Illusion With the assurance of the horse of progress Galloping along this way The streets by the gateways have been straightened as arrows Widened and made spacious Concreted In reality— Rows and rows of old trees have been hewn The clamorous ponds have been buried The tender backs of farmlands have been ripped apart Dug and grubbed out In front of everyone's eyes– The rustic hamlets The evergreen trees Rivers and rills with untied tresses All have been dragged by their nose-strings to hell A civilization follows hobbling behind For misapprehension or hunger The king and his men, When asked, Utter not a word
Clamorous both outside and within In whose grip does the sharpened sword seethe Drops of blood remained dripping from the roof All through the night At whose feet are the finer veins Lying genuflect In which corner is the enkindled star Hiding itself The night of the hailstorm shattered Unopposed All dreams of Saraighat The interlinking village-paths have eroded away The bonding bridges of faces and minds have crumbled Amid the incessant clamour The detached people have become Unfamiliar with their own selves Wonder, to which dense forest Are the hushed inaudible screams, Floating in the emptiness, And the echoes of their resonance Heading for? And the countless afflicted faces with shattered dreams? How clamorous both outside and within How were the times, what have they turned into! Has the phase of war ended herein! How strange The white-feathered birds that had come to town To sing the morning wake-up songs Met their ends in the noose in the Jatinga of greed
Translated by Krishna Dulal Barua
Anirban Dutta is an Assamese poet and writer based in Hawajan, Biswanath, Assam.
Krishna Dulal Barua is a prominent translator and writer based in Nagaon, Assam. He received the Katha Award for translation in 2005.