Kallol Choudhury: Poetry (Voices Within 2021)

Kallol Choudhury (b. 1958) is a bilingual poet, short story writer and translator. He has six books to his credit. His short stories, translations appeared in The Oxford Anthology of Writings from North-east India. The joint publication of OUP and IIC published one of his folktales. His poems, translations appeared in Indian literature, IIC quarterly, Chandrabagha etc. He is a Bengali translator of Akademi Award-winning poetry book 'Relationship' by Jayanta Mahapatra.


I am reminded of you
When I see the tram line of Kolkata
A nature - lover poet you are
Complex wires over Kolkata
How do they administer you?
Some grass, some trees, some stars 
Beckoned you
You were engrossed with all that
Were you, distracted by complex wires,
Lost for ever?


You don’t have aversion to plunder
You don’t have choice in destruction
Let that be the ancient glory of ten thousand years
Or animals of the zoo,
Tiger or the king of the jungle, lion.
This way you’ve the glory of destruction as an instinct
The world is under your command
You’ll cause it to dance like a puppet
You’ll give war cry at your whims
You teach what is called civilization
You also destroy the yardstick of civilization
Your eyes are on something born of the womb of the earth 
It’ll be jewel
Where your eyes will strike
You, mad with vanity, search for jewels
Roaming all places
In this world of selling and buying
All other things are trivial to you.

The train will not go, the bus will not go
You can't go by auto, not even by hand-pulled rickshaw
I came to Kolkata from Assam and began walking
Because here the blockade is going on.

Ultodanga is burning in a raging fire.
The Basantibasti has been burnt to ashes. 
The children are killed, people became homeless
The fire brigade is not allowed to enter
Because here the blockade is going on.

Nobody cares if anybody dies
Nobody cares if people's 
Dwelling-houses are burnt to ashes 
Because if blockade is lifted
It will be difficult to find the language of protest!

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