TRANSLATED FROM THE HINDI BY MOULINATH GOSWAMI
BIDDING ADIEU TO A CITY – 1
Had we not been here today then
where would we be Tapti?
Perhaps somewhere inside some old well
in a village across some river
We would have remained sunk
like some ancient brass pots
on which sunrays shone once in a while
and with anyone’s name written on our bodies.
Or perhaps we would have been anywhere
living somehow sticking to each other
melting with every downpour like a pair of clods
heating up each afternoon.
Had we been there even at night
we would still be breathing, Tapti,
and in the dark
we would be staring at their flow, amazed
Do we at times
weep over living in some other way, Tapti?
BIDDING ADIEU TO A CITY – 2
You know what, Tapti
once upon a time I wanted to board a ship
and sail as far as up to The Atlantic.
Such that the breeze was against me
Not even a breeze but a tempest or a tornado
in which girders fall to pieces
doors begin to flutter like wings,
walls collapse, and jungles raze into fields.
In truth I wanted to go beyond The Atlantic,
up to the North Pole
where white bears inhabit
and nights sparkle like metal coins.
And there standing atop some gigantic iceberg
I wanted to scream
that I have finally arrived, me Tapti
that stands for the cunning, crafty and dreadful world of alligators
and with my heart brimming with child-like love
However what to do of this
that the weather was not conducive
and there was no ship either
and Tapti, the fact is
till date I have never been to an ocean!
What about Tapti…?
It is just the name of the river
that I had read in schoolbooks during my childhood days.
Also, read A Book Review of Asylum and Other Poems by Oudarjya Pramanik published in The Antonym: