Poetry in the city.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
One evening The Delhi Walla arranged to meet Hindi poet Ram Chander Bhakt on Mathura Road in Central Delhi. Mr Bhakt makes his living as an auto-rickshaw driver. I talked to him in his auto. A native of Patna, Bihar, he lives in North-West Delhi’s Sultanpuri with his wife, two sons and a daughter.
“I have been writing poems for many years,” he says, seated on the passengers’ seat of his vehicle. “I usually write about the problems afflicting our country. I have composed dozens and dozens of poems. But only one of them was published about 15 years ago in Punjab Kesari (newspaper). It could be because I always write short poems.”
Mr Bhakt says that his father’s brother, who was a lecturer of Hindi literature in a college in Patna, played a pivotal role in shaping his literary life. He often writes in his auto-rickshaw while waiting for his next passenger. Mr Bhakt shares his poem Yeh Duniya with us. (A loose English translation is down under).
Yeh zameen chal rahi hain
Aasman chal raha hain
Na jaane kiske sahare
Yeh sab chal raha hain
Jisse hum subah dopahar shaam aadhi-raat
Bhor mein dua salam karte hain
Who dheere dheere
Nasht ho raha hain
This earth is somehow going on,
This sky is somehow going on,
Don’t know just how
But all of this is going on.
All the things that we meet and greet
During mornings, afternoons, evenings, and at midnights,
They all are gradually
A poet’s world