By Rezaul Karim
There are lots of differences Between you and me You are king I’m a subject You think you are free And I’m your lackey On your closed door It is written “It’s open” In my palace made of reed There’s not even a wattle fence In my field there stands your barn In the cowshed my oxen have grown old Even my plough has gone missing In your sword I’ve seen My missing ploughshare I till your land At the head of my bed there lies the harrowed land You write history with my blood And teach me that stuff As if I’m a rotter Flowers are strewn over your funeral procession Your bullets get stuck even in my dead body Whatever history your devotees write The sweat of my back wipes the text There are lots of differences between you and me You are king I’m a subject In your eyes glint the hunger of power And the fire of lust In my eyes burns the fire of Sorrow and hunger I feel the pangs of my hunger and yours too You just feel yours I have a lot to say You have nothing to listen at all There are lots of differences between you and me With your sky I can’t make any truce I am no buyer of oxygen For my breath The identity can’t be same Yours and mine I know The vulture and the corpse Can never be friends
Translated by Nirendra Nath Thakuria
Rezaul Karim, retired as Special Officer, Planning (Deputy Director), Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, Assam, is a columnist and writer of Assam. He has several books in Assamese to his credit.
Nirendra Nath Thakuria, retired Associate Professor of English, is a translator.