Two Poems by Sarifa Khatoon Chowdhury

The Number of the Graves in History

The number of the graves in history
Has been steadily rising
Many a true story unrecorded
The weeping of many characters
Get lost in the unfathomable depth of darkness 

History is rewritten when necessary 
The manuscript of truth cries out
In cunning dark passages
Bagh Hazarika who was flesh and blood
Gets forgotten like Joymoti 
History is forgotten
It is merciless
Absolutely unendurable 

Can you tell me
Hard times

Will rivers flow upstream
Or we make a retreat
Will new buildings
Built on the graveyards collapse 
Will ever a green forest grow
In the desert stretching far away

The Hanging Wall Clock

The hanging wall clock
That needs winding
Is rare now a days.
One or two families
May have it.
But the mild ringing
Of the bell still resonates 
Under the sky.
Time has never been arrested
By the hands of the clock.
Its a false charge.
Time never gets old
It's always bright
With new creations. 
Man and his history 
Turn dusty pages.
The king dies 
The subjects die
The trees die .
Something perishes
Something remains
But who keeps a record?
The flowing river becomes
All pebbles 
And nobody keeps a record. 
You cannot row a boat
Over the pebbles. 
Nobody feels sad over it. 
But the pendulum of the old clock
Swings and ticks
In each heart.

[Translated by Ananda Bormudoi]

Sarifa Khatoon Chowdhury is a contemporary Assamese poet based in Doomdooma, Tinsukia. She has two collections of poems to her credit.

Click here to read Assamese original poems.

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