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    Parabaas : পরবাস : বাংলা ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি
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  • Rain-drenched winds in my sleep -- Poem by Joy Goswami [Parabaas Translation] : Joy Goswami
    translated from Bengali to English by Nandini Gupta




    Rain-drenched winds in my sleep

    Joy Goswami

    Translated from Bangla by Nandini Gupta



    ["In my youth, one day, love came to me"
     Rabindranath, Arogya No. 13]


                                  (1)

    When did light string me to sleep's dark branches,
                                                                           O Tamal,
    When did peacocks enter
                              night's township
                         &nbsp go from door to door peddling songs!
    You carefree soul,
             Let the wayfarer give alms today let her give
    all your best wishes to lovers
    Gladly let her give to paupers like you---
             Only a fistful of grass only a handful
                       of desolate sand may she offer to the river, enough,
    You the destitute
              Do not linger any longer thinking
    Aid is on the way aid will be here      wait no more
    Waste no more time
              Someone has sent out a call to every village, every hamlet
    Beyond my thoughts all forests, groves, trees
                                 have gone crazy in the wind in the wind
                                 like a crazy girl walking down the street
                                 unheeding uncaring shoeless.

    And seeing that
             from all directions waves swell distant vistas
                                                                  come flying in
    And wondrously, now in Chaitra, what a furore
    'Sraban has come, Sraban has come',
    The sky grows eager with dense deep clouds
    A fierce gale tears since morning
    Its madness knows no bounds
    Drunken trees sway their heads        now
                      now they begin to fly
    And over the flying forest clang cymbals,
    Drums beat again   again      kohl-black rain clouds
                                     rain clouds     mine.



                                  (2)

    For me, only the walking
                  All night
                          within the cloud-hued black dreams beneath sleep
    All night a bewitching snakebite in my head
                  Never to be forgotten
    O seven seas, however did I, a wayward fishing boat
    Blithely ride your various heaving billowing waves
    Who was it, a coral island, that stopped me midway
    made me set up house
    My meagre shelter for a few days----------
    That too I left behind when in dream one dawn I heard
    The command
    Left behind family friends and a lap to put my head in
                          without a word I came away
    My fishing boat hurtles from one hill to another
    Suddenly my boat sinks
    Rises again, and then
    Heedless of my protests      my reluctance
    She takes me on the sandbanks
                      on the fishing boat
    She took me        unknown woman.....



                                  (3)

    Days die. O dusk trailing the dusty soil
    If you have known me
    Then come, take me back home
    Hold me by the hand and take me
                                                          home.
    In the steps of a ballad I have come
                                                     this far
    Now I know not where I am
    My eyes were fixed
                            on its watery footprints
    I no more know what comes
    Watching the road so long
                          my eyes are blinded
    Today I hesitate,
    My own words sound strange
    Yet one day in the darkness
    Feet had pressed down on my feet, lips
                          desperately found my lips
    Clasped my head to breasts, drowning it,
                                       Two waves, two meagre waves....

    And over my newly hatched throbbing youthful words
    someone had deliriously rubbed her face
    again and again and said, 'No peace
    no peace not a moment's respite will this man let me.'

    The days died.
    O dusk trailing the dusty soil
    O dusk shadowy behind trees
    I hold your both hands and say---can you
    not take me once, just once
    back to that long-done kiss
    of those faraway days?

    I promise you:
    I shall begin to write you afresh
    Right from scratch
    In a brand new tongue…………


                                  (4)

    Come death's simple words
                                 Sleeping waters in wind's way
    On the water, death's simple words

    The divine perches on a branch
    Along night's way with the morning sun
                               Come death's simple words

    A sparrow perches on his shoulders
                              He forgets the divine
                                               stares at flowers

    A dewdrop on the grass-blade
           another a teardrop in his eye
    Flowersprig, flowersprig
           Touch him gently while he sleeps.

    Speak, death's simple words,
           Of the land begun in fire
                     Of the sowing in that land

    This song will outlive death
    What river this beneath your feet
           Where its bends and meanders

    There the women tend the garden
           Sprinkle on their hearts in the morning
                        moist words

    He who has never known love
    Let him go and lie beside the red river



    Burn simple words mine
           On that tree where
                  Every leaf cups fire

    A beggar-woman's lost child
                  Falls asleep by the roadside
    Touch him gently, o flowersprig,
           Leave all else aside,
                            come gently touch.





    Published October 25, 2005



    The original poem [sbapne paaoYaa baadal haaoYaa*] is from a collection titles Aaj Jadi Amaake Jigyes Karofirst published in 1991 by Ananda Publishers, Kolkata.

    Illustrated by Nilanjana Basu. Nilanjana is mechanical engineer by profession and currently lives in San Francisco Bay area. She is one of the regular illustrators for Parabaas.
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