When we hope, we imagine! When we dream, we imagine! Imagination is like the stream that flows through the course without failing to pause. No life can exist without the essence of imagination. And this imagination when expressed becomes an art and this piece of art comes to life when indulged in Literature. Through literature a piece of art comes to life, that lives generation after generation like the streams without failing to pause. Every country has their own language and so follows their literature. But if a piece of art remains limited to its native language, then the world will remain deprived from the richness of a country’s cultures, thoughts and hence its literature. Therefore the richness of a country’s literature to reach the hands of the world requires to undergo the process of translation.
Here we came again with the translation of another masterpiece work of Bangla Literature.
The below translated poem is a piece of art by ‘Ruposhi Banglar Kobi’, Jibanananda Das, a pair work. Special credit goes to Madhur Shafiuddin, Sharmin Akhter and Habiba Jahan Surovi. We all put in our tiring effort to bring about a work, trying to cope up with the jumbled rhyme scheme. As group work is quite challenging, we did not allow ourselves to wear out.
Jibanananda Das is a surrealistic poet, which we get to understand by his use of various elements of nature in his poetry. This approach, dealing with happenings of human’s unconscious mind, took time to reach readers’ heart. Whenever something striked in his mind, he designed it with his words, metaphors and artistic power. His early poems were dedicated to the love of his life. Much of his literary works were discovered after his death.
A DAY EIGHT YEARS AGO
Heard in the morgue
He was taken;
Last night—in the darkness of Spring
When the fifth day moon has set
He wished for death
There had lain a woman beside— a child also;
There was love, there was hope— in the moonlit—yet he saw
Which vision? Why was his sleep broken?
Or hadn’t slept for long—now sleeps in the morgue then.
Is this the sleep he desired!
Blood stained face, neck crumpled like plagued rat
Laying in the lap of dark eternity;
Never to rise in mortality.
‘Never will rise again
To bear the intense pain
Unremitting, unremitting weight
He won’t ever take—’
To him the words break
When the moon had set— in the gloom of darkness
Beside his window
Silence stretched like camel’s neck.
Still the owl remains awake;
The melted stagnant frog begs for two more moments
Towards another morning- expecting warm sentiments.
In immense darkness I feel the gregarious rife
The ruthless opposition of mosquito net all around,
In the dark monastery the mosquito strive
To love the stream of life.
Sitting on blood filth to the sun the housefly return;
Many a times I have seen the flies chaper in the golden waves of sun.
A scattered life— like the neighboring sky
Their minds as if fully occupy;
Dense vibration of hopper on the palms of unruly infant
Fought with bereavement;
After moon set thou went at the peepal tree in darkness sublime—
Alone all alone, carrying a coil of rope on thy hand
Knowing that the life of hoppers, magpies— never meets with that of man.
The Peepal’s bough, didn’t it protest about?
When the fireflies on golden blossom roamed out?
Didn’t the doddering old owl appear to say; ‘The old moon in the flood may have floated away?
Let’s consider a few mice!’
The owl didn’t appear to tell the dark news despise?
The elegance of life–in the fragrance of ripe grains in autumn’s afternoon-
You felt intolerable;
In your heart is the morgue admirable
In the morgue on frowsy bed
Blood stained lips like rat’s gory head.
Still to this morbid’s tale; where
No women’s love ever failed;
The marital life’s taste
Left nowhere any waste,
On time the arrival of the mate
Sweet— and sweet thoughts anticipate
The misery of starvation in cold sorrow
This life did ever sway;
In the funeral chapel
Flat he lies on the table.
I know—yet I know;
Women’s bosom—love— children—household— is not that all;
Nor money, fame, or possession—
One more endangered fascination
Inside our blood it belongs
Making us tired,
Tired- makes tired;
In the morgue
There is no as such;
In the funeral chapel
Flat he lies on the table
Ah, still every night I look and see,
A doddering blind owl sitting upon the bough of Peepal tree
Says blinking its eyes: ‘The old moon may have floated in the flood, has she?
Lets consider a few mice—’
Oh profound grandmother, still greater?
I shall too grow old like you- and cast the old moon into Kalidah’s flooded water;
Then We shall go, emptying the abundant stores of life together.
Do not forget to listen it’s original form, yes, the Bengali recitation to find the real tone.