You're a Hassle-free Man With the bag in your hand you’re going to the market On the deserted road just in front of you A speedy car that came up all of a sudden Knocked down an aged man and went away The man is writhing in pain Shouting incessantly for help As if you haven't seen anything Pass him by Don't show any reaction Why invite problems You’re a hassle-free man! The person is none but your neighbour Whose face you descry always getting up in the morning Fallen into an undescribable danger That very person is saying something to you shouting May be he is asking you for help You aren't a person who invites unnecessary problem Go away pretending you haven't heard No need to get into the problem You’re a hassle-free man! Its twilight hour when the evening spreads its veil Its time for a stroll maintain health Time to lose weight You've gone out Tearing the veil of faint light and shade A scene is running towards you A helpless cry A number of unruly roadside bullies are Harrassing a helpless young woman Her helpless cry reaches your ears Don't look at, don't pay heed to Come away indifferently Why get involved in these problems You’re a hassle-free man! Returning from evening walk you enter home A noisy atmosphere at home Cries and tears, noise and shouts Your grown up daughter has become a victim of rape It was she who shouted She is still shouting like she did on the road Would you pretend you haven't heard Or pretend you don't know Or you haven't seen You’re a person who doesn't like botheration A hassle-free man you are! His Name is Biplob The spot is permanently his Haven't seen anyone else Sitting in that roadside spot till today Biplob, well his name is Biplob Not a body-- rather a stone That huge stone is self-possessed It doesn't care flowing time As if one that ignores even the current of a mountain river The colour of his body is like that of an eel On his face a glimmer of exhausted satisfaction The tattered banyan with hundred holes to cover his body His demeanour remains unchanged Whether its cold season or hot In front of him betelnuts in units of eighty each Some four bundles of betel leaves in units of twenty each Several hands of naturally ripe bananas And with these the weather beaten discoloured umbrella Not to protect himself from the sun and rain But to fulfill the needs of the customers He has never thought of earning money cheating people (Something that is the firm notion of most at present) Therefore, he doesn't have to wait for customers Rather the customers wait for him As if Biplob is the name of necessary waiting. Since the last several days An emptiness has occupied the particular spot. Biplob has not come No information about Biplob Where has Biplob gone Will somebody go in quest of Biplob Will the spot remain empty till another Biplob comes.
Translated by Uttam Duorah
Noni Bordoloi is an Assamese poet based in Bordubi, Tinsukia.
Uttam Duorah, the translator, retired as the HoD, English, Women’s College, Tinsukia and is based in Tinsukia, Assam.