I Search in Vain

My friend Jane (Jane Dougherty) had introduced me to writing Ghazals in English some time back.  Growing up in India, I was quite familiar to listening to ghazals but never knew that ghazals were also written in English.  During last few months, I tried my hand writing a few pieces. I either write in my mother tongue, Assamese ( Axomiya), and then translate to English or vice versa.  Last week, like a fool, I prompted Jane to write a ghazal as she had not posted a ghazal for quite some time.  She turned the table on me as she promptly wrote one and posted (Rain) and challenged me to write one. I find it very hard to follow rules while writing poetry and ghazals do have some strict rules.  I am not professing that I have followed all the rules but here is my try.  My apologies to all the purist who follow strict rules. I plead guilty to breaking the rules.

I wrote the following piece in English first and then translated to Assamese. Posting it in the same sequence.


I Search in Vain

Just wanted to be human but society pigeonholes
Hyphenated identity breaks my heart as society pigeonholes

Extend my hand with love, get rejected with scorn
Not one of us they say, as society pigeonholes
Want to embrace one and all without any prejudice
Color of my skin not matching, as society pigeonholes
Where love has gone when everyone preaches universal love
Your god is not our god, as society pigeonholes
What’s god’s color or race, nationality, language or gender
Truth has become the ultimate victim, as society pigeonholes
I search in vain for humanity in ocean of discord
Humanity butchered on alter of identity politics as society pigeonholes
মানৱতাৰ সন্ধানত বৃথা প্ৰয়াস
মানুহ হব বিচাৰিছিলো কিন্ত সমাজৰ তিৰস্কাৰ 
বিভিন্ন পৰিচিতিত অন্তৰত হাহাকাৰ, সমাজৰ তিৰস্কাৰ 
আন্তৰিক প্ৰেমৰে আগবঢ়োৱা হাত ঘৃণাৰে প্ৰত্যাখ্যান
নোহোৱা তুমি আমাৰ নিজৰ, সমাজৰ তিৰস্কাৰ 
সাৰ্বজনীন প্ৰেমৰ আলিঙ্গনৰে বন্ধাৰ প্ৰয়াস অনিৰ্বাৰ
চালৰ তোমাৰ ৰং দেখিছানে, সমাজৰ তিৰস্কাৰ 
সকলোৰে মুখত প্ৰেমৰ বাণী, প্ৰেমযে হৰণলুকী 
তোমাৰ ঈশ্বৰ নহয় আমাৰ, সমাজৰ তিৰস্কাৰ 
নাজানো ঈশ্বৰৰ জাতি, বৰ্ণ, নাজানো ঈশ্বৰৰ ভাষা
সচা কথা কলে সমাজৰ ভয়, সমাজৰ তিৰস্কাৰ 
বিভেদৰ সমুদ্ৰত মানৱতাৰ সন্ধান বৃথা এই প্ৰয়াস মোৰ
ৰাজনীতিৰ বেদীত মানৱতাৰ বলিদান, নাই কিয় সমাজৰ তিৰস্কাৰ ?

Author: pranabaxom

Poetry is my passion. I am not a methodical writer. I have no set topics to write about. What I feel, perceive, think about, I will like to share in this blog. I open my mind to the world. Like the weather, sometimes my poems are cloudy, sometimes stormy. I always like to see sunshine streaming through the leaves of trees, so I hope I can share some of those sunshine with my readers.

20 thoughts on “I Search in Vain”

  1. A serious poem. There are so many reasons for being elbowed out of the way, wrong colour, wrong religion, no money, no education, wrong clothes, wrong attitude, and when you’ve got over all those obstacles, if you’re a woman, it’s still, no!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. When the stomach starts to rumble (or grumble), brain slows down☺I was going down to get a quick bite of leftover when your comment came in. Should have left for my lunch before responding☺


    1. Ghazal is supposed to be poems of love and pain, of union and separation. I am afraid to write of the first as I am fearful of the pain from the backlash I may receive from my better half☺


  2. I love the lines, sentiment, and refrain, PB. It is heartbreaking that we can’t just love each other without stuffing people in categories. Did the words before “as society pigeonholes” rhyme in Assamese? Translations are tricky, not always as seamless as the original. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joan.
      It does not translate literally but I hope my translation will carry the sentiments that I wanted to express when the poem is read as a whole. It translate more as “societal censure”.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your post inspired a thought exercise.

    What if another species on a distant planet has the technology for the detailed study
    of distant explants and discovers a relatively close planet that teems with a dazzling
    array of life.

    Reports would go out that life had been found a small rocky exoplanet a few million light
    years away. The report might describe life that swims, life that flies, and life that uses
    four feet and two feet. They might note a species that makes haphazard use of what
    appears to be an advanced technology.

    Liked by 1 person

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