Monika Teronpi’s Poems


After the sunset
The destitute boy 
Came up to the verandah 
Looking for water and a little food.

Waiting for him to return by the very path 
He came after having food.

Defiance of 144
The company of his chums
Or the promises he made 
He can't break.

There is only one way 

Dumb I paint floral designs in my imagination
And they…
Keep going forward gradually
Like steel arrows piercing darkness
In quest of a sun.


The two hands adorned with henna, 
Adept at knitting, cutting and embroidery,
Along with the appointment letter sans salary 
Were sent as dowry by my mother 

Ecopark of the town
Green exhalation
In the air fly inebriated butterflies
Seasonal kitchen garden
Hungers are festivals of enthusiasm
The lamps of morning and evening
Prayers for happiness and longing

Ration, cooking gas, electricity
Counting of every pie for the monthly expenditure 
As if a teacher of algebra and statistics
The meagre savings of a few rupees
Might bring the birthday cake of the little son

Dark shades on hands and face 
On which cream-lotion haven't been applied
Fragrant floors of the house
Two sleepless eyes
In the swaying dream hangs mirror of happiness

Does nothing, just stays home (?)
She's just a housewife (!)
Putting to an end the PhD materials of life science, physics, chemistry
Drowned in self-satisfaction

Sunburnt skin and hair, cracked heels
Meaningless face pack, hair conditioner, crack cream
Behind the screen and camera
Its empathy that’s the tree of happiness
The roots go down deep and deeper.

Translated by Uttam Duorah

Monika Teronpi is an Assamese poet based in Diphu, Assam. She has one collection of poems to her credit.

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

Original Assamese Poems