Tag Archives: flowers


I wonder what this bee wants with me. I don’t think it wishes to sting me, but it’s flying too close to me for my comfort. I never invited it in when I went to collect the morning paper. It’s been whizzing past me ever since, not letting me concentrate on the news. Finally, it comes down and perches on the newspaper next to my right thumb. I throw away the newspaper in alarm and run out into the balcony. The bee follows me and disappears somewhere inside the tree facing me from the street. The tree is in full bloom. Like the bee, I don’t know the name of the flowers, but they are lovely to watch. I stare at them as they softly glow under the autumn sun. Quite oblivious of newspapers. I think the bee has accomplished its mission.



 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.