Sunil Kumar Nandi

No, I shall not be company. You set your boat afloat
in the serene breeze blowing along the pilgrimsí route.
Belief in an insensible god has almost vanished
from my world, call it the exulting of the wilderness
if you will---but when have hymns to god,
no matter how high pitched the broken voice, brought
to barren lands thirsty for crops, drought-quenching water.
The mangalik songs are but jeers of the famished air,
the quest for a divine god futile.
Waste lands godís phantomised corpses.

Therefore o pilgrim, do not wait in vain for this sinner,
set your boat afloat. This stream of conscience-devoid life
expects no heaven, beats its head for tender love of the soil---
its wildness makes a river of thirst flow over the land
baking with the conflux of boundless pain, emptiness;
my god finds image in fleshly muscles, is made
beautiful by the torture of agony.

Published May 5, 2002

The original poem [naa*] by Sunil Kumar Nandi appeared in the collection of poems Bhinna Briksha, Bhinna Phul*. The poems in this collection were written during 1949 through 1961.

Translated by Nandini Gupta [nandinI gupta*] - Nandini Gupta is a post-doctoral research 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.