Jan 13, 2013

৭০ (নৈবেদ্য)


70 (Naivedya)

You have bestowed upon one and all
Your sceptre of justice
O King of Kings
You have entrusted to one and all
The right to govern themselves

The honour is as great
as it is tough to live upto
I bow to you in humble obeisance
As I take this responsibility upon myself
May I never fear anyone
As I go about your work

O Fiery and Fearsome
Where forgiveness is but a weakness
May I be ruthless at your command
Let my tongue lash out like a sword
Flashing words of truth at your cue

Let me protect and preserve your honour
When I take my place at your seat of judgement
The one who does wrong
And the one who lives with the wrong
May they both be scorched and seared
By your contempt and scorn

(this translation is dedicated to Nirbhaya / Damini / Amanat)

Aug 9, 2012

১২ (বলাকা )


That you will give
That I shall acquire from you
Forms the shape of my thoughts
All day.
In joy and pain
I extend my open palms to you, again.
Thinking that you will give
More, and more, and more
Without reprieve.

And you did.
Every moment, every bit by bit.
Your giving rushed down
In a sudden flood of grace.
I took some, wasted some
Gave some away
I wore your indulgence
Like a delicate, delicious web all day.
I played with the gems
Of your generosity.
Leaving them behind
In the playhouse of my
Wasteful laze.
Yet you gave and gave
Until
My treasure-chest overflowed
With drops of eternity.

Today, I feel finally
The burden of your giving,
Your goodness.
Today I want to tear myself
Away from my pleading regress.
As I hovered about your door
In unending hopes of gift
My expectations overflowed
My soul was constantly adrift
As I craved for more and more
And more. But today
The dead-weight of my debt has given way
To my desire to give
Myself
My desire to be taken by you,
By you.
When will you take me, hold my hand
Demolish my cup of thirst,
Of empty greed?
When will you put off my burning lamp
Of nights I could not sleep
Laying in wait, for more.
When will you take
My garland of flowers
For you, to keep?
Lead me to your skies of endless taintless lights, diffused, deep?

Jul 29, 2012

২৫ (বলাকা )

Verse Twenty-Five

Spring came in happy ruckus
With her clamorous cortege
Whereby,
Filling my yard with laughter and flowers
The forest with new leaves,
Painting deep scarlet kisses across the sky.

Quietly paid me a visit today
A very different spring.
Sat in the corner of my room
Pondering.

Surveyed the endless sky, spring did
Her gaze fixed to that spot, where
All the green faints and fades into blue
Becoming one under her deep, curious stare.

Jul 19, 2012

অনাবশ্যক


In the lonely kaash woods by the creek
I asked her, "Who might you be?
With your lamp, protected from the wind
Under your cautious drapery?
My home remains unlighted, bleak
I could use your lamp, if you can
Leave it here for me." With a stare
She refuses, for she has a plan,
To float her little lamp in the river
This, I find quite pointless
I notice her lamp slowly drift
Away in the water, in darkness.

Another dusk descends. I stop her
To ask, whether perhaps, tonight
As her home is so brightly lit
She may part with her little lamplight.
She is still for a moment. Dark eyes
Stare at me, as she says
"But this... is for the dark skies
To keep a little corner ablaze."
I stare up at space and I see
How her little lamp burns, pointlessly.

The night of the new moon returns
I make yet another request
To her, as she walks slowly by
Clutching her lamp to her chest.
"My home remains unlit tonight
Give me your light, kind princess!"
In the darkness, she lifts her dark eyes
"This one is a tribute," she says.

A tribute to the autumn fete of lights.
Yet again, I remain a witness
To her light, burning among countless others
In effulgent, vain endlessness.

Jul 2, 2012

আঠারো

Eighteenth Poem

(For Mr. Charuchandra Bhattacharya, in devoted friendship).

Do we ever desire end of abjection?

Grief gratifies us, brings us pride.

That our deepest distress won't embody the eternal

Is discomforting

Denting our dignity in pain.

Life expends saved bits of being

Scattering existence on the trails of forever time

The wheels of time flattening, fading

Traces of deepest despair.

Deaths of our dearest

Demanding memory, whispering, "remember always."

Life's demands are unaccounted however

Clamoring, closing in on all directions.

In the crowd of now

Past's needs could be imperceptible,

Now and then

Words rise to the surface of disappearing pain

Dignity of sorrow takes pride in privation

Tells off life's emissaries, refuses admission

Fields of consciousness rife with fascinating fertility

With sullen pain, entrenched in the middle

Fortified, deserted, in silent unyielding mutiny

Tallying death and dying in mute indignation.

Self-defeated, but defiant

Unable, to bury the mind

To let go of a deep fetish

Fixated on desolation.

Much like the desire to rule, possess, be known

Deeper still, the desire

To command dark, undisturbed realms of pain.

Apr 14, 2012

রোগশয্যায় (৩)

I Sit Alone

I sit alone here
By the trail of many journeys.
Them, that rowed in the skiff of songs at dawn
At the frenzied harbor of life
Swaying with lights and shades
Disappear at the approach of dusk.
Turning slowly into shadows.
Eclipsing softly.
Today, they are crowding around
The threshold of my delirious dreams
Nameless, songless maladies
Like a one-stringed lute with a lost string
Lost in hopeless search.
I sit alone here
Counting the moments
Quietly, like counting prayer beads
Spread across every niche
Of this darkness.

Apr 13, 2012

রোগশয্যায় (১৪)

In this little firmament of my infirmary

Like a dry dead driftwood hiding in the creek-fork

Stumbling in, and breaking the swift currents

Currents of Creation

Step in to gather debris, busy, happy

Carefully crafting a little island

Of moss and plants and every sudden material

Floating at the banks in careless abandonment.

Today, in this little firmament of my infirmary

Currents of creation

Circulate

In deep, focused care

Of me.

Tender hands on my forehead

Gauging warmth.

Anxious wide awake eyes

Wondering about my insomnia.

Even the morning light

Tip toes in, careful not to wake me.

Plates of tasteless wholesomeness

Appealing against taste

Pleading nourishment

Tidying all the untidiness

My unwell unruly life generates.

Smoothing my sheets

Ready for yet another sleepless night of

Endless care

I am the driftwood that created this island.

Of whispered voices

Worried glances

Wavering, soft, touches.

The currents of my life are haltingly

Revolving within a world

Feverishly, far removed from the world outside.

The flash flood is near

That will someday set this little island adrift

Waves of exalted, unfettered. nursed-back life

Will set this little room free of care

Leaving behind a mist of matchless, emollient, memories.

Nov 4, 2011

খুলে দাও দ্বার

Open the Door

Open the door

Uncover my royal blue sky

Let the curious floral fragrance visit my room

Let the fresh sunbeams

Flow in every vein of mine.

I want to hear the celebratory murmur of leaves

Rejoicing, because I live on

I am alive, now.



Let this morning

Touch me, drape my mind

In finery.

Just as it drapes the green, growing meadows.

The deep, solemn silence

Of the lifelong love I received

Speaks through the sky, through the winds.

I am awash in this celestial love,

Watching my eternal truth shine

Like a jeweled strand on the brilliant blue breast of the sky.

Sep 26, 2011

মেঘদূত

The messenger of clouds / Meghdoot

1

What did the flute sing on the first day of the lovers' union?

She sang, `The person who is eternally far comes near.'

And the flute played on, 'I have found the one who is boundless even in the closest embrace, who exceeds all revelations even after being found.'

But then, why did the flute grow silent?

Because, we have lost the other half of the message. All we can remember is, I found my love. We forget, the person so near is also beyond our reach. We can see only part of the picture of love that lies in togetherness, passing up the other half, which portrays eternal separation. Therefore, we do not see with eyes of an ever-yearning compassion; the nearness pulls a curtain of opacity.

The wide open sky that rests between two individuals is so silent. Words are meaningless there. That great stillness has to be filled with a flute's melody. A flute can not sing without the space of a vast sky.

That sky between us, is now shrouded with murk, it has been littered with our daily business affairs, too many words, too much disquiet and ungraciousness.

2

On occasional moonlit nights winds drift; we wake up and find an aching heart; we recall how we have lost the one who lies next to us.

How will this separation end; this separation between my eternity and my lover's?

When we return home from work who is this individual we speak to. One among thousands; someone we have gone over and read thoroughly, a finished chapter.

But, in that individual where is that boundless, exquisite, unique soul who belongs with me? How do I find that soul lost to me, along shores of unrestrained longing.

When do I find a moment to speak to that soul once more, on a lazy restful evening heavy with the perfume of wild flowers.

3

Just at that moment early monsoon arrives wafting, waving its veil of shadows in the eastern horizon. I recall the poet of Ujjayani*. It dawns on me to send a message to my beloved.

Let my melodies soar, crossing the forbidden fortress of closeness.

But, then my lyrics would have to ride on tides of time to return to that first day of betrothal, that moment that has secured itself with all the tears and fragrances of earth's eternal monsoon and eternal spring, entwined with sighs of the Ketaki and the distraught, heartfelt offerings of the Shaal blossoms.

By the silent waters of the lake, in the rustling coconut leaves, from where clouds gather, I share the very own words of the Monsoon as my own. Let the missives drift to my beloved, where she, her loose tresses fastened in a bun, busies herself with household chores.

4

An endless faraway sky touches the face of the blue earth, tinged with hues of woodlands. And she whispers, `I am so yours'.

The earth wonders, `How could that be. You are boundless. I am little.'

The sky replies, ` I have chosen for myself a border of clouds.'

The earth sighs, ` You have starry jewels in your treasure, I have no light.'

The sky replies, ` Today I lost all my stars, suns and moons. You are all I have.'

The earth ponders, ` My tearful heart rides on tides of restless winds. Yet you are unshaken.'

The sky answers, ` Even my tears are restive today. Haven't you noticed? My bosom is as green as your verdant heart.'

And saying this, the sky bridges their eternal separation with songs made of tears.

5

Let Monsoon rain down on our separation, with the same soft chant of the holy wedlock between the sky and earth. Let the singular qualities of the beloved take us by wonder, like a resonant string of a lute, she frame her face with a blue veil, as blue as the distant woodlands; her dark eyes come alive with all the wonderful nuances of Meghmallar; Bokul blossoms wreath the turn of her tresses in a fulfilment of beauty.

As the gloom in the Bamboo forests shudders with resounding chorus of crickets, as the evening lamp lurches, shaken by sudden monsoon drifts, and dies out, let her arrive, leaving behind all the too near, domestic matters, treading the path fragrant with wet grass, entering into the realm of a deep dark night, into my solitary heart.

Aug 25, 2011

প্রত্যাশা (কড়ি ও কোমল)

Final Expectation

Those things that everyone asked of me
I could not give, this much I know.
I know of the deceits, the debts unpaid
The work undone. To the world I owe
So much. So why do I speak right now?
In delirium, in regret, in desire, in need?
Seems I still have so much to demand
From the world. I beg in wordless greed.
I curse, I cry, in desperate despair
From wants unfulfilled, from needs unmet
My lord, I really do not desire more
Of this cursed craving, this deep regret.
Kill my desire...this insatiable yearning
Kill my greed, ye lord, I implore
This burden of debt gets heavier by the day..
I promise my lord, I'd desire no more.
I will give up my pursuit of you, I'll wait
Knowing that you will come to me
Perhaps in that moment of quiet submission
When you know that I have turned myself over to thee.

Jul 3, 2011

মোহ (কড়ি ও কোমল)

The Eternal Trance

How long will this illusion last?
Nothing binds, holds back, nothing makes one stay.
The arms that embrace, the lovely, lustrous arms
Sooner or later, must give way.

Inebriated eyes overflowing with love, like wine
Will one day look away, and darkness cascade
Darkness, that makes strangers of friends
Makes the known, unknown, and the said, unsaid.

Birds stop singing as the blooming season ends
The one last flower that remains alone
Wears a loneliness in its fading scarlet hue
Like hungry lips. Like a smile hiding a moan.

The body that embodied the blossoming spring
Trembling with a desire so fervent
Beset with the eternal promise of youth
A single minded want of fulfillment.

That need, that want, that helpless passion
Becomes a memory of timeless thirst
Does that living, breathing, all consuming fire
Bring a smile of knowing, a tear unrehearsed?

প্রশ্ন (পরিশেষ )

A Question

My creator, you've sent your envoys into this heartless world,
In every age, every era of humankind's.
They left words in their wake, "love, forgive, and unmake the poison of hatred built up in your minds."
Glory be to them, for they are legendary, revered by all, yet
In this day of crisis, when everything is amiss, I shut them out in deep regret.
For I have seen masked malice, violence veiled by the alibi
Of nightfall, that struck down innocents.
I have seen nameless rage, that possesses a youth that hits his head
Against rocks until lifeless,his anger never vents.
I have seen sins of the strong, taking their course, without recourse
As words of justice remain mute,
So does my own voice. I am silenced, choked and helpless today
As the music forever leaves my flute.
My world has dissolved, wounded, under the deep shadow of a nightmare, therefore
Tearfully, my omniscient, I am asking you....
Those who spewed needless evil, poisoned your air, put out your lights
All lights
Could you forgive them?
Have you loved them too?

Jun 22, 2011

যেতে নাহি দিব (সোনার তরী)

I Won’t Let You Go

The carriage waits at the door, it's afternoon
The autumn sun beats down with all its might
In the warm midday breeze, under the shade of a tree
A beggar sleeps in peace like it were midnight.
The dusty road lies bare, it's quiet everywhere
Except in my home, where things are astir.

The festive month is over, so is my leave
I must go back to my distant work town
The servants are packing, there is much fuss.
In our room, she remains, her wet eyelids down.
My child's mother, my beloved, with a heavy heart
Is busy at work to send me off
My luggage grows in size- all these boxes, jars and pans
I know not how to carry this huge weight of love.

I said, "I'll take some, I really can’t take all."
She won't listen to me, for what do I know
What I might need in that faraway land
Far from her caring hands, and so
She packs in fine rice, molasses, and paan
Coconuts and mangoes and good mustard oil
Medicines and milk and "I packed some sweets
Remember to eat them before they spoil!"
I know she won't listen, I must take it all
Love knows no reason, I cannot argue
I look at the clock, then at her dear face
"I have to leave" I whisper, I really do.
She turns her eyes away, her saree covers her face
She strives to hide those inauspicious tears
I walk out of the door, and right outside
Sits my little daughter, all of four years.

On a regular day she'd be bathed and fed
And would perhaps be, by now, deep in sleep
But today her mother, being busy elsewhere
Has suspended her ward’s habitual upkeep.
The child has been following me like a shadow
Watching the preparations with rapt interest
Which perhaps tired her little body
And she sat down by the door for a bit of rest.
I said, "My little mother, bid me goodbye."
She sat there, her little face dark with woe.
Then, announced in her little daughter-like way
Looking up at me: "I won't let you go!"
She didn't bar my way, she didn't clutch my hand
She asserted her rightful right on me,
Confident in her power, "I won't let you go!"
How her mandate was futile, she could never see.

My little delusional creature of love
Of strength, how do you make such demands?
Muster such power, such brave need to hold
Someone back with your tiny little hands.
How will you manage to keep everyone
You love? What battles will you fight?
Your love is your strength, your weapon, your shield
You’ve known how to love with all your wee might.
Out of your pained heart, emerged a desire today—
You could have said, "I wish you'd not leave."
You didn't express a wish, you demanded instead
My darling, I cannot imagine the ties you weave.
Reality defeated love's deep, strong pride,
This mocking world pulled me back in its stage
You kept sitting at the threshold, not moving at all
In grief, in nameless, tearful rage.

Your tears flow in my eyes, as I look around
At the fields heavy with autumnal crop
Blushing in the sun. Beside the tree lined road
A full Ganges gushes past without a stop.
White clouds hang from the sky, shaped like sheep
Sun warms the earth like the beginning of time
A sigh escapes my lips, as I look at the scene
A scene filled with an indifference that is almost sublime.

Yet the sky is steeped in sadness, the world holds its breath
All I can hear now are the words of heartbreak
" I won't let you go" "I won't let you go"
Arising from the earth, that time can't unmake.
The ground holding on to the tiniest grass
Whispering "you can't go." A tiny flame in the storm
About to go, but burns on as darkness asserts
"You can't go"--pronouncing an eternal norm,
Wordlessly, that ageless desire.
"I won't let you go" screams the surge of life
Showing forever that helplessness
In the face of separation, that eternal strife.
No one really listens; time takes it all
As love spins the earth, as empires fall.

No one ever answered. The world never cared.
Yet at this moment, all around me
A voice, like my daughter's, an ageless voice
Relentless, dauntless, forever free
Declares a war on loss, on the inevitable
Asks, "Why must I lose everything I own?
Why must I lose all I have loved
All that I desire, all that I've known?
Time's lesson unheeded, all defeats ignored
Love asserts its arrogance, love shines its sword.

Like a fleeting moment, like a speck of dust
In a quick heartbeat, in a fleeting breath
Loss descends like darkness
Like the deep calm of death.
Eyes flood, minds revolt, heads hang down
Like fallen trees in a raging gale
"How can my beloved go?" Love asks
Yet again and again, life’s designs must fail.
Such valiance is what makes one stand
Without fear or dilemma, unguarded
Challenging death's aggressive blows
Frailty forgotten, the "self" discarded.


"You're not real , death, you do not exist"
Life asserts proudly, as death smirks on
Pride stands firm, love marches ahead
Knowing unknowingly…. that all must be gone.
Tears evaporate, not the fear of loss,
the eternal angst of severance, the deep despair
Often lies dormant at the feet of love, weak
Like a hesitant fog, under sun’s watchful stare.

All I see today, are your little hands,
Not very strong. I feel your futile grip
Your tears, your fear, your love, your loss
Your clouds, your rain, your little wing-tip.
In the churning, frenzied river beneath
A shadow remains unmoved, as the waters quietly seethe.

I hear today in the murmuring fields
A need so great, a longing so strong
The wind cuts through in tepid disdain
Under the trees, the shadows grow long.
In the fields faraway, I hear a flute
Weeping eternal tunes, the earth listens on
Like a listless goddess, her long hair falling
Like waves in the ocean, like clouds at dawn.
Her patient eyes turned to the bright, warm blue
Of the autumn sky. Her lips wordless,
A little like my little daughter, all of four years
All alone by the door in puzzled distress.

Jun 17, 2011

রাতের গাড়ি (নবজাতক)

The Night Train

My spirits become the night train
Rushing ahead--
Sleep descends on the cars
The night is very quiet.

In endless darkness
Inky nonexistence
It lives beyond sleep
In nameless terrains.
In quick flashes of light
Something darts past
Into strange unfamiliarity
Towards invisible addresses, fast.
Rootless pilgrims from faraway lands
In a speechless night.
Can this distance be covered, I wonder.
Will the journey end all right?

Nameless driver
Some say, he is a machine
That is all. A soulless blind machine
Yet people sign away their lives to blindness
Quietly setting up berths to lean.
Uncertain this, they say, knowing fully well
That there's sureness in this speed, this spell.

Whistling by nameless things, people, places
That remain soaked in oblivion
Their pulses, breaths palpable.
Trust and paranoia mingle, masked
Trust rises, spreads
Under the night sky.
In dark relentlessness
The train speeds by.
Remaining inside the unconscious of sleep
Dreaming of distant dawns, dauntless, deep.

ক্ষণমিলন (চৈতালি)

Our Momentary Meeting

He who is closer than the closest to me
How much do I know him, of him?
One intimate moment frozen in eternity
Two lives meeting in time's sudden whim.
I know him a little, and he knows me some
I know not his inner, timeless core
Destined is the day when we walk away
That moment of schism lies quiet in time's store.
Our paths won't cross, I know you won't return
I'll look for signs of you, your voice, your touch
In our moments of oneness, when I looked at you
I saw in you, my beloved, my eternal search
For all that is beautiful, all I need to know
Revealed to me in a sudden, shimmering glow.

Jun 13, 2011

প্রান (নৈবেদ্য)

Life Eternal (II)

Here, now in this body of mine
Life surges ahead in every vein, every day
Life thrusts ahead to conquer this world
In matchless rhythm, in exquisite sway.
Life dances in silent violence of joy
In every pore, every particle of earth
In every tiny blade of grass, blossoms and leaves.
Year after year in soft, silent mirth
In the foaming sea of life and death
Tumultuous, tremulous, violent ebb and flow
Of life. I feel you, I feel you forever life.
I feel you in me, I feel you so.
Untamed, pulsating spirit cavorting in my pulses
Since when time began. In me
Life tosses life in endless, matchless glee.

-Transcreated by Debjani Chakravarty

প্রান (কড়ি ও কোমল)

Life Eternal (I)

I do not desire death on this exquisite earth
In this living humanity, I want to spend my days
In this sunshine, this blossoming garden of mine
In living hearts I'll perhaps make space.
Life ebbs and flows forevermore
Ruptures and unions washed in laughter and tears
In grief and glee I will make eternity
I will make songs that time reveres.
If I cannot, I still want to be
With all of you, as I slowly tend
To the garden where my songs will blossom like flowers
My season of blooms will never end.
Come, take my flowers on this radiant day
Savor them, touch them until time has its say.

Transcreated by Debjani Chakravarty

Apr 30, 2011

প্রথম দিনের সূর্য

The sun of the first dawn

The sun of the first dawn
Had asked the living soul
On its first appearance
'Who are You?'--
There was no response.
Years passed,
On a still twilight
In the far horizon of the western seas,
The last sun asks,
'Who are You?'
There is no response.

Oct 31, 2010

শেষ খেয়া

The Last Ferry

At the end of day in the land of sleep
The silhouette of that veiled face
Soothes, lulls, makes me forget myself

On the far shore glinting like gold
What illusion plays in the darkness
Sings on distracting me from work

With a bowed head those who depart,
Forsaking all earthly comfort
They go, never to return a glance

Towards them with the pull of tide
I will go deserting my home
Evening arrives, the day departs
O come, come who will carry me
On the last ferry at day end

At eventide, with ebb and tide
From the other shore incessant
Plies forth a ferry or two
Oh how can I tell which of those
Was at my quay in my own land

At sundown, just beneath the banks
Grazing the lap of dense foliage
In shades, like a shadow they go
At my behest, to stop a while
And set sail to row towards me
Where is such an oarsman, such a boat?
O come, come who will carry me
On the last ferry at day’s end

When have gone home those bound homeward
Gone too, those set for shores beyond
Neither at home nor on far shores
One who is somewhere in between
Who will beckon him at twilight

No more flowers left to bloom
No more harvest to reap
Tears have become irony
For whom fades daylight
But lit are not dusk lamps
Waits that one on the banks
Come who will carry me
On the last ferry
At the end of day

Sep 11, 2010

আফ্রিকা

Africa

In those primitive days of chaos
When Creator dissatisfied
With His own self
Was destroying time and again
His creation
On a day when He shook His head
Time and again with impatience
From eastern hemisphere’s bosom
Terrible arms of sea snatched you away
Africa
Imprisoning you in dense deep
Watchful eyes of vegetation
In private hall of frugal light

There in solitary leisure
You gathered mysteries impenetrable
Acquainting self with code-words of
Earth, water and the blue azure
Magic of nature hidden beyond sight
Sparking sacred hymns in your sub-conscious

Mocking the tremendous
In guise of the monstrous
Wanting to defeat doubt
Growing violent
With grace of the formidable
In tumultuous battle drums of Tandava

O umbrageous one
Beneath veil of darkness
Unknown was your humanity
In perverted eyes of contempt

They came with iron chains
Claws sharper than your wolves’
Came hordes of man-hunters
In pride, blinder than your sun bereft woods

Barbaric greed of civilisation
Stood denuded in unashamed cruelty

Your wordless cries in mist stricken forests,
Muddied your dust mingled with blood and tears
Trampled with spiked boots of demonic feet
Lumps of gruesome clay
Left eternal marks on your insulted history

Across oceans
In that very moment
In each nook and corner
Ringing out were church bells
Morning and evening
In name of the kind Lord
Playing were kids in mother’s laps
Sung in ballads of bard
Worshipful prayer of Beauty

Today in western horizons
In eventide choked with rainstorms
When animals come out of hidden lairs
Announce end of day with ominous wails
Come epoch-making poet
In last light of imminent dusk
Come forth and stand at the door
Of the woman violated
Amidst ferocious delirium
Say two words “Forgive me”
The ultimate sacred words of civilisation, let those be

Sep 3, 2010

বিদায়

Farewell

Do you hear
the rumblings of the wheels of time
It’s chariot disappearing in a flash
Arousing vibration of heartbeats
in the vast ether
Heartbroken sobs of stars
glistening in trampled darkness

My friend
That fleeting time
Embraces me, weaving it’s web --
Lifts me to that speeding chariot
En route the dare-devil journey
Far, far away from you

I feel, a thousand deaths
Faced have I to come here
At this new dawn’s summit –
The chariot’s restless pace
Sets aflutter in breeze
My name of yore

No means of turning back
From afar if you see
Recognise me not will you
My friend, fare well.

Some day, in respite from work
In fullness of leisure
With soft spring breeze
On a night when deep sighs
Float forth from shores of past
Wails of withered Bakul flowers
Piercing the skies
In that moment search and see
Some of me is left behind
In the margins of your life.
In oblivion of dusk
It may hold some light
It may, in nameless dreams, take form.

Yet a dream it is not
My truth above all it is,
Death-defying
It is my love.
That I have left behind
Unchanging homage in your name
I float on with the flow of change
With the journey of time
My friend, fare well.

Loss it is not for you
Merely mortal my clay
With it an idol immortal
If created have you
Worshipped be it in eventide
That play of devotion
Hindered will it not be
Tarnished not by my daily touch
Not one flower detached from
Salver of floral offering

Festive spread of your mind
That you garnish with care
With sweet juice of emotion
To quench desire of expression
Adulterate it not will I
With my riches that are just dust
With that which is moist with my tears

Even today you may
Design your creation
With words woven in dreams
Of just a memory of me
Weighed not down nor
Moored to obligation
My friend, fare well.

Grieve not for me
I have my work
I have this whole wide world
My vessel, empty it is not
Make whole each void
This vow I take forever.

If there be one who is
For me anxiously awaiting
That very one will fulfil me
Who brings a tuberose stalk
In time of the waxing moon
To decorate salver of sacrifice
In night of the waning moon
Who sees me as I am
Virtues and vices all
With boundless forgiveness
In worship of the one
Now I wish to give up myself.

What I have given you
Your right to that remains endless
An iota it is
That I give here and now
Pitiable moments
That sip in mere fistfuls
From this heart of mine
It’s hands folded in prayer

What I have given you
Was your own gift to me
More you accepted
More indebted you made me
My friend, fare well

Aug 3, 2010

আমারই চেতনার রঙে পান্না হল সবুজ

আমি, শ্যামলী / ১

 The Self 

It is my senses which colour
Emerald green and ruby red.
I look at the sky --
Light appears;
I gaze at a rose with praise --
It becomes beautiful.
You say, " It's philosophy,
No poetic utterance",
I say, "It's truth,
And so, it's poetry.
It's my pride,
Pride on behalf of humanity,
Pride being the canvas of the Artist Creator".
The philosopher chants at every breath,
" No, no, no.
It isn't emerald, ruby, light, nor rose,
Neither I, nor you."
On the other hand ,'tis the Infinite
Who endeavours His confinement
In human limitations: that's my 'Self'.
Out of this folding mystery of 'Self'
Light manifests in dark,
Forms appear, feelings are born,
Negation changes into affirmation
By some magic touch --
With shades and colours, happiness and sorrow.
Don't call it philosophy,
I am full of mirth ,
Creating the universal self ,
With a brush in hand ,
Paint in the palette.
The wise say,
'The old moon with a hard , cunning smile
Creeps towards the earth
Like the Death-incarnate,
It will exert a tremendous pull some day
On the seas and the mountains .
A big naught will prevail .
That page in the history of the earth
Will swallow all mathematics of day and night.
Time-honoured deeds of man
Will lose all pretensions and immortality,
Human history will be smeared
With the darkest ink of eternal Night.
The eyes of the parting humanity
Will snatch away all colours,
Their minds cast away all feelings,
Waves of force-fields will fill the sky ,
But there will be no light ,
Like fingers of the player without his lyre
Moving fast without music . "
'The prosaic Creator will be alone
In the colourless heaven ,
Busy in mathematics of expressionless reality."
Then , throughout this vast universe,
Here, and in remote corners
Of millions of stars and galaxies,
nowhere will there be heard,
"You are beautiful", "I love you" !
Will the Creator start His endeavour
Once again for ages? --
Will He chant at the dusk of destruction
- speak, speak ! inculcate,
Say, "You are beautiful"
Say, " I love you ".

Translated by Subrata Majumdar,
1961

Original published as Ami in Shyamali / 1, 1936

ধূপ আপনারে মিলাইতে চাহে গন্ধে

ধূপ আপনারে মিলাইতে চাহে গন্ধে   উত্সর্গ / ১৭   ['আবর্তন' (সঞ্চয়িতা)]

                   The cycle

Incense yearns to sublimate as fragrance,
   Fragrance longs to stick around the incense.
Melody likes to bind its soul in rhythm,
  Rhythm chooses to dwell in melody-abodes.
Ideas need fetters of forms to express,
  Form adores freedom in ideas.
The Infinite clings to the vicinity of limits,
  The Finite desires to mystify with the Boundless.
I know not the logic of such birth and death,
  Eternal transitions of spirit and form ---
Chains wait eagerly to be shattered,
  Freedom seeks encasement in bounds.

Translated by Subrata Majumdar,
2 August 2010

 Original published in Utsarga - 17, 1914 and as Abartan (in Sanchayita)

পাগল হইয়া বনে বনে ফিরি

পাগল হইয়া বনে বনে ফিরি  উত্সর্গ / ৭   ['মরীচিকা' (সঞ্চয়িতা)]
 
Mirage

My own sweet smell
Drives me utterly mad
In search of fragrance-source
Like the scented deer
In forests far and near.
In southern breeze in nights of spring
To find no trace anywhere.
Our pining is full of fault
We gain what we yearn not.

My desires appear mirages
Away from my heart
I stretch my hands to catch them
To heart they never come back.
Our pining is full of fault
We gain what we yearn not.

My eager and maddened flute
Strives to entrap my songs.
For songs thus confined
The melodial essence is lost.
Our pining is full of fault
We gain what we yearn not.


Translated by Subrata Majumdar
3 August 2010

Original in Utsarga / 7, 1914 and Marichika (from Sanchayita)