Sunil Gangopadhyay

Neera, sometimes, it seems
you are more distant
than even the day I was born.
You walk alone --
in the autumn-woods.
The rustle of leaves
under your tender feet,
fill the air!
The mountains, sloped like a bullock's neck
meet the horizon,
and the evening sun
resounding its victory-cymbals
sets behind those hills.
All these, Neera, seem more distant
than even the day I was born.

Sometimes, when I've looked at the sky,
I've seen a dying star.
I feel a shiver in my heart,
my eyes come down to the earth
and to the world all around.
At those times, Neera,
I feel a strong desire
to fight all that is born to die!
I wish to place the flag of the Heavens
in your almond-hued palm,
and tell the whole world,
that the ray of mystical light
falling on your chin,
shall stay arrested, forever.
At that moment,
in the distant leafstrewn woods,
I see your enigmatic smile!

You know Neera,
that the white pigeons that fly in the evening sky,
even they are obscured by darkness!
like the light of our eyes,
and like all worldly sorrows!
It's only the misery of man
that stretches beyond his lifetime.

The original poem [nashbar* by sunIl ga~NgopaadhyaaY*] appeared in the collection of poems aamaar sbapna*, first published in the Bengali year 1379 (ca.~ 1973). This translation is reprinted, with permission, from Murmur in the Woods.

Translated by Sheila Sengupta [shIlaa senagupta.*] Sheila Sengupta was educated in India and Canada, where she earned higher degrees in Mathematics. She started her career as a Lecturer in Mathematics in St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. Ms. Sengupta has a keen interest in ... (more)

Click here to send your feedback

* To learn more about the ITRANS script for Bengali, click here.