Poetry at Sangam



FICTION by Shrikant Verma

(Translated from the Hindi by Rahul Soni)

Sir, hear me out
before you go
The Patliputra
you and I
are fighting for
is in the eyes of others
a fiction

Do you hear?

For them it’s not even worth
a moment’s thought
They ask,
What Patliputra?

Sir! You have to
answer them,
make them understand—
this is the same Patliputra
for which
Ajatashatru, Bimbisara,
you and I
are fighting
Did you tell them?

did you hear their retort?
fighting for a fiction”