Translated from the Bengali by Amanita Sen
As the clouds speak
in their deep baritone
I am reminded of
the green coloured “Rath”,
the small red and blue flags,
and the Bel-garlands .
The same would be thrown
towards the throngs who
waited for them all through
Though brittle, the glass bangles
find their way to eager hands,
the smell of jackfruits fill the air,
the moist air lead the villagers
who are walking away.
They are migrating
to the whole of India.
The spring and summer pass by.
On the first day of “Asharh”
the clouds roughly gather
only to break into pieces.
The kohl-smeared eyes, the hand-fan
have gone missing. The shoes
lie at the courtyard.
It is raining, yet they keep walking.
Since morning, the clouds rumble
with the noises of their footsteps
that sound like the crowded fair-grounds.
I am walking alone with my small “Rath”,
from narrow lanes to the wider roads,
sometimes on the the blood-stained
rail-tracks, all the while wishing
to reach you, India!
Note – Ratha Yatra (also known as the Car, or Chariot, Festival) is a Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Odisha, India.