A Desire in the Bangles
by Gagan Gill
A desire is in the girl’s bangles:
first they will break on his bed
then on the threshold of his house.
But why on the threshold?
Because in the girl there is a woman
mourning — who is not yet
but a widow to be.
The girl’s fear throbs in her veins
as far as her bangles
The girl’s desire throbs in them
The girl’s mourning throbs in them
Where is the girl’s man
for whom mourning runs in her veins
for whom desire is in her bangles?
Her man is caught
in some other body
some other dream
sorrow, other tears
His every sorrow, dream, tear
is beyond the reach of the mourning girl…
But the girl is only a girl
in her is that primal innocence,
she will give to that man
when she will break her bangles…
The literal translation of this poem was made by Lucy Rosenstein
The final translated version of the poem is by Jane Duran
A Hindu woman wears glass bangles as a sign of marriage and must break these when she becomes a widow.
Poem from Ek din lautegi larki (One day the girl will return).
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2014