Thursday, December 15, 2011

Debakanta Barua

Devadasi

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.

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

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