Rasheed is a rare poet. Believe me he will prove to be one among the best. His poems as well as his stories. His eyes see the unseeable obvious. His heart hears the the faintest of voices.
His story ‘Kirti Patake’ (Rag Flag) is one of the best short stories I have read in the recent years. When you read him you will remember Vaikam Basheer. A few good translators should come up and carry him across to other languages. This story occurs on 6th December, the day of the Babri Masjid destruction. The oblique manner of evoking that farce through a lovable character’s entirely funny escapades is superb. Symbolic yet warm, satirical yet humble, intensely literary yet eminently readable – that is how this story is.
He is a fine poet too. Read his poems to see how intensely a poem can be personal. That is to say density of the personal details makes the poem totally objective. He creates a felt world, but does it through an intelligent weaving of details so that the poem grows into an intricate pattern. Vibrantly romantic, such poems of Rasheed defy the requirements of the current fashons.
This blogger in his ignorance has attempted a translation of one such poem:
A Personal Poem
* Abdul Rashid
Your sweat-filled chest
And the grains of sand from the sea inside your toe nail
And the feather caught in the curls of your hair
The scratch marks on your back that you have yourself made
And my grief at not being responsible for any of these.
Your alert indifference,
the grace of the fingers while you stretch your body,
and your generosity of yielding in small measures and withholding,
your crazy confidence that I can be put to sleep
by your flirtatious fingers in my hair!
I blabber and go back to sleep,
see all and cease to be,
touch and see if everything is in place,
returning after sending you away…