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

Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Spine

By Shankha Ghosh

[I saw this poem on my friend Senjuti's Facebook page this morning. Here is my translation followed by the original in Bangla. Thanks, Senjuti.
I might add that Shankha Ghosh is one of the front-line poets in Bangla. In fact, he is even more than that. In the dystopia that West Bengal is today, he is a moral compass for all of us.]
I woke up with a start. Is there a storm raging outside?
The windows are thrashing about,
There are flashes of lightning now and again.
As I was about to go back to sleep, in the transient light of lightning
I felt there was someone in the room, crawling.
‘Who, who is there?’
The crawler didn’t respond.
I get up, go close, and ask him once again,
‘Who are you? What are you looking for?’
But he remains mute,
Just crawls from one end of the room to the other
He isn’t looking up, and is refusing to look into my eyes.
‘Are you searching for something, Sir?’
And I hear: ‘Yes of course, I am. And I must keep searching.
I’ll leave as soon as I find it – I will walk away on my own.’
‘What are you looking for?’
In a feeble voice, he says, ‘My spine.’
That moment, lightning flashes again. And I’m shocked to see
Not one, but lots of them
Crawling all over the room, from one corner to the other,
Looking for the same thing.
Sunday, 24 April 2016

শঙখ ঘোষ
ঘুমটা ভেঙে গেল হঠাৎ। বাইরে কি ঝড় হচ্ছে?
দাপাদাপি করছে জানলার পাল্লাদুটো
মাঝে মাঝে বিজলি ঝলকাচ্ছে।
ফের শুয়ে পড়তে গিয়ে সেই বিদ্যুতের ছটফটে আলোয় মনে হল ঘরের মধ্যে যেন হামা দিচ্ছে কেউ।
'কে ওখানে? কে?'
হামা কোনো শব্দই করে না।
উঠে আসি কাছে, আবারও জিজ্ঞেস করিঃ 'কে আপনি? কী চান?'
সে তবু নিশ্চুপ থেকে এ - কোণে ও -কোণে ঘুরছে
মাথা তুলছে না কিছুতেই, চোখে চোখ নয়।
'কিছু কি খুঁজছেন আপনি?'
শুনতে পাচ্ছিঃ 'খুঁজছি ঠিকই, খুঁজতে তো হবেই -
পেলেই বেরিয়ে যাব, নিজে নিজে হেঁটে।'
'কি খুঁজছেন?'
মিহি স্বরে বললেন তিনিঃ 'মেরুদণ্ডখানা।'
সেই মুহুর্তে বিদ্যুৎ ঝলকালো ফের। চমকে উঠে দেখিঃ
একা নয়, বহু বহু জন
একই খোঁজে হামা দিচ্ছে এ-কোণে ও কোণে ঘর জুড়ে।

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