Voices Within: Utpal Chakraborty

Utpal Chakraborty is a teacher of English literature, translator, writer, critic and bilingual poet based in Kolkata. He is a regular contributor to leading Bengali and English magazines like Desh, Abahaman, Bangla live.com, Kabisammelan, Pratidin, Contour, Mad Swirl, Tuck Magazine, Scarlet Leaf Review, Setu, The Poet Magazine, Poetry and Covid, etc. His Concept, containing critical appreciations of prose and poetry, and his eight books based on grammar, rhetoric, prosody and writing skill released by the Kolkata based Nabodaya Publications have been well received. His other notable works include the translation of short story collection titled The Mark and his book of English poetry Kirigami.

Native Land

I always think, as if, I fill all the lakes, all the fields for children, in my own village.
The way the sky dolls up in dark blue of the air, light shines from the sand in the shape of words.
This is how I desire to bloom in my own vase.

There I play like waves in the sky, in the wind, in happening sites.
There I become the falls to be the sound of the sitars and the sarods.
There I get startled to the 'kheyal' of the water.
There I cause the buds to bloom to the tone of 'Vairab'.

There in the rhythm of laughter I'm 'Anandi', I'm 'Malhar'.
There my tears rain like 'Yaman' through the pen.
There I reduce the weight of the incessant Jhala from that country.
There I come back Purabi in the evening, the duck of the full moon.
There like a flute in 'Uthan' and a Pakhoyaj in the flute I sound.


The way the long- distance train wants to lose its
weight by always accelerating its speed, I also run
at that speed and realise the meaning of it.
It's speed that makes me light to show me the way to light.
The path the hare takes, the tortoise also recourses without fight.

The trees also tread that way to bloom flowers.
Everything runs at its own unit ceaselessly and ceasing at times.
The points become seas and enormous.

To take mind off the body run at a breakneck speed
from one work to the other, run from world to world.                                                                                  The more I get lightened I gradually find myself out.
This is how I write life, stay awake in the body of the mind.

The speed I'm in for ages I know the world in brief
is getting crowded with the fruits of that grief.

Palace of Glass

The more I hold tight and want to grip the flying wood,
I see the water swelling up, I become still in fear.
In silence I stroke my hands and feet with the fly whisk of my memory.

Tiptoeing into the room I find the youthful waves in bed.
When you are tired and gloomy in many affections, the artificial sky falls from the canopies. You look beneath covering the red spot. Run out the graceful breath from your luxury.
After incessant labour I come down an artist. The subjects are wounded admirers. The image that I have carved is nothing but the reflection of my soul. I keep my hands on its chests and shoulders. Do I not know how does she love..?

Dadhichi alights as to the palace of glass she looks in a flash.
In the corners, on the corridors then, I seek the broken pieces of glass.
Note: Dadhichi is the name of the saint whose bones are believed to make thunder.

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