Rage I Have Veiled
Rage I have veiled
Cranes fly I see with binoculars
Their whites flutter in the skies
This janasamaj, medicines, bandage
Blazing flowers, window concealed
All this he had jotted down—in notepad after notepad
Everybody on the T.V. is saying killing someone is a sin
He had written about such a sin in
Notepad after notepad—
The dog’s mute stare he had written about
And about boiling rice.
Now He Hangs As the Moon In the Sky
Moon in the sky—tonight.
This news the pristine girl brings to me
This news the shadow of the adjoining door sets free
All of us the neighbourhood gang
Climb up to the rooftop. And see
Truly moonlit it is, this sky and that awash.
Right then someone in the crowd said: But that is not the moon!
Heck no, that is the land grabber little Khude!
And we all see now, indeed
It’s that ruffian Khude, for whom the police
Was on the lookout; right now in the sky
He hangs as the moon.
When Ramachandra left for the forest
You got emotional and howled and wailed
Right from that day we had decided
That if we have to visit the forest
Let there be occasional jungle safaris
Treetop houses and no less
Manas sanctuary, Kaziranga, at the least Gorumara
(via Lataguri), for travel cars please contact
Bappa Ganguly: Phone 9433425179
And if one is looking for a good, healthy cottage
On the forest outskirts
It must be Mithu Banerjee’s
Now the question is whether Mithu Banerjee is a man or a woman?
If she is a woman, we may decide (with alcohol and dancing adivasis in tandem)
To inhabit the forest for 14 years
It is our long standing wish to see copulating wild elephants.
Fills up the bucket
Filled up bucket
Makes me happy
From the bucket
Goes far away
In this manner, everyday
I fill up and get drained
A world of water
The way the professorial couple plays carrom
Is still beyond my ken. Especially the red. From distant districts
Hopping trains, skipping vendors
Prancing past the splendour of chanachur-lipstick-peanuts
The professorial couple will make sure to gobble up the red.
I think: those of us from Kalyani, Basirhat—till date those who
With upright tables, vertical minds, childlike, play carrom—
Red is our cherry toy. Our claim and our due. Our clear-cut poetry magazine.
Look! There’s Shajal, just crossed the bridge to hit the red straight into the net.
But the professorial couple nets it obliquely
At an angle—winding down the Sahitya Akademi path via Banga Sammelan
The red makes its way to the net. As if a bride’s hibiscus got stolen from the garden.
No one knows the thief—blurred, he’s the yellow river bank.
But in anthologies they dazzle and on the dais too
In tea cups and in editorials—
But they are no robbers, no killers, no.
Famed carrom players merely.
Touring around the house.
Touring around the house
Thus touring dread
Gets into the hole
But if words
Then where shall I keep the poison?
Then where shall I keep the pain?
Tables and chairs
Garnish this universe
Pranayam and party-diktats
Dress up this sandy shore
The Tamil mad-women gave me this bit of news
Lights from group theatre delivered to me this news
Madwoman with livid liced dreadlocks
In the conifer-island lights blaze. Illness
And dreadlocks unravel. Such power truth wields
So much light today such guest-speak
Shall I not stand in the line too?
Marvel at the sky, galaxies!
Wild Donkey’s Bray
How shall I call out? Moo woo?
Or Bande Mataram? Better Inquilab Zindabad?
Whining ruff arff? Or growling bow-wow?
Snarl and roar shall I?
All’s hushed—sunsan, silent-empty.
Falling leaves in the sunsan.
No man, won’t needle no pricking
His brother’s younger sibling just bought by sweat
No man, won’t prod no pricking
I swear I won’t
Beacon Tagore up there
And Joy in my quill
This restraint sees me through
Restraint, winning party’s restraint.
Hey Abhik, let’s dive under the train?
“Nope, Ma waits with warm rice.”
Hey Abhik, let’s enlist our names in the Maoist centre?
“Nope, Ma still waits with warm rice.”
So what? Be a corpse at the dinner table
Tell Ma I’m your flower in the pot
And I am your almanac, anthem, chorale
Moss on your broken staircase—
Look some bloody mangled meat; like London bridge has smashed
My skull and character.
If one dies unnaturally, at the end of maya and desire
The soul orbits, turns round for two years at least
Yes, it’s written loud and clear in Abhayananda’s “Beyond Death”
That after death the soul doesn’t grasp
That he is no more a poet,
He thinks there is rain in the fire still.
See, Abhik and I
Evil spirits after death now, spirits of infirmity
Banging doors, running about Pirgachha road
Spotting lovers shall scream “Let us live, please let us…”
Fuck your English speaking habit we will yell
Utpalbabu has gone the Bosebabu way now
From tree to higher tree barking aloud: ‘Cocaine Cocaine.’
Bullshit, that is never to be, that dream. Tut!
Wild donkey is shaky and shy
Can run faster than a mule
Our table used to house ten wild donkeys
Abhik and I slipped and fell
Into your… oh dear… into your misery—
And remember, Gopal at home means hassle aplenty
Ministerial treatment, three meals a day
Bath, scrubbing the lazy organ
And Gopal can’t be left alone
Still Gopal’s a darling pet.
Harmless Gopal, no sex, no craving for fame
Harmless Gopal won’t enlist in the CPM, and no suicide attempts too
Vegan dish vegan wish
Just make sure to pray thrice a day.
But see, crafty Shyama beckons him now!
Shall Gopal respond?
Will he not commit suicide?
Will he not ask awkward questions within the party?
Abhik and I will ask for sure.
And hound Binoy-da: we the evil spirits, hee haw!
Ma some water please, we need some cloud, yes a couple of clouds
To Joyda: How is Mitra-di at Silchar?
To the Prime Minister: How fares your knee-ache man?
Look, Gopal’s getting upset seeking fame
Sits vacantly by the pond
He is shaky and shy like the donkey
Tonight there will be a dance-drama
At Rabindra Sadan
On Gopal’s sense of right and wrong.
Is Gopal puerile?
Does he love Jatra?
The press folks shove the microphone
Right at the dhuti, the panjabi, Gopalwear
His underwear and his dhuti flutter aloft in the air
Like janagan they quiver in the air.
[Rana Roychowdhury is an untamed, unheralded voice yet. With five formidable collection of poems in Bangla and a prose work. Translation by HUG]