Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kamaleshwar Chaliha

Forward To Books

Here, in this book of mine
Drawn are numerous pictures
Assets of this traversing age.
The willingness with which this Earth after its birth
Draws the signs of life
Numerous animals, birds, and growth of plants,
And their shadows
Are here on each page of mine, on each line,
On each word, and next to each sound pattern.
Do excuse me of this pride,
You know with what juice is built the interior of creation,
Where none can own anything
Everyone is covered with the roof of the same sky,
Below the soil buries.
There, please, place mine this
Forward to books.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hari Barkakoti

On The Death Of A Female Friend

The greenery spreads and is lost
On the sound of my footsteps
Weighing each moment of life
With tiny spoons
Which sparkle in sunlight
I witnessed
Bound in the chain of nonchalance
Even the very brave nightingales
Their two legs are exhausted
The gust of wind
Binds the wings of the wild grasshoppers
With springs.

I continued to stare
At the smoky horizon
Blurred with bitterness
The beckoning
And saw
The days that are already over
Like the stone on the glass box
Which sparkles
Between my hands.

Lakshyahira Das

The Gift

The whistling of the wind
Loses its way crossing the cut banana leaves.

Do I live or die in the
Clear scent of the wind
Find or lose the shade of simple satisfaction.

Even you do not know that in the
Floating scent of each flower, in the
Easy whistling of each bird,
Is the single signal of the road to Diksou.

The person inside me is
Calm in his desperation.
With his both hands, he collects
Each of your gifts
— of love and hatred.

Digsou: Name of a place

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Syed Abdul Halim

Zibrail At Andromeda

Azazel laughed at me for being an ‘attar’ seller
Azazel is evil,
These days he laughs at everyone.
Wants to destroy itself in laughter,
In blood collected in an earthen pot,
The blood where floods the wondrous cells of life
Where it is experienced
Spanning six hundred crore light-year
The blooming scent of flowers.

On my wings the tiredness of two billion light-years
Of pale, dwarf stars!
As if I stepped on the grass of the moment
A broken drop of scarlet, citrus dew
Like an arrow I passed through
The ancient space of the milkyway.
The screams of blood-tinged demon planets
The murky tunnel of the soul of the demoness of darkness
As if it licked with an unseen tongue its own death.
The revealed heart of desire and contentment
The endlessness of the excessiveness. I’m without a body,
In the unspeakable haste of the journey, I turn to ashes.

Not the business of ‘attar’
I had a surprising hobby of harvesting
Even when squeezing just a flower I
Never could lean how to make a drop of fragrance.
Colliding in the ancient milky way
As if crossing the mud-filled lanes of Chesamukh
The wheels of the bullock cart
Sprinkling of mud and water, washed over by the rain
Where is buried
The tiny family of the smaller sun
On whose piece of land, covering it with fences of time
I had planted numerous roses.
In the hearts of the animals that
Burn in nuclear blaze,
In the palace of fountains
On the face of the famished beggar boy of Jambu Dweep!
Even when squeezing just a flower I
Never could lean how to make a drop of fragrance.

This gathering of Andromeda’s planets among the crores of constellations
This shore
Crossing the pitch dark ocean of loneliness
That dream that doesn’t have an end, nibbles each atom of my body
Each beat of the heart,
That animal heart of billion of planets!
Even I’m dark, stony, I’m without body
Blaze in brightness in the thorny bush.
Numerous offspring of uncountable suns
Springs up like a forest
In the burial ground of solitude!
Floats, riding the boat, the indigo sage of the space
Burning in the funeral pyre of the heart the indigo scream.

Next to it lights up an empty pool of the light of boundless boundary!
I? I’m as if Sofura’s husband
Rob the palace of fountains!

Zibrail: Also known as Gabriel, an archangel
Andromeda: The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.6 million light-years (2.5×1019 km) from Earth in the constellation Andromeda
Azazel: An Old Testament evil spirit in the wilderness to whom a scapegoat was sent on the Day of Atonement
Attar also known as ittar is a natural perfume oil derived from botanical sources. Most commonly these oils are taken from the botanical material through hydro or steam distillation. In Ain-e-Akbari, Abul Fazal, has mentioned that Akbar used ittar daily and burnt incense sticks in gold and silver censers. A princess's bath was incomplete without incense and ittar. A very popular ittar with the Mughal princes was ood, prepared in Assam.
Chesamukh: Name of a tiny village in Assam
Jambu Dweep; The ancient name for the Indian subcontinent
Sofura: ?

And I surrender. This is one of the most difficult poems I’ve read in Assamese. I’m not sure if I’ve understood the nuances. This is mostly a line-by-line translation. And I’ve no clues who ‘Sofura’ is!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Debakanta Barua


To whom would you offer? Offer whom the beauty of your
soul, the sculpted vision of your body?
To the god? The god’s thirst cannot be quenched, oh unfortunate
one, by our love.

The god wants blood, the scarlet blood of man’s
broken hearts,
You want to offer him love, on whose feet cries
offerings of Rambha-Menaka?

Who is bored with the beauteous garland of the Parijat from
the Nandan garden woven with a magic
Hand, you want to give him flowers of the earth, which
blooming in morning withered at night?

Would you offer the rich in his luxury the morsel
of food snatched from the mouth of the hungry beggar?
Would you offer the mighty Luit the water for the
thirsty sands on its banks?

We are the children of the soil, we are the fragrance of the
thorny flower that blooms on the face of the earth
For us, my friend! For us cries the lusciousness of
the young girls’ lips.

Exchange of heart is our game, the broken hearts
are man’s own badge of pride
Tears of separation are heavenly rivers on earth, love is
whose mighty flow.

Our boats rock in the storm of doubt, in the ocean
of sadness
Won’t you partake in our pain? Or would you just
enjoy the sight from afar?

Wrong, it’s all wrong, in the pedestal of jealously of the
envious gods, we are just the sacrifices,
The fear that beats inside our hearts has been there since
the time of our fearful forefathers.

From the days of creation, with fate man’s
struggle eternal
We are its memorial pillars, reminding man’s seed
and the victory of fate.

It’s just a hurried literal translation, without any consideration to rhymes and rhythm. The original poem contains the rhyme scheme ABCB.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Maheshwar Neug


The man who stood
Near the roadside, asked,
Widening his eyes:
Hey, didn’t you die
In that dark evening, last Saturday?
Everybody said you did.

Did they? Let them
Whose eyes are shadowed by death
How will they see the new-blue horizon
Away from the cool touch of the mist?
Where would they store the living death of their eyes?

I died? That’s why you just
Saw me alive, animated.

In autumn’s clouded walk the grass that wither, dry up
Haven’t you heard their dying promise:
In the wave of the song of the cuckoo
We’ll dance again, in spring?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rabindra Bora

Scratch Mark of the Nail of these Words

On the bosoms of the tear-filled words
Which sprout from the silt
A gust of cyclone
A forceful, inundated river.

Warmed by the sun’s enormous heat
These wisened words are
Like a pack of wolf
What fast, focused speed!

Somewhere or other
Some people
Clutching the sorrows of
The fertile, empty land
Search for these words.

In the light of the burning fire
Fleeing from the punishment of torture
Within the limits of our bodies
Still glitter
Scratch mark of the nail of these words.