Hindi Day: A Departmental Affair

Celebrations are underway
for an official festival called Hindi Day.
Festival is utmost present
Hindi is almost absent.

Our dear sir
in the ceremonial oration
is uttering every other word
in English pronunciation.
His advice to us, however,
in Hindi you must proffer
as far as possible
all your transactions.

Allied with the department
are a few poets present
even more insignificant
than my own person.
All their attention is focussed
less on reciting the poem
more on receiving the honorarium.
They are trying hard to vibe
but language is quite fallible,
sentences are ungrammatical,
the forced rhyme is unemotional.
Their literary credentials are accidental,
and their poetry is experimental.

External to the department
invited for the special event
are a few poets present–
allegedly senior and eminent.
Surrounded by literary ignorants
they feel justifiably arrogant
about sitting and reading
poetry in their midst.
All their attention is focussed
less on reciting the verses
more on singing self-praises.

Altogether, one may surmise
there is surely a lot of noise
to declare with din and clamour
Hindi as the queen of languages
but hardly any endeavour
to rescue it from ravages.

Translated to English by Shikha Vats from the original poem in Hindi titled ‘हिंदी दिवस: विभागीय आयोजन” 

Rajeev Kumar Tiwary writes poetry in Hindi and belongs to the East Indian state of Jharkhand. His poetry can be published in Hans Hindi magazine.

Translated by: Shikha Vats is a PhD research scholar in literature at the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. The irony of translating this poem into English is not lost on the translator.

Featured image credit: Siddharth Kashyap/Pixabay