Rainy Day

The rains’ turn it was — to usher in the morn,
As the sky stood lost — in the embrace of the dark,
The showers it seemed — had vowed today to pay off
The gruelling summer– all the debts they’d owed.
The music of the blindly streaming rain,
Seemed descending in torrents — besides itself,
Deserted both by night and day was earth,
Spellbound time was trapped in the magic of clouds.

The water bounced from roadside stones in a haze,
All the trees — with lowered heads — were quiet,
It was best to lose — whatever one’s ever owned,
On the all dissolving — melting, rainy day.
Yet the clock struck nine — yet, umbrella in hand,
For the wench of an office to woo — I boarded a tramcar,
Overflowing with clerks — through this pore filled cage,
A soft and moistened touch — kept visiting  every while.

Even on a lost — secluded — divine day as this,
A great city bustled and noisily laboured on,
The prison house — packed with rats, as much as men,
Its ravenous hunger expressed open mouthed.
Unable — its mighty pull to ignore,
The streets — a myriad umbrellas — painted black,
The wealthy too — couldn’t express their free will,
With tireless faces in vehicles they went forth.

Adorned with neither a title nor name,
Blended thoroughly with the crowds I carried on,
Sucked quite clean of marrow were my bones,
Moaned in shame — my pair of worn out shoes,
My failures — had assumed the concrete form
Of a barber untouched stubble — two days old.
When life submerging rains begin to fall
On a dream-embracing — time effacing day,
Driven by the showers — by lightening harshly lit,
In a sealed room — soiled by countless breathings stale,
Today is caught in the world of tomorrow’s debt.

The day’s over — the last remains of rain
Wait on workless clouds — drunk and in a daze
Mixed for a while in yellow, gold and green,
An unreal evening — yet more showers plead.
How enchanting is this world — and this life,
Rewards priceless bestowed free of charge,
The shameful want of material well-being,
Physical pain however much it inflicts,
In fathomless depths, un-bonded — I surge.
Whenever livelihood’s grindstone gives respite,
Torrential rains arrive and bedeck my chest,
With garlands stringed in gorgeous gold and green.
Lucky indeed — to be living — still living, I’ve been!

Tired and free yet wounded and curious
Towards my hovel of a castle I return
A day that never again I’ll live
Has its memory — still painted in the sky.
A hideous — winding — narrow — slippery lane,
Unwary feet are pierced by rough stones,
Like arguments — keep on coiling up the smoke,
From ovens of coal — their fires doused by rain.
Like an addiction — a benumbing melancholy,
Snatches away the breath from all my being
And erases every trace of the world out of my mind.
— But sense returns as I am about to step back home.

Partly holding the door — in a gentle pose,
Stands she attired in a colourful saree,
Her head half covered — by a veil that hides
Her face that’s turned half away from me.
The day’s deceit didn’t steal all that ever was,
The night’s still left — something still survives,
Inside the sleepy chasm of a vacant mind,
Fulfilment arrives sketched as though by dreams,
With the evening star shining in anticipation
On a slender arm — bereft of ornaments of gold.

It seems that I know her — yet I know her not,
I search in vain for words or rhythms to choose,
Through my penury — ridden with a million holes,
Unbridled — endless — vast the rains reveal,
A vale of spring bedecking a blind — obscure lane.
The heart speaks out allegories unaided,
Without jasmines and tuberoses or any flower else,
Simply speechless — her face — I keep staring at,
Her dark eyes alone — my own eyes manage to touch.
The lovers’ tryst — eternal and imperceptible,
Crosses over all fraud and irrelevance,
And whispers in my ears, “My promises I shall heed,
I won’t forget them — forget them I never will.”

_________________________________________________________

Original Bengali version by Buddhadev Bose published in August, 1944.  The above translation (eleventh revision) was completed on April 4, 2011.

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Comments

  • Geetha  On March 29, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Beautiful!! Loved it!!

    • dipankardasgupta  On March 29, 2011 at 10:12 am

      Thank you Geetha. How are you doing? We are planning to visit Philadelphia this summer. Let’s see how things work out. Love. ddg

  • Suvojit  On April 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    This was an enormous tribute to the rainy bylanes and the lives that are related with these. Such is the beauty of our city that the poet can paint the torrential rains amidst the backdrop of the tormented life. I loved this one too!

  • dipankardasgupta  On April 9, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    This one was a tough call. Its length too was a little scary. Thanks for reading and liking. Dipankar-da

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