Theme: Love

Rainy Day

by Dipankar Dasgupta
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The rains’ turn it was -- to usher in the morn,
As the sky stood lost -- in the embrace of the dark,
The showers it seemed -- had vowed today to pay off
The gruelling summer-- all the debts they’d owed.
The music of the blindly streaming rain,
Seemed descending in torrents -- besides itself,
Deserted both by night and day was earth,
Spellbound time was trapped in the magic of clouds.

The water bounced from roadside stones in a haze,
All the trees -- with lowered heads -- were quiet,
It was best to lose -- whatever one’s ever owned,
On the all dissolving -- melting, rainy day.
Yet the clock struck nine -- yet, umbrella in hand,
For the wench of an office to woo -- I boarded a tramcar,
Overflowing with clerks -- through this pore filled cage,
A soft and moistened touch -- kept visiting  every while.

Even on a lost -- secluded -- divine day as this,
A great city bustled and noisily laboured on,
The prison house -- packed with rats, as much as men,
Its ravenous hunger expressed open mouthed.
Unable -- its mighty pull to ignore,
The streets -- a myriad umbrellas -- painted black,
The wealthy too -- couldn’t express their free will,
With tireless faces in vehicles they went forth.

Adorned with neither a title nor name,
Blended thoroughly with the crowds I carried on,
Sucked quite clean of marrow were my bones,
Moaned in shame -- my pair of worn out shoes, 
My failures -- had assumed the concrete form
Of a barber untouched stubble -- two days old.
When life submerging rains begin to fall
On a dream-embracing -- time effacing day,
Driven by the showers -- by lightening harshly lit,
In a sealed room -- soiled by countless breathings stale,   
Today is caught in the world of tomorrow’s debt.    

The day’s over -- the last remains of rain
Wait on workless clouds -- drunk and in a daze
Mixed for a while in yellow, gold and green,
An unreal evening -- yet more showers plead.
How enchanting is this world -- and this life,
Rewards priceless bestowed free of charge,
The shameful want of material well-being,
Physical pain however much it inflicts,
In fathomless depths, un-bonded -- I reside.
Whenever livelihood's grindstone gives respite,
Torrential rains arrive and bedeck my chest,
With garlands stringed in gorgeous gold and green.
Lucky indeed -- to be living -- still living, I've been!

Tired and free yet wounded and curious
Towards my hovel of a castle I return
A day that never again I’ll live
Has its memory -- still painted in the sky.
A hideous -- winding -- narrow -- slippery lane,
Unwary feet are pierced by rough stones,
Like arguments -- keep on coiling up the smoke,
From ovens of coal -- their fires doused by rain.
Like an addiction -- a benumbing melancholy,
Snatches away the breath from all my being
And erases every trace of the world out of my mind.
-- But sense returns as I am about to step back home.

Partly holding the door -- in a gentle pose,
Stands she attired in a colourful saree,
Her head half covered -- by a veil that hides
Her face that’s turned half away from me.
The day’s deceit didn’t steal all that ever was,
The night’s still left -- something still survives,
Inside the sleepy chasm of a vacant mind,
Fulfilment arrives sketched as though by dreams,
With the evening star shining in anticipation
On a slender arm -- bereft of ornaments of gold.

It seems that I know her -- yet I know her not,
I search in vain for words or rhythms to choose,
Through my penury -- ridden with a million holes,
Unbridled -- endless -- vast the rains reveal,
A vale of spring bedecking a blind -- obscure lane.  
The heart speaks out allegories unaided,
Without jasmines and tuberoses or any flower else,
Simply speechless -- her face -- I keep staring at,
Her dark eyes alone -- my own eyes manage to touch.
The lovers’ tryst -- eternal and imperceptible,
Crosses over all fraud and irrelevance,
And whispers in my ears, “My promises I shall heed,  
I won’t forget them -- forget them I never will.”  


Translation of a Bengali poem by Buddhadeb Bose. Original poem published in August, 1944.
(This eleventh revision of the translation completed on April 4, 2011)

09-Mar-2011

More By  :  Dipankar Dasgupta

Views: 1657     Comments: 4

Comments on this Poem

Comment Thanks Ravinder.

dipankardasgupta
04-Apr-2011 11:13 AM

Comment Yes, the effort shows. The rhythm is building up. There are times when it is prudent to distance one self from a 'piece' for a couple of days and then revisit it.

Ravinder Malhotra
04-Apr-2011 10:34 AM

Comment Yes friend, you are absoLutely right in your evaluation. It took me quite a while to finish the first few stanzas. Finally, out of impatience, I put it up. Shouldn't have done this I know, but I told myself that boloji gives me the choice of revision. What you saw was the second draft. But I am sure that I will have several more drafts coming up. Thanks for your penetrating remark and understanding.

dipankardasgupta
10-Mar-2011 11:45 AM

Comment Nice try. Could have been better....probably the haste to publish it stalled the effort !

Ravinder Malhotra
10-Mar-2011 10:23 AM


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