Saturday, April 4, 2015


Directly following the verses in Bengali script is a Roman transliteration that follows the standard Bengali spelling.  And then there is another that follows the standard pronunciation.  Finally, at the bottom of the post, there is a rather pathetic attempt at a rendering into English.

The (dark) humor in this seeks to mock a common custom among us Bengali speakers.  When perturbed, troubled or in pain, we tend towards exclamations that call on our fathers and mothers, in various ways that reflect our degrees of distress or desperation.

This is not really translatable into English,  It might have been easier to mirror in a southern Latin language, if I had been fluent in one.



'বাপরে!' বলে চেঁচাই যখন, শোনে তখন কেউ?
উল্টে বিপদ মাথায় পড়ে, ঢেউএর ওপর ঢেউ৷
যতই আমি বাপকে ডাকি, পাই না তাতে রেহাই৷
বাবা আমার, কোথায় আছ, বল আমায়, দোহাই!
'বাপরেবাপ!' -এও  পাই না খালাস৷ ভুগে মরি, হায়!
'ও বাবা!' তে হয় না কিছু, প্রানটা ভাবি যায়৷
তাই ত ফিরে মাকে ডাকি, মায়ের স্মৃতি আছে৷
'ও মা!' বলে চেঁচাই জোরে, চড়ে উঠে গাছে৷

ধপাস করে পড়ি যখন, ডালের থেকে স্থলে,
কান্না আসে তখন জোরে৷ ভেজাই কাপর, জলে৷
'মা গো!' বলে চেঁচাই ব্যাথায়৷ 'ও মা-গো-মা!' হাঁকি৷
মা-বাবা ত অন্য কোথায়, তাও ত তাদের ডাকি৷

শনিবার, ৪ঠা এপ্রিল, ২০১৫ খ্রি
ব্রুক্লিন, নিউ য়র্ক

“baapre!” bole che~chaai jakhan, shone takhan keu?
ulTe bipad maathay paRe, Dheuer opor Dheu.
jatai aami baapke Daaki, paai na taate rehaai,
baabaa amaar, kothaay aachho, bala aamaay, dohai!

“baaprebaap!”-eo paai naa khaalaash.  bhuge mori, haay!.
“o baba!” te hay na kichhu, praanTa bhaabi jaay.
tai to phire maake Daaki, maayer smriti aachhe.
“o maa!” bole che~chaai jore, choRe uThe gaachhe.
dhapaash kore poRi jakhan, Daaler theke sthale,
kaannaa aashe takhan jore.  bhejaai kaapar, jale.
“maa go!” bole che~chaai bethaay. “o maa-go-maa!” haa~ki.
maa-baabaa ta anya kothaay, taao ta taader Daaki.

shanibaar, 4-Tha epril, 2015 khri.
bruklin, niu yark


"Bapre!" bole ce`~cai jo`khon, xone to`khon keu?
Ult'e bipo`d mathae po`r'e, d'heuer opor d'heu.
Jo`toi ami bapke d'aki, pai na tate rehai.

Baba amar, kothae acho,  Bo`lo amae, dohai!
"Baprebap!"-eo pai na khalax.   Bhuge mori, hae!
"O baba!" te ho`e na kichu, prant'a bhabi jae.
Tai to phire make d'aki, maer sriti ache.

"O ma!' bole ce`~cai jore, cor'e ut'he gache.
Dho`pax kore por'i jo`khon, d'aaler theke stho`le,

kanna axe to`khon jore.  Bhejai kapor, jo`le.
"Ma go!" bole ce`~cai be`thae.  "O ma-go-ma!" ha~ki.

Ma-baba to onno kothae, tao to tader d'aki.

xonibar, 4-t'ha epril, 2015 khri.
bruklin, niu io`rk


Oh Daddy!
"Oh daddy, help me!", though I cry, there's none who seem to hear.
The waves of trouble come instead, to break upon my head.
However much I call my dad, I do not get relief.
Oh daddy, tell me where you are!  Oh daddy, pretty please!
But "Daddy dearest!" doesn't work. I suffer, fit to die.
My father doesn't answer me.  I'm hanging by a thread.
And so I turn to mother.  Her memory still is mine.
"Oh mommy, help me!" is my shout, while up upon a tree.

But splat! I fall upon the ground, from where I'd perched on high.

And this brings tears, to both my eyes, that wet the clothes I wear.
"Oh mommy dear!" I shout in  pain. "Oh mommy dear!" I cry.
My mom and dad are somewhere else, and yet I call for them.

2015 April 4th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York


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