Poetry in translation
(Translated by Rifat Munim)
how far will Kirtinasha go, getting all drenched like this?
is there an end to floods in this country? to rain and the clouds?
waves of hair spread across her back, getting all soaked up
blades of chill-stricken rain pierce her entire body;
tonight, hundreds of thousands of crocs climb up on the banks
burning with desire, they devour each other in wild kisses and embraces
tonight, shoals of fish in their thousands swim in agitation
ransacking through the waters, moaning in agonising hunger;
how far will Kirtinasha go, getting all burnt like this?
is there an end to droughts in this country? to epidemics and corpses?
waves of the sari that wind around her body are pale and torn in so many places
while the greedy eyes of the sun blaze down, fully grown and ruthless;
how far will Kirtinasha go like this, full of woes and miseries?
this body will expire and its flesh be torn into pieces
sin, it seems, great sin has been committed
out of the body of a young virgin
emanate the moans of wind, severe reproach
the wrath of roiling, giant waves
thatched with grass are these small huts
filled with words, their windows remain open
a few strands of flowering grass on the sand dune
are uprooted by the pull of a tide
the delicate textures of segun, gojari, tamarisk
are shattered in a moment
all too familiar is this domestic life
this soaked soil on the chest, this path beneath the feet
the far lines of the horizon are gripped by ruin
disgrace threatens like rolling waves
along the bank sweep intense pain and anger
suppressed cries, roars of destruction
suddenly a robber forces a kiss
the sea roils and thunders in pain
body of the sixteen-year girl squirms
what sin is this! what great sin!!
*It denotes the river Padma. But in the book, Kirtinasha, in which every poem is named after a Bengali alphabet (e.g. Ka, Kha, Ga, Gha), this word sometimes symbolizes the whole country wrecked by floods or droughts, or a young woman who rises in protest just like the Padma during the rains.