How does it feel when circumstances force you to transact your glorious, meticulously crafted vision with people who don’t have the capacity to appreciate what’s essentially priceless?

The frustration of a lonely dreamer have been captured beautifully in the Urdu poem Andha Kabari by the Pakistani modern Urdu poet Noon Meem Rashid. Here is my attempt at translation:

In the dark recesses of this city,
dwell dreams, tired and stranded;
I walk through these streets
to collect dreams,
Dreams, that I bake in the furnace of my heart,
till the dust of time crumbles down their rusty form
and they are rekindled like the passion in lovers’ hearts.

With the first rays of dawn,
I set up a stall of dreams, and chant:
“Dreams for sale, dreams for sale”!
“Real or fake?”, Like seasoned appraisers,
customers ask.
Not that I created these dreams,
I merely revive them, and trade in them.

Dusk sets in;
Exhausted, I chant one last time:
“Dreams of gold, for free”;
Customers stop, dazed;
Among themselves they whisper,
“Must be a scheme, and the dreams he sells, all flawed,
Down with the dreams of a blind merchant”!

A day of futile bargaining draws to an end;
Lugging a heavy heart and a load of dreams,
I return to my abode,
Muttering through the night:
“Dreams for sale,
Dreams along with their worth,
My dreams,
D-r-eam-ssssssssssss”.