To Her Eternally – Based on Sudhindra Nath Dutta’s Shashwoti

Fatigued rainfall, untimely seeking rest,
Lies in the courtyard, dressed in dark and green;
Golden chance for a hide and seek contest
On the skies abscond a light and shade filled scene.
Autumn’s arrived, its precincts half-known still,
The air echoes the striking of its drum,
Fulfilled at last is the silent waiting’s will,
Nature extends its concerted welcome.
Fog enshrouded boundary of a long day,
Will soon be obscured by the moon-climb up the sky,
Lovelorn patience along its dusty way,
Will brighten up with a flower trodden sigh.
In this gathering she too has joined in,
A seat in the feast is reserved today for her,
Look backward my listless eyes in the din,
My shrivelled up heart can’t leave its worn patched cover.

Once on such a rains departing night,
A hundred births ago it could have been,
She had come and made our hands unite,
With love instinctive at my face she’d seen.
Then too did a harvest happy breeze,
Play in joy with her ripened paddy hued hair,
All those eternal wants and wins to seize,
Searched for a meaning in her lowered eyes full clear.
Trembling on the crest of a wavering word,
Haunted a seventh heaven on that day,
A moment single stood there on its guard,
And stopped time flying its restless, undying way.
An immoderate and a boastful promise had caught,
And pulled to the earth an unflagging Pole Star,
Human memory with all its fragility fraught,
Has opened now my disaster’s doors ajar.

A time for truce has returned in all its glory,
Beckoning sweetly the unattainable once more,
Inhaling her fragrant inebriating story,
Unnamed flowers in swollen unknowns soar.
Filled up rivers her passions symbolise,
Lost in shoreless oceans, out of depth,
The unblemished sky reflects her heart’s true guise,
Its coronation, a glittering sun filled wealth.
The dreamy nights are blue as were her eyes
Grass-like was the softness of her down
To call her “Dearest” this voice mine once more tries
Only today she loves someone unknown.
Anthills I’ve stocked to my memories’ fill
In all my pores lie lifeless droplets sweet
She may forget but a million millennia still
I’ll remember, my mind will never retreat.

This immortal Bengali poem (“Shashwoti”) was published by Sudhindra Nath Datta in his collection Orchestra. His introduction to the collection was dated August 1, 1953.

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