Harekrishna Deka’s Poem


Stopping by the waterside he said,
Where 're you going, wait I am also going.
I didn't listen to him
and went forward.
Met him again.
Mounting a toadstool he said,
Going on in the same manner? I rose up
In his ribbiting voice
a sneering smirk.
The ear with which I heard it
Seemed to be not outside!

Drenched in the unforeseen shower of rain
I was in a quandary.
This time from below an arum leaf
the frog said,
You stupid human,come here if you're not ashamed,
Here, too, there's space.

Drenched and glum I walked down.
The heavy shoes dragged me forward.
Leaping,the frog fell in front of me,
Said,got the taste of being human,eh!
Why didn't you become a frog?
Similar critters
You call only yourselves human.

Translated by Uttam Dourah

Harekrishna Deka is a Sahitya Akademi award winner poet, short story writer and literary critic of India who writes in Assamese.

Uttam Duorah, the translator, retired as the HoD, English, Women’s College, Tinsukia and is based in Tinsukia, Assam.

Original Assamese Poem.