Don’t ask me about past bygone

I wrote this poem a few days back in my mother tongue , অসমীয়া  (pronounced Axomiya, also known as Assamese) and translated to Bengali and shared with my friends and family. After a couple of days I translated the poem to Hindi and English in that order.  Among the four, Hindi is my weak point. Sharing all four version with English first and the others in the order written.

Ask me not what pain is hidden

Behind the smile

Past is buried today

Long forgotten Continue reading “Don’t ask me about past bygone”

Thursday Tidbits: Indiscretion and Grief

I am vacationing with my family and this post definitely was not in my planning.

We visited Horseshoe Bend in Page. Arizona on XMas day afternoon. It was a joyous occasion for us as we had planned it for a long time. Little did we know that at a time we were having fun, a family was grieving for their loved one who lost her life at that very spot twenty four hours ago.

We arrived Bryce Canyon at about 8:30PM yesterday to biting cold and immediately went out for dinner before the restaurants closed. On return to our hotel and opening internet, very first news that we got in whatsapp from my brother-in-law shook us to the core. We scoured the internet to know what happened. All the news channels had reported that on Christmas eve afternoon a girl from San Jose, CA (my hometown) fell to her death at Horseshoe Bend. Parents reported her missing after looking for her for couple of hours. A helicopter search located her body seven hundred feet below the lookout point but it was too late in the evening to recover the body. The body was recovered on Christmas day AT ten in the morning.

My mind immediately focussed on the tension my wife was going through when we were having fun at Horseshoe Bend. It was a gorgeous evening, cool but not cold with the sun low on the horizon. She, like any good mother, was trying to keep us all away from going too near the rim as we were busy clicking away trying to preserve the moment in our cameras and cell phones. All around us, young and old alike were busy taking selfies. A barrier was erected near the rim of the look out point but many adventurous souls were scattered all over happily oblivious that a tragedy had occurred there may be less than twenty four hours ago. It may have hurt the business if people would have known. One can only speculate.

As we were about to return to the shuttle stop my wife panicked as we could not locate our daughter. For about ten minutes or so, she basically went bonkers looking for her. Happily we found her well inside the barrier taking photos. I can only imagine what was going through the minds of the parents of the missing girl the previous evening.

While the cause of the fall is not known yet and speculation is futile, our memory of Horseshoe Bend will foreever be associated with this tragedy. Pray that the grieving parents find strength to bear with this great loss.

As for me I can only say that please be careful. Don’t let a moment’s indiscretion be the cause of lifelong grief.

We Travelled Time

I am visiting my home town, Guwahati, in India for Durga Puja. The nine day celebration (Navaratri) of worshipping Goddess Durga ends on the tenth day with the immersion of her idol on Vijaya Dashami (October 19th this year. Last I was in Guwahati for Durga Puja was in 1984.

On my way to Guwahati, I stayed in Kolkata for two days meeting my college class mates whom I had not seen for more than four decades. The poem below is an expression of how I felt meeting my friends, with whom I had spent five years of my life, after such a long time.

We Travelled Time

For a moment time stood still,
And then we rolled it back.
As decades collapsed to years,
And years squeezed to
Months and days,
For a few hours there
We found our fountain of youth.
Years fell of like
Leaves falling off a tree in fall.
Behold the miracle!
As Yayati sheding his old age
Embracing youth,
In the dying rays of an autumn sun
We took a dip in the fountain
And emerged as teens.
Bewildered eyes of our sweethearts
Questioning what madness engulfed us,
We travelled time.
Drank from our cup of memories.
Rejuvenated,
We parted, not with a heavy heart
But promises to meet again.
©Pranab Sarma, 2018


Yayati – mythological king who was cursed with old age at the prime of his youth. He regained his youth as his son Puru agreed to take his father’s curse and gave his youth to his father.