Wednesday, July 8, 2009

on Jackson

I was watching Michael Jackson’s Memorial show on CNN yesterday afternoon. It was a lavish spectacle, a star studded galaxy, if you will. The program featured a rainbow of great musical stars from Smokey Robinson to Jennifer Hudson, from Mariah Carey to little Shaheen Jafargholi. All were celebrating the life and the musical career of the emperor of pop, Michael Jackson. Jackson was commemorated and his followers legendised his talent. It is true that Jackson was a credit to his race, master of his talent but in his lifetime he also had had several ups and downs and mortal controversies. But the way congresswoman Sheila Jackson exonerated Michael of his earthly follies (that are nor proven), it made me feel that in order to be exculpated of our guilt and mistakes is dying a respectable death the only option? Jackson, who only a while back was scathed and calumniated by media and his fans, is now raised to sainthood (ref Sheila’s lofty speech). Are we afraid of being sardonic; is it that human beings hate to criticize? Or is it that once a person dies the need to criticize him doesn’t exist. Will that be the fate of all of us, or is it the chosen few who will be blessed with such an honor? Several such questions can be raised but are there any answers to them? Or is it that the whole charade that we saw yesterday, and are still seeing around, another gig of the media to show us only the bright side of existence. Are we endlessly guzzling the stale food we are given by the deiphnosophists and invariably losing our ability to arrive at a deduction. It doesn’t seem strange to me, since we are so used to promotional shibboleths and avant garde gizmos that we feed on whatever we are given without the slightest thought. The same thing happened yesterday, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson’s sugar coated words only brought out the dark side of the world she wanted to hide. The same side that brought charges on Michael Jackson, that calumniated him, that uttered disgraces and now, since he is dead, that darker counterpart would also fade into in existence. All the charges be it true or false would be obliterated, and we would sing in our minds “Heal the world” while we would question in our minds in hush hush tones, “Who is the real Jackson? Did we really know him?”

A Tribute to Sukanta Bhattacharya

A Tribute to Sukanta Bhattacharya

A Garland of poems: Translation of the poetic works of Sukanta Bhattacharya by Barnali Saha

Oh Great life: "He Mohajibon"

Oh great life, no more poetry should you knit
Bring on rigid, rigid prose
Let rhyme, rhythm and rhetoric obliterate
Pound the hard hammer of prose
No one needs the soft bower of poetic pleonasm
Poetry, I now bid you adieu
The hungry world is decked with prosaic fiction

The full moon is but scalded flat bread!!

Endeavor: "Udyog"

Dear friend, shed thy apprehension, make thy spirit astute,
Let the rogues learn that the soil of Bengal is a citadel impregnable.
Banish the ignorant adversary, raise thy spirit dismal,
Let the enemies eradicate in the hands country integrated.
Reap the harvest; be the rebellious spirits by sickles fortified,
Sing thy songs; polish thy armaments from dusk to dawn,
With strong teeth and brave will impede the stubborn.
In every blade of the grass green lighting strikes and there is distinct uproar,
The workers now let the thud of the hammer soar.

There comes failure; abhorrence for the rivals start to solidify,
May the cowardly mistaken existence in a deluge wither and die,
In the helpless nation decant life unassailable,
Ready we are messengers of war will strike the east-door.

In Feni, Assam and in Chattyagram the frenzied crowds cry,
Friend, leave thy apprehension, make thy spirit astute,
Let the rogues learn that the soil of Bengal is a citadel impregnable.

License Permit: "Charpotro"

The child who genuflected tonight
Heard the news from him:
He has a got a license permit,
He now shouts his rights to the new world,
Through his piercing postnatal cry.

His frail and unaided body, yet his balled fist
Ecstatic, euphoric
In some unintelligible vow.

Nobody follows his speech
Some laugh, some utter mild aspersions.
But in my mind I can comprehend that language
I got a mail from the new eon
An epistle of identity from a new born child

Through his indistinct, nebulous glance

A new child has come; we have to give him his place
From the threadbare world of frustration, with a burden of death and rubble

We have to depart.
We shall leave--but as long as life shines in our veins
We shall clean the earthly debris tirelessly,
I will make this world livable for the new born child
This is my pledge to the newborn.

Finally after all is done
I will bless the child with my blood,

Then to eternality I shall fade.

Feeling: "Anubhab"


The astonished world! You astonished me
Soon after birth I see the infuriated homeland.
Astonished world, we are subjugated
Astonished, how fury files up with every passing day
Astonished world, you amazed me more…

I see people do not have food in this country
Astonished world, surprised everytime
I see the reign of death in this world.
Whenever I took the calculating book
I see-- "blood shed" printed there
Kicks are all we got from being born in this land
Astonished world, I bow to thee!


Rebel, rebel reins free today,
I go to the day marking a calendar
Such insurgence no eyes had seen,
In corners wave of disobedience surge
Come down from your dreamy cliffs
Did you hear? Hear the indomitable clamor?
The shutdown is writing a new history,
With blood the illustrations are done.
Every day who are abhorred and dominated,
See they stand united today;
I stand with that group
I live and die with them.
That is why I pen the daily calendar…
Rebel, rebel reins free today.

The Stairs:"Siri"
We are the stairs
In your quest to rise you trample on us everyday
Then you never stop and look back
Our hearts elate with the dust of your feet
We are kicked and assailed regularly

You know our agony
So you use the carpet to camouflage the lacerations of our heart
You try to mask the evidence of your tortures
And from this world you want to hide
The reverberation of your lofty foot steps.

But in our heart we all know
that your atrocities will not be hidden forever
like emperor Humayan
you feet could also slip.


A Series of New Translations Done by Me

Rohon Kuddu’s Poems: Translation by Barnali Saha

Seeds one and two: “Beej”

The abhorred tress I planted for you
See white veil is but a far away tale
Applique is mixed with magic
The hotchpotch is sprawling towards you

All the jealous agonies I wined my cellar with
They too are inconsistent in your wine goblet
Your staggering feet in unbeholden in the night’s darkest hours
Like some wild wolf drag you to bed

While I sit and chime about the extraordinariness of the fetus
My abstract taboos vocalize one by one.

Father: “Pita”

Babar was moonstruck at the last moment
He shouted, “Give me back my life!”
From the sinews of his heart
The heartrending sire in him wanted to rise

Once endurance is bestowed on a son
In the retaliated gun powdered-laces
Even Babar has to calculate his last debt

Water Pistol: “Jol Pistol”

Holding the nozzle close to the ear
You squash the trigger with utter disregard
Vanished judgment

Pestered your toy gun altercations
Might sound time and again

But everything else like baseborn
Never says fu fu fu