gulab khandelwal selected poems

How quickly we have arrived at the river-bank.
How quickly! Oh, how quickly !
Although, the path led us to this very place,
Although, each step brought us in this direction only.
Any thing can be said for our consolation,
But the truth is,
We have arrived at this place a bit earlier,
A bit too soon.

Just a few days back,
We had set out from our homes,
Adorned in beautiful, shining clothes.
Just a few days back,
Several companions had gathered around us
Bringing with them playing-sticks, balls and kites;
The playthings were marvellous,
Sometimes we won and sometimes we lost.
Just some time back,
The fair, youthful lass from the neighbouring village
With big, smiling eyes,
Had come, evading the people’s gaze,
To keep, a date with me.

And now we have arrived at the river-bank,
Where our feet are slowing down,
Where the mile-stones have nearly ended.
‘Only the cold, transparent current flows,
Which continually invites us to come closer.
Howsoever our bodies tremble,

Our hearts rebel,
We cannot escape bathing.
Howsoever dear our village appears,
We cannot return to our homes
Without taking a dip.