Viewers' Voice



A cycle of four poems

(On Choti & Bari Diwali 2009, A humble gift to Motihari-Bihar, India)

By Anant Kumar

tr. from the German by
Prof. Dr. Marilya Veteto Reese, North Arizona University, Flagstaff-AZ, USA


1. The Birth

While it rained
in Mango village
tore through his mother’s womb

her husband ran
yes ran in thunder and lightning
for the doctors of Motihari sat
behind closed doors
Indra let it pour today:
some whored
some caressed

we lay in puddles

the village women massaged
cold hands, rigid feet
while Shiva opend the eyes
yes opened by Shiva 
the woman was revived

2. Girlboy

In school

I am teased
Because I am a girlboy.

Mama, she was saddened
A bit--
When she saw the little man.
She’d hoped for a girl.

Bapu was glad
Not of my little man
But because he had-
Both, me and my Amma.

So I am:
Just mama’s child.
Girl and boy.

 3. Big and Little

Three of us
quite small
quite little

Motihari grows apace
shops and stores
many children

At the big depot

where we live is

the diesel engines bring
the trains there
from big cities
from Bombay from Delhi

Motiharis misery
in German snapshots
that frighten me
Japanese do films.

4. The Kerosene  Boy


my Daddy
carries mail
while I’m sitting
here in school

and his salesman

sells fresh produce
and kerosene
at the biggest circle
where lovely women up on
giant billboards
when nighttimes
the lamps flicker
and it is fragrant
children work at
lessons for school

Quite good
That’s me in maths
fond of English.
Sudhir Kumar is my name

I am



Anant Kumar, a writer in the German language, was born in Bihar. His birth place is Katihar where his father Prof. Major R. Prasad served the Indian Army. He did his schooling at Zila School Motihari and his father taught Psychology at M. S. College Motihari.

He learnt German as a Foreign Language in New Delhi, before he came to Germany. Between 1992 and 1999, he studied German Literature and Linguistics. He wrote his Masters Thesis on the epic MANAS of Alfred Doeblin at the University of Kassel, Germany. Besides regular contributions to literary magazines and periodicals, he is the author of twelve books of poetry and prose in German. He has received several awards in contemporary German literature and is a member of German Writers Association.

This English translation is done by Prof. Dr. Marilya Veteto Reese (North Arizona University, Flagstaff-AZ, USA).

Motihari: George Orwell was born in this east indian city (State Bihar), and Mahatma Gandhi started here in the year of 1917 Satyagrah, the Non-Violence-Struggle.