Category Archives: Other English Poems

Hridoypur** (Revised)

Early version: December 31, 2014
This version: January 5, 2020

A veil of darkness still there was -- and yet the light of day Hridoypur was all abuzz -- with perplexities at play Drowned the river bank below -- in the sky one saw recline A lustrous moon in all its glow -- its eyes a pitiless shine Why offer her a ride at all -- whose face expresses frown Who posts a guard on every wall -- and keeps her shutters down? Can a tryst with her then make much sense -- now again this day At Hridoypur where perplexities -- are done with childish play?

Translation-cum-transcreation of a classic Bengali poem হৃদয়পুর (Hridoypur) by Shakti Chattopadhyay. The poem was published in his collection entitled ধর্মে আছো জিরাফেও আছ (“dhorme aachho giraffe-eo achho”, which literally translates to “you exist in religion as well as in the giraffe”) around the year 1977.

**For those unfamiliar with the Bengali language, the word “hridoy” means heart. The word “pur” means a locality. It’s a common suffix carried by a number of large as well as small towns and villages in India, such as Nagpur, Kanpur, Mathurapur and so on. Hridoypur could mean a geographical territory, and indeed a locality by that name exists, but in the present context, the word “hridoy” (heart) lends to it a poetic connotation.

Rear Fear


Rhymes with rear

Which I suspect

Is a cause of fear.

Vowel Correct

To live,

I believe,

is not a great idea,

when it is time …

to leave.



Are a cult of mystics

Whose rites oft include



Style inspired by Ogden Nash.


A poem a day
Keeps poetry away.
A poem long
Is love without song.

Gastric Pains

Newspapers are known for their crazy newz
Along with garbage and other refewz
Consuming newspapers for breakfests
Invariably causes tummy upfests
But many there are who
Eat more than twenty two
Newspapers every aawa
And suffer ailments seveawa
Their reasons I don’t wish to know I fears
It’s best that I mind my own affears
But I do believe that this wretched earth
Without newspapers will dance in mirth.


Appealing most
Is a ghost
For unlike I
It needn’t die.


I wish I knew why my dear little wife
Is mortally afraid of the boxing glove
With which I tenderly hold the knife
To caress her neck and prove my love.

Strange indeed’s my dear little wife
Who begins to howl at my very sight
Simply because of the loving blow
I normally land her before we fight.

The Wait

I often wonder where she could have gone
Up the River Nile or to Northallerton
In Geography, I’m afraid, she had never been too good
And I shan’t be surprised if she landed in a wood
Trapped in thick bushes among poisonous snakes
Lunching with them over strawberry cakes
But then, who knows, she could have lost a hair clip
In search of which she went away, aboard a ship
To some picturesque port in Peru perhaps
Or distant Iceland on a journey without maps
Though I cannot rule out that she learned her Chinese
And climbed up a cloud to chase ganders and geese
I hope against hopes though that from Bologna or Bonn
She’ll return back someday and cease to be gone.