When it Began to Rain

Picture of Shiuli Flower

It’s begun to rain deep inside me, my boat has lost its keel
To quit the shore in search of the shoreless, I have no means I feel
At hand, perhaps, I had them before the showers had arrived
Severe palsy’s afflicted me, could this be what’s revived
Memories of a deserted house? Of days infused with dreams?
Severe palsy’s afflicted me, severe palsy it seems.

All alone towards the courtyard, as soon as the rains began
Hoping I might sight your there, in my haste I ran
Perchance amidst the clouds and the rains, or under the shiuli trees
With sky strained waters, drenching lush hairs, reaching down to your knees
But you are nowhere in the open, clouds’ve gathered inside
Deep down inside me, the rains are falling far and wide.

 

Translation of a Bengali poem by Shakti Chattopadhyay. The Bengali title of the poem was “jokhon brishti namlo”. Shiuli is the name of a flower found commonly in Bengal. The flower is deeply rooted in Bengali culture. In particular, it is a flower that has found great favour with poets.

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Comments

  • sujatakumar  On July 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    An enchanting poem! You have brought out the essence and it makes a compelling impression. Glad I got to read your magic after a long time. Going by this work, seems like all is well with you Oj-da and words still encompass you! Just as it should be.:)

    • dipankardasgupta  On July 10, 2011 at 1:24 am

      Dear Sujata:

      I wonder what brought you to the site. I had merely sent you an email containing the translation. But nice of you to have guessed I was here. Thanks for the comments. Took me a while to reach this stage. I suppose I will revise more over time. I don’t know why IL didn’t accept the upload.

      We’ll be back in Philadelphia on the 12th. Have you read Camus’ First Man? It was his unfinished autobiographical novel. As a grown up man, he goes to visit his father’s grave. His father had died young under unenviable circumstances. As he stands in front of the gave, it occurs to him with a shock that the person inside the grave, though his father, was younger than him at the time of his death.

      As I told you once, I think, my father graduated from the University of Pennsylvania way back in 1935-36. I plan to visit theuniversity’s archives after we return to see if I can find the address where he lived. If successful, I will visit the area. I am sure it’s vastly changed, but something of him must still be there. At least in the air. The air of a man far younger than me. I am looking forward to the experience.

      Love.

      oj-da

  • purnachowdhury  On August 27, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Happens to be one fo my favorite poems from the collection. But then, I have always been obsessed about the poet, and all my friends know that!
    Loved: “could this be what’s revived
    Memories of a deserted house? Of days infused with dreams?”
    Lovely translation.

    • dipankardasgupta  On August 28, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you so much. One of my favourite poet(m)s too. Amongst the ones that Parabas rejected. Reasons (1) Inadequate control over English. (2) Inadequate understanding of Bengali. (3) Copyright problems. I spoke to Shri Sankhya Ghosh, who read it (them) and asked me to publish somewhere. He told me that he would personally sort out copyright issues, if any. Parabas asked me to get lost and write economics. Of course, I am not bothered. আমি আপন মনে মাঠে বনে উধাও হয়ে ধাই। 🙂

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