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If Sent to Exile…

If Sent to Exile…
Sunil Gangopadhaya (Translated by Anis Pervez)
If sent to exile, I will kiss my ring
I will poison myself to death!
Bangladesh with melancholy lit,
Clouds bowing upon the river bank
And at the horizon, vision infinite –
This is my only resting place.
If sent to exile, I will kiss my ring
I will poison myself to death!
The blood still flows in paddy fields
The sweat still falls on the soil;
Still people prostrate before they bathe in rivers.
Still in the heart of our rivers
Thrive the plunderers!
In the town and on the shore
Fire roars and rain pours,
Yet after it all, a beautiful dawn unfolds.
There is cruelty in the bazaar, violence in the village.
Yet the lemon trees with fireflies aglow.
In large palaces live small men,
Bullets fly, explosions sound
The wicked lie in cunning disguise.
Yet the flowers are refreshed with dew flow.
This is my only resting place.
If sent to exile, I will kiss my ring
I will poison myself to death!

Through the mist a child goes to school
A crane sits solitary by the pond.
Have I forgotten everything?
Memory, can you deceive me so?
Have I not seen on one gentle afternoon
Cotton flowers floating adrift?
The toil of beast and man abreast?
The floral sweetness of a girl’s smile?
Have I not savoured the aroma of date-palm juice?
Have I not, on one such afternoon
Heard the hawk’s cry
So sharp?
Bangladesh with melancholy lit…
This is my only resting place.
If sent to exile, I will kiss my ring
I will poison myself to death           Source: The Daily Star, October 11, 2014

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