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The big friend*

Whence after writing
Losing myself in dreams
A bit of nostalgia whence
Wraps my mind like a comforter
How am I reminded of him
The 'Big Friend' , had been his nickname;He used to sit on high stool
Overlooking the reading hall
Grave looking faces with specs
Whence news on papers read,We just loitered around him,
' what do you want? Tintin?
Or Alistair Maclean?'
His eyes filled with humour
Filled our sunday morn's hour;How after so many days
Whence I feel lost  in dreams
How am I simply reminded of him.(*note: it is written on a special person who had been the librarian of a club called ' Sports Club'. He used to keep open the children's section of the library every Sunday without fail, just to supply us with books)

'বড়ো বন্ধু '*

অনেক লেখা লিখলেও
যখন লেখার রেশ
হারিয়ে খেই
হই নিরুদ্দেশ
ঠিক তখনই দেখেছি
তোমার কথা মনে পড়ে বেশ;রবিবারের আসর শেষ
রেডিওএ কুঈজ শো
স্পোর্টস্ ক্লাবের রিডিং রুম
চশমা চোখ পড়ে খবর টাটকা হাত গরম;আর তুমি হাই স্টুলে আসীন
আমাদের বড়ো বন্ধু
' কি চাই? টিনটিন?
না আলিস্টেয়ার মাক্লিন?'সহজ চোখে হাসির রেশ
তোমার কথা মনে পড়ে  বেশ,
বইয়ের থাক, সারি সারি প্রলোভন,
ঐ তো নতুন হোমস্, ঐ যে রবি ঠাকুর পুরাতন;অনেক লেখা লিখলেও
যখন লেখার রেশ
হারিয়ে খেই
হই নিরুদ্দেশ
ঠিক তখনই দেখেছি
তোমার কথা মনে পড়ে বেশ।(* বি:দ্র : ' বড়ো বন্ধু ' এই লেখাটা একজন বিশেষ মানুষকে নিয়ে লেখা যার আসল নামটি মনে নেই কারণ তিনি আমাদের কাছে 'বড়ো বন্ধু ' নামেই পরিচিত ছিলেন। উনি ছিলেন আমাদের এক ' স্পোর্টস্ ক্লাবের' লাইব্রেরিয়ান। প্রতি রবিবার ছোটদের জন্য উনি লাইব্রেরিতে থাকতেন শুধু ছোটদের হাতে বই তুলে দেবার জন্যে। আমাদের ছোটবেলার হরেক স্মৃতি তাই ওনাকে ঘিরে আজও অম্লান। )

If Thou hath reached the shore*

If thou hath reached the shore
Leave thy oar
Take my hands instead
For moments make me sit
By thy side ( for a treat)
For moments few
Make me sit
On the meadows (drenched by dew),
The night has  got blown away
By the waves, as arrives the day;Thou the Boatman,
If my home is not far away
If the tune of homecoming
Holds over me the sway,
With the arrival of the morn,
Just that music Thou play
Which upholds the song
Of the road at that root of the tree
( as my home do I see
Arriving at that step of door)Thou the Boatman
If Thou hath reached the shore
Leave thy oar
And take my hands instead.( *note: it is a transliteration of a poem/ song of Rabindranath Tagore, number 66, as can be found in page 429, volume two, Collected Works/ রবীন্দ্ররচনাবলি, Birth Centenary edition)

The river at dusk

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The River which goes on flowing
Without hassles meandering
There  how I find it oft and true
The dusk painting her with hues
Wonderous and surely enchanting,
A blissful state of a blessed evening,
Colorful, joyous , sublime a song
How in her murmurs that is  kept for long,
How in her flowing never ending mirth
oft am I made to find happiness of earth,
How in her eternal poesy so wrought
Do I find what life for us always brought-
The beginning of civilisation, human race
And that soul immortal by which we are blessed.
( the painting attached for illustrative purpose is by David Lloyd Glover, titled ' the dusk river')

A few lines written on a brief sojourn to a village

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Being confined in the city for long
Whence once I got the chance
To go away to a village
On a brief sojourn,
How had I been with warmth filled
Seeing the translucent curtain of mist
Over the benign earth,
The trees looked lovely and green
Fresh as if they had taken a bath
( and how I took a sabbatical), Being pent up in the city for long
Whence once I took the road
That went to a village sure
On a brief sojourn,
How had I heard the songs and chirps
Of birds welcoming the morn
As it arrives quiet on earth,
The day smelt of flowers and buds
Fresh as they woke up with me
( and what a sabbatical I took).

Ode to childhood

'The child is father of the man; 
And I could wish my days to be 
Bound each to each by natural piety. '
(Wordsworth, "My Heart Leaps Up") There had been a time
Whence everything came with a shine,The river ( by which we spent most of our life both young  and new,)
The trees standing quiet ( like angels on two flanks of the avenue,)
The ponds ( where we spent many hours chasing tadpoles with sticks)
The playgrounds ( where we played  till our sweat with dirt got mixed,)They all came with wonders and awe
They all filled us  with joy for we gathered
Love and kindness from what we saw,We were then mere children left at the mercy of nature,
We lived neither in past nor in future,
We lived, ( as children were we) on the present,
We discovered how the flowers bloomed with scent
And how fruits hung from some trees in summer
How just at dusk, from fields with cows, returned the farmers,
How the lanterns ( made clean by mother) shone bright
How the candles made shadows on o…

My freedom lies in the lighted sky*

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My freedom lies in the lighted sky My freedom doth in dust and grass lie; How I lose my self beyond  the body and mind
In songs my liberty how do I oft find;
My freedom , in the minds of all , lies
In works hard which dangers and plight trivialise; In the Lord's sacrificial fire how my self I free
As if in that self annihilation  I always find Thee.
(*note: this poem is a transliteration of a song/ poem of Rabindranath Tagore, a humble tribute to Tagore)

Samson and Delilah - a story retold

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At the Valley of Sorek whence
Samson first  Delilah saw
He had perhaps that pervading sense
Of love within him growing raw
So he sought love from her
The maiden with wonderous looks
Eyes that could pull him near; He pledged his heart to her
In lieu she asked what could make
Samson such a valiant warrior
And he , being what he was
Without doubting made the mistake
He told her if could someone his hair
Cut and take those strands away
All of his strength would just disappear; Hearing this Delilah made a pact
Betraying love that was sacrosanct
She took Samson to the bait
Luring him upon her lap to meet his fate, And how awful had been that sight
To find Samson losing the fight
Like a child as he dozed off
Upon the lap of his lady love.
( the picture attached is a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, 1609, based on the O.T. story of Samson and Delilah)

Milton

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Be it Paradise lost
Or Regained,
Whatever be the cost,
Who could ever think to write
Like John , lines so bright? Upholding the freedom of press
At that time even,
'Areopagitica '
As it was so named,
And then there is Lycidas
Who had been multilinguist such?
Knowing hebrew and also dutch,
Who had created things polemic
Out of excruciating grief?
Who could create Satan that way
An anti hero holding sway
Over the whole world,
Declaring outright
' better to reign in hell
Than in heaven  serve'?
His L' allegro and Il Penseroso
How in us still wonder sow,
And when we read
' On the morning of Christ's Nativity'
How are we filled by only pity,
His that poem on Shakespeare
How brings forth his tribute
To his literary predecessor, And the book that he added
To Paradise Regained
How that for us Samson
brought, that champ,
How we through him gained, Be i t Paradise lost
Or Regained,
Whatever be the cost,
Who could ever think to write
Like John , lines so…

How oft I think of thee

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How oft I think of thee
Just to have a life
Like Walter Mitty,^ Not a milquetoast kind
But with colors which bind
Would I just float away
Down that road which infront lay Running down that road by the hill
And also by that sea which gives that feel
Of being part of a larger design
By which the Lord up there doth sign, Would I go on forever true
Walter Mitty like so catching hue
Of life, unchallenged, savoured
Taste of ambrosia , in mouth so flavoured, You might say it is all unreal
Concocted thing,
Life can never such beauty bring, But then why are
We so alive here? Poets and writers
Don't they dare?
(note: ^ Walter Mitty: a character of a story by James Thurber; also the protagonist of a flick based on the story)




She *

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If thou be the Mother incarnate
And that of power too
If thy omniscient soul knows
The blessings of rain and dew,
Whence on painted forms
Emerge thee,
That I call the potence of woman hood
- SHE, And You keep all in your beauty intertwined
Colors, paints, sculpted forms, poetic lines,
You make an artist , you make a poet,
By Your wonder You the World do create, And i just keep on my lips
Prayers and songs
That takes me to the deep
Of Love, all encompassing,
I just try to find thy light
Thy existence ,  YOU,
The non-existent  Being. (*note : loosely based on a painting by one of my students, who is a painter and an artist , Anwesha Chowdhury Mitra,)