Different Worlds

Swapna Mirashi

Alexander the Great and Sadhu dialogue via translator in India

From Red Earth and Pouring Rain by Vikram Chandra

Translator:He wants to know why you're naked.
Sadhu:Ask him why he's wearing clothes.
Translator:He says he's asking the questions here.
Sadhu:Questions give birth only to other questions.
Translator:He says people who get funny with him get executed.
Translator:Because he's the King of kings. And he wants you to stop asking questions.
Sadhu:King of kings?
Translator:He came all the way from a place called Greece, killing other kings, so he's the
King of kings, see.
Sadhu:Fool of fools. Master-Clown of clowns. Maha-idiot of idiots.
Translator:You want me to tell him that?
Sadhu:I said it, didn't I?
Translator:You're crazier than he is. He says he'll kill you. Right here, right now.
Sadhu:I'll have to die someday.
Translator:Listen, don't do this. He's demented, he doesn't realize who you are, he thinks
naked people are poor savages. He'll really kill you.
Sadhu:I'll really have to die someday.
Translator:He wants to know why you aren't scared of dying.
Sadhu:That'd be silly.
Translator:He says that's not a satisfactory answer.
Sadhu:What sort of answer would he like?
Translator:He says you should tell him exactly what mystic path you followed to reach this
sublime state of indifference. And he wishes you would stop asking questions.
Really, this is incredible, I think you've got him hooked.
Sadhu:Mystic path?
Translator:Mystic path. Literal translation.
Sadhu:When I feel like shitting, I shit; when I feel like eating, I eat.