Treasure Island

Shiv Kumar Batalvi

(23 July 1936 - 7 May 1973 / Punjab / British India)

Ishtehaar


A girl whose name is Love
Is lost.
Simple, beautiful,
She is lost.

Her beauty, ethereal
Virtuous, like Mary,
Her laughter, blossoms falling,
Her gait, a poem.
Tall as a cypress,
Barely alight,
Yet she undertands the language of a glance.
It has been ages since she was lost
Yet it feels like yesterday,
It feels like today.
It feels like now.

She was standing beside me just now,
She is beside me no more.
What deception is this? What trickery?
I am bewildered.
My eyes examine every passerby,
Scanning their faces,
Searching for that girl.

When evening descends upon the bazaar
And perfumes erupt at every corner,
When restlessness and tiredness
Collide with leisure,
Isolated in that noise,
Her absence eats at me.
I see her
Every moment I feel as though -
Every day I feel as though -
From this throng of people,
From this crowd of odors,
She will call out to me,
I will recognize her,
She will recognize me.
But from this flood of noise
Nobody calls out to me,
Nobody looks toward me.

But, I don't know why I feel
Indistinctly, obscurely,
Every day, through every crowd,
As though her form moves past me
But I am not able to see her.
I am lost in her face
And stay lost in it
I keep dissolving in this grief.
I keep melting in this grief.

I beg this girl, for my sake,
I beg her for her own sake,
I beg her for everyones sake
I beg her for the sake of this world,
I beg her for the sake of God,
If somewhere she reads or hears this
Whether she be alive or dying
That she come and meet me once
That she not stain my love.
Else I will not be able to live,
I will not be able to write a song.

A girl whose name is Love
Is lost.
Simple, beautiful,
She is lost.

Submitted: Monday, March 26, 2012

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