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None kept their words (a translation from a bengali poem)

None kept their words, thirty three years have passed, none kept their words.
In boyhood, a Vaishnavi suddenly stopping her arrival song had said,
                 on the twelfth day of the bright lunar fortnight she would return to sing the second movement.
So many moonless new moon nights had come, had gone, but that Vaishnavi
                                                                                                          never ever came
                                                                    Twenty five years i am awaiting.

The boatman at my maternal home, Nader Ali, had said, Grow up master
                  i will take you to see the marsh at three in the night,
                  there, at the crest of the lotus, the serpent and the bee
                                                                                                 are at play!
Nader Ali, how much more shall i grow? after my head pierces this rooftop
                                                   and touches the sky, after that will you
                                                   show me the marsh at three in the night?

Never ever could I buy a single royal pebble to play with
Candies on stick they displayed and sucked, those Laskarvilla's brats,
Like a beggar at the gate of the Choudhuri villa i stood
                    watching the Radha-Krishna's festival of dance within
amidst the incessant flow of colours,the fair ladies decked in gold
                                                            laughed in varied delights
                                     not caring even to glance at me!
Touching my shoulders, father had said, one day, we too will ...
my father is blind now, we haven't seen anything at all
that royal pebble, that candy-on-stick, that festival of Radha-Krishna's dance
                                      no one will ever return them to me!

Placing the handkerchief on the bososm, Baruna had said,
When you love me truly,
                        then, my bosom too will smell of otto like this.
For love I have risked my life
blindfolded a fierce bull with a red cloth
the whole universe i have searched thoroughly to bring 108 blue lotuses
yet Baruna didn't keep her word,now her bosom smells only of flesh,
                            now she is but another woman!
None kept their words, thirty three years have passed, no one keeps their words.

Translation of Sunil Gangopadhyay's Keu Kotha Rakheni (None kept their words) Original poem in bengali can be found in the web.

Translation done by Susmita Paul (2011). 





It can be here

Often, I wake by a stream
where nebulas float
beneath the grass blades;
armours of rainbows
bend at my feet,
as suns of tomorrow
to pick the dew from the lips.

This is the staircase that
takes me through
to the highways

I do not know
if it’s nausea, or
the mangled clouds -
but, I smell a storm
brewing in my courtyard:

the horses pass their neighs
into my senile blood –
i am on those mountains
where lights rage through the soil
and sink beyond the horizons …

these are the mountains where
i become a beam …
elaborated scratches
on the black envelope of night …
perhaps a horse,
with a feather tucked in its mane.

This happens so often,
i no longer believe
it is only a waking dream.


On a recent popular status message this week ...

"Children with a disability are not sick. The only thing they all want is to be accepted. Can I make a request? Is anyone willing to post this and leave it on your status for at least an hour. It is Special Education Week and this is in honor of ALL children made in a unique way"  .... this message has been doing the rounds in various Facebook status messages.

I would like to rephrase it a li'l bit:

Children who are differently abled do not need our sympathy. They are here to test our merit. Wanting to be accepted in society is a primal social being's need. Such children thus have NO special needs. We, the commonly abled folks need them to challenge our numbness to all odds. It doesn't matter if you do not put this message in your status. It is Special Education Week and it would be an honour if we recognise that we are the ones who need education to see the world with a vision unclouded by prejudice. If you recognise that, stand up for the special kids who are so much more capable than the normal folks.

I refrain from theorising about it. I intend to shed light on my personal experience with a few awesomely special kids in the next post in my blog LUSTROUS LIVES. Life is truely stranger than the what nightmares we can imagine. And yet, it is special,since it is alive in the here and the now.


 if i say thank you ...

if i say thank you,
would it tell you about
the courage with which i walk into storms
because the wind has you?
would it tell you how
the spider weaves dreams
because it saw your painting of the grass?
would you know in those little syllables
how much contentment lies
cosily, as if ma tucked it in bed tonight?

all the molecules sing in a choir
to rouse them today-
and tomorrow-
and the day after that...

if i say thank you what would it mean?

if i say thank you,
would it tell you about
the courage with which i walk into storms
because the wind is yours?
would it tell you how
the spider dreams and weaves
because it saw a painting in the mountains?
would it tell you that
the raindrops gather in my courtyard
remembering you?

Thanksgiving Prayer

a mosquito dared not bite my bum,
i had the halo of a family

it is elitist

to never have felt hunger killing the dreams,
to never have felt danger crippling life's beams

like a pretty humdrum boring whistle
the melody of life bolted the doors of suffering -

that is why i am blessed with
the worms in my head



A Mourning Song

Flashes of shame
burn the clouds
of my vision

The clanking pots of greed
weigh heavily upon me.

Stash through the mirrors-
rage through the chairs-
pin down the dream-sucker with a pen...

In distant lands,
the multitudes wear veils
hiding the scars
from unfought battles and bargains lost
in sloth.

As I cradle the lulaby to sleep,
I wish Subhash was alive
to make you bleed.

You need to bleed
in order to conserve.
You must bleed
in order to respect.
You should bleed
in order to repent

for the years of grime
and debris of promises
sucking my dreams
for something
that you call life.

Note: The Commonwealth Games2010 scheduled to be held in New Delhi, India is beseeched with revelations of corruption and incompetent authorities.


 with love...

You see it happened such that she had a determined desire to make her life useful. You may think she was of not much significance, considering that her life, for the last n years have been spent in being a skillful housewife and a great mom to her two kids. Well, keep your thoughts to yourself mister! Because she has been a story all her life ... When her eldest kid crossed the borders of the first public exam, she took a good look at herself in the mirror. Well, she still had black hair and still looked so much beautiful when she smiled ... She didn't think this obviously! It's someone's thoughts you know... she may have thought, "So what will I do wen I my kids wont need me as a mom but a friend ?" She was simple and so she found the answer. She decided to go back to school. A school of a different kind though ... a singing school ... so she closed all the doors and windows that would let the dusty criticisms come into her voice ... and she sang ... she learned the ropes until she found her choice... She sang to please herself ... she sings to fill us ... As years pass and her voice gathers what age does bring ... she sits, as i weave her tale, in front of the harmonium, immersed in the notations of a lost-in-self-soul, Tagore ... I have heard her sing ... I hear her sing ... across the oceans ... as you do, you know, when you are a song ... 


Excerpts from a sentimental summer afternoon in lund

It's summer here as it used to be in my little hometown. My hometown - a city that is boisterous in the sun - creating pandemic siesta needs, boisterous in the rains - causing arbitrary boat rides and complete loss of belongings at the ground level, boisterous in the winter - whether the temperature drops or not, the typical Bengali will bring out the mufflers and the pullovers. It is a city boisterous with life, to be precise. It is a city that you call the 'city of joy'. It is a city that i call my 'city of joy'. My quintessential joys of the summer afternoons strolling across the crowded pavements of College Street, browsing the books for hours-books that I will definitely not buy. My precarious joy of saving two rupees in a book bargain so that I can have my quota of daily 'phucka' (a roadside aberration of snacks some would say). My delightful summer skies scorching the skin beyond the guards of the unfashionable black umbrella. My delightful winter afternoons basking in the sun with a book cosily lapped in my folded arms, functioning as a temporary pillow. My city of joy where I learnt the crazy need of life to be funny in the company of friends; my city of joy where I loved , where I thrived. My city of joy that crazily became my potpourri of damnation and salvation. A city that thrives in my mind, that breathes in my pulse. A city where the devastating Kalbaisakhi is now a legend. Aila and other thunderstorms ravage its spine. Yet it is the city where after the storm, amidst the uprooted trunks and the devastated walls, there is still that indefinable thing, like the crow that swerves above Kafka's Prague, like the hemiplegia of Dublin that affected Joyce. It is that thing which can possibly be defined by likening to the umbilical cord. No matter if it is severed, the silent screaming ties exist forever; they multiply in the crevices of the bones that is made from the dust of that city. A city that, like all the things in this world, is decaying. Yet it is my city of joy forever.
a random glimpse


Legend has it


Barren streets
sweating and hallucinating
stretch their arms,
and legs

a shade,
a harbour

screeching rays
ooze over
the grassy greens

a brutal kiss of life
seeps down the viens

ravish and nourish
nurture and ravish


stretching its limbs
it ruffles the dreams,

dreams bulldozered and
bugged into insanity
by the holocaust

dreams pegged
for the crusades to die

dreams that dare
to be conquerors,
not mere survivors
in the quick sands


the mellow dusk
has queries
that it spreads
on your platter
at dinner.

oblige it tonight.
Photo: sunset at Budapest, view from appartment.
An Ode to Sigri

It is just the way you breathe...

waves of rich blue sea

dawn on your skin,

the winds from the sun

beat against your heart


solitude's mirror

rests in the sand

as you reach the end of the road...

the aims of passionate leisure,

the dreams of laughter,

"Yassou!" floating down

your beer laden throat!

a smile from beyond the horizon

setting the skyscape ablaze...

little things that matter in life-

air and wind and a li'l hope

living is just the way you breathe ...

living by the end of the road.


To a ripped land... 
R.I.P. The peace activists killed in the flotilla of aid heading to Gaza by Israeli naval commandos

I was at the deck,
carving the Great Bear
the monster mongrels
spitted venom
pointing their
squid sly fingers.

They rose from
the kingdom of blood
of violence,
of oppression,
of denial,
of distrust


They came through the floors
in bursts of water-missiles,
they fell from the skies
piercing the souls
in the prayerhall of pain


this little island,
this little bubble of hope,
these particles of peace
this quaint floatel of dreams
where old Noah,
where blind Odysseus,
where unrelenting Prometheus
are born.
They stand within me,
the silent witnesses of all Time
the dissenting mongrels
out of fear of losing.

They killed their bodies.
As they split them open,
the Prometheuses flew out
with the wind and the blood
I will wait here,
at the deck of death,
till dawns and dusks
bring Prometheus from the skies,
with fire in arm, and,
Shiva, the blue-throated,
vomits the venom
back to the mongrels.

We will wait for
the dance of fire
to return to these hollowed lands.



A scratch on the crystal table top,
A dent in the sewarage pipe, and,
A broken teapot in the sink
is all she will remember
when she will shut the door.

The flower
in her window-sill:

the unopened petals
of yesterday are
flirting with the wind

As she bent down to
ease the crease
on the linen.

This is all there is
before she leaves
for home.

***Rememembering Ibsen's Nora under an overcast sky in Budapest

 May 11 2010

a few other things I give unto you ...
you tell me a day,
and i'll tell you a story
that creeps out of its abdomen ...

you give life to your eyes
and i'll show you the ancients suns
that burst out of it's magma...

you give me a life
and i'll show you the miracles
that sleep in it's chamber ...

May 3 2010


Swayam (Sanskrit for "I beget myself")

[Written in response to the inhuman SB 1070 in Arizona ... Dedicated to the people of the land, from a faraway friend ... with love ... ]

When it's green turns to brown,
and to red,
and to purple,
I never see you
ask a tree
it is a tree,
it's roots are the soil
from which it springs,
it's branches have the right
to be
as they are
to be
free ...

I am the tree
a mango tree
in my own land,
a mulberry
in my own soil,
an orchid
in my own soul-

I am the earth
I am the air
I am the song
that elements call fair

I am the defiance
you tell me:
my roots tresspass
the elements
which are not free!

I bring back
the pollens
of my ancestors
and sing:

"My body is the earth
My soul is the air
My being is the water
and let it be ..."


This you see
You see and you hear


This you fear
You fear the truth
You fear me
You know
that I AM
that I CAN BE
the truth that I sing
the truth
that'll always be


I am the elements
The elements are me .

May 2 2010


Copyright: Susmita Paul 2010


Piyali Majumder said...

i love your poetry. a poet myself, i can deeply relate to your comment je swapno na dekhle banchbo ki kore. Pia Ganguly

Susmita said...

Thank you Piyalidi ... :) it's my honour :)

Khusi Pattanayk said...

O! Susmita love the way you tame the words to give shape to your creativity !!!

Khusi Pattanayk said...

O! Susmita love the way you tame the words to give shape to your creativity !!!

Susmita said...

What a pleasant surprise Khusi! I am 'khusi' :P ... and thank you so much for the link to your world :) will be there from now on :)