Title of the story: The Evil Spell of Saturn (Shanir Lajar)
Writer: Sunil Kumar Das (Bangla Dalit Short Story)
[Source: ‘Shanir Lajar’, Mukti : Galpamala (2003)]
Translated from Bangla by Jaydeep Sarangi
Hey priest, please stop for a while.
Why did you call me from back? When will you have senses? Tell me quickly. I’m going to offer pujo at Habu’s house.
Hey priest, what is the evil spell of Saturn?
Why do you ask me such a question? Is there anything wrong with you?
May be.One person in the horse back is selling horseshoe of a black horse in the colliery. He is pronouncing loudly that if a person wears a ring of the same all his worries and unhappiness will be over. I’m unable to understand this practice. Please help me, priest.
Don’t take His name. He is an angry God. We can keep all other Gods in control, not Him. My God! Don’t repeat this. If someone comes under His spell even mosquito bites will turn diastrous. He will earn in one hand and all his hard earned money will be lost in another hand.
Then, priest, His actions are suspicious. He is not a good God.
Ah! You are prohibited to say all these words.You will go to astray and you will take me there too. If you come under His spell once, you will brutally understand the consequences.
What will happen, priest? I’m scared ....
You must take control of yourself from saying all these nonsese. Your houses will be destroyed. Rain water will leak from the top. Your sons will not get proper cloths. You will not be able to serve them starch rice.
I understand, master. Think of our country, leaving aside our country, our Radh area means Birbhum,Burdwan,Bankura, Midnapore, and Purulia where Muchi, Hari, Baagdi,Dome,Snthal and Bauris don’t get proper shelter in early winter and in cold days they don’t even get clothes to protect their bodies from cold. And you say about starch rice? Small children from these families take goats and cows to field to fill their belly. Tell me, master whether they will ever come out of the evil spell of Saturn? Will they be able to save their lives If all of them buy a ring of horseshoe of a black horse?
I shall not reply to your irrelevant words.
Don’t make jokes, Master. These are not redundant words. This is not the evil spell of Saturn. This is the evil spell of people like you (Brahmins) and the leaders of the state.
Fuming in anger, Brahmin priest runs away from the spot to offer pujo somewhere.
About Sunil Kumar Das:
Sunil Kumar Das(1957-2013), a hardcore dalit activist and Bauri writer from Asansole, West Bengal , who was actively involved with various dalit organizations right from his student days, and wrote poems, short stories and essays from an early age. His writings were published in journals as Taphshili Barta, Ahata Sangbad, Artanad, Mridangar, Jugantarai, Bahujan Nayak, Shurjo, Adal Badal,Chaturtha Duniya, Banglar Lok Sanskriti o Itihash, NirbhikSangbad, Shikkha o Jagoron, Dharabahik and so on.
About Jaydeep Sarangi:Jaydeep Sarangi,is a bilingual writer, academic, editor and translator with a number of significant publications on Dalit literature in reputed journals/magazines in India and abroad. He delivered keynote address in different shores. He is a Professor of the Deptt. of English , Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri College (Calcutta University), 30,Prince Anwar Shah Road, Kolkata-700033, WB, India. Email: email@example.com