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Crime and Punishment

(Originally written in Urdu)

Once on every moonlit night

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He visited me –  the angel . the reckoning auditor of all my deeds
From him, it was that I got to know
 the latest what I had done
To earn a bad or good point
And how the balance stood at the moment.
Last night he came again
Seemed thoughtful
With pity writ large on the sweet angelic face.
Ï never could think,  “he said
“That your poetry might earn  for you
Minus points in the daily reckoner.
Well, it has!”
Aghast I was, but before I could speak
He said, “Rare are the people who speak or write
We never ake speeches or writings as a deed
You, it  seems, have earned both good and bad points
And the reckoned balance is rather lopsided.”
“Does it weigh on the bad side?”I asked
He read something jotted down on the palm of his hand
{I couldn’t see). It shimmered like a cell phone.
Finally, he said. “Well, it seems it is even
Satya Pal Anand
Be careful in the future.”
So I asked him, “What should I do?
He smiled. (Do angels ever smile, I didn’t know)
And simply said, “Keep on writing whatever you want
We’ll balance it a the fag end of your life, my man”!”
I wanted to ask him something about poetizing heresy. 
Without looking back he spoke from the void
“No hurry. Wait for the next month,
O, ill-versed good poet!”

Note.  The English translation is but a transcreation.  The short, crisp economy of words in English can be easily contrasted in these two versions. Fewer adjectives, less ornamentation, and easily forged everyday verbiage are the norm here. In Urdu, on the other hand, one had to depend on technical parlance of the revenue, and/or, legal systems, there is no need for it in English.

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