False Promise of New Year

I wrote the poem below today morning in my mother tongue Axomiya ( Assamese) and translated to English just now. Posting the poems in reverse order here.

Isn’t the year about to end,
Why no one has let the bird
singing merrily know;

I asked the half-bloomed rosebud
Stiffened in the winter cold,
No, no one told her,
The year is just about to end;

I asked my dog
Sitting and lookin out,
Did anyone tell him,
In a little while
The year about to turn;
He ignored me and
kept looking out,
Maybe waiting for
winter to end and
return of spring, when
He can frolick in
the cradle of nature again;

I asked nature
Are you getting ready to
Welcome the new year?
Smiled she sadly and said,
Will you listen to my pain?
I haven’t figured out a way
To protect my children from
the madness of mankind
shouting hoarse about
Global warming and
climate change;
Spare me the additional pollution
of your insanity,
The false promise of
A Happy New Year.

ভুৱা প্ৰতিশ্ৰুতি নৱবৰ্ষৰ

বছৰটো হেনো শেষ হব ওলাইছে,
কোৱা নাই কোনেও বাৰু কিয়
আনন্দেৰে গান গাই থকা চৰাইটোক;
সুধিলো শীতত ঠেৰেঙা লাগি
ফুলো ফুলো কৰি আধা ফুলা হৈ থকা
গোলাপৰ কলিটিক,
নাই, কোৱা নাই কোনেও
বছৰ বাগৰিছে বুলি গোলাপীক,
বাহিৰলৈ চাই বহি থকা মোৰ কুকুৰটোক
সুধিলো জান জানো ত‌ই
বছৰ বাগৰিব আৰু কেইটামান ঘণ্টাত;
আওকাণ কৰি মোক
চাই থাকিল সি বাহিৰলৈ
হয়তো অপেক্ষাত
কেতিয়ানো হ’ব শীতৰ অন্ত,
আহিব বসন্ত আৰু
আনন্দৰে সি কৰিব বিচৰণ
প্ৰকৃতিৰ কোলাত;
সুধিলোঁ প্ৰকৃতিক মই
হৈছানে সাজু তুমি আদৰিবলৈ
নতুন বছৰক?
প্ৰকৃতিয়ে হাঁহিলে দুখেৰে, ক’লে
শুনিবাজানো কথা মোৰ বেজাৰৰ,
ভাবি পোৱা নাই উপায় মই
ৰক্ষা কৰো কেনেক
সন্তানক মোৰ
বিশ্বব্যাপী উষ্ণতা আৰু
জলবায়ু পৰিবৰ্ত্তনক লৈ হাহাকাৰ কৰা
উন্মত্ত মানবৰ মূৰ্খামিৰ পৰা;
নালাগে মোক অতিৰিক্ত প্ৰদূষণ
তোমাৰ উন্মাদনাৰ,
ভুৱা প্ৰতিশ্ৰুতি এটা নৱবৰ্ষৰ।

Now the question is how do I say happy new year to my readers after this. The bird sang in my ear and said, yes you can in the least polluted way and my dog Skooby barked his approval with a loud woof. So here it goes my dear readers, A Very Happy New Year 2022 to You.

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 Bud

Every bud
brings a message of hope,
A mystery to be unraveled,
What it holds
Tightly in its chest;
As it blooms, spreads
Beauty and fragrance,
It does not know
Will it be plucked
Or just wither away,
It blooms,
It’s in its nature,
Tomorrow is another day.
We move forward,
Carrying that message,
Cherishing the good,
And spread,
Love and warmth
All around.


Featured image photo by author

Uninvited guest

Update:

Edwin Alvarez was the kid I wrote about in my poem below today.  Please read the request below from his friends trying to arrange for his funeral.

“Hey guys. I believe everyone is aware already that on Friday night there was a boating accident after which our friend Edwin unfortunately passed away. I don’t know however, if everyone is aware that he comes from a very humble family and I don’t know up to what point they relied on Edwin’s income. As far as I know, he was paying for his brother’s education, bootstrapping a business with his dad who works in construction and looking for ways to also help his mother, who is a maid, to find an alternate source of income.
Needless to say this is a life-altering situation that is going to be incredibly difficult for his family to overcome. Eduardo (one of Edwin’s friends who helped us contact his family), started a GoFundMe to help them out with the funeral expenses. Any help will surely be greatly appreciated. Here’s the link https://gf.me/u/ykvm62 . He also mentioned that Oscar (Edwin’s brother) is already aware of this effort.”

I write about current events, my poems are fiction, penned during my flights of imagination. The poem below is based on a tragedy that happened two nights ago.  A young soul was called back too soon by the Lord.  He was my son’s friend.  I never met him but heard about him from my son. A hard working, honest, fun loving friendly guy.  These are the times one questions, why? Why?  I guess there is no answer.

a day in a life of hope

started with fun and frolic,

a boat ride down the river,

azure summer sky pierced

with laughter and singing.

sun moved slowly

to the western sky, Continue reading “Uninvited guest”

Emotional Deluge

I wrote this poem in my mother tongue, Axomiya(Assamese) a few days back.  I have a few Bengali friends from my college days with whom I share my poems.  Whenever I share a poem written in Assamese with them, I try to translate that to Bengali for their benefit. I do not claim any strength in writing in Bengali.  So if any of my reader finds my Bengali translation inadequate, I apologise.  Constructive criticism is appreciated as that will help me to improve my translation skill in future.

I translated the poem to English today and sharing all the three versions here, English followed by the original Assamese and then the Bengali translation.

 

If I am swept away someday
In an emotional deluge
Please stand by me
Be my rock
A pillar of patience Continue reading “Emotional Deluge”

Lady Liberty : Tuesday Photo Challenge – Promise

This week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt from Frank  is  “Promise“.

Liberty

Does she still stand for promise of justice and liberty for all?

I think Ellis Island Immigration Museum below holds more promise for the coming generation to remember  the legacy of immigration that made this country the land of the free and the home of the braves.

Ellis Island_1


Both of these photographs, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum, were taken by me during my visit in September of 2017.  I wish I had more time to spend in the museum.

Pregnant Sky and Rainbows : Tuesday Photo Challenge – Rain

This week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge prompt from Frank  is  “Rain“.

I grew up with rains, lots of it, about seventy inches in average a year.  Monsoon, thunder and lightning.  Sound of raindrops drumming on the rooftop.  Hot, humid summers cooled down by a sudden downpour.  Flash floods and muddy roads, swift flowing rivers, overflowing drains.  And the place with most rain, Mawsynram, four hundred seventy inches of it, is about sixty miles away from the city I grew up.

Now I live in place with hardly any rain, just an average of fifteen inches a year and that too in winter.  Last few years we had much less than fifteen inches, with about eight inches in 2015 and about four inches in 2013.  So as you can imagine many a times we play hide and seek with rain clouds and we get deceived. Today is such a day, the sky is gray, the day is cloudy and there is just a nine percent chance of rain.  From experience I know it is not going to rain.  Here is a photo of  grey sky today pregnant with the promise of rain that will turn out to be deceiving.  Couple of months back I had posted a poem, Flirtatious Rain Clouds , on this topic.

bf85894e-9884-43f2-b84d-70333be6ff2b
Sun fighting a losing battle with the clouds but chances of rain is minimal.

But there is always hope and what is hope if not that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And where would be a rainbow without rain.

rainbow

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