#105 Nor’wester

An early dusk’s sudden appearance,
Bringing invading clouds from distant horizons,
Unruly winds come out of hiding,
But the sun has not left altogether yet
And the village is not ready to fall asleep.

Absentmindedly the river flows on
With no visible hurry to reach anywhere,
Returning flocks of colourful birds with their merry chirpings,
A solitary cycle leans waiting against the old bent tree
Fishing rod to the side, by the bank his old master idles.

Cattle not ready to leave their field
While the herder-boy whistles an obscure tune,
Flashes of lightning do not scare them,
Eager in their freedom from daily monotony
Because a little rain unleashes a comforting fantasy.

The stars have gone missing from the sky
There would be no need for them this night.
With accompanying dances of rain, the wind will stay, it shall sing,
Regular scenes of daily life will fade, yet life wouldn’t stop,
Breaking free of chains, a change only a storm could bring.

I also wanted to write the same poem in Bengali to see how it turns out:

এক অকাল সাঁঝের আগমন
একঝাঁক হানাদার মেঘ নিয়ে দিগন্ত থেকে
দমকা চঞ্চল হাওয়া বেরিয়েছে লুকোনো ছেড়ে
কিন্তু সূর্য যায়নি এখনো অস্তাচলে
গ্রামের এখনো সময় হয়নি ঘুমিয়ে পড়ার।

নদীটা বয়ে চলে আপন মনে
কোথাও পৌঁছবার তাড়া না রেখে
একদল রঙ-মাখা পাখি বাড়ি ফেরে আনন্দের গান নিয়ে
একলা সাইকেল অপেক্ষায় বয়সের ভারে নুয়ে পড়া গাছের গায়ে হেলান দিয়ে
তার বয়স্ক মালিক জিরোয় পাশে মাছ ধরার ছিপটা রেখে।

মাঠের গরু-ছাগল ফিরতে তৈরী নয়
রাখাল ছেলেটা শিষ্ দিয়ে যায় অজানা সুরে
বিদ্যুতের ঝলকও ভয় দেখাতে পারেনা তাদের
রোজকার বাঁধা-ধরা জীবনের থেকে স্বাধীনতার আশায়
কারণ একপশলা বৃষ্টিতে আছে মুক্তির অলীক আরাম।

আকাশের তারাগুলি হারিয়েছে
আজকের রাতে তাদের নেই যে স্থান।
থাকবে হওয়া, গাইবে গান, আর বৃষ্টির নাচের সঙ্গত,
থামবে না জীবনের গতি, শুধু বদলাবে রোজকার ছবি,
ঝড় আনবে পরিবর্তন, শিকল ভাঙ্গবে বন্দিত্বের।

#104 My Voices of Depression

There are moments when I break;
Moments when I am at the very edge
And there is no way back, especially when,
Nightmares find their way out of my head.

Those days in calendar are so empty,
Wish I didn’t have to leave my bed
And go about pretending to be alive,
I still have to breathe, and I cannot fail.

The body feels so numb of fear –
Left in a dark room all alone
Or lost in this crowd with no hands to hold,
I won’t ever find my way back home.

Stuck here motionless, living together,
Me and this terrifying past of mine,
I am so scared of not knowing
What makes me the saddest boy alive!

Along came the constant fear of letting down
Behind shut doors locked in my own world,
A pain all these books couldn’t drown,
Within my lonely life, I’ll still be more alone.

Feeling incomplete, I’ll just let everyone go,
The emptiness is better than hurting,
And even in my ideal loneliness
At least I’ll have memories to survive on.

This would not be the last week
When I have to force myself to sleep,
Overlooking a million tell-tale signs of not being,
Resigning before I even had the chance.

This depression shall pass too,
With nothing said at all, and nothing done,
There will be no change, and I will still feel sad,
But it will be one more chance of being apart.

Maybe the sun won’t shine again,
The night will be cold and long,
Even if it is scary alone, the path is there,
And I have to keep on walking aimless.

I’ll stop to rest the day I feel content,
When the road is no more, the stars come to die,
Nights do not feel anything at all,
Where all my pain is passed on and I depart.

Written during Covid-19 induced national lockdown, April 2020.

#103 এক চৈত্রের সন্ধ্যার কবিতা

এই চৈত্রের হাওয়ার মাঝে আজ
শুধু এই জানালাটাই আমার সম্বল,
বাইরের পৃথিবীর ওই একটুখানি
একটা গাছ, আর এক চিলতে আকাশের ফাঁকে।

রাস্তার গ্যাঞ্জাম আজ হয়েছে অদৃশ্য
আর জীবনের কোলাহল যমের বাড়িতে,
ট্রাফিক সিগন্যাল এর তাড়াহুড়োর নিয়ম
গেছে ভেঙে অচলায়তনের রোজকার গণ্ডি।

পাশের বাড়ির চিলেকোঠা থেকে ভেসে আসে
গেয়ে যাওয়া এক অচেনা গান, এক মুক্তির কথা,
এই শুষ্ক জীবনের বাতায়নের একাকীত্বের সাথে
মন খারাপের সুর যেন বলে সব ঠিক হয়ে যাবে।

কালবৈশাখীর ঝড়ে উড়িয়ে দিয়েছি সকল ব্যথার কারণ
রাতের বেলা পরিস্কার আকাশের তারার খোঁজে আমি।

#102 Nearest but lost

Our usual bar on the ever so familiar street,
Mild scent coming across –
From the solitary magnolia tree,
Or maybe I just keep thinking of you.

The twinkling city lights seem so small,
Evening still hasn’t left fully, and night can’t come in,
Rained a while ago, just a touch of mellow,
The terrace is the perfect place to daydream.

Should I order my Gin Negroni?
Or do I choose your old favourite, Jim’s Bourbon?
I’ll spend some time thinking,
Maybe I’ll end up choosing the same thing.

We used to come here so often;
From the spring of our relationship,
Through the autumnal rains and scattered leaves.
Summer lasted a couple of weeks, eternal winter then.

Was it J’adore or Nearest but lost?
I remembered every other detail for years,
But your perfume, I don’t remember that now,
Hidden in those lost feelings, somewhere between you and I.

#101 Poem titled ‘You’

You are beautiful, you know?

A few moons, and the wind feels sweeter already,
The necklace stares hard, only if you let me
I’d look again, if you just turned around.

This city is very new, it feels so much more.
The metro rail, the stations here and there,
We find each other, we wait a bit in both.

Just running a little late today; I wanted to kiss,
Lucky is the cigarette between your bright red lips,
I will receive a few texts, “wait some more”!

Across the table you punish that bit of unruly hair,
A stab right there, a little bit of death,
Eyes hold my soul back, while your fingers ran havoc.

I run again through the book fair,
Crowded, very noisy, all those lovely books too,
Trying to find you in my created chaos.

I feel like this ‘young boy’ first time in love,
A little bit scared, a lot less man next to you,
While we walk back home, can you hold my hand?

Under the lamp post, I will wait.
Please look from your window once,
Then send a “good night” text.


#100 XXVI

When I’m 28, I’ll understand a few things better,
I’ll behave more maturely.
I promise I will yell less, get angry less often;
Maybe I can even forgive you!
But now I am just 26, so I’ll hold on to my anger,
Just a while longer, till it’s all in the past.

As soon as eyes met, I knew this was to happen,
There was no beginning, but a sure end.
I’ll follow my dreams, or wherever my destiny takes me,
You wore your crown and we did part,
Your climb higher is only a matter of time now,
For which the Princesses shall stand firm, the warriors die a cruel death.

I stand before my own tomb,
But I won’t lie in, not so soon.
I feel amazed at the beautiful drawings –
Such hate directed at humanity,
Truth, you could only poison!
But we all love to play with fire.

My escape became quite literally,
A wound of arrow, a blessing from sorrow.
Penance for everything dear,
I will be darkness, a memory to forget,
But I stand today in front of ruins
That has my soul buried, but I outside of it.

Last two years were a roller-coaster ride,
Hell of fun, a lot much to learn.
Do you remember your promises sent with the clouds?
Oh Princesses! I might have been your courts’ biggest fool,
However, one thing that I understand now,
The wind belongs to none.


#99 Autumn

Shut inside a room
No windows to look out,
But I hear Autumn has come.
Have you seen her arrive?

How is she? Does she wear a red gown?
Is she quite moody like everyone says?
I think she has this mischievous smile,
And she only wants to run free.

The chill not yet like a strict winter punishment
But a sadness hanging over the floor,
I feel the wind has changed,
Autumn, do you really bring sorrow?

Hidden among all the nightmares and heartbreaks,
Falling leaves are beautiful too.

#98 Sleep Talking

There’s no chasing
I won’t even dare try,
Nothing more to do.

A break, from all known:
Another walk away.
Would I want to be back?

My glasses stained,
Slightly hazy,
It’s been raining constantly.

Lots of clouds, less sunshine,
But it’s slightly wild, where I would be,
For so long I have had only dreams.

Will everything be the same?
Would you befriend me again?
Just some random questions.

Sitting along the Mekong
Another boat left,
But I couldn’t return home.

At the end of this journey,
I will come out older,
Not much wiser, maybe just a bit.

#97 স্মৃতির কথা (মাসি কে)

তোমায় স্মৃতিতে রাখি
আমার নিজের মতন করে,
এক মুঠো ফুলের সাজি
ভালোবাসায় ভরে,
পাপের বোঝা নিয়ে।

কথার পরে কথা, অনেক ব্যাথা
দিয়েছি নিজের ভুলে,
না বুঝে তোমার স্নেহের গভীরতা,
ভেঙেছি বন্ধন, হারিয়েছি অনেক দূরে,
পারলে ক্ষম মরে!

সবই সত্য,
কিন্তু তাও মনের কোণে
সমস্ত অনুতাপের মাঝেও,
পুরোনো দিনের কথা ভেবে,
আরও একবার কথা বলার ইচ্ছে।

হয় স্মরণে, আদরে,
ভালোবাসায় ঋণী হয়ে,
অকাজের মাঝে ভুলে
তাও ছবির চেয়ে অনেক বেশি হয়ে,
মনে গাঁথা পরশমনি খানি।

“প্রণাম নিও মা,
আবার হবে দেখা,”
ততদিন ভালো থেকো
স্মৃতির ভিতর; ভালো রেখো
তোমার আশীর্বাদে।

#96 Silence

It just hurts a little to stare out,
So mellow, even the leaves,
That danced with the wind;
Everything has come to a stop,
All is now so quiet.

Going outside feels strange
Climbing down the stairs, but no more stumbles,
The screaming neighbour sleeps for a change
Barking dogs are caught up elsewhere,
Even the clocks wouldn’t make a sound.

While walking, the lights change,
Crossing feels so difficult
Since cars rush fast, but no honks!
What’s come to the world around,
Alive but in a noiseless limbo.

I find myself in front of your street again,
Our childhood games, returning from school,
Silent memories coming back,
Stuck in that loop, I remain,
Muted and cowering in apprehension.

Caught in the middle
Of this terrible scheming silence,
I long to hear you laugh,
I just can’t wait enough –
For one another day of being together.