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Date of Publish: 2017-08-26

A few poems of Lutfa Hanum Salima Begum

 

The Autobiography of a Chair

The words that remain to be spoken do not want to bid adieu

That is the first chapter of the autobiography

I do not know to whom I belong to

Neither anyone else

I do not go to anyone

I do not want anyone

No one knows what I want

Still

I keep on waiting for someone

Lay the serene-cozy lap of rest

Someone sits

Someone else does not want to vacate for others

Sometimes I become ones property whoever sits

Do I remain wherever I am kept

I don’t know but I know for sure that

I am very simple

My body a very easy equation

With four legs and two hands Still

So much critical equation

For so many

For me

What invitation do I get From dream merchants

It need not be said

My wakeful life is dedicated to others

I do not know how to dream

As I don’t know how to go to sleep

Wherever I stay

That becomes my address

But I do not have a permanent address

My position is respectful in schools and colleges

But I wish to take a seat on the benches

Transformed into students

I am there in courts and offices since ages

In spite of being a witness of many events

I cannot pose as the witness

I am an uninvited guest in a marriage ceremony

I am a blind spectator in the auditorium

I am a hungry citizen in a restaurant or hotel Being

A Delicate co-passenger in an aeroplane

A Ruffian one in a city bus I am not happy

Perhaps not unhappy too Sometimes

I remain with the table Generally do not –

I prefer not to be

I do not like the pride filled opulence of the table

I am not happy in my work and name

I seek freedom from the binding of the repetitive job

I wish to amend my name from chair

In the court of mankind

Translated by – Bibekananda Choudhury

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I slice up the entire day

Into many a pieces

Like a loaf

 

One slice enters into

Children’s breakfast or Tiffin boxes

One slice reserved for my husband

Another slice I thrust into my bag hurriedly

For my students

Store a slice in the kitchen

Another in refrigerator

For casual visitors or relatives dropping by

For marketing or medicine mart

 

The number of slices and their measures

Of the day is not equal

It is necessary to slice up each day carefully

With the knife of adroitness

So that they are in required measure

 

 

But I don’t remain in any of them

So I feel sad at night

When I remember about

The whole loaf of the morning

I pray silently

For eternal peace of the sliced soul

 

Therefore I refuse to slice up the nights

Hide them under the pillow

Or inside my diary

 

After dishing out every day

Shall arrange on the dining table of time

An empty plate for the future

 

Translated by: Bibekananda Choudhury

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Since long there had been many holes

In hell

Now a hole has appeared

In heaven too

The teardrops of heaven

Are falling to the ground

Drop by drop

Through the hole

In a flood of

Unearthly happiness

The earth is deluged Gradually

Translated by: Bibekananda Choudhury

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I have not been remembering happiness

For a long time now

It had been long time

That it left me

Planting a kiss on my forehead of sadness

Actually no one perceives

When happiness comes and departs

Heard that happiness arrives

Sometimes riding proudly on the stallion of fortune

Sometimes alighting on the train of peace

It keeps on coming slowly spanning centuries

It is not the property of happiness

To come easily and frequently

Sometimes entering through the tunnels of wind

The fountain if happiness flow secretly

Moving amongst gain laughter joy

Happiness is actually king of itself

But happiness is impatient and restless

Dreamy and sensitive

Rising momentarily setting momentarily

Happiness makes people laugh and cry

But whoever it stays

Stays like a king

Flutters like a flag

Through remaining in the same orbit of truth

Sadness can never get to behold

The beauty of happiness

Both are actually

Quite lonely

Translated by: Bibekananda Choudhury

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House

You built a house

Fixed your nameplate at the gate

To ensure that all the happiness of achievements cannot escape

Fixed grills and put locks at the gate during the night

 

You built a house

Escaped being branded as homeless

Of course your anxiety soared at trivial issues

But you had literally turned mad for the house

You were restless

To venture out

If you are inside

You were restless

To return home

If you are outside

 

Still, staying inside home

You got drenched in the shower of thought

The sprout of your dream

Wilted under the soft sunlight

You are felled inside your own abode

By the bullet of worry

 

You could not comprehend

That

The body of the house is true

But yours own is false

False does not protect truth

Neither do they live together

 

Home is stable and consistent

You are unstable and inconsistent

House is speechless and you garrulous

 

Things just does not match

 

But, still

One day perhaps

You can just dangle

Transformed into an oil painting

On the wall of the house you built

May be

Or

May not be

Translated by – Bibekananda Choudhury

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You won’t wait

At the threshold of lips

You came in through the gate

You are fire

the parlous, the boudoirs

the kitchen all are on fire

the above of my heart

built with your tears

You’re burning of heart

burning unrelentingly

yet you are no fire

You must be somewhere around

and wrapping the burning sky round me

here I am, waiting at the doorway

guarding my burning heart

Translated by Pradip Acharya

 

 

About the poet

Lutfa Hanum Salima Begum is a noted Assamese poet. She occupies a distinctive position in the field of Assamese poetry. She has published six collection of poetry. Her poems have been translated into other languages-English, Hindi, Nepali, Bengali, Kannada, Gujarati, Uzbek and French etc. She has received the Munin Borkotoky Award in 1996 for her second collection of poetry.

She has translated Chitra Mudgal’s international award winning Hindi novel Awaan into Assamese. She also has translated many Bangla poems and Hindi fictions into Assamese.

Her poems have been collected in various important poetry collections of India. She has published more than ten research papers.

She has also acted as a visiting faculty at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She presently teaches Assamese literature in Cotton University, Guwahati , Assam, India

 

 

 

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