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(2008-08-18 11:39:30)


分类: 翻译
                                    光( Optics )

                             马尼尼·纳雅尔(Manini Nayar)


When I was seven, my friend Sol was hit by lightning and died. He was on a rooftop quietly playing marbles when this happened. Burnt to cinders, we were told by the neighbourhood gossips. He'd caught fire,we were assured, but never felt a thing. I only remember a frenzy of ambulances and long clean sirens cleaving the silence of that damp October night. Later, my father came to sit with me. This happens to one in several millions, he said, as if a knowledge of the bare statistics mitigated the horror. He was trying to help, I think. Or perhaps he believed I thought it would happen to me. Until now, Sol and I had shared everything;secrets,chocolates, friends, even a birthdate. We would marry at eighteen, we promised each other, and have six children, two cows and a heart-shaped tattoo with 'Eternally Yours' sketched on our behinds. But now Sol was somewhere else, and I was seven years old and under the covers in my bed counting spots before my eyes in the darkness.

        我七岁那年,我的好朋友索尔被雷电击中死掉了。事情 发生的时候,他正在屋顶上专心地玩弹球。我们从邻居的闲谈中得知了事情经过,听说他被烧成了焦炭。我们相信,他身上着火的那一刻一定没有感觉到痛苦。我只 记得救护车奔驰而来,绵长的警笛声划破了那个潮湿的十月夜空的沉寂。后来,我父亲过来坐在我的身边。他对我说:“这种事发生的概率是几百万分之一”,似乎 这苍白的数字能够减轻我的恐惧。我想他是试图安慰我,或者说他猜想我认为这种事也会发生在我身上。我和索尔一直分享着一切,我们分享秘密、巧克力,我们有 共同的朋友,甚至连生日都在同一天。我们向彼此保证要在十八岁的时候结婚,然后生六个孩子,养两头牛,还要在后背纹上心型的图案,再刺上“永远属于你”几 个字。但是现在,索尔魂归天国,只剩下七岁的我躺在被子里,在黑暗中数着眼前出现的暗点儿。

After that I cleared out my play-cupboard. Out went my collection of teddy bears and picture books. In its place was an emptiness, the oak panels reflecting their own woodshine. The space I made seemed almost holy, though mother thought my efforts a waste. An empty cupboard is no better than an empty cup, she said in an apocryphal aside. Mother always filled things up - cups, water jugs, vases, boxes,arms - as if colour and weight equalled a superior quality of life. Mother never understood that this was my dreamtime place. Here I could hide, slide the doors shut behind me, scrunch my eyes tight and breathe in another world. When I opened my eyes, the glow from the lone cupboard-bulb seemed to set the polished walls shimmering, and I could feel what Sol must have felt, dazzle and darkness. I was sharing this with him, as always. He would know, wherever he was, that I knew what he knew, saw what he had seen. But to mother I only said that I was tired of teddy bears and picture books. What she thought I couldn't tell, but she stirred the soup-pot vigorously.

那 以后,我清空了放玩具的壁橱。把我收集的泰迪熊和图画书都拿出去,里面什么都不剩,只有橡木板反射着自身的木质光泽。玩具橱里让我整理的简直像个神圣的领 地,尽管我妈妈认为这毫无意义。她假装不经意地说:一个空橱子和一个空杯子一样没什么不同。妈妈总是把所有容器都装满东西,比如那些杯子、水壶、花瓶、纸 箱,甚至怀里也总是抱着东西,好像那些颜色和重量能带来高品质的生活一样。妈妈永远也不会明白这个壁橱是我的幻想之地。这里可以容我藏身,钻进里面把橱门 关上,然后紧紧闭上双眼,好像在另一个空间里呼吸。当我睁开眼睛,壁橱里那盏唯一的灯泡发出的亮光让光滑的墙壁也泛出光泽,我能感受到索尔感觉到的东西, 那就是眩目和黑暗。象以往一样,我跟索尔分享着这一切。不管他在哪里,他会明白我能了解他所了解的东西,能看到他能看到的东西。不过对妈妈我只是说我厌倦 了玩具熊和图画书了。妈妈怎么想的我不知道,那会儿她只是使劲地搅着汤锅。

One in several millions, I said to myself many times, as if the key,the answer to it all, lay there. The phrase was heavy on my lips, stubbornly resistant to knowledge. Sometimes I said the words out of context to see if by deflection, some quirk of physics, the meaning would suddenly come to me. Thanks for the beans, mother, I said to her at lunch, you're one in millions. Mother looked at me oddly, pursed her lips and offered me more rice. At this club, when father served a cleanace to win the Retired-Wallahs Rotating Cup, I pointed out that he was one in a million. Oh, the serve was one in a million, father protested modestly. But he seemed pleased. Still, this wasn\'t what I was looking for, and in time the phrase slipped away from me, lost its magic urgency, became as bland as \'Pass the salt\' or \'Is the bath water hot?  If Sol was one in a million, I was one among far less; a dozen, say. He was chosen. I was ordinary. He had been touched and transformed by forces I didn't understand. I was left cleaning out the cupboard. There was one way to bridge the chasm, to bring Sol back to life, but I would wait to try it until the most magical of moments. I would wait until the moment was so right and shimmering that Sol would have to come back. This was my weapon that nobody knew of, not even mother,even though she had pursed her lips up at the beans. This was between Sol and me.

“几 百万分之一”我不止一次地暗想,似乎所有问题的答案都在这句话里。这句话在嘴边打转,却固执地拒绝出口。有时候在某种特定情境下,我想说出这些词,是为了 看看通过条件反射-那种物理学的原理,这句话会不会自动蹦出来。午饭的时候我对妈妈说:“谢谢您做的豆子”,“您真是万里挑一的好妈妈。”妈妈奇怪地看着 我,抿着嘴,给我多盛了些米饭。在俱乐部里,当父亲凭着一记干净利落的直接得分的发球赢得了退休人员网球循环赛(Retired-Wallahs Rotating Cup)时, 我对他说:“您是万里挑一的”。“那是发球本身是万里挑一的”,爸爸温和地纠正我。但是他看上去还是很高兴。这次同样,这并不是我所寻觅的感觉,而且这句话从我嘴里说出时,失去了那种带有魔力的迫切,变成了如同“把盐递给我”或者“洗澡水还热么?” 之类的家常话。如果说索尔被雷电击中是百万分之一的概率,那么我可远远比不上他,比如说十二人里也许就能挑出一个我来。他被选中了,我逃过了,因为我太普 通了。我不了解的神秘力量选择了他,把他转化成了其他物质,剩下我留下来清理壁橱。我们阴阳相隔,当然有一个办法可以让我们重新在一起,那就是让索尔重返 人间,可是这一切我只能试着等待,看看那最神奇的一刻能不能实现。我愿意等,等那一刻的到来,那时候索尔就可以在一片光芒中回到我身边了。这是我的秘密, 没人知道,甚至妈妈也不知道,就算她鼓着嘴吃豆子的时候也不知道。这是我跟索尔之间的秘密。

The winter had almost guttered into spring when father was ill. One February morning, he sat in his chair, ashen as the cinders in the grate. Then, his fingers splayed out in front of him, his mouth working, he heaved and fell. It all happened suddenly, so cleanly, as if rehearsed and perfected for weeks. Again the sirens, the screech of
wheels, the white coats in perpetual motion. Heart seizures weren't one in a million. But they deprived you just the same, darkness but no
dazzle, and a long waiting.
    春寒料峭的时候,爸 爸病了。那是一个二月份的早晨,爸爸坐在惯常坐的椅子上,脸色苍白得象壁炉里的灰烬。突然他的手指在面前张开,嘴蠕动着要说什么,接着就重重地摔倒了。这 一切都是瞬间发生的,但是整个事件连贯得如同已经演练了好几周一样。再一次,那一幕出现在我眼前:救护车的警笛声、急刹车的声音,以及那些忙碌不停的白色 身影。心脏病发作可算不上万分之一,但是带给我的感觉是一样的:黑暗,这次没有眩目,还有就是长长的等待。


Now I knew there was no turning back. This was the moment. I had to do it without delay; there was no time to waste. While they carried father out, I rushed into the cupboard, scrunched my eyes tight, opened them in the shimmer and called out \'Sol! Sol! Sol!  I wanted to keep my mind blank, like death must be, but father and Sol gusted in and out in confusing pictures. Leaves in a storm and I the calm axis.Here was father playing marbles on a roof. Here was Sol serving ace after ace. Here was father with two cows. Here was Sol hunched over
the breakfast table. The pictures eddied and rushed. The more frantic they grew, the clearer my voice became, tolling like a bell: 'Sol! Sol! Sol!' The cupboard rang with voices, some mine, some echoes, someb from what seemed another place - where Sol was, maybe. The cupboard seemed to groan and reverberate, as if shaken by lightning and thunder. Any minute now it would burst open and I would find myself in a green valley fed by limpid brooks and red with hibiscus. I would run through tall grass and wading into the waters, see Sol picking
flowers. I would open my eyes and he\'d be there, hibiscus-laden,laughing. Where have you been, he'd say, as if it were I who had burned, falling in ashes. I was filled to bursting with a certainty so strong it seemed a celebration almost. Sobbing, I opened my eyes. The bulb winked at the walls.

    现在我知道一切不可逆转。这一刻正是时候,我必须做些什么,时间已经不多了。于是当他们把爸爸抬出去的时候,我冲进壁橱躲起来。紧紧闭上眼睛,然后在微光 中睁开眼睛喊着“索尔!索尔!索尔!”。我希望头脑能保持一片空白,就像死亡来临一样,但是爸爸和索尔的形象走马灯似地在我面前交替出现。这些场景就像暴 风雨中飘摇的树叶一样,而我自己是那平静的风暴中心。一会儿是爸爸在屋顶上玩弹球,一会儿是索尔发出一个又一个直接得分的球。一会儿是爸爸带着两头牛,一 会儿又是索尔在早餐桌旁拱着腰坐着。这些画面交替出现,转瞬即逝。他们出现的越狂乱,我的声音变得越清晰,就像钟声在耳边轰鸣:“索尔!索尔!索尔!”。

    壁橱里充满着声音,有些是我发出来的,有些是回声,还有些声音似乎来自另外一个空间-也许就是索尔去的那个地方。柜子好像在呻吟,又象在回荡着声音,仿佛 被雷电击中一样。柜门似乎随时就能怦然打开,然后我会发现自己在一个绿色的山谷里,身边是清澈的小溪,满眼是红色的木槿。我会跑过高高的草丛,涉水而过, 然后会看见索尔正在那里采着野花。我睁开眼睛,他就会在那里,木槿包围着他,对我笑着。他会问我:“你去哪里了?”就好像被烧成焦炭的人是我一样,而他从 来不曾离去。我沉浸在想象中,仿佛这一切一定会出现,我甚至都准备好欢呼了。而当我一边抽泣着一边睁开眼睛时,只有墙上黯淡的灯泡在闪烁。

I fell asleep, I think, because I awoke to a deeper darkness. It was late, much past my bedtime. Slowly I crawled out of the cupboard, my tongue furred, my feet heavy. My mind felt like lead. Then I heard my name. Mother was in her chair by the window, her body defined by a thin ray of moonlight. Your father Will be well, she said quietly, and he will be home soon. The shaft of light in which she sat so motionless was like the light that would have touched Sol if he\'d been lucky; if he had been like one of us, one in a dozen, or less. This light fell in a benediction, caressing mother, slipping gently over my father in his hospital bed six streets away. I reached out and stroked my mother's arm. It was warm like bath water, her skin the texture of hibiscus.We stayed together for some time, my mother and I, invaded by small night sounds and the raspy whirr of crickets. Then I stood up and turned to return to my room. Mother looked at me quizzically.Are you all right, she asked. I told her I was fine, that I had some c!eaning up to do. Then I went to my cupboard and stacked it up again with teddy bears and picture books.
    我想我是睡着了,因为再次醒来的时候只有浓重的黑暗包围着我。很晚了,早已过了平时我睡觉的时间。我慢慢爬出壁橱,我的舌头似乎长满舌苔,两脚沉地迈不开 步子,脑子也发木。然后听到有人叫我的名字。妈妈坐在窗边的椅子上,身影笼罩在一束窄窄的月光中。“你爸爸会好的,他很快会回来的。”妈妈平静地说。她坐 在那里,那束光也静止不动,就像笼罩着索尔的光一样,如果他能幸运得活着,能够象我们中的其他人那么普通,普通得十二个人中或者更少人中就能挑出一个的 话。那光带着祝福,抚慰着我的妈妈,同时在六个街区远的医院里轻轻掠过爸爸的病床。我伸出手抚摸着妈妈的胳膊,感受着洗澡水那样的温暖,她的皮肤竟然有着 木槿的纹理。


Some years later we moved to Rourkela, a small mining town in the north east, near Jamshedpur. The summer I turned sixteen, I got lost in the thick woods there. They weren\'t that deep - about three miles at the most. All I had to do was cycle for all I was worth, and in minutes I\'d be on the dirt road leading into town. But a stir in the leaves gave me pause.


I dismounted and stood listening. Branches arched like claws over-head. The sky crawled on a white belly of clouds. Shadows fell in tessellated patterns of grey and black. There was a faint thrumming all around, as if the air were being strung and practised for an overture.And yet there was nothing, just a silence of moving shadows, a bulb winking at the walls. I remembered Sol, of whom I hadn't thought in years. And foolishly again I waited, not for answers but simply for an end to the terror the woods were building in me, chord by chord, like dissonant music. When the cacophony grew too much to bear, I remounted and pedalled furiously, banshees screaming past my ears, my feet assuming a clockwork of their own. The pathless ground threw up leaves and stones, swirls of dust rose and settled. The air was cool and steady as I hurled myself into the falling light.

我 下了车,静静地站着聆听。那些枝条盘根错节地在我的头顶上方纠结着,天空躲在慢慢漂浮的白云后面,树影在地上留下灰黑色的斑驳图案。四周仿佛充斥着若有若 无的音乐声,似乎空气也收紧了,正为什么序曲的演奏做着排练。但是什么也没有,除了默默移动的影子,只有墙上的灯泡在闪烁。这一刻我忽然记起了索尔,我已 经好几年没想起他了。我又一次傻傻地等着,这次不是等待一个谜底,而是等待着恐惧的结束,这种恐惧是树林带给我的。但是一个和音连着一个和音,仿佛不成调 的乐曲一般在鸣响,当这刺耳的声音大到我无法承受的时候,我跨上自行车,疯狂地蹬起来。林妖们的尖叫声掠过我的耳边,我的脚快得就像一个飞速旋转的时钟。人迹罕至的林地上布满了树叶和石块,尘土打着旋儿飘起又坠落。


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