Jaydeep Sarangi (Translator)
Translated from Bengali
Rain has Returned Just Now
In our home touching the muddy walls
Rain returned just now
Now the courtyard is enlightened
Night birds are carrying life pulse
Though our hearts have deep wounds
Though the air if full of hatred and antagonism
In the bends of currents
Even then, the world is engrossed in dreams of the dawn.
Descendants Walk Down
Our houses are at the end of the village
Near the field, there is the war of religion
There lies our birth and death
Near our homes seasonal flowers, muddy pond
Mother is grinding rice
Under heavy stressful life
Time stands in front
There I’m beaten by the roots of a tree
Hunger keeps me waiting throughout the night
Where shall I go?
Where ever I gaze only pensive faces
Breathings exhausted beating the head against the wall
Vacuum engulfs the chest
In the midst of that, my descendants
Walk down to make the world more beautiful.
I’m Awake Alone
Sleep doesn’t come to my eyes
I’m awake in this lonely dark night
I watch night birds flying
Never sang a song of freedom
In this painful life of neglect
Blood wet soil of this land
I’m a dumb and deaf in the tired coffin
I cover up my face with the shameful poison
Veins and sub-veins tremble with pain
Not seen the lighted world for long
When shall I see my mother’s smiles?
When shall the rain drops in Monsoon come?
And the birds which fly in our dreams?
Shyamal Kumar Pramanik writes on social and political values, and engages with Dalit literary texts and forms of movement in his works. His writing glitters with pain, angst, and impactful social commentary. He sees his writing as a commitment which is both social and political in nature. Dalit literature is born out of ideological warfare. Pramanik is a socially-committed artist with a large body of works under his belt. He shows us a better society—one that is based on justice, equality, and fraternity instead of discrimination. His other collection of Dalit poetry titled Aguner Bornomala was first published in 2000 in Bengali. In 2019, it was translated to English as Fiery Garland of Letters, by Kalyan Basu, brought out by the Kolkata-based publisher, Gangchil. The present collection of poems is rich with earthly symbols which serve to demonstrate his protest against the age-old stereotypes around caste in Bengali society, while envisioning a new world where there is equality and freedom for all.
- Published with permission from the translator.