The Spectacles by Sujata Sahani; translation by Pitambar Naik



The Spectacles


Not because it’s not visible to me from the root of the palm tree

from the wavy paddy fields, the scarecrow calls me with its

dangling hands; one day a white-clad person came to my lamplit

shanty and bowed to touch my feet which had turned to stone.


He doled out a pair of spectacles to my malnourished palms

and said you'll see your thatched house glittering like a

palace through these, only a thumb impression is needed.


I gave him my thumb impression and put on the spectacles

but then my verdant paddy fields resembled a forest doused off;

it disappeared one day and never appeared to me again.


Sitting near the toilet on the train, I left for a far-off land

to see two morsels cook in the vessel; when I returned being

humpbacked, I explored the whitish skyscrapers in my golden

paddy fields and the wide tar roads on the green borders.