White Tombstones

Sankha Ghosh

That night as I turned homewards,
in the heart of the city
scores and scores of nameless tombstones broke through the mist;

at first they seemed
to be rows and rows of kneeling nuns,---unmoving,
crystallised in prayer;

in the winter breeze
the world trembled guilt-laden to the fragrance
of the eucalyptus;

but then
the mist became a wall,
prayer turned to reproach, of those white stones,

smooth, epitaphless; as
I turned homewards.

The original poem [shaadaa phalak* by sha~Nkha ghoshh*] appeared in the collection of poems under the title baabarer praarthanaa*, in 1976. The poems in this collection were written during 1974-76. The poet received the Sahitya Akademi for this book.

Translated by Nandini Gupta [nandinI gupta*] - Nandini Gupta is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, working on ... (more)

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©Parabaas 2011