By Dr. Nagen Saikia
I've remained the same, after all. The same ambitions, the same temptations The same cravings, desires and dejections And with the same agonies. I've remained very much as before. Only now and then I suffer from indigestions. The body aches—could be rheumatism. Sometimes tooth-aches make me a little pain-stricken. Sometimes I even perceive the indifference of sight and sound. But I've, after all, remained the same— Wealth—status—pride—fame—womanising All cravings have remained as before. The pangs of envy have remained with the same intensity. Some of my hair have greyed or fallen. My clothes have caught a yellowish tinge, at portions They're thinning to tatters. I sew them up with care. With these clothes I've passed Countless hours under the sun, rain And in the storm. But I haven't spotted any symptom of change Within these raiments. Only to garner respect, I occasionally say— ‘Ascetism is slowly getting the better of me. Riches—status—pride--fame— Womanising—I've forsaken all!’ But I, after all, know myself best— I've remained the same. The sapling of Yajati that I'd planted within me Has retained the same vigour!
Translated by Krishna Dulal Barua
Dr. Nagen Saika is an eminent litterateur and scholar of Assam.
Krishna Dulal Barua is a prominent translator and writer based in Nagaon, Assam. He received the Katha Award for translation in 2005.