The Earth of Sunshine
After a long interval I went to my village in search of the cropland The familiar trees, the slender stream, birds flapping their wings. I could find none and the sky was black With smoke spiralling out from chimneys of tall buildings. Concrete structures enveloped the cropland. Friends and acquaintances stopped visiting Industries are fast growing on the cropland. I am digging into myself in a bid to retrieve the cropland. Father's plough and yoke are lying unused beside the barn The roof is slowly collapsing A pole is lying in a corner of the floor. Can the concrete of life be broken with this pole? The corpse of the cropland is lying Like fish caught in a gill net Bloated and eyes pale. The lost cropland has left a lot of memories Tales of pearls, light and footprints trailing away. The things were green at the beginning Then turned yellow to copper colour. Along the path of globalization, the soul of the cropland Is fumbling for the seasons in reeking smell all around . Sunflowers are blooming in the cropland Flowers are blooming in the faces Flower loving farmers have dragged clouds sweating out blood Tears roll down in joy. Crop and flowers are now blooming in the burrows. Sun shines in the tears of the sun lovers The foliage dances in the sun. A soft melody from the song of a cowherd Comes wafting almost unheard and half understood The theme is the masses, the land and the cropland. The masses have now become graver than the mountain Taller,firmer and more determined. They have picked up from the zamindar's house Words locked up in a treasury. And long afterwards the words have blossomed forth In the faces of those who carry sunflowers.
In Search of an Identity
Man traverses all around in search of an identity. The river flows on across hurdles from the mountain to the sea. The tree strikes roots and directs green from beneath Foliage spreads out to the sky for sun,shower and moonlight They tell tales of man, land and forests. Karna stood firm against Doryodhan's arrow ignoring death Just for an identity. Grandfather Bhishma slept on a bed of arrows believing One day Hastinapur would hoist a white flag for his identity. The Pandavas wandered through the forest Tolerated insults to Droupadi The conspiracy of the Jatugriha And bloodied Kurukshetra for an unsullied identity of Hastinapur Man travels everyday with or without purpose knowingly or unknowingly Their eyes shine with a desire for identity. Basudev and Daivaki endured the death of seven children For Mathura's self esteem and identity Suffering in an iron cell. The dream of Gokul invited them Yamuna cleaved a way All for an identity. The battle of Saraighat between the Ahoms and the Mughals The peasant massacre at Patharughat The ten thousand Ahom soldiers who died at Alawoi Everybody's eyes shone with the identity of the land Assam, Assamese and the flag fluttering above . Bordoichila comes whirling in Bohug Rivers overflow during summer Fishes swim upstream in swarms The drumbeat comes from namghar The identity is kept alive. Konhuwa blooms in autumn Sewali lies scattered on the grass The rice stalks conceive Fog unfolds a bedsheet Snow covers the mountain Everyone joins the festival of nature Just for an identity. When rain sings The field clasps the crop. The funeral pyre burns the body Crematorium becomes an identity to burn many others And the Crematorium remains the ultimate identity.
[Translated by Ananda Bormudoi]
Dr. Nanda Singh Borkola is an Assamese poet and author. He can be reached at email@example.com