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Date of Publish: 2018-09-22

A few poems of Bornali Borgohain

 

 

The Noon

The man halted his move

As he came to steal a noon

 

And

Remained encaged

In the attachment

Of the noon instead

 

Having raised a searching outcry

He painted a picture called life

In the place he was standing

 

Translated from Assamese by Hemchandra Dutta

 

The flying thoughts

 

As I was flying

I could see

The trees flying

I saw the palaces,

Ups and downs of the

Hills and the plains

Flying too

 

One day I saw my dish

Moving in the dining table

I saw my garments moving

In fact I see my dreams

Dead or alive moving frequently

Which I cannot tie

With the rope made of the jute

In reality, all the pictures are

Stable and monotonous

 

I donot like to entertain such thoughts

I saw them flying

Kept myself flying

And kept on floating my thoughts

Anchored and exiled.

Translated from Assamese by Hemchandra Dutta

 

What else left to receive

 

What else left to receive?

I ask you, Krishnabarna

Despite all the stains of the sins shouldered

I am still sitting beside you

 

What else should I have searched

In the maze of hundreds of lights

I am losing my way

The opposite stream of the gait

Has made me restless

And allured

Let us start from this point

 

Being a restless wind

I have searched you, Krishnabarna

Tell me

What else left to receive ?

 

I am an ancient woman

Laden with garment of the peace

Tell me

How the saddened beams

Of the evening light

Can torture me ?

 

I am an ancient woman

To the core

A favorite of my husband

Sworn to orgy for seven lives

I donot know

What else to search for

The familiar faces seem to turn

Unfamiliar

Tend to forget my favorite subjects

With the flip of the moment

Have I lost my presence

Without my knowing of it?

Tell me

If the time eternal

Has lost its gait?

 

I am worried

As I have enough reasons to be so

This is not sufficient

Leaving aside innumerable arrows

Of queries

I ask you, Krishnabarna

What else is yet to be received

 

Translated from Assamese by Hemchandra Dutta

 

Water colour pictures

 

Was it here ?

I do repeatedly search

In a picture water colour

 

Feel for it

As if to find

A voice of my friend

The fingers doomed for ever

 

The king has sent the summon

….

Do the kings call us

The time only summons

 

In the picture smeared in water

Time extended its web

None of us lived together

We did not have any record

As to how and where we were flung apart

While turning the wet pages of memory

 

The seed vessel of the lotus

Does blossom in the tuft of the hair

Of Rajmau

Was here at this point

In the core of my heart

A spring of a tune?

…….

 

Rajmau : the mother of an Ahom king, here symbolizes epitome of tyranny

 

Translated from Assamese by Hemchandra Dutta

 

Battle

 

You know very well

It is not that easy

To fight a battle

 

The cloud is descending

Where it is fight or death

 

One said- this is our land

Another cried- this is our forest

Ten people shouted- land is our mother

 

O warrior

You know

what is the sorrow

of the people

that have lost their homes

Enlivened by the dreams

what value is of a plate of rice

Snatched away from a hungry mouth

 

You know very well

Its fight or death

when the dark smoke

come chasing in the form of demon

the war-band plays

 

when the flowing water is dammed

the war-band plays

 

why do people fight

is it that peace lie asleep

under the battle

or is it the food for starved people

 

Battle does not mean just battle

Battle does not mean only

Bows and arrows

Battle does not mean mere guns

Battle means one’s right

 

O warrior

I know

It is not that easy

To fight a battle

Translated from Assamese into English by Bibekananda Choudhury

 

Fireplay

 

Though the people were thinking

That was a game

Many thought it was a fire play

 

There’d be winners and losers in a game

Someone’s crown’d adorn someone else’s head

There’d be practice and gameplan

It’s just figth of breath against breath

Another group said

It was just a drama

In the role of hero and villain

People forgot that it was the truth

Or just a dramatic moment

 

I am not a mere spectator

I Know it is not even a game

Neither is a happy ending drama

 

I know

Everything doesn’t turn into ash on burning

I know

People name it fire play

Till the moment

It singes one’s own body.

Translated from Assamese into English by Bibekananda Choudhury

Fireplay

 

Though the people were thinking

That was a game

Many thought it was a fire play

 

There’d be winners and losers in a game

Someone’s crown’d adorn someone else’s head

There’d be practice and gameplan

It’s just figth of breath against breath

Another group said

It was just a drama

In the role of hero and villain

People forgot that it was the truth

Or just a dramatic moment

 

I am not a mere spectator

I Know it is not even a game

Neither is a happy ending drama

 

I know

Everything doesn’t turn into ash on burning

I know

People name it fire play

Till the moment

It singes one’s own body.

I don’t remember what followed

Because

She was just eight

And, I just about ten

 

Even now such girls called by the same name do get lost

Had they been always found like this!

If there’d be anyone to chide with a loving voice

Did you inform home?

If you hadn’t

Let me drop you home.

Translated from Assamese into English by Bibekananda Choudhury

 

WOMEN

 

Water do not have any colour like a Woman

Or is it that

Woman do not have any colour like water

 

I am woman

I do have colour- of my own

I do have dreams- of my own

To fly the kite of liking and dislikes

There is a sky

Loaded with the fruit of all possibilities

 

I am woman

Forebearer of three ages

I drop down turning into coloru

I soar up turning into smoke

How do you just call me

A mere bedmate

 

I am woman

Don’t contempt me with a defiling comparison

 

We do heve our own colour

A sky to paint up with brush

Translated from Assamese into English by Bibekananda Choudhury

 

About the poet :

Emergence of a powerful new voice, a voice of unending poetic journeys

Dr. Kamal Kumar Tanti

 

Assamese poetry is living entity, with its lyrics and traditions, emotions and reality, forms and experiments, and of course, the experiences of the decades of turbulent times. What makes Assamese poetry a force to be reckoned with is the presence of young voices, who while staying true to the tradition of Assamese poetry, dare to experiment with form and content, and be original.

Bornali Borgohain is one such young poet, who while working within the confines of contemporary Assamese poetry, shines through owing to her keen aesthetic sensibilities, her lyrical originality, her confidence and of course, her searing honesty. Like most young Assamese poets, she too is preoccupied with the images of land, rivers, roads, trees and birds, but the way she utilises these motifs or metaphors is her own. When she writes, “I believe myself to be a poet. So I write poetry…. The poems live where I live. I am never different from my poems. I am not separate from my own emotions. I am intact within myself.”; as a reader, I feel the urge to plunge headlong into the poems and feel the musings of the poet.

All poets start their poems with all enthusiasm and end them with all possible doubts and confusions, about how a reader will accept/reject it. Some take this process seriously, and they continue their poetic surveys into an unknown land, with a very different tune and voice. Bornali Borgohain is such a voice of unending poetic journeys, and a voice to watch out for.

 

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