sengupta, mallikA মল্লিকা সেনগুপ্ত;
chheleke history paRAte giye ছেলেকে হিস্ট্রি পড়াতে গিয়ে
Ananda Publishers, Kolkata, 2005
topics: | poetry | bengali | gender | women
These translations are from 2006; some of these appeared in Kathamanabi
my poetry is a parakeet in the dark, seeker of light my poetry is a nuclear family, the green world's delight my poetry is household worry, songs of mountains streams my poetry is thermonuclear, large and little dreams my poetry is fistfights at home, tears down the cheek my poetry is the mass-raped girl, picnic by the creek my poetry is a terrorist camp, kashmir to sheorafuli my poetry reads abanindranath, relishes pather panchali mad rantings of the helpless girl, that's how my poetry goes in the burnt ruins of iraq, my poetry's a red red rose shah bano to the ganges, medha patkar, that's my poetry my poetry is the will to live, destroyer of symmetry. my poetry stalks the world like a panther on main street living in the sunderbans, will my poetry be tiger meat? my poetry is the street-beggar child, baby dead in the womb my poetry is hunger, famine, flood, ancient faqir's tomb my poetry is the nude women's march, across manipur state my poetry is in the kitchen, milling turmeric paste ceasefire is my poetry, the young girl's bashful kiss poetry is my tale of sorrow, first-year-of-marriage bliss poetry is the memory of father, two lovers living apart hats off to you all, tonguless khanaa vyas valmiki dante my poetry dances to the flicker of flame, adagio andante. (tr. amitabha mukerjee, appears in Kathamanabi)
tonight we'll become fallen women in that old lighthouse. the gleam of arcturus in darkest night lapped by the ocean of stars, each a little kiss, lip to lip a mad inebriation, we'll overflow all inhibitions love is wasted, emotions parched like a dry riverbed. old mansions bombed out facade, starvation haunts... in faraway tea gardens there's nothing to cook loneliness in baghdad - the american soldier drinks poison. loneliness stalks us even as a hurricane rages in the heart. old lovers have forsaken us. that desolate hunter, loneliness, trails us desperate, like jailbirds we hide cowering behind grilled traditions... no more. tonight we have clambered out afloat on foaming passions we wander along the wind-tossed waves - who will take me to that old lighthouse go go go rush. tonight i shall become a fallen woman. which man is listening?
keep quiet while they bash you up, is that your goal? or have they stuffed up your mouth - with charcoal? dowry: cigarette burns on your skin - will you just sit in the corner and cry? we're a gang of your sisters, now we've found your hole. keep quiet while they bash you up - that can't be your goal! come - together we'll invent the dread avenger's role no doubt we'll have to fight, but we have equal rights on this earth - its air and sky and we'll win - on our own terms - won't let them rape your soul.
paarhaariyaa village. the police all night mass-raped. in the dust, on the hillside in the woods, by the path through open field here and there the bodies lie. the crescent moon slowly it rises above thatched roofs. broken limb bodies like birds of myth - naked, unsure a pervading presence, so ancient a danger interred in dust, kelu finds his wife, dhoti and shirt, harmlessman yadav cornered, dehumanized, picks up a stick lenin, stalin, marx, ho chi minh no one saves him, the classless dream dies unsung - gunfire, a life lost - all for the nation, all to suppress the rebels. their leader caught the rapists of paarhaariya. heroes in our village by the jungle stream in our towns in the lanes and alleys the rapists walk the streets, their heads held high. their eyes are still roving, which woman will come by?
after the battle said chenghis khan the greatest pleasure of life, is in front of the vanquished enemy to sleep with his favourite wife. after the plunder, after the feasts into the harems, roam the hungry beasts the battle rages between king and king but it's only the woman who bears the sting (tr. amitabha mukerjee, appears in Kathamanabi)