Welcome to my A-Z 2018, for which I am revisiting Africa, the continent of my childhood and my dreams. The posts are, as always, infoheavy and opinionated, but they are sectioned off - some music, the day’s topic, couple writers, a slideshow from the safaris – plenty ways to cherry-pick. So you may consume just as much, or as little, as you're cool with. Zero obligation to agree with any of my views either, feel free to air yours :)

Monday, 14 March 2016

কোথাও আমার ভালবাসার নেই মানা

তখনো জানি না চলে যেতে হবে তোমাকেও ফেলে, সব ছেড়ে -
সেই মোহানার ঘন নীল জল, ছোট লাল আলোকস্তম্ভটি  কিছু দুরে,
অসীম ধৈর্যশালী,  ছিপ হাতে অচেনা মানুষের সারি, পাথুরে
দেয়ালে পিঠ ঘষে বেড়াল, ক্ষুদ্র সাদা নৌকো, যাকে গাঙচিলে ঘেরে,

মনে হত সব আপন, আপন করার জন্যেই  ঠেলছে আমাকে।
সমগ্র পৃথিবী, সারা মহাদেশ, মরুভূমি চিরে নদ; বালির ভাঁজ
বাতাসে বিক্ষিপ্ত করে বটে, তাও যা সে মুছে ফেলে, দরাজ
হাতে লিখে দেয়  আবার। অন্নে, ফলে, পথে, নাকি নাম লেখা থাকে?

জেনেছি এখন, অবশেষে, খুঁজেপেতে, নষ্ট করে বহু সময়
তোমার গ্রামের পথে, খালপাড়ে, যেখানে বসন্তে কৃশকায় কিশোর
সবুজ ঘুড়ির পিছনে ছোটে, কষ্টে চলে একটি গাড়ি বড়জোর,
সে পথের বাঁকে বা নুড়িতে যে নাম লেখা আছে সে নাম আমার নয়।

তবু আমি ভালবাসি, সেই ভাঙ্গাচোরা পথ - এখনো আমার -
সবুজ ঘুড়ি ধরা থমকানো কিশোর; মরুভূমি; জল ; সেই খালপাড়।

No place that stops me from loving

I didn't know then, I'd have to leave even you, leave it all -
the deep blue estuary, the squat red lighthouse at some distance,
the endlessly patient line of unknown anglers, the seagulls' dance
around a small white craft. There a cat rubbed itself on a stone wall - 

and everything seemed mine,  as if they'd pushed me to put down roots,
the broad earth, the continent, the desert-slashing river. The folds of sand -
true, the wind scatters them, but it writes them afresh with generous
I hear that specific names are written on roads, rice grains, and fruits?

I know this now, finally, having searched, having wasted much time -
your village track, that canal-side, where a slim boy runs for a green kite,
one car fits in max, greatly awkward, the space is way too tight,
well, the name that's written on its bends and pebbles, that's not mine. 

But still I love them, that broken track; they're still mine - that startled, 
boy holding a green kite; the desert; those waters; that canal-side.

I think I just wrote my first Bengali sonnet.  Is that a life event or what?! :) And a rather rough translation for those of my blogger friends who don't speak my mother tongue.

The A-Z Theme Reveal is exactly one week away, the main A-Z event is in just over two weeks.  I have my theme ready, and some odd posts done, fewer than I would have liked. Working in Trojan mode now, this A-Z I'm going to give up my love for pantsing totally (yes I am, and I know the A-Z will help me do that, participation always leads to something useful). I need to, because I am a Ninja Minion! Anyways, I am planning to visit heaps of blogs apart from the duties too. Looking forward to the fun.  

I don't need to spell it out that writing in ye olde mother tongue is not exactly a priority right now, I spent couple days and nights maniacally writing and rhyming in Bengali when I should have known better..... no control whatsoever, sheesh! Bloody inconvenient, these insane urges. 


  1. Those urges might be inconvenient - but they can't be denied either.
    Loved this piece. Melancholy and beautiful.

    1. So true!! Wish I had spunk enough to, not deny them, but just push back a bit sometimes...sigh..

  2. But still I love them, that broken track; they're still mine - that startled,
    boy holding a green kite; the desert; those waters; that canal-side.

    That rhyming couplet, as in a Shakespearean sonnet, captures the theme of the poem. I LOVE IT!! And my imagination is captured by the pictures you paint...places written on a grain of rice...love for country continues no matter how far away a body may be.

    Thank you Nila, for prodding my imagination so early in the morning!

    All the best for getting your A-Zs lined up. Thank God I'm not putting myself through that particular torture this year! I'll be along to visit once a week.

    Denise :-)

    1. Haha one has a feeling that one loves too many places, too many things, possibly even one too many language! :)

      It's true though, love for country or specific places can be as deep and strong as the love for people, and can continue for years after leaving it. Nostalgia births many a poem!

      This year the A-Z is going to be different for me, for a number of reasons...but I know I will love it. Sucker for the badges :D

      Glad you had your imagination prodded by the post. Have a great week.

  3. Wonderful, Nilanjana: it was amazing reading the Bangla script after such a long while. And such a great shoutout to the AZ challenge, too!

    1. Am a great fan of the A-Z and also quite besotted with Bengali, only the love spikes at the wrong time :) Glad you enjoyed reading, it's a graceful script, isn't it? Nothing like it in the whole wide world.

      It is totally super seeing you here, Damyanti. Thanks for your warm words.

  4. Insane these urges be. Our attempts to try something new and adventurous, congratulations, I've no doubt you'll achieve all your goals. Such lovely words, and a journey too familiar! How truly lovely to be so talented no matter the language!

    1. Thanks, Yolanda. We all make these journeys, and also the resulting adventures, don't we? :)

  5. Khub sundar laaglo ei kobita. daarun.chaliye jao...

    1. ধন্যবাদ। কবিতা ভালো লেগেছে জেনে আনন্দিত হলাম।

  6. Good to visit your site as a part of my A to Z visits.
    Welcome to A to Z April Blogging Challenge 2016 - Co-Participant - Nrao
    NRao Blogs - 2016 A to Z Challenge Blog Posts

    1. Nice to meet you. Looking forward to the A-Z Challenge. Thank you for visiting early. Hope to connect again in April.

  7. Nice blog! Looking forward to April (smile) Blessings!

    1. Glad you liked it! Thanks for visiting. See you around the A-Z track :)


Thank you for your comment. Your feedback and opinions keep the conversation lively and the words flying.