Tag Archives: a kaleidoscope world

দুষ্টু বুড়ি

জানিস না কি, দুষ্টু বুড়ি

বয়েসটা তোর একশ কুড়ি?

তাই বলে কি মধ্য রাতে

স্বপ্ন আমার করবি চুরি?

দুষ্টু, দুষ্টু, দুষ্টু বুড়ি

যখন তখন স্বপ্ন চুরি

করলে আমি কেমন করে

মেঘ মুলুকে বেড়াই উড়ি?

দুষ্টু বুড়ি, দুষ্টু বুড়ি

বয়েসটা তোর একশ কুড়ি

তাই বলে কি যা খুশি তোর

ইচ্ছে হলেই করবি চুরি?

নিরো

ভাসতে ভাসতে মেঘটা হঠাৎ থমকে

আমায় দিল চমকে —

বলল সে তুই করবি কী আর বল?

আমার সাথে তার চে’ বরং নীল আকাশেই চল ।

পুড়িয়েছে তোর কপালখানা সে,

আঠারশ ঊনত্রিশে,

বাজিয়ে দোতারা পুড়িয়েছিল

যেমন নিরো রোমকে।

তাই তো বলি মেঘ হয়ে তুই

নীল আকাশেই চল —

সেখান থেকে বৃষ্টি সেজে

ফেলিস চোখের জল।

ওরা

ওরে ব্রহ্মাণ্ড

এ কী তোর কাণ্ড

জানালা একটা নেই

খাড়া তোর দেয়ালে!

ওপারেতে আছে যারা

হাসে না কী কাঁদে তারা

কিছুই দেখালি না রে

খ্যাপা তোর খেয়ালে।

মিনতি


করোনা গো করোনা!
এক কাজ কর না!
আমাদের ছেড়ে নিজে
মর না গো মর না!

মোক্তার


মেচেদায় মধুকর মোক্তার
মাঝরাতে জেগে ওঠে শোক তার
কাঁদে ঘড়া ঘড়া ভরে
গলা ছেড়ে দোরে দোরে
মেচেদাতে মধুকর মোক্তার।

Exchange

cherry
 
 
desolate2

 In its stead then, you receive
          A silent pool wrought just for you
          A looking glass clear and painted blue
               Water, light-filled, glows --
          Image of a branch, flowers bowed 
          The fluttering sail of a violet cloud
                  A fulfilled heart assures --
An inward eye can all perceive. 


In its stead then, you receive
         Musings mundane, void and bare
         Dusty feet marked paths that stare
               Winds sucked dry of tears --
         A distant familiar voice might call
         During a midday, bereft of all
               No one turns and hears.
These too did you have to leave!                  

_______
Translation-cum-transcreation of a classic Bengali poem বিনিময় (binimoy, meaning exchange) by Amiya Chakravarty. The poem was published around 1953 in a collection of Chakravarty’s poems entitled পারাপার (parapar, meaning ferrying across). I take this opportunity to thank my wonderful friend Surja Sankar Ray for his interpretation of the poem as well as his advice on the many drafts preceding what has been posted.

Waiting — Flash Fiction # 13

They had been waiting for weeks when a few of them pointed out that they had waited for months, and soon enough the months changed to years, till, finally, those who were still alive forgot what they were waiting for, even though they felt vaguely that they had been waiting. 






Granny — Flash Fiction # 12

Granny too was excited to hear the patter of feet coming up the staircase on that silent afternoon, but they passed by the closed door of her empty home, climbing further up and finally moving out of her hearing range. As always.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Girls — Flash Fiction #10

Hanoi. Inside a tourist bus hired by the university. I sat next to a student volunteer. Dressed in a pristine white uniform. Young and radiating health. She told me about her family. Her father was a doctor. Wasn’t he? Not sure. Could have been an engineer or an accountant. But certainly not a pilot or a restaurant owner. We were silent for a while, watching through the window roadside shops, simple folks walking their way back home. We passed by an aged woman with a shoulder yoke. She could have reminded her of her grandparents. The girl suddenly turned towards me and asked, “Do you have grandchildren?” I must have been pretty old then. But I have grown even older with time. How old is she today? Don’t know her name. That nameless Vietnamese girl may still be in Hanoi. If you see an attractive girl there with a lovely smile, that’s she. 

***

Hong Kong. I was walking down a long, steep stairway leading down the hill from my home to my office in the university. To my left stood the colossal shopping mall, Festival Walk. It began to rain and I prepared to get soaked. When a smallish Chinese girl emerged out of the huge mall. She briskly approached me and offered shelter under her open umbrella. We chatted as we went towards our common destination. She was an undergraduate student and spoke about the courses she was taking. Once inside the university building, she took leave and went her way. I never saw her again. Did I ask her name? Can’t recall anymore. Probably not. She should not be more than thirty five now. If you come across her do tell her that I can’t get her out of my mind even though I don’t remember her face. I wonder where she lives now. Her kindness has remained stuck to me like the empty smile of eternity. 

***

New York city. Afternoon, fifty years ago. Avenue of the Americas. Pavement in front of Radio City Music Hall. I was walking aimlessly, when a girl in a green dress rushed up and confronted me. To my total surprise, she said, “I love you.” Her intonation was strange. I thought I heard her saying, “Love you?” I didn’t know her at all and stared at her dumbfounded for a moment. Then I tried to smile. I said, “You do?” “Yes,” she said and stood blocking my way, as though she was waiting for a response. Her eyes looked sad as she stared at me and her face wore an expression that I couldn’t decipher. The sadness in her eyes was too deep for her age and the manner of her voice was vaguely painful. I managed to skirt around her and briskly walk away. I had probably assumed her to be a drug addict, even though, on hindsight, she didn’t resemble one.

Like the other two, I never saw this girl again, but those sad eyes and the puzzling countenance continue to live and the enigmatic words she had uttered keep ringing in my ears. Was she asserting or interrogating me about herself? I wish I had bought her coffee and spent a few minutes with her. Instead, and as always, I didn’t even ask her name. Somewhere, now, she is a very old woman. She will not recognize me. It’s best to leave her alone.

***

Girls vanish.

 

Soya — Flash Fiction # 8


He stared across the Sea of China sitting inside a sushi bar in Otaru Port thinking absent-mindedly about that slim Chinese girl in Xidi Village when a tiny drop of soya sauce fell on his shirt sleeve and doggedly defied to be washed off for the rest of his life like the pretty, embarrassed face of the Japanese waitress.