Some uncommon burden diminishes every time
on his return, his back is like
that of a refuge for the entire family.
There’s acute water scarcity, no rainfall
but heavy low pressure during the harvest
how cold-blooded is God’s look, if
the loan is not repaid, there’d be a disdainful
look from many to devour our rice vessel.
His back is actually like a sturdy banyan tree
that can suppress all the hits of the axes
his back is like an indefatigable chest
which can ignore the killing thrash
of the sun, rain and winter.
Life isn’t measured by years, months and days
we measure his life by the bruises he bears
and he measures our happiness at the
depth, length and width of his scars.
– Maheshwar Padhan
Translated from the Odia by Pitambar Naik