Translated by: Bhaswati Ghosh
Puja holidays draw near.
Sunshine is draped in the colour of Champa.
The air ripples with dew,
Shiuli’s fragrance lingers
like the delicate caress of someone’s cool hands.
White clouds make the sky lazy—
seeing which, the mind relaxes.
Mastermoshai continues to teach
the primitive story of coal
While a student sits on the bench and paddles his feet,
his mind awash with images—
The cracked ghat of Kamal pond,
And the fruit-laden custard apple tree of the Bhanjas.
And he sees in his mind’s eyes, the zigzag path
that leads from the milkmen’s neighbourhood
by the side of the haat,
into the tishi fields, next to the river.
During the economics class at college
the bespectacled, medal-winning student
jots down a list–
which recent novel to buy,
which shop will give on credit—
the sari with the “Do Remember” border,
shakha washed in gold,
a pair of red velvet chappals, handcrafted in Dilli
and a silk cloth-bound poetry book,
printed on antique paper—
the title of which eludes him.
Mastermoshai = Respectful term for teacher (Bengali)
Champa, Shiuli = Flowers
Ghat = Bank
Haat = Weekly village market
Tishi = Linseed
Shakha = White bangle made of a particular stone. Is worn by married Bengali women.
Chappal = Footwear