Second Person I keep on hearing his words I keep on seeing him within my mind Everything so auspicious Everything so spruce I'd become a devotee of his dress, demeanour Odour of the heart Nature, character, his graciousness One day I met him He wasn't the person I'd conceived in my mind He was a second person Thenceforth he disappeared Fear-stricken I avoid everyone now Lest I myself were to vanish
Poetry of a Thousand Hearts I need no urn to leave myself behind I'm neither weighty nor light Neither hard nor soft Thickened or liquefied My entity is neither pervasive nor plenteous I'm neither tears nor laughter I'm not even perturbed over Where I've come from or where I'll go to Heaven or hell or rebirth are beyond my credence I don't seek to sketch my future with the frontiers of life and death I want to end myself within me On the shoulders of humility I go each day To have my vanity cremated I wish not to shape human destiny with my times May the world be moulded with fresh thoughts Newer ideas, novel incentives I don't want to make others go through The woeful pages of my diary I'm myself the sole witness of my agonies I long to keep on penning poems of life Infused with the warmth of a thousand hearts I yearn to listen to the primal music of certitude I crave to have a glimpse of the world's new vibration Before life comes to a standstill with the final whistle
Translated by Krishna Dulal Barua
Click here to read the original Assamese poems
Nilakanta Saikia is a contemporary Assamese poet based in Duliajan, Assam. He has six collections of poems to his credit.
Krishna Dulal Barua is a prominent translator and writer based in Nagaon, Assam. He received the Katha Award for translation in 2005.