Shweta Garg’s poem ‘Kali, Come for Tea’, translated into Hindi by Smeetha Bhoumik

Kali, Come for Tea

Milk, rose water, occasional blood
Are some beverages you have had
But I guarantee
You’d love the taste of tea.
I shall add ginger, some mint
A dash of sugar, if you will
But Kali, you must come home for tea.

Whenever you are free
From dhishum-dhishum
And you think you need a break
Take a rick and just come
If you allow, a selfie too
For my timeline
I will keep it simple, just some cookies
Then we will chat.

About what?
Um, the usual – work, weather
Husbands? I have a hunch we will be friends,
We shall go out for shopping and lunch…

Sorry, for keeping you,
I am sure you need to be elsewhere
And stop the world from destruction
I need to go too, to buy vegetables for dinner
But remember there is no formality,
Do come home for tea.

(From Shweta Garg’s poetry collection ‘Of Goddesses and Women’, Sahitya Akademi, 2021)

काली,  चाय  पे  आइये 

दूध , गुलाब-जल, कभी खून  भी 

ये सब  आपने ली  होगी 

पर  मैं  यह बेशक कहती हूँ 

आपको  चाय  बहुत पसंद  आएगी ।

मैं मिलाऊँगी  उसमे  अदरक , पुदीना ,

कुछ  मिठास , अगर  चाहें  आप 

पर काली आप चाय पे  ज़रूर आना ।

जब  भी  फुर्सत  मिले 

ढिशुम-ढिशुम   से 

और  लगे  आपको  विराम  की ज़रुरत 

एक  ऑटो  पकड़के  चले  आना ।

इज़ाज़त  हो , तोह  एक  सेल्फी  भी 

मेरे  टाइमलाइन के  लिए 

मैं  सरल  रखूंगी , बस  कुछ  बिस्कुट 

फिर हम  गप्पे  लड़ाएंगे ।


किस  बात की ?

उम्म्म, वही सब  – काम  मौसम 

पतिदेव ? मुझे  लगता  है हम दोस्त  बनेंगे ,

हम  शॉपिंग  और लंच पे  जायेंगे …

माफ़ी  चाहती हूँ , की यूँ रुकाया

आपको  ज़रूर  कहीं और  होना  था 

संसार  को  विनाश से  बचाने

मुझे भी जाना  है  सायनभोज  की  सब्ज़ी  लाने ।

पर याद  रखियेगा  कोई तकल्लुफ  नहीं 

बस  आप  चाय पे  आइयेगा ।

Shweta Rao Garg is a poet, artist and academic. Her first collection of poems, Of Goddesses and Women, was published by Sahitya Akademi in 2021. She is the author of the graphic novel, The Tales from Campus: A Misguide to College, to be published by Crossed Arrows in 2022. She was awarded the Fulbright Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2010. Her poems have been published in journals and magazines like Indian Literature, Coldnoon, Everyday Poems, Alimentum Journal, Postcolonial Text, Transnational Literature, Muse India etc. 
Her standpoint as a feminist and postcolonial scholar informs her art. Her artwork can be viewed at
Smeetha Bhoumik is an artist, editor, poet, founder- WE Literary Community, 2016, founding editor Yugen Quest Review, 2021, Chief Editor of a WE anthology. and author of two poetry collections :Where I Belong – Moments, Mist & Song (2019), Return to Love – The Point of Poetry (2021). As founder- WE, she is instrumental in establishing the Kamala Das Poetry Award (2018),  Eunice de Souza Award (2020), The WE Trailblazer Teacher Poet Award, WE Gifted Poet Award, and Special Recognition Book Prizes. Her poems feature in national/ international journals, anthologies including Oxygen - Parables of the Pandemic 2022, Quesadilla & Other Adventures 2019, Muse India 2017, 2018, Life and Legends 2018, Modern Indian Poetry – a Sahitya Akademi anthology, 2019, Unlikely Stories Mark V, Open Your Eyes - A Climate Change Anthology, Freedom Raga, Poetry & Covid project - Universities of Plymouth, and Nottingham Trent, Writing Language, Culture - Asia vs Africa, Mwanaka, among others.

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