Thursday, April 23, 2015

Will they haunt you

what if they returned
angry, sad, raging or quiet
the three lakh men
who gave up their lives

what if they returned
to haunt our luxury homes
and the air conditioned malls
what if they returned
as we planned investments
and to our vacation spots
what if they returned
as we snoozed over smartphones
in Parliament's august halls

would we care or
our hearts still remain
ensconced in stone?

(priya )

1 comment:

  1. “…They descend from their graves, young men
    whose eyes hold something other than love:
    a secret madness, of men who fight

    as though called by a destiny different from their own.
    With that secret that is no longer a secret,
    they descend, silent, in the dawning sun,

    and, though so close to death, theirs is the happy tread
    of those who will journey far in the world.
    But they are the inhabitants of the mountains, of the wild

    shores of the Po, of the remotest places
    on the coldest plains. What are they doing here?
    They have come back, and no one can stop them.
    . . . . . . . . . …………

    Who has the courage to tell them
    that the ideal secretly burning in their eyes
    is finished, belongs to another time, that the children

    of their brothers have not fought for years,
    and that a cruelly new history has produced
    other ideals, quietly corrupting them?. . .


    Those of you who have pure and innocent hearts,
    go and speak in the middle of the slums,
    in the housing projects of the poor,

    who behind their walls and their alleys
    hide the shameful plague, the passivity of those
    who know they are cut off from the days of the future.

    Those of you who have a heart
    devoted to accursèd lucidity,
    go into the factories and schools

    to remind the people that nothing in these years has
    changed the quality of knowing, eternal pretext,
    sweet and useless form of Power, never of truth.

    . . . . . . . . .

    They are leaving . . . Help! They are turning away,
    their backs beneath the heroic coats
    of beggars and deserters. . . . How serene are

    the mountains they return to, so lightly
    the submachine guns tap their hips, to the tread
    of the sun setting on the intact

    forms of life, which has become what it was before
    to its very depths. Help, they are going away!—back to their
    silent worlds in Marzabotto or Via Tasso. . . .

    With the broken head, our head, humble
    treasure of the family, big head of the second-born,
    my brother resumes his bloody sleep, alone

    among the dried leaves, in the serene
    retreats of a wood in the pre-Alps, lost in
    the golden peace of an interminable Sunday. . . .
    . . . . . . . . .
    And yet, this is a day of victory.”

    by Pier Paolo Pasolini
    translated by Norman MacAfee with Luciano Martinengo
    sudhir devadas