The Coterie of Grievers
transl. Deepak Singh

I know your grief comrade
I belong to your coterie
I know the depth of that river of sadness
The shore of which is a trough of injustice
In its slope, you sell your soul

Don’t lose hope, friend
Some hungry men will gaslight you and call you shameless
Tell them we know the true colors of winters, monsoons, and summer
They don’t know if they’re still human

So long is the night of the fight that the morning might not be a happy one
But by not fighting we’ll be accountable for ruining the winter
We are an unsuccessful breed, but they succeed by riding on our backs
Where they used our complaints and turned them into idioms of bad humor
Not sure how they created a timeline to be near us
Ones who stayed in our company
They mistook our softness and laughed it off as friendliness

Talking about culture and equality they seem so hypocritic
Who laugh sarcastically at our dark sunglasses bought at the fair
And aren’t ashamed of their intolerable injustice

They’re multi-headed snakes who look at our red terrycloth shirt
And say with a twisted mouth, Child, you’re flying high, flying too high isn’t good
Tell them they should stop deciding
Whether we should fly or crawl
And stop chanting the slogans of equality
Which carries the pain of women and victims

We deserve half the rights in this human race
You said, Being in our laps is an act of cowardice
Now Dusshera time is on the wrong path
To save the world from destruction
Borrow some compassion from them and share in your misled time

Translated from the Hindi by Deepak Singh.

Deepak Singh is a writer, radio producer, and journalist. He has written for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, and NPR. He's the author of two books: Chasing America: Of Lollipops, Night Clubs and Ferocious Dogs and How May I Help You? An Immigrant's Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage. He holds an MFA in fiction from Boston University.


दुःख की बिरादरी
Rupam Mishra

Rupam Mishra lives and writes in a small village in northern India. She's the author of the poetry book, Ek Jeevan Alag Se.


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