I’ve Remained the Same

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—
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.
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.

Click here to read the original Assamese poem.

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