Raise the curtain, Shakespeare,

Your characters wait in the wings,

Adorned in their costumes

Their make-up done

Their lines memorized –

Lines that resonate

Four-hundred years later

With the same conflicts:

To be or not be –

Aware that the world’s a stage

And we are merely actors.

Even today, naïve Juliet

Leans over her balcony,

Whispering endearments to Romeo

Away from all prying eyes.

The arrogant Caesars are

Felled by political daggers

As senates echo with

Cries of ‘Et tu, Brute’.

Othello, Desdemona and Macbeth

Still grapple with

The conflicts of

the heart and the soul.

The third bell has sounded

And the lights have come on.

Your characters wait in the wings.

It’s time, Shakespeare,

It’s time to raise the curtain.


*Poem by Gulzar (Translated from Urdu by Santanu Ray Chaudhuri.)