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Poem

Noblest Man

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15th-Aug-2016       
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Belal Chowdhury  :

They may appear in thousand years, a handful one or two
Their fame spreads all around for good deeds, they themselves
Sanctify their lives - the noble ones, they fill the fallow lands
By cultivating golden crops.

He came in this way by illuminating all ten sides, in the family of Sheikhs
Lying on the lap of his parents at a remote and faraway village,
-We know people age, environments change, and the plant raises its head.

Does the river also grow old? I don't know.
But she is always restless, resolute and rebellious.
It doesn't take long to realize while listening to the reckless ripples of its waves.
In perilous shape its current becomes unstoppable, flowing parallel to the meandering Modhumati ..
 
Beautiful like its own name, Baigar came out of its own heart
Hazy rows of trees donned its dilapidated banks on both sides,
Amid diverse hazards were his confident movements;
There was hunger, poverty, want and a grey picture of nature all around
Observing keenly these pale miserable faces in his early hours
He could realize, 'these numb and dumb mouths shall have to be given speech'.

Rosy smile in abundance shall have to be brought to the faces of the exploited
-And to dedicate himself in that onerous task he had to be
A daring sailor in a vast sea, a fully focused and combative boatman.

His was not the path of compromise; he was a voyager of inaccessible roads  
Confronting obstacles at every step, he faced one struggle after another throughout his life.
Oblivious of where his wife, children, parents, brothers, sisters and relatives lived.
 
He belonged to the whole country, the entire nation: he was the loftiest man of the century.
With virtues and failings he was a pure-Bangalee, generous and unbounded like the blue sky.
He could not be moved by the thought of gains or losses, greed or partiality.

Crushing the mountain of barriers he was bent on moving ahead
Lean and thin, his head was forever held high, verily a simple and plain patriot.

Leaving behind an indebted nation, with his kith, kin and companions,
He left us smilingly by dropping his own blood from the heart
-Hoping even then that smiles would appear on the faces of teeming millions.

The people of Bangla are distressed a lot, though they seek very little,
Let them find a little happiness, and laugh to their heart's content
-Only this was his pure, sincere and simple desire.

Translation: Helal Uddin Ahmed


You, The Pole Star
Shihab Sarkar

Darkness fades as decades go by
The fiends of the cruel night crumble into dust
The clusters of poison-fruit fall
one day-rotten and withered and stinking.

You see a maiden path in the dark of the wilds?
An apocalyptic night of tsunamis swallowed our
dreams in the small hours of Sravana,
We've seen the dance of black monsters
in the sun-bathed, wistful Bengal after the war.

But the paws of darkness clawed at my
vitals, they gouged out my eyes
The wind stopped amid groans of the tongueless,
In a grave at Tungipara was lowered the Pole Star,
On the stairs of the 32 echoed the blood-stained boots
The orphaned pair of spectacles lied motionless.

But see, his smoking pipe still exuded a serene warmth.

Then the new star came up in the evening sky
None had noticed it in the sky before,
As the night turned deeper, the star shone brighter
 In the morning sky the star keeps shining,
Who'll resist us, primordial darkness has died down
Hyenas won't burst into laughters anymore.

Look,.there shines the Pole Star
Rusts get swept away from nightmares.
I take a long, fresh breath

The earth awash with starlight flooding the stifling dark.

Sravana : The second month of the season of monsoon in Bengal.
Translation: Shihab Sarkar himself

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