What Strange In the pitch dark night of the black moon I have blindfolded myself With a black cloth And yet Everything dazzles around me Everything is bright and clear. Stuffing my ears with wax I am sitting as one stone deaf But words and sounds I can hear so distinctly Silence passed on silently. I wanted to play the dumb And a shower of words drenched me And I recited Tagore's Sesher Kavita Debated and discussed Many a topic. Having decided not to move out I locked the gate Bolted the door And then began The journey on foot. I went on and on Across deserts and wilderness And rivers to arrive at the sea shore And to stretch my hands to the infinite But my hands We're tightly bound. Strange Isn't it?
Along the Footpath all alone At midnight Who went along the footpath Men or shadows Before it was determined A gust of storm burst out And a host of suffering Hiding under a polythene blanket Woke up. No there is none Then who passed by Sighs are slipping through Fallen leaves Who are they Sitting in a circle Under the peepul tree Probably they conversed While walking along the footpath Like shadows At midnight Day after day Collage of things known and unknown Pile up alongside the roads In the town Air becomes heavy With ancient words Of love and anger Noise and exuberance Night after night Sufferings wake up The Sighs come and go Who can tell Whose hearts they have broken And where they are moving We are also moving with them Along the footpath Lonely in the crowd.
Translated by Ananda Bormudoi
Sarifa Khatoon Chowdhury is an Assamese poet and novelist based in Doomdooma, Assam. She has two collections of poems to her credit. She is a Consulting Editor of PWF.