon as they are pitched

But why fear this anarchy?
All systems are false-
life is anarchic, insecure
He who seeks security, dies before his death

Why this hurry to die?
Death itself will take care of that for us
so is it not right that we learn to live?

And the miracle is
that death does not call
on the one who learns how to live
Such is the nature of things.

Ask for nothing and you will never be frustrated
Anticipate darkness with light and sorrow with happiness
because such is the nature of things

Say to life:What can you do to me? I want nothing
And say to death:What can you do to me?
I have all ready died.
Then you will be truly free
because unless one is free of life
one can never be free of death
And when is free of both
one knows that life which is eternity itself
Such is the nature of things.

Dr. Jayabarathi of Malaysia posted this poem to Tamil.Net and challenged us to do a Tamil Translation. After almost 20 years since I had written a poem, one sleepless night, I was inspired to attempt a translation. Click here for that Tamil Translationwritten under the pseudonym "Namakkal Kaniporinjan Thamizhvalavan"

The translation is dedicated to Dr. Jayabarathi, whose essays have inspired many of us in the Tamil.Net


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