Sanity in a World Gone Mad

I have been writing sporadically during last year or so and have been absent from my blog for long time at a stretch. Hopefully in a few months things start to be normal, whatever the new normal means. After a long time I translated a poem that I wrote yesterday to my mother tongue Axomiya (অসমীয়া / Assamese), Bengali and Hindi. I have no formal training in Bengali or Hindi and I do feel that I am getting rusty. I only wish that the poem was more uplifting. Oh well, maybe it is the sign of the times. I post the poem and the translations in the order written.

Sanity in a World Gone Mad

Soothed by faith,
Lulled into submission,
Mortgaged my brain
and I followed,
This path leads to
the sacrificial altar,
Blind followers
to be ordained,
And the blood of
meeks shall flow.

For a dollop of peace,
For promise of security,
I sold my heart;
To stop the incessant shrieks
of an wounded heart
ringing in my ears,
I cut open my heart,
and let it bleed;
A call for action subdued,
I followed,
An easy path
that leads to the gallows;
I sacrificed my humanity.

Don’t ask for your rights,
Lest you be labeled
a mental case,
Don’t ever dare to question,
Lest you be called
a traitor,
Sword of faith, or
Guillotine of nationalism,
Dangles over your head,
Off with yours,
The blind followers chant.

Dare not look for one,
To lead you from
darkness to light,
For one who comes
from amongst you
shall ask for sacrifice
that you are not
ready to make;
For you have already
mortgaged your brain,
bartered your heart,
To the merchants who promised,
Peace, prosperity and security,
For blind faith;
And delivered death.

I met the mad man
sitting alone in the street corner,
I extended my hand and assured,
I shall take him to the healers
and he shall be
sane again;
Our eyes met in silence,
Mockingly his asked,
Caged in a world gone mad,
You are promising insanity
to one who is sane?
Are you God,
Or his broker?

এখন পাগল পৃথিৱীত মানসিক সুস্থতা

ধৰ্ম-বিশ্বাসৰ সান্ত্বনাৰ
নিচুকণিত বশ গৈ,
বিবেকক থৈ বন্ধকত,
অনুগামী হ’লো;
এই পথে লৈ যাব
বলিশালৰ বেদীলৈ
য’ত অন্ধ ভক্ত সকলৰ
হ’ব অভিষেক,
আৰু হ’ব
বিনীত জনৰ ৰক্তপাত।

এটুপি শান্তিৰ বাবে,
সুৰক্ষাৰ প্ৰতিশ্ৰুতিৰ বিনিময়ত,
বেচি দিলোঁ মোৰ অন্তৰখন;
মোৰ ক্ষত-বিক্ষত হৃদয়ত
অহৰহ বাজি থকা চিঞৰে
অতিষ্ঠ কৰা মোৰ কৰ্ণ কুহৰৰ
অবিৰত শব্দ ৰুধিবলৈ,
কাটি পেলালো কলিজা মোৰ,
বৈ যাব দিলোঁ কলিজাৰ তেজ;
ক্ৰান্তিৰ আহ্বান কৰি দমন,
অনুগামী হ’লো ম‌ই,
সহজ পথৰ কৰিলোঁ অনুসৰণ
ফাঁচিকাঠৰ অভিমুখে;
মানৱতাৰ মোৰ কৰিলোঁ বলিদান।

হ’ব যদি খোজা নাই অভিহিত
মানসিক ৰোগগ্ৰস্ত বুলি,
নুখুজিবা প্ৰাপ্য তোমাৰ;
নকৰিবা প্ৰয়াস কৰিবলৈ প্ৰশ্ন,
নহ’লে জানোচা হোৱা পৰিচিত
দেশদ্ৰোহী বুলি;
ধৰ্মৰ তৰোৱালখন নাইবা
দেশপ্ৰেমৰ গিলোটিন,
আছে ওলমি তোমাৰ শিৰৰ ওপৰত,
শিৰচ্ছেদ, শিৰচ্ছেদ,
গৰ্জে অন্ধ ভক্তগণ।

নিবিচাৰিবা এনে এজন,
তিমিৰৰ পৰা আলোকলৈ
যিজনে কৰিব পাৰে দিকদৰ্শন,
আহিব যিজন ওলাই
জনতাৰ মাজৰ পৰা,
বিচাৰিব স্বাৰ্থ বলিদান,
অপাৰগ তোমালোক কৰিবলৈ ত্যাগ;
কিয়নো ৰাখিছা বন্ধকত
বিবেক তোমালোকৰ,
হৃদয়ক কৰিছা বিক্ৰী
বণিকৰ ওচৰত, যিয়ে
অন্ধ ভক্তিৰ বিনিময়ত দিয়ে
শান্তি, সমৃদ্ধি, সুৰক্ষাৰ প্ৰতিশ্ৰুতি,
আৰু মৃত্যুৰ কৰে বিতৰণ।

আলিবাটৰ দাতিত
বহি থকা পগলাজনক
পাইছিলো লগ মই ,
আগবঢ়াই সাহায্যৰ হাত
দিলোঁ আশ্বাস,
লৈ যাম তেওঁক ম‌ই
বৈদ্যৰ ওচৰলৈ,
নিৰাময় হ’ব তেওঁ, হ’ব সুস্থ;
নিৰৱে মিলন হ’ল চকুৰ আমাৰ,
উপলুঙাৰ দৃষ্টিৰে কৰিলে প্ৰশ্ন,
পগলা হৈ যোৱা পৃথিৱীত
পিঞ্জৰাবদ্ধ তুমি,
মানসিক বিকাৰৰ প্ৰতিশ্ৰুতি
আহিছা দিবলৈ সুস্থ মানৱক?
তুমি ভগবান, নে
তেওঁৰ দালাল?

এক পাগল পৃথিবীতে মানসিক সুস্থতা

ধর্ম-বিশ্বাসের আশ্বাসনে
নতি স্বীকার করে পরলাম ঘুমিয়ে,
মস্তিষ্ক বন্ধকী রেখে
হলাম অনুগামী,
এই পথ নিয়ে যাবে
কোরবানির বেদিতে,
যেখানে অন্ধ ভক্তগণের
হবে অভিষেক,
এবং প্রবাহিত হবে রক্ত
বিনম্র জনের।

একটুখানি শান্তির জন্যে,
সুরক্ষার প্রতিশ্রুতির বিনিময়ে,
বেচে দিলাম চিত্ত আমার;
আমার ক্ষত-বিক্ষত চিত্তের
অহরহ চিৎকারে
অতীষ্ঠ হয়ে উঠা কর্ণপটহের
অবিরত শব্দ করতে অবরুদ্ধ,
কেটে ফেললাম হৃদয় আমার,
বয়ে যাক রক্ত হৃদয়ের;
ক্ৰান্তির ডাক করিয়া দমন,
অনুগামী হয়ে করেছি অনুসরণ
সহজ পথের,
যে পথ নিয়ে যায়
ফাঁসির দিকে;
মানবতার আমার দিয়েছি কোরবানি।

চাওনা যদি ডাকে কেও তোমাকে
পাগল বলে,
করোনা দাবি অধিকার তোমার;
হতে যদি চাওনা অভিহিত
দেশদ্রোহী বলে,
করোনা সাহস প্রশ্ন করতে;
ধর্মের তরোয়াল বা
জাতীয়তাবাদের গিলোটিন,
ঝুলছে তোমার মাথার উপর,
কেটে ফেলো মাথা, কেটে ফেলো মাথা,
গর্জায় অন্ধ ভক্তগণ।

করোনা সাহস খুঁজতে এমন জনের
দেখাবে যে পথ তোমাদের
অন্ধকার থেকে আলোয়,
আসবে যে তার জন্য
তোমাদের মাঝ থেকে,
কোরবানী চাইবে সে,
প্রস্তুত নয় তোমরা
স্বীকার করতে ত্যাগ;
তোমাদের তো আছে ইতিমধ্যে
মস্তিষ্ক বন্ধকী,
চিত্ত করেছো বিক্রি,
বণিকদের কাছে,
অন্ধ বিশ্বাসের বিনিময়ে যারা
দিয়েছিলো প্রতিশ্রুতি
শান্তি, সমৃদ্ধি এবং সুরক্ষার;
এবং মৃত্যু করেছেন দান।

রাস্তার কোণে একা বসে থাকা
এক পাগলের সাথে
হয়েছিল দেখা আমার,
হাত বাড়িয়ে দিয়েছিলাম আশ্বাস,
নিয়ে যাব তাকে আমি
বৈদ্যের কাছে,
এবং সে হবে নিরাময়,
আবার সুস্থ;
চোখাচোখি হলো নীরবে আমাদের,
চোখে যেন একটু তার
জিজ্ঞাসা বিদ্রুপের,
পাগল হয়ে গেছে এমন এক পৃথিবীতে
খাঁচাবন্দি তুমি,
দিচ্ছো প্রতিশ্রুতি পাগল হওয়ার
এক সুস্থ মানুষ কে?
তুমি কি ঈশ্বর,
না দালাল ঈশ্বরের?

पागल दुनिया में अक्लमंदी

धर्म विश्वास से आश्वस्त
वशीभूत शान्त,
गिरवी रख दी दिमाग,
और हो गई अनुयायी;
ले जाता है यह मार्ग
कुर्बानी के वेदी की ओर,
अंध भक्तो को होगा दीक्षा,
और बिनम्र जनता के
बहेगा खून।

थोड़ी सी शांति के लिए,
सुरक्षा के वादे के बदले में,
बेच दी दिल अपना;
अवरुद्ध करने के लिए
मेरे जख्मी दिल का
निरंतर चीख,
असहनीय वे आवाज
हर वक्त में‌रे कानों में,
मैंने अपनी दिल की
कोटल कर दि,
बहने दिया लहु को;
अनुयायि हो गया
एक सहज मार्ग का,
ले जा रहा है रास्ता यह
फांसी के और;
मैंने अपनी मानवता को
दिया कुर्बानी।

अगर चाहते नहीं
कोई कहे तुम्हें पागल,
दावा न करो
अपने अधिकारों का;
यदि चाहते नहीं
देशद्रोही कहें तुम्हे कोई,
हिम्मत ना करो
सवाल करने की;
धर्म की तलवार या
राष्ट्रवाद की गिलोटिन,
लटके हुए है
सिर पर तुम्हारे;
काट दो सिर, सिर काट दो,
दहाड़ते अंधे भक्त।

करो ना हिम्मत तलाश की,
कोई जो मार्ग दिखाते हैं
अंधकार से प्रकाश की ओर,
जनता के बीच से आयेगा जो
उसका लिए,
मांगेगा कुर्बानी वह,
तैयार नहीं हैं कोई
करने को स्वार्थ त्याग;
गिरवी है दिमाग पहले से,
बेच दिए हो दिल
उस बनियों को, जो
अंधभक्ति के बदले में
किया वादा
शांति, समृद्धि और सुरक्षा के;
और दिया मृत्यु के बरदान।

मिले एक पागल से,
अकेले बैठा हुआ
गली के कोने में,
बढ़ाया हाथ अपना,
दिया आश्वासन,
ले जाऊंगा मैं उसे
वैद्य की पास,
सब कुछ होगा सही-सलामत,
और वह फिर से स्वस्थ;
खामोशी में मिले आंखें हमारे,
कुछ उपहास सा था उसके
नज़रों के सवालों में,
कैदी हो तुम एक
पागल दुनिया की,
और करते हो वादा
पागलपन की उसे,
जो अक्लमंद हो?
भगवान हो तुम?
या उसका दलाल?

The Tune of Deth

when peace rides the
edge of a sword,
clashes of steel
nary a raindrop falls,
blood soaked ground
does not nurture,
withers the rosebud,
malnourished child suckles
the dried nipples of
a dying mother’s
shriveled breasts,
a drop of milk
as elusive as
promised peace.

march in the
merchants of death,
in search of an oasis,
they turned the land
into a desert,
the rosebud long ago
turned to dust,
as the sightless
eyes of the child
scours the heavens,
the charlatans raise
their glistening swords
to the sky,
in paeans to an almighty absent.

somewhere alone in his den,
a poet sheds a
few drops of crocodile’s tears,
the feeling genuine,
an effort futile,
not one heart will be touched,
no parched land made fertile,
no rosebuds will bloom,
no milk shall wet the
thirsty lips,
the world will go its way,
as the seekers of peace,
blinded by hate,
bow their heads at the alters
and dance to the tune of death.

The lament of the Grape

Plucked from my mother,
Thrown with my kith and kin,
My flesh,
Crushed and pressed
In dark dungeons,
As my blood flowed into
Wooden barrels,
To be aged,
Bottled and corked,
And be sold, and
As you open the bottle,
And pour,
You sniff my blood
And exhale, satisfied;
And my blood touches
Your lips,
And you swirl it, slowly,
Ever so slowly,
You sip,
As my blood course
Down your throat,
The sugar courses
Through your vein,
And the warmth radiates
Through your body,
Don’t pontificate that
I didn’t feel any pain.
In your satisfaction
Lies mine,
Remember, for your satisfaction,
I gave my life,
Acknowledge it,
And my sacrifice, my life,
Won’t be in vain.
But never again do say,
I didn’t feel any pain.


this poem is the result of a lively discussion between vegetarian and non-vegetarian in a WhatsApp group.

The Hourglass

The most profound ideas of the day come to mind in the toilet because they are worthy of being flushed out of the system at the earliest.

Why does the sands of time
drips so slowly, and then
the hourglass turns?
Why can’t time remain at
standstill as we mourn
the scores that departed
to the unknown shores?
do you hear the blood curdling
howls of the hyenas circling,
to rip the coffins before
the bodies are cold?
the vampires do not dread
the light anymore,
ready to suck the blood
as life goes out.
as we mourn, somewhere else
a life mortgaged to luxuries
while living, slowly ebbs,
and street dogs stand in
guard of honour
for the one who has no home.
the sands of time drips ever so slowly,
and the hourglass turns,
as we mourn.


featured image from pixabay

What Matters to Me – Random Ramblings

I was walking with my dog .Skooby, today morning.  It was a beautiful morning, a cool breeze blowing, a clear sunny California day.  It was not a long walk, about two miles.  As I was walking, the idea of a poem was sprouting in my mind.  I could clearly see the words floating in front of my eyes.  I decided to write the poem down as soon as I reached home.  Alas, once I reached home and sat down to write, I realized my beautifully arranged words were no longer lining up as beautifully and now all jumbled up. I opened my smartphone and was disappointed as it turned out not to be smart but dumb.  The dumb phone failed to record my thoughts.  What good is its smartness for?  Now I was forced to rely on my old, failing memory instead of the smart memory of my phone.  Well, to make a long story short, the poem did not turn out to be as beautiful as I envisioned.  But rest assured, though it may sound to be a rambling one, I did not have a single iota of malice in my mind towards anyone.  Not even to the one whose statue would never be erected to adorn any significant public square anywhere in the world to be toppled by future protesters.  In fact I am indebted to him for being the inspiration of the poem.

 

When did it come to this,

The choice of

Six feet apart, or

Six feet under

Became valid?

We became afraid

To cough in public,

But OK to fart,

Louder the better,

No infection danger.

When did it become the norm

To wear mask in public,

But wearing hijab is

Still wrong?

And those in denial

Justifying their refusal

To wear mask,

Proclaiming their freedom of choice,

When it become OK

To knowingly infect others?

And that’s not a crime?

Are these the same

Who indignantly proclaim

Their rights to bear arms?

Reasoning guns don’t kill

People do,

Now will they say

People do not infect,

Corona does?

We are all so scared of 

The truth,

And embrace

All the fake news.

As long as the 

Chief protagonist

Butters our toasts

It’s OK.

Toasts may get

Burnt black,

Who cares,

As all life matters

But it is difficult to say

Black life matters, because

All does not include black.

Sometimes I wonder,

Who created white and black,

Blue and brown?

Blue blood,

Never seen one.

If ever I see the almighty

I do plan to ask.

But which one?

All the children of the books

Profess only to their one.

If even I dare to say

I do pray,

But not to the one 

You or you do,

I shall be 

Consigned to hell.

Spokesperson who hijacked

The words of the

All merciful,

May say

Off with my head,

If I dare to doubt.

I prefer my neck

On my head.

Neither do I prefer

To go to hell,

Not that what they are making

This earth is

Any better.

Peace be on you all

If I dare say,

But whose peace? 

Oh, how I digress

For whatever it counts

To me,

Black lives matter,

Lives of the repressed matter,

Lives of the discriminated matter,

Lives of the oppressed matter,

Lives of the persecuted matter,

And yes, All lives matter.

Guns do kill,

As Covid kills,

As people kill,

As lies kill.

And I want my freedom

To cough in public,

Even hidden behind 

The mask.

No, not to infect.

I don’t relish the thought

To fake

And fart

To hide my cough.

 

Red is the color of blood

Four preachers came to the square today,
With followers in tow and scriptures in hands,
They came to spread the message of peace
Preaching peace but hearts full with venomous hate.

With unwavering faith in their scriptures and in supremacy of their creators,
They spoke of harmony but stuck to their own studied faiths,
The city was burning fueled by division, its citizens at risk,
Blind followers’ rants heat up the atmosphere, citizens afraid.

Suddenly what went wrong no one knew, chaos ensued,
Amid pushing and shoving, fisticuffs and stabbings, mayhem reigned,
When the preachers were thrown to the ground, no one saw,
Crushed under the feet of the crowd, they cried out for help, as the stampede grew. 

Nurtured back to health with expert treatment and needed blood transfusion,
The preachers prayed to the Lords of their faiths in humble submissions,
Taking the name of their creators constantly, they offered their salutations,
Praising the physicians for their dedication, inquired about those who gave them life with blood donations.

Humbly replied the doctors, serving humanity without division is our religion,
Neither Christians nor Jews, nor Hindus nor Muslims here,
Knew not who donated blood, nor whose blood flow in veins of yours,
Black, white or brown, American, African, Asian or Mexican, unknown were the donors.

Only one thing is certain, an absolute truth, blood has no religion,
The blood that flows in your veins, same flows in everyone’s, that you also know.
It’s neither white nor brown nor black,
Red is the only color of blood.

The Hidden Pain

the pain drips slowly

as the words flow smooth
deep down is solace
things will change
may be for the better
while remaining same
serenly flows the river
hiding pent up frustration
till the banks overflow
mayhem ensues
words do not soothe anymore
alter of greed
to be cleansed
by blood of the innocents
while Nero fiddles
everything burns
sychophants out in hordes
looking for scapegoats
years change as do
place and time
alas, everything remains
the same
the river flows serene
carrying in its bossom
the hidden pain
Till it erupts

Divide Artificial – “One-Liner Wednesday”

This post is in response to Linda’s  #1OneLinerWednesday.

As I was walking my dog Skooby today morning, a few lines of a poem was churning in my head.  Normally I will sit down at my PC or jot down in my mobile whenever such things happen but I did not have recourse to any one of those today.  Can’t rely on old memory too much now a days. By the time I sat on my PC, what remained is just one line of the poem. So before I forget, here is to One Liner Wednesday

Race is the cement,
color of skin sand,
language aggregates,
concrete to nationality steel,
building the dividing wall of religion
keeping us apart
while the river of love
from time immemorial
flows with the color of blood,
RED.

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