Cocky Abdul

Gabriel Rosenstock introduces and translates another poem from the Indian subcontinent, a poem that sings of man’s hope and despair and the never-ending disparity between the privileged and the poor.

Abdul Sotalach
Rahul Rai

Samhlaigh le do thoil sotal Abdul bhoicht:
Arsa Abdul bocht: “Bead i m’fhear mór lá breá éigin.”
Arsa Abdul bocht: “Raghaidh mé ar scoil.”
Arsa Abdul bocht: “Íosfaidh mé go dtí go mbeidh mé lán.”
Arsa Abdul bocht: “Is mian liom a bheith saor.”
Arsa Abdul bocht: “Is fuath liom an ricseá a tharraingt.”
Arsa Abdul bocht: “Is fuath liom ragobair.”
Arsa Abdul bocht: “Ní maith liom na saoistí ag tabhairt amach dom.”
Arsa Abdul bocht: “Ní maith liom obair gan phá.”
Samhlaigh le do thoil sotal Abdul bhoicht,
a liacht sin éileamh aige, ainneoin é a bheith beo bocht.

Cocky Abdul
Rahul Rai

Just imagine the cockiness of poor Abdul:
Poor Abdul says: “I’ll be a big man one day.”
Poor Abdul says: “I’ll go to school.”
Poor Abdul says: “I’ll eat till I am full.”
Poor Abdul says: “I want to be free.”
Poor Abdul says: “I hate pulling the rickshaw.”
Poor Abdul says: “I hate overtime.”
Poor Abdul says: “I don’t like being scolded by the babus.”
Poor Abdul says: “I hate unpaid work.”
Just imagine the cockiness of poor Abdul,
so many demands, despite being poor.