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Identity Card by S.Joseph (Poem)

June 16, 2011

Original in Malayalam. Translated by K. Satchidanandan

Identity Card
By S. Joseph
Translated by K. Satchidanandan

In my student days
a girl came laughing

Our hands met mixing
her rice and fish curry

On a bench we became
a Hindu-Christian family

I whiled away my time
reading Neruda’s poetry;
and meanwhile I misplaced
my Identity Card.

She said,
returning my card:
‘the account of your stipend
is entered there in red’

These days I never look at
a boy and a girl lost in themselves.
They will part after a while.
I won’t be surprised even if they unite.
Their Identity Cards
won’t have markings in red.

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