Rain and Wind

Buddhadeva Bose

Rain and wind, rain and wind, day and night.
The day gray, sterile, dark.                             Lightless,
shadowless.       Only the rainy haze, the cloudy half-light and
the whine of trams, the grumble of traffic.

Suppressed weeping in the sky, sighing in the winds.
A long, long day, how far away the night?
Weary hours,  languid moments; the shackles of time jangle
endless, tireless.

Night;  bleakness in the room, darkness without,
the rain and the wind, the rain and the wind.
Empty, empty is my heart, barren, barren is the night,
but for the angry moaning of a sleepless city.

Bleakness in my heart, howling in the city, darkness in the sky.
Shadows,  winds, voices, murmurs, angry whispers, deep sighs
in the city, in the empty room, in the rain-laden darkness, in the jangling of time's shackles,
all night, all day.

The day is bleak, silent like a bog. The night too is dumb;
nothing remains. Nothing, nothing.
The rain's murky veil, the wind and the city's wailing
mask creation. Nothing remains. I am alone. Alone.

Like a blind fly, trapped in the giant wheel of time;
my window to the world shut; dark, stifling,
the day like a rotting bog; the night like the bottom of an ancient, forgotten
well; and loneliness, never-ending.

Crowds on the streets, bustling, fervent.      Work play all pursuits
in offices, parks and cafes; the gambling, gins, siestas at the end of a long, back-breaking week--
all hushed, uneasy, the city insensible. Rain,
rain. Shadows jostle on the streets, a procession of inskeletal phantoms as in nightmares.

Bodyless skeletonless Calcutta, filled with shadows; like dreams,
autocratic, irresponsible.    I too am a shadow, quivering on the wall
behind the curtain at the touch of the wind; in my heart sway
rain and wind, rain and wind, night and day.

The original poem [bR^ishhTi aar jha.D* by buddhadeb basu*] appeared in the collection of poems natun paataa*, first published in 1940. This poem was written, however, in 1935.

Translated by Nandini Gupta [nandinI gupta*]Nandini Gupta is a post-doctoral reserach fellow at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, working on ... (more)

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

©Parabaas 2011