Monthly Archives: April 2014

A Usual Story

“its okay, you can tell me, you can..” He punctured the silence that had descended when both of them ran out of words.She realized it was her chance to speak, if she wanted.She fumbled with the thoughts racing past her mind, acting almost like a time machine.She didnot remember the first day when she had heard his name.It was a very cliché name, not a one to be remembered.She didnot like commonplace names,to her they seemed like old ‘gamchha’, comfortable,soft, but frayed, unpresentable.A man with a name that can be found in scores n dozens, who is middle-aged, she presumed, couldn’t catch her attention.
The next brushing with this person, was in person.She was home for an extended weekend.These weekends were a chance for her to come home and catch up with the things that happened in her absence.Long hours would be spent chatting to her parents, trying her hands in cooking.She hated it when the doorbell rang one evening, disrupting the ‘adda‘ that had just picked its pace.A man, was standing there, clearly not at ease with himself.
“Whom do you want?” she asked in the polite tone that is reserved for strangers, hiding her displeasure.His eyes seemed a bit lost,no!not lost,rather unsure of the situation.
“I have come to return this umbrella”, he said, “The last day,it was raining and madam had insisted that i should take it”, he added hastily,like an explanation.Did he read my displeasure, she wondered! “Oh come in please”, she said with a wide smile.Even today she remembers how he sat there with the teacup in his hands, awkward,as her father praised him.He was an old student of his,who joined as a professor in the local university.
She turned to the person sitting beside her.She wanted to look into his eyes, but the glasses made them obscure.He wasn’t looking towards her,unexpectedly.Rather he busied himself with the empty pack of Frooti,playing with the straw.They were sitting in the university canteen.The term papers were going on and hence the canteen was almost deserted.They did not want audience to their meeting,at least not today.Then why, why did they meet here!There were scores of places where they could go and no body would disturb them, not even the canteen boy,Chottu, who  kept glancing at them.The fact is that, it was a chance meeting that dwindled into an eloquent silence.
Since the day of their first meeting, she had a feel that though he said nothing, Anupam could read her.Despite his shy and reticent nature, she felt vulnerable in his presence.The first day she had added him on Facebook, she felt butterflies in her stomach.He was great to talk to.A lingering end-note characterised even the simplest conversations.He wasn’t great at complimenting and never did he compliment her.
They talked about innocuous things: bad roads and good weather, new movies and books, work pressure and career concerns.Was it an unspoken norm that they never ventured further than that?
Today, she had come to university to collect her stuffs as she was to leave the place for good.She had no plans to meet him and she wouldn’t have meet him had she not been dragged to the canteen by the band of Uncles and Aunts who still thought she was a school going kid and marveled at how she would be living alone, so far away.She loved this affection.They talked to her, patted her, wished her luck for her venture and he was sitting there, with a smile dangling from his lips, the glasses askew.
But now the crowd had dispersed and they were sitting alone at the rickety table, covered with a plastic sheet with curry stains making pattern on it.
She couldn’t speak.Moments trickled by, she couldn’t make herself say what she do desperately wanted to listen.Had this been a Bollywood film, there would be sad music playing as he accompanied her to the bus-stand,perhaps there would be black and white flashbacks when the bus started moving out of the campus.Did she he seem waving at her as dust entered her eyes and made them water?”
He looked at me and said,“It was your fault that you kept quiet that day”.I looked at the greying hair, the lined face.Years had gone by but he hadn’t changed.I didnot know he followed my blog.

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Another poem

I have been infected by the translating spree going on. So i have tried translating another piece of Shankha Ghosh tittled as “Sabinay Nibedan” which can be roughly translated to be “A Humble Submission”.I am appendind the original bangla version again for those who can read, an also my attempt at translation.

“আমি তো আমার শপথ রেখেছি

অক্ষরে অক্ষরে

যারা প্রতিবাদী তাদের জীবন

দিয়েছি নরক করে |

দাপিয়ে বেড়াবে আমাদের দল

অন্যে কবে না কথা

বজ্র কঠিন রাজ্যশাসনে

সেটাই স্বাভাবিকতা |

গুলির জন্য সমস্ত রাত

সমস্ত দিন খোলা

বজ্র কঠিন রাজ্যে এটাই

শান্তি শৃঙ্খলা |

যে মরে মরুক, অথবা জীবন

কেটে যাক শোক করে—

আমি আজ জয়ী, সবার জীবন

দিয়েছি নরক করে |    

  “I have kept my promise,

true to very letters;

Cast the rebels into hell,

strangled them with fetters.

My brigade rules the roost

,None else dare a say!

For ‘good governance’,

thats the rule of the day.

Bullets puncture the night

and keep the day bare.

For ‘good governance’,

thats how we care.

Let them die

or live their lives pining!

I have cast them to hell,

My glory,evershining.     

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A fight-within and without

This is a poem by Shakti Chattopaddhyay.On a whim, I tried translating it and once done, how can I not post it in my blog!

ভিতর-বাইরে বিষম যুদ্ধ

ইচ্ছে ছিলো তোমার কাছে ঘুরতে-ঘুরতে যাবোই

আমার পুবের হাওয়া।

কিন্তু এখন যাবার কথায়

কলম খোঁজে অস্ত্র কোথায়

এবং এখন তোমার পাশে দাঁড়িয়ে-থাকা কুঞ্জলতায়

রক্তমাখা চাঁদ ঢেকেছে

আকুল চোখ ও মুখের মলিন

আজকে তোমার ভিতর-বাইরে বিষম যুদ্ধ পুবের হাওয়া।।

মনে মনে বহুদূর চলে গেছি

মনে মনে বহুদূর চলে গেছি – যেখান থেকে ফিরতে হলে আরো একবার জন্মাতে হয়

জন্মেই হাঁটতে হয়

হাঁটতে-হাঁটতে হাঁটতে-হাঁটতে

একসময় যেখান থেকে শুরু করেছিলাম সেখানে পৌঁছুতে পারি

পথ তো একটা নয় –

তবু, সবগুলোই ঘুরে ফিরে ঘুরে ফিরে শুরু আর শেষের কাছে বাঁধা

নদীর দু – প্রান্তের মূল

একপ্রান্তে জনপদ অন্যপ্রান্ত জনশূণ্য

দুদিকেই কূল, দুদিকেই এপার-ওপার, আসা-যাওয়া, টানাপোরেন –

দুটো জন্মই লাগে

মনে মনে দুটো জন্মই লাগে।

I vowed to reach you in my wanderings,

Oh!lovely East Wind!

But,now,when ‘wander’ is said,

The pen searches for the blade.

And now,beside you,in bowers,

The bloody moon eclipses

restless eyes and the face cowers.

Today,battle rages within you,

My East Wind!

In my mind, i wander,

wander far-so far that return is rebirth.

Being born, I walk,

Walk all the way the starting post;

Paths-so many, all a mess between start and end

The two edges of river coast-

one a bustle, the other -deserted bend.

Both has banks,oars and rows,

Two lives are needed,

Essentially, two births,it shows.

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