Some may believe in Jesus, some in Mohammed or whatever, Some donít believe in anything, just to spite them all. There is a good belief in India, and it is rather clever: That when we kick the bucket we donít pass away for all. To rise to heaven you may strive: Youíll have a dream when born again, But if youíve lived a piggyís life, A piggy youíll remain. If people look askance at you, take all reproaches easy, Donít worry, youíll be born again a man with a mordant tongue, And if youíve seen the death of a foe, thereís every reason To think that after death you will be born a keen-eyed man. So keep on living, and have fun, Be happy and donít bother, Maybe, your soul will settle down In some big bossís body.
If you are engaged in sweeping streets, youíll be an engineer, And maybe slowly grow into a minister in time. But if youíre dull and stupid, youíll be born a baobab-tree aní Will remain one for a thousand years or more, until you die. Itís bad to live a parrotís life, Or be a snake-like demon, Hadnít one better live a life Of just a decent human? Well, who is who and who was who, to this there is no answer, Geneticists are off their nuts oíer chromosomes and genes. Perhaps that shabby looking cat at one time was a rascal, And this good natured person was a friendly dog, it seems. I jump for joy, just like a kid, And I avoid all hindrance, A very good belief indeed Has been thought up by Indians!
© Alec Vagapov. Translation, 1998