If you have a problem, fix it. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing. - Ernest Hemingway

Monday, 13 July 2015

Banalata Sen

Jibanananda Das

I’ve been walking the paths of this world 
For a thousand years. Much have I travelled
From the waters of Ceylon to the Malaya seas;
In the withering worlds of Ashoka and Vimvisara,
Where I lived in the still more distant city of Vidarva.
A tired soul am I, spindrift raging all round me
I’d but moments of quiet, with Banalata Sen of Natore.

Her hair was like the distant dark nights of Vidisha
Her face, sculpted lines from Sravasti.
Like a ship-wrecked sailor who’s lost his compass
Finds a green patch of cinnamon island on a faraway sea,
I’ve seen her in darkness. Said she,
‘Where have you been for such a long time?’
Looking up with her bird’s-nest eyes,
Banalata Sen from Natore.

As the day drifts to an end, darkness descends
Like the sound of dewdrops.
Kites wipe the smell of sunshine off their wings.
As the colours of the day fade, manuscripts take over.
And then the glimmering fireflies gather for stories.
All the birds come home, all the rivers.
All exchanges come to an end. Darkness reigns
And there remains, to sit face to face, Banalata Sen.

[This translation was done long ago and published in INDIAN LITERATURE, the bimonthly journal of Sahitya Akademi]

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