translated from the original Bengali by
Like crimson poppies in the wind
Or perhaps like the blood red sunset clouds
Asad's shirt flutters in the spotless blue sky
The sister wove a few stars on it
with delicate heartstring
The mother, ever-loving, put it out to dry
in the golden backyard sun.
Beyond the gentle shades of the dalim
and the cosy backyard sun
The shirt now flutters proud
From city streets,
From factories, chimneys, towers
and echoing corners of central avenues
It flutters, flutters on
To the sun-drenched heartlands
To every march of our souls.
Our cowardice, our shame, our vice
Now covered by a single piece of human cloth
Asad's shirt is now the flag of our lives.
Published November, 2020
The original poem [Asad's Shirt (আসাদের শার্ট)] appeared in the collection of poems under the title Nijo Basbhumey(নিজ বাসভূমে), in 1970.
Translated by Bhismadev Chakrabarti
Illustrated by Nilanjana Basu. Nilanjana has been regularly illustrating for Parabaas. She is currently based in California.
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