Love in the time of Malaria…

A scene from the movie: "Love in the time of Cholera"
A scene from the movie: “Love in the time of Cholera”

I owe you my life…
these breaths,
beats of a withering heart
that makes no sound,
yet paces up
when it hears your name.
What a lasting effect,
I wonder after all,
when it has been eons
that we first met.

You cured once perhaps a man,
sick of being out there,
an odd one amidst
an array of the choir.
Never fitting to the rhymes
nor giving in to the anthems.

Yet a man – fallible,
who fell – only,
under the whirlpool
of those oceanic eyes.
Lost where were perhaps
galaxies of the known
to the unknown isles.
Eyes that somehow saw him,
even though did look at him
the world entire.

Found there him,
an abode
made of a tumbleweed
and a few stones.
Birds perched there
to leave often an unwritten song.
One of those songs had
a ballad mentioning you and I.
Story of no triumph,
but loss that can only
be measured with a smile.

That fall wasn’t a fall,
but a rise…
a man who you made
conquer the stars,
so it goes,
went on to tame
the currents of time.
Rode the waves of resistance,
at the precipice of blinds.

But, how cruel for one
to become so fine,
earning a distance from the star
that propelled its very flight…
I wonder if destiny always
has to move the needle of time.

How helpless
is it for a man, you see,
who can be cured of a disease,
for sure often,
but not of the love,
that so viciously binds.
Remaining for perpetuity,
a chronic fine with no end in sight.

Hence I beg the question, my love…
A cure for life, is it? or
love is an affliction infinite…?

— Dedicated to those perpetually afflicted.

This word, affliction reminds me of a very famous couplet, putting up my feeble attempt at its translation here…
“Even if you do forget me, you well deserve that right…
Just don’t expect the same here, love made me blind.”
Sahir Ludhianvi (one of the most prolific Urdu poets/ lyricists of the century).

Note: The title of the poem is a play on the title of a novel: “Love in the time of Cholera“. Written by one of my favorite authors (champion of poetic prose): “Gabriel Garcia Marquez“.

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