• Parabaas
    Parabaas : পরবাস : বাংলা ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি
  • পরবাস | Shakti Chattopadhyay | Poem
  • 9 Poems from Scraps and Fragments (ছিন্ন-বিচ্ছিন্ন) : Shakti Chattopadhyay
    translated from Bengali to English by Nandini Gupta


    If one day I should go beyond the clouds
             I might take you along.
    There, the road ends,
          lit with blossoms.
    Do you have things to burn?
         To light up your nightlamp?
    There is still some way to go
         The road is narrow and hard.

    In between, wayward winds blow—
    Quietude asks, who came?


    It is not raining, but seems it had.
    Some saw him eaten away by bright sunlight,
    Some saw him run to the field’s other end,
    Where there is no man but rocks and land,
    Not sharper winds but a mellow breeze,
    It is not raining but seems it had.


    Who is inside, part broken?
    Foot soles stained with whose blood?
    Who is inside, part broken?
    Nobody within the room,
    Nobody within the heart
    Yet I remember someone,
    Ever so often.


    The cat weeps on the ledge,
        its wails are heard now and then
    Sometimes late at night
           a sleep-frosted crow cries out
    Missing something inside this desultory lane
    People stay alert, sob perpetually into the dark
    There is fire aplenty
    There is wood
    There is duty
    Yet not a grain of rice,  not a whiff of it,  anywhere.


    Why did you come? But, why did you?
    There is grass on the path, the relentless clasp of weeds
    has scarred brick, cinder, sand and stone
    and splintered the moon. Bits of it scatter
    On the water everywhere.
    You came. But, why did you?
    At dusk winds blew in, rains arrived, and attendant storm—
    Blew away the heated feverish games of
    You came, but, why did you?


    Why write, in this life? This poetry, this beckon…
    This intent and charming lake with fragmented arteries
    On both sides— only an allure. Cut loose from life’s
    Every blessed fetter, to live so full of death?
    Why write, in this life? This writing, this beckon!
    Beauty sleeps beside me like another human—
    I see her, I quickly rise and leave her side
    I flee the room climbing down the stairs—
    How does beauty still stay with me, unmoving!
    As beautiful is she, as the one who came before?


    The moon trails her dress behind her
    Untainted by water, dust, smoke or prickly grass
    Essentially stays dry, remains clean
    Except when clouds cover her with a veil of grass,
    mended and patched, like a poor man’s wrapper.
    I know
    You too like the moon, are too far
    to care about your tousled clothes
    which pick up dirt soil prickly grass everything
    You are not quite the moon, nothing like the moon
    You are very far away from love, far below.
    That you stay there forever alone,
    Is what I want.


    Sand near the river; and inside the river
    darkness, within which are fishes like lights,
    Silver and golden.
    Rocks on both banks, pebbles are their young,
    their colours are all kinds. The river flows
    carrying the pebbles to the sea.
    Trees and plants are in every home; on that
    ocean of green are paper boats, rain showers—
    In their midst, like trees,
    silver and golden
    human children, with humans, go to sea—
    They need to.


    One life burns, just burns away.
    Clouds, rain and storm gather in the sky
    Like a vast meadow the river swells
    With cold calamity on every side—
    He finds her, the one never found before
    One life burns, just burns away
    Like there’s nothing more to do.

    The original Bengali poems were first collected in the book 'Chhinno-bichchhinno' (ছিন্ন-বিচ্ছিন্ন', 'Scraps and Fragments') published by Ananda Publishers, Kolkata, in 1975. In 64 pages, this book contained 112 poems, including many very short poems and also segments of some incomplete poems of this famously bohemian poet.

    অলংকরণ (Artwork) : Ananya Das
  • মন্তব্য জমা দিন / Make a comment
  • (?)