When a child, I’d marvel,
If for play I could travel
To the land of clouds and, true it came –
A cloud girl asked, “Boy, what’s your name?’
Answered I, “Magic Spell”;
Annoyed, she rebuffed, “Hell;
Such an absurd name can’t be.”
Said I, “No, not so, listen to my story.”
Said she, “I won’t – the same king and queen –
For all these trash I’m not keen –
Neither the prince and flying horse
Swords and shields will me engross.”
Said I, “For you I’ll rewrite, it’ll be mine.”
Said she, “Will you? That’ll be fine;
But it must be long and give me when done.”
Assured I, “I’ll write the whole earth for your fun.”
But years rolled by
Ere my pen on my paper I’d try.
As I wrote a page or two
A craze drove me for the quest of clue.
To the land of clouds I reverted
That me in infancy heartily greeted;
But not a known face there
I did encounter.
But one for me did tarry,
I asked her, “Are you cloud girl, that very?”
Says she, “Those I remember not.”
Said I, “A book you wanted me jot.”
Asks she, “Is it with you?”
“But I want it anew –
So float it in that lake
It now being all fake;
And yes, I’m cloud no more,
They call me rain, not to soar.”
That instant it did hail
Soaking me hair to nail.
It got lost with other rains around,
Joining the river streams far bound.
“They call me rain, they call me rain”
Rang in my ear time and again –
Wet and drenched under the tree
Mused, could clouds a mere store of rain be?
And not my ecstasy
That floats high free?
But some other rain reckoned me –
“Why be sad?” – asked she
“Go back and rewrite –
Might be to your less delight –
Now full monsoon,
It is Earth’s boon
We’re busy going lands far
To fertile the soil under –
So, mind your work, don’t slack
As clouds, again to you we’ll be back.”
I’ll write a whole Earth, a whole Earth –
So left home to find where I dearth;
Built a cot in the dense woods
Paper and pen as my only goods-
Alone to be left there,
For food, boil a bit of rice bare –
And I’d write without stint
On trifles as I might mint.
The Earth is of various dreams
The fairy tale that so deems,
Is mine –
Nothing else I pine.
Hell bent to write and erase
Day and night all varied phrase,
As my hands paralyze
I stop only to realize
I missed all year, month and date
And that too very late.
To my scribbling I take a closer look
To find I hadn’t finished even a slender book.
There is sudden shower
On my scribbler,
To wash away in the wood
All my life’s writing as I could.
Outside I find under the tree
The joyous peacock in dancing spree;
From one tree to other the birds lob,
Say they, “For the poets here we mob
For them we stand bold
Amidst storm and cold
For truth and beauty
To be sung through eternity.”
The poet from his cot
At the horizon lost his vision to spot
In his ecstatic mood
Beyond the field, river and wood
Where stands the mountain
To pour out silvery fountain –
Where rains for ever
Humans stepped never
Rushes the golden cloud deer
His juvenile days to peer.
Original poem in Bengali - Megh Balikar Jonya Rupkatha (A fairy tale for the cloud girl) – By Joy Goswami.
Children are compared with the angels. But, with age, their wings shorten and they come down to the mundane world from their dreamland. However, in spite of the illusion world of their childhood dissolving with age, the poets do not lose their aesthetic senses. Even in the midst of this rude practical world they retain their perceptions of truth and beauty and can still draw on their infantile nostalgia.
At grown up age, the realization that strengthens in the poets is that the idea they had nourished in their childhood that their fancy world was the entirety and that to capture that alone in their poesy would divulge the complete spirit of mankind, was a great mistake. Gradually they realize, the world is too diverse and a large part of it remains uncaptured in their whole life’s aesthetic creation and many of their earlier perceptions also get lost with the flow of time. Maybe, from this very realization Tagore had said,
“This musical dedication didn’t respond to many a call
(Ei Swar Sadhanay Pounchilo Na Bahutaro Dak
Roye Gache Fank”.]