Sukrita Paul Kumar, the editor of this special section, writes:
"…Thus the focus on Hindi-Urdu in this issue of Muse India. The continuum of the beautiful attraction between the two justifies the ongoing debate on the kind of relatedness Hindi and Urdu have. Their origin and development, the quarrels between them as much as their marriage engage the attention of many a scholar. In this issue therefore, we chose to offer also a glimpse of this debate. Writers, translators and scholars working in these languages often discuss this ever-engaging subject.
And, Nabina Das is motivated to write poetry thanks to her reading of Hindi and Urdu poetry. Bollywood plays a big role in popularizing the Hindi-Urdu-Hindustani language across the country and abroad. Don't we, the people, speak in reality that very language, and not Sanskritized high Hindi or highly Persianized Urdu?"
Well, now, if you still haven't read the new poem here it is:
(From a series inspired by Hindi/Urdu poetry and 'Bollywood' movie songs.)
The Message Tree
You'd passed on some words to me that
quickly got splayed on sunny clotheslines
washed crispy clean like new handkerchiefs
stiff at first, starchy, then sudden wind floats
kites that were eyes, your eyes.
I tied words around your wrist, threads from
archaic ceremonies, unknowing how I tied
up nerves in jasmine bunches hanging over
our garden shades as you casually chewed
sugarcane sticks taking back lost letters or
words that meant a new beginning for us
Our love story was like growing up in a
house with no telephones just soft knocks
true, I had a home like that far away from
glossy shop magazines, no sudden ringing
tones of familiarity that jolted my listless-
ness when I rested under a pool of sleep
tasting sweat with my swoon.
Look, I've grown branches now like it
happened in a Bollywood tale once upon
a time! I'm a message tree, my twigs just
hang where white post-its make a beeline
at the showroom flat-screen that belches out a
song and we dance around the message
tree talking in un-said tones.
Image from the Internet: movie poster of IJAAZAT (permission)