Sunday, 2 December 2012
Uncle Mohan Singh
`Uncle Mohan Singh` is a poem by Amarjit Chandan. At his workshop in Hebden Bridge, participants were invited to re-interpret the literal and poetic translations of this beautiful work about the first screening of a silent film in Nakodar. Below is my interpretation. Please find originals and other delightful works at http://amarjitchandan.com 1930s Nakodar Where innocent pupils await dilated fate To re-focus, re-see As the waxed woven canvas of night melts the world It suffocates daylight And brings forth a dreamtime A magical square A single cell that dances A dance that resembles sleep or death Are we dying, are we dreaming to the charms of Uncle Mohan Singh? The dance of his fingers... The dance of his bones... Is his rhythm an allure... a tender trap for fools Like the trickery of nymphs in the night? Dare we be seduced by the mute square That is still like a stuffed bird Dead, yet beautiful with a square fire in its vacant eye Flickering across the flowers of caged vitality That erupt and blossom with tremendous control We are all now paralysed in animation A joyful collapse of surprise An exquisite death of the present jasmine`s bloom This blossom unfurls its scent with unscented falling petals Petals that wilt not with each invisible phrase from Uncle Mohan Singh The rose in their cheeks dilates in surrender. As Birds of Paradise fly against the heady sands, The misty flowers of time and music die.