I Want to Give an Advertisement I intend to give an advertisement, an advertisement For a few fair-spoken persons They needn't know the history of the nation Needn't understand the matters of culture Needn't look at the wide field spreading to the horizon A narrow trail, storm of sounds piercing the sky To nurture this, they put their lives at stake You may call it impetuosity or meaningless annoyance I consider it the best way out This is my inherited sensibility They require maturity In order to make man empty-headed The matters acquired through research should be exploded What could be more marvellous than this? Many will come in new attires, Will be delighted Many subjects will fall down like dry barks of trees The incidents will run fast like a hare People'll be toothless, tongues'll be short What could be a more pleasant matter? Even if you don't like I feel extremely happy at this (For) to use your words— the strange things or stories without hands and heads are like a shirt given by my father— Which I keep wearing This very shirt is—ingredients of my advertisement extended over a large area and visible With cravings for a magical dream. After the Storm The world was an exquisite place Before the storm Melodious twitter of birds filled hearts with the gift of nectar The murmuring sounds of the streams caressed mountains and hills The people moved around looking for the ore of happiness People spoke in unison yearning for peace. One day A storm devastated the enchanting appearance of nature A horrific sound rang on the ears shaking the world Fear, apprehension, scream Turbid restless air As if people were captive in a dungeon! No one could be recognised, Who was where and why Distraught hearts in the question of existence. Gradually The storm came to end, the groans and lamentations subsided The disturbed world became placid The people alive walked staggeringly Felt happy washing and wiping their bodies wallowed in mud. Took a deep breath No one was in old attire Identities were new, the thoughts demanded novelty A cosmic ascent was in the offing. Glad to regain their lost happiness anew The faces brightened up. As though piercing through the dew drenched forest came out a woman with svelte features On her face a blithesome smile of new life.
Translated by Uttam Duorah
Khagen Saikia is an Assamese poet, novelist and writer based in Nagaon, Assam. He has six collections of poems and six novels to his credit.
Uttam Duorah, the translator, retired as the HoD, English, Women’s College, Tinsukia and is based in Tinsukia, Assam.