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.

%d bloggers like this: