Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Collective Death— Nirendranath Chakraborty

Jan 23, 2024 | Poetry | 0 comments

TRANSLATED FROM THE BENGALI BY ANINDITA MUKHERJEE

Collective Death

Rather be doubtful, have faith in alternative ideas.
Rather be wounded by brutal questions.
Rather whet your head, resist.
No matter what you do, don’t
concur instantly.
Because, whoever complies easily,
they can do nothing else,
they clear the path
to self-destruction.

By the way, let’s talk about Suvendu.
Suvendu and Sudha ardently wanted to cave-in together.
They did not survive.
Or say Mrinmoy Pakrashi.
Mrinmoy and Maya did not hold any difference between them.
They did not survive.
None can thrive if ideas are coalesced into one.

Remember— it’s better to live in one’s own shade
Remember— it’s better to be alive than embrace collective death
Then, be doubtful, have faith in alternative ideas.
Then, be wounded by brutal questions.
Then, whet your head.
Resist.

See, here are some uncontested, passive
men and women walking with imagination identical.
They fall in with each other easily.
They will never look back.
They will concur, they will comply, they will
climb up the stairs of Qutub Minar
in affirmation, they will jump as vacuous selves.

 


Also, read a Bengali fiction by Swapnamoy Chakraborty  , translated into English by Nandini Gupta, and published in The Antonym:


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Nirendranath Chakraborty

Nirendranath Chakraborty

Nirendranath Chakraborty (1924-2018) was a contemporary Bengali poet, Translator and Novelist. He was born at Faridpur, now in Bangladesh. His first book of poems “Nil Nirjon” was published when he was 30. His popular works include Amalkanti, Andhokar Baranda, Pratham Nayak, Samay Baro Kom, Jabotiyo Valobasi, Ghumiye Porar Age, Kolkatar Jishu, Ulanga Raja, and translation of Tintin in Bengali. He won the Shahitya Academy Award for “Ulanga Raja” in 1974, and was honoured with Bangobibhusan in 2017.

Anindita Mukherjee

Anindita Mukherjee

Anindita Mukherjee is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She has held research fellowships at the Holocaust Research Institute, Royal Holloway, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is the recipient of Dr Janet Panuska Graduate Scholarship in English. Her research focuses on literature and philosophy of Catastrophes in the Twentieth Century. She is also a poet, essayist, and translator, and her debut collection of poems Nothing and Variations was published by Hawakal Publishers for the series of top ten young Indian poets. Her other creative and critical works have appeared in Madras Courier, Indian Cultural Forum, dePICTions, and Tomosha Potrika, among others. Currently, she is translating the poetry of Mridul Dasgupta, forthcoming in 2024 by The Antonym. 

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