What are the Names of Herons this Side We sat on the same bench together Sometimes changing seats We were all agog for each other's company It seemed our innocent laughters would never end We shared secrets in whispers. We shared our joys and sorrows. Weren't we lucky in mutual sympathies? Time flowed on And we were swept apart We didnot know how. A few herons flew away to the other bank. The herons that remained Got scattered Now we have none to share a small thing To tell something without being on guard. Will anybody listen to the tales piling up? Does anybody care for my sorrows? Don't I need a crony to walk ahead Along the dusty path in front To show the coins I gathered To show me sympathies At my shattered state Someone who shared the bench? I was angry with my mother When she forgot the name of someone of our group ' You can't remember a name '. With the lapse of time Now I fail to recall their names The herons on this side. I have been trying to recall For several days And there is none Whom I can ask. The Down Train Morning at 5 O clock the train runs westward whistling Past my house and I wake up. It remains dark in winter. And the clocks crow in the neighborhood. Some people grow angry for disturbing sleep And they begin to grumble. Adjusting the blanket in winter And opening the windows in summer They again fall asleep. I cannot sleep after the train's departure. I cannot remember the day when the train first sped past my house. I felt sad looking at the long rails when the train left. I felt the train carried away someone near and dear to me. My eyes always watered. Once my father left me before I was aware of what had happened. I felt very lonely in the evening. I remembered all his advice and all the negligence we meted out to him. I cried out at times. To save him from the state of negligence The train carried him westward far away . Mother became lonely when father left And she would sit on a bench outside most of the time. As the train whistles past She looks at the rails longingly. I cannot tolerate her gaze and turn away. Mother left another day to meet father. And then when I could hear the whistle at a distance I came out hurriedly to see which compartment my mother boarded. The train speedily passed Before I could steal a glance. All departed one by one My brothers and sisters and inlaws. I look at the rails as the train rushes past. The railway remains deserted. Someday I shall also wait at the station To board the train to an unknown destination. Will someone watch the train whistling past After I have gone ? Will he be sad and longing? Will he drop tears?
Translated by Ananda Bormudoi
Gopal Chandra Hazarika is an Assamese poet and writer based in Dibrugarh. He is a retired Professor of Mathematics of Dibrugarh University. He has five collections of poems to his credit.