Sunday, June 28, 2015

Aa~su Bahaanewaale—आँसू बहानेवाले—آنسو بهانےوالے —Those Who Shed Tears

This is in Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu), in the Devanagari and Urdu (modified Perso-Arabic) scripts.  In writing both of these versions, I was greatly aided by the script and translation facilities at

A translation into English is at the end (just before the note on my Romanization).

I would welcome suggestions and corrections, especially in verb endings and in the possessives ka/ki/ke, but also in whatever else is noticed.  My Hindi is very weak, to put it mildly, and my Urdu is no better.  My apologies for venturing where I perhaps should not.

As for Romanization, I have included, first,  the machine output, also kindly provided by The Roman transcription is between the Devanagari and Urdu pieces.

 The only (almost unavoidable) fault I found with Google's machine transcription was that it included the short "a" (without the bar on top that lengthens vowels) where it is no longer pronounced (or, in the case of  some loan words from Arabic and Farsi, never was).  This is the schwa vowel (as in standard British English "but" and "fur") that is so frequent in the languages of northern Europe, and in those of the subcontinent*.

I have edited the machine transcription to delete the unneeded short "a" letters. I have also changed "v" to "w" in some words.

Following this standard academic Romanization provided by Google (and lightly edited by me as explained above),  I have also included also my own Romanization, which follows a scheme similar to that which I have been using for Bengali.  (See the note added at the end of the post.)

* The schwa vowel is absent in standard Italian and Spanish, and also in the Indic languages of eastern India. In the latter, it has been replaced by one or the other of the two distinct rounded vowels (disregarding length and dipthongization) that are represented, in standard British English, by the Roman letter o.  
आँसू बहानेवाले
अमरीका मे एक शहर की
सड़क पर चलते हुए,
मैं एक आदमी से मिला था,
जिनके साथ मेरी पहले
कुछ पह्चान थी।
मैंने उनसे पुछा,
"बहुत दिन के बाद मुलाक़ात हुई।
आप कहीं गये थे, क्या?"

उन्होने जवाब दिया,
"हाँ, मैं कुछ महीने के लिए
वहाँ लौटा था,
जहाँ अभी तक
हमारे लिए
आँसू बहानेवाले हैं।"
रविवार, २८ जून, 
ब्रुक्लिन, निउ यॉर्क

Ām̐sū Bahānēwālē

Amrīkā mē ēk śahar kī
saṛak par caltē hu'ē,
maiṁ ēk ādmī sē milā thā,
jinkē sāth mērī pahalē
kuch pahcān thī.

Mainnē unsē puchā,
"Bahut din kē bād mulāqāt hu'ī.
Āp kahīṁ gayē thē, kyā?"

Unhōnē jawāb diyā,
"Hām̐, maiṁ kuch mahīnē kē li'ē
wahām̐ lauṭā thā,
jahām̐ abhī tak
hamārē li'ē
ām̐sū bahānēwālē haiṁ."

Ravivār, 28 Jūn, 
Bruklin, Ni'u Yŏrk 

Aa~su Bahaanewale

Amriika me ek s'ahar ki
sar'ak par calte hu-e,
me`~ ek aadmi se mila tha,
jinke saath meri pehle
kuch pehcaan thi.

Me`~ne unse pucha,
"Bahut din ke baad mulaaqaat hui.
Aap kahii~ gaye the, kya?"

 Unhone jawaab diya,
"Haa~, me`~ kuch mahiine ke lie
waha~ lo`t'a tha,
jaha~ abhi tak
hamare lie
aa~su bahaane waale he`~.

Ravivaar/Itvaar, 28 Jun

Bruklin, Niu Yo`rk

آنسو بهانےوالے

امریکہ میں ایک شہر کی
،سڑک پر چلتے ہوئے
،میں ایک آدمی سے ملا تھا
جن کے ساتھ میری پہلے
.کچھ پهچان تھی

،میں نے ان سے پوچھا
.بہت دن کے بعد ملاقات ہوئی"
"آپ کہیں گئے تھے، کیا؟ 

انہوں نے جواب دیا

جی ہاں، میں کچھ ماہ کے لئے"
،وہاں لوٹا تھا
جہاں ابھی تک
ہمارے لئے
".آنسو بهانےوالے ہیں
اتوار، ۲۸ جون
بركلن، نیویارک

Those Who Shed Their Tears
While walking on the streets
of a city in the U.S.A.,
I met a person whom I’d known 
for quite a while.
I said, “I haven’t seen you for so long!
Were you out of town?”
“Yes.” he said, “For a few months,
I had returned to where
there still are those,
who shed their tears for us.”
Sunday, June 28th,
Brooklyn, New York

Note on my Romanization for Hindi-Urdu

The letters for the consonants represent the sounds they most commonly do in English, except that c stands for the (unaspirated) ch cluster in English, and that t and d are dentals, pronounced while touching the tip of the tongue to the back of the front teeth, as in most of the Latin languages, while t,' and d' are circumflex, pronounced by curling the tongue up and and back and so that the back of the tongue-tip touches the roof of the mouth, in the region of the hard palate. Note the use of the apostrophe (') to indicate the circumflex form of a consonant.

A similar distinction holds for n and n', r and r', and s and s', except that the tongue's contact area for the first sound in each pair is more the (upper) gum ridge than the back of the front teeth.

The letter h is used to add aspiration (a puff of air) to a consonant, as in the second member of the pairs k, kh,   g, gh,   c, ch,   j, jh,   t, th,   d, dh,   t', t'h,   d', d'h  and   r', r'h.  

The vowels a, e, i, o, u are pronounced as in Italian and Spanish, except that a stands for the schwa vowel that is absent in those languages, while the long form, aa,  is pronounced as a long a would be in those tongues. The long forms of i and u are indicated by doubling: ii and uu.

The e and o have only one (phonemic) version, which, for those coming from languages that make a distinction, is usually closer to long than it is to short.

If a word ends in a long vowel, however, the length of the vowel is often shortened, especially in frequently occurring monosyllabic words, such as ka/ki/ke, which are used to indicate relations between words, and in common verb-endings.  So I have used the short forms a and i  instead of the long forms aa and ii in such cases. The terminal a, however, is not a shwa, but rather a clear short a.

Each vowel in a dipthong should be pronounced clearly. The dipthongs ai and au, however, seem to have been changing into ae and ao, and thence into the single open vowels e` and  o` (as in English tram and ball). So I have used e` ad o` for these.

The tilde (~) after a vowel indicates nasalization of the vowel.  In Hindu-Urdu, this nasalization is usually stronger than in standard Bengali.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015



At the solstice, as the summer sun
was fiercely beating on the city’s streets,
I stood beside the bus stop for a while
and then took shelter underneath a tree.

And from that shade I looked around and saw
that roads and sidewalks both appeared ablaze.

And yet, amidst the flames, the people stood
with squinted eyes and peered and craned their necks,
impatient for the bus and its cooling bliss—
an air-conditioned heaven, sent on wheels.

But when it came, the bus was crowded, with
a press of bodies, radiating heat—
the women with their curving flesh exposed,
the bearded Jews, perspiring in their suits,
and all the others, from around the world,
as if about to fuse from summer’s heat.
I stood and breathed the humid air and thought,
in time, I will be home and free from this.
There was no a.c. in our flat. The fan
was only in the kitchen, waiting, still.
But I could strip off all my sweaty clothes
and in my vest and shorts await the eve.
And with that thought in mind, I stood and swayed,
from time to time in touch with a neighbor’s skin,
as damp as mine and just as warm or more,
as Brooklyn's south passed by, by summer lit.
2015 June 23rd, Tue, around 3:45 to 4:15 pm
(returning home to Bensonhurst from grading NY State examinations at Grady High School in Brighton Beach, waiting first at the bus stop on Ocean Parkway and then riding on the B1 bus, which runs locally along Ocean Pkwy, Ave and 86th Street) 
southwestern Brooklyn, New York

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Crowd That Thinks

The Crowd That Thinks

When honesty is seen as stupid and diligence is seen as vice,

Then what remains for us to say, to those who still might seek advice?
For if we say what we believe in, and with this they then agree,
We know the fates they’ll suffer then—the tortures to the third degree.

So should we then mouth platitudes or tell them what they need to know,

So they can then survive, succeed, by sailing with the winds that blow?
Or should we sadly close our mouths and shake our heads and go away,
As what we see as darkest night is greeted as the dazzling day?

When cynics lead and others follow, in the places Mammon rules,

Then those who aren’t cynics suffer, being seen at best as fools.
And they can pray to Saraswati, sing Athena’s praises, yet,
For all their labor and devotion, we can tell what they will get.

When falsehoods are enthroned as truths, what point is there in more oration,

Proceeding from the lies for which the priests demand our adoration?
It’s better then to flee or fight.  But fighting can’t be done alone.
The revolution comes when each decides to lift and throw the stone.

Oh shatter now the edifices, set afire the palace grounds!

It’s time to wake the crowd that thinks and then proceeds to do its rounds.
Spare the gentle and the weak.  Rouse the humble and the meek.
Let the ones of hubris shudder.  On the cynics, havoc wreak.

Beware of joining, though, the mob that does the work of cynics still.

Obeisance and rebellion both have caused, on Earth, no end of ill.
There are no substitutes for sight, for wisdom, for the heart and head.
When these are there, then sense prevails—and virtue, to success, is wed.

There is a crowd that’s not a mob.  It thinks.  It feels.  It questions too.

There is a crowd of those that do what none of us can singly do.
That’s the crowd that listens, looks—whose words and actions both are slow.
That’s the crowd that rises and that quietly says its “Yes.” and “No.”
2015 June 21st, Sat.
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Thursday, June 18, 2015



"So tell me about Gotham. How is it?
It's always been the city of my dreams.
But you have lived in it for many years.
The people there are different, I'm told."

"Well, I could tell you all the things I like
About the city. But today I won't.
So let me tell you what I do not like
About it. That's what I think you need most.

"But let me frame the things I need to say
In general terms. For other places too
May share in what that city has in store
For those who think and dream as you might do.

"Imagine then a place where money rules,
A thing that's common now around the world.
Imagine too the ones that claw and climb,
And those who then are mauled and left behind.

"Impatience chooses shortcuts every time,
And neither heart nor head can hold it back.
No legislations work, no rules suffice.
No cure has yet been found for caring's lack.

"Where time is money, there politeness ends
And rudeness starts to be the primal rule.
And those who feign politeness there are worse,
For they have studied crafts at money's school.

"Do not attempt to reason with the ones
Who long have left compassion far behind
And ventured where the self is rampant, so
They only sneer at those who still are kind.
"In Mammon's kingdom, virtue's seen as vice
And vice is virtue, when it yields in cash.
The virtuous, in the hells where ogres rule,
Will find that they're devoured or tossed as trash.

"So that is Gotham's slice of dark, my friend.
Tomorrow, I will tell you of the light.
But go and sleep on what I've said and then
Go ask of others what you've asked of me."
"The things you say are strange and frightening.
It makes me wonder if you've lost your mind.
I say that, you should know, with due respect.
But all your words, to me, make little sense.

"I thank you for those words, although they seem
To paint a picture far from what I'd thought
And even dreamed about. Perhaps I should
Ask others too, before I board the plane."
2015 June 18th, Thu.
Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Morning Glory

Morning Glory
Haywood County, NC (image from web)
from a Facebook post by Sharon Lawson

The dawn was breaking over hills of blue.
It touched the hilltops and the mists below.
From where I stood, it seemed that giant waves
Were frozen still in near and distant rows.
And right before me, in a splash of sun,
The colors of the leaves were seen to glow—
The greens and reds, the lights and darks beside,
As in the distance, hills and sky communed.
The sky? Can I describe it now with words?
I will not try, except to say it was
 A wonder—cirrus touched with rose of dawn,
In early morning's blue and indigo.
2015 June 6th, Sat, 10:47 pm
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York

We Live the Lie

We Live the Lie
When all our hopes have been obliterated, when all that we had built has been destroyed, and all our labor through the years is seen as wasted effort, then what else remains?

Is there a child, a spouse or another whom we’ve always kept in mind—and so retained a bit of comfort, saying to ourselves that when we’re gone, those others will remain?

Or have we none of these?  Or if we do, are we so troubled by their ways—or likely fates—that there is little solace left, and only more of stress and of regret?


We wonder how it came to this.  And then, we look around and see the falsehoods reign—and all the madness that has come from this.  We need the courage then to stay with truth.
The conscience speaks.  But rarely is it heard.  The winds of fashion and of empire blow. From fear and greed, we yield to these our best. The verities are lost.  The lies remain.
Enough!  Enough of lies, enthroned as truths.  Enough of blind obedience, saying "Yes!" The time has come for conscience to be heard. The time for saying "No!" is here at hand.


A dictum posits that it's chance alone that shapes our lives and so decides our fates. This pardons crimes, while blaming circumstance. It leaves no room for duty, freedom, will.

Another mantra, mouthed by pundits, says, “We each are what we’ve made of our lives—misspent or shrewdly led.  Our choices make our selves.”  But in its cant, this dictum’s like the rest.

For each such dogma blinds, as dogmas do. And each is used to further human ends. And every dogma, misapplied, becomes a lie that tortures life and causes death.


For every view, that’s been proclaimed as truth in matters human, there’s a counter-view.  And every concept that is deified begets a spawn that is of devil-kind.

Our lives are fluid, like the water, wind.  No net can capture or restrain the flow. With all the nuances and dances gone, what's left becomes—not life, but lifelessness.

We celebrate the "progress" we have made. We hail our times, our systems as the best. In doing so, we blind ourselves to truth. And so we race towards misery, sans end.


The winds of fortune blow and take the best.  The shrewd survive—at times.  The gentle die.  In war and peace, the ills of humans thrive.  The truth is slaughtered—and we live the lie.

And those who cannot, they are trampled, torn—and then discarded by the ones who can.  For humans, like their plants and beasts, have uses.  Their labor’s needed—and their wages too.

And when it’s found they cannot contribute in work or spending, then we feel the time has come for them to die and so to leave a space for those competing to “produce”.


From workers’ labor, as from peasants’ toil, the empires rise. The owners, bankers feast—as everything we do is monetized, and all our efforts feed our overlords.

The cynics rule.  The scammers rise and thrive.  The honest are oppressed.  The diligent, the caring—they are lost indeed. They work in silence and in dread, until they leave.

They live in fear, because they hold to truth.  They still have heart. They see what others don’t or do not care to see. They’re silenced, crushed.  Now who will challenge lies, except ourselves?

The ones, who're humble, suffer with the meek.  The ones who work are voiceless, beaten, weak.  The ones of hubris, full of arrogance, succeed—until we all, together, speak.

The voice of conscience and of reason says, “The content matters.”   Yet, it’s packaging that sells.  The priests of falsehood sacrifice the truths of head and heart. The lies remain.
Enough!  Expedience and haste have blurred our sight. They've led us all disastrously astray. Enough!  Let those, who’re honest, rise and say, “It’s time to slow.  And no, we won’t obey.”

2015 June 6th, Sat.
(revised & expanded June 16th, Tue.)
Brooklyn, New York

Phirechi Abar—ফিরেছি আবার—Returned Again

Because of end-of-term pressures from my job,  I could not do my usual transcription into Roman letters and the translation into English.  I have included Google's machine transcription and translation, available at

Google's machine transcription faithfully reproduces the traditional Bengali spelling. This could help speakers of other Indo-Aryan languages decipher the content. It might also help those with some knowledge of Sanskrit.

The transcription might, however, cause readers not familiar with Bengali to mispronounce the words. This could still result in a sort of archaic, vowel-rich pronunciation that is musical and enjoyable. 
Note added (2015-07-12):  I have now lightly edited Google's "machine transcription" to remove the unnecessary short a's. These have long ceased to be pronounced.  In this piece, these not-pronounced short a's were almost all at the ends of words. 

I also had to add one short a, within a word (the second a in baẏas). 
Note that all short a's should, in this transcription, be pronounced as a rounded vowel, intermediate in  duration between the standard British pronunciations of the vowels in the words "pot" and "fall".  
Some other points on pronunciation should be borne in mind for this transcription scheme.  One of these is the merging, in standard spoken Bengali, of the three unvoiced sibilant sounds (the letters for which, ś, ṣ and s, are still preserved in the spelling) into what is usually represented by the sh cluster in English spelling.   
Please see the "Note on the Machine Transcription" at the very end of the post at .
To conform to standard English usage, I have also added capitalization to proper names, and (where preceding periods had been left out by the machine transcription) at the start of sentences.

Turning next to Google's machine translation—it is far from the best, being often hilariously off.  But it will have to do for now.

With apologies,



ফিরেছি আবার
বলেছিলে যা, চোখের ইশারায়,
সেটা সত্যি কি না মিথ্যে,
জানি না, জানি না, তবুও
রয়েছে জানবার ইচ্ছে৷
কতদিন, কত বছর ধরে, তোমাকে
দেখেছি দূর থেকে৷
কত চাহন, কত সুখের আশা
রয়ে গেছে এই বুকে৷
মাঝে মাঝে ক্ষনিকের মিলন,
হঠাৎ নিকটে দেখা৷
যা বলার ছিল, হয় নি বলা,
নিমেষের চোখাচোখি ছারা৷
দেখেছ কি তখন, চোখের ঝিলিকে,
পুরোনো প্রেমের আগুন?
মনে হয়েছে, আঁখির লোকানো ভাষায়,
তুমিও বলেছ কিছু৷
বয়্স বেড়েছে৷ প্রেমের সময়
মনে হয় কেটে গেছে কবে৷
তবুও দেখা হলে, মনে পড়ে আবার
প্রথম দেখা হয়েছিল যবে৷

শহর ছেড়ে, গিয়েছিলাম দূরে৷
ভেবেছিলাম, পাবো ক্ষমা৷
পাই নি, পাই নি৷ ভুলি নি তোমাকে,
চিরকালের প্রিয়তমা৷
তুমি আর আমি হেঁটেছি পাসে,
সপ্নর জগতে শুধু৷
হেসেছি সেখানে তোমার সঙ্গে,
চেখেছি প্রেমের মধু৷

সপ্ন কবে যে বাস্তব হবে,
জানি না, জানি না, হায়!
তোমার খোঁজে, এসেছি আবার
সপ্ন যেখানে যায়৷
কতদিন, কত বছর ধরে,
দেখেছি তোমাকে দূরে৷
ফিরেছি আবার, পুরোনো মহলে,
দূর দিগন্ত ঘুরে৷

বলেছিলে যা, চোখের ইঙ্গিতে,
সেটা সত্যি কি না মিথ্যে,
জানি না, জানি না, তবুও
রয়েছে জানবার ইচ্ছে৷ 
সকাল ১০:২৩, শনিবার ৬ জুন, ২০১৫ খ্রি
বেন্সন্হার্স্ট, ব্রুক্লিন, নিউয়র্ক 


Phirēchi  Ābār

Balēchilē yā, cōkhēr iśārāẏ,
sēṭā satyi ki nā mithyē,
jāni nā, jāni nā, tabu'ō
raẏēchē jānbār icchē.


Katadin, kata bachar dharē, tōmākē
dēkhēchi dūr thēkē.
Kata cāhan, kata sukhēr āśā
raẏē gēchē ē'i bukē.

Mājhē mājhē kṣanikēr milan,
haṭhāṯ nikaṭē dēkhā.
Yā balār chila, haẏē ni balā,
nimēṣēr cōkhācōkhi chārā.

Dēkhēcha ki takhan, cōkhēr jhilikē,
purōnō prēmēr āgun?
Manē haẏēchē, ām̐khir lōkānō bhāṣāẏ,
tumi'ō balēcha kichu.
Baẏas bēṛēchē.  Prēmēr samaẏ
manē haẏ kēṭē gēchē kabē.
Tabu'ō dēkhā halē, manē paṛē ābār
pratham dēkhā haẏēchila yabē.
Śahar chēṛē, giẏēchilām dūrē.
Bhēbēchilām, pābō kṣamā.
Pā'i ni, pā'i ni.  Bhuli ni tōmākē,
cirakālēr priẏatamā.
Tumi ār āmi hēm̐ṭēchi pāsē,
sapnar jagatē śudhu.
Hēsēchi sēkhānē tōmār saṅgē,
cēkhēchi prēmēr madhu.

Sapna kabē yē bāstab habē,
jāni nā, jāni nā, hāẏ!
Tōmār khōm̐jē, ēsēchi ābār
sapna yēkhānē yāẏ.
Katadin, kata bachar dharē,
dēkhēchi tōmākē dūrē.
Phirēchi ābār, purōnō mahalē,
dūr diganta ghurē.

Balēchilē yā, cōkhēr iṅgitē,
sēṭā satyi ki nā mithyē,
jāni nā, jāni nā, tabu'ō
raẏēchē jānbār icchē.

Sakāl 10:23, Śanibār 6 Jun, 2015 Khri
Bēnsanhārsṭ, Bruklin, Ni'uẏark


Returned again

That said, the eyes of the hinting,
What is true is false,
I do not know, I do not know, but
There is the desire to know.


How long, how many years, you
Seen from a distance.
Desiring much, much happiness hope
The chest remained.

Sometimes momentarily reconciled,
Suddenly appeared near.
That is to say, not to say,
Referred without moments.

What he saw, the eye jhilike,
Love the old fire?
It seems, hidden in the eye,
You said something.
Increased age. Love Time
When it is cut.
Yet when you meet, remember again
Can first met.

Out of the city, and went away.
When I was forgiven.
I did not, could not. I have not forgotten,
Love forever.
I walked close to you,
Only in the world of dreams.
Laughed with you there,
Cekhechi love honey.

When will that dream real,
I do not know, I do not know, alas!
Your looks, come again
Where dreams are.
How long, how many years,
I have seen far away.
Returned again, the old quarters,
Around the horizon.

That said, a hint of the eyes,
What is true is false,
I do not know, I do not know, but
There is the desire to know.

10:23 morning, Saturday, June 6, 2015
Bensanharst, Bruklin, New York

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lo`jja—লজ্জা—Too Shy

The poem in the traditional Bengali script is followed by two transcriptions. The first is an academic Romanization that faithfully represents the standard spelling in the traditional script. The second follows the standard modern pronunciation.  A guide to the pronunciation scheme used in the second transcription may be found at

At the end, there is also a translation into English.

প্রেমের কথা বলতে গিয়ে, লজ্জা এমন লাগল,
সকল কথা, আমার বুকে, আজো গোপন থাকল৷
পেলাম না যে সাহস সেদিন, তাই ত দেখো হাল৷
বছরগুলো গেল বয়ে, এলো নতুন কাল৷

প্রেমের কথা বলে না গো, নতুন কালের লোক৷
ভণ্ডামিতে মত্ত তারা, দিচ্ছে ছলে যোগ৷ 
মিথ্যে কথা আরামে বলে, লাগে না তাতে লাজ৷
সত্য প্রেমের মরন এলো, জ্বলছে চিতা আজ৷
কেউ বা বলে, "ফেনাই আমি, এমন ভাবে, ভাই, 
ফাঁদে পড়ে ফাঁসে যাতে৷ সেটাই আমি চাই৷
কেউ বা বলে, "প্রেমের কথা? বোঝাও, সেটা কি?"
বোঝাতে গিয়ে, হাসাহাসি৷ ছেড়ে দিলাম, ছি!
বুকের কথা বলা কঠিন, গলা শুকিয়ে যায়৷
বলার সময়ে, লজ্জা পেয়ে, ব্যর্থ হলাম, হায়!
আজো ভাবি, সত্যি কথা বলার ছিল, তাই,
না বলাতে, প্রেমের চারা হল শেষে ছাই৷ 
যদি তখন সাহস পেতাম, হত কি তখন কিছু?
কত আগের দিনের কথা, তাই ত ভাবা মিছু৷
সখী এখন কোথায় আছে?  সুখ পেয়েছে কি?
কেনো এখনো ভাবছি, ভেবে লজ্জা পেলাম, ছি!
মিথ্যে কথায় প্রেমের মরন, না বলাতেও তা৷
সত্যি কথা বললে, ভাবি, প্রেম কি পেতাম না?
অনেক দিনের আগের কথা, কে জানে কি হতো?
লজ্জার চোটে হল না বলা৷ হয়ো না আমার মত৷ 

বৃহস্পতিবার, ৪ঠা জুন, ২৹১৫ খ্রি
ব্রুক্লিন, নিউয়র্ক 


Prēmēra kathā balatē giẏē, lajjā ēmana lāgala,
sakala kathā, āmāra bukē, ājō gōpana thākala.
Pēlāma nā yē sāhasa sēdina, tā'i ta dēkhō hāla.
Bacharagulō gēla baẏē, ēlō natuna kāla.

Prēmēra kathā balē nā gō, natuna kālēra lōka.
Bhaṇḍāmitē matta tārā, dicchē chalē yōga.
Mithyē kathā ārāmē balē, lāgē nā tātē lāja.
Satya prēmēra marana ēlō, jbalachē citā āja.

Kē'u bā balē, "Phēnā'i āmi, ēmana bhābē, bhā'i,
phām̐dē paṛē phām̐sē yātē.  Sēṭā'i āmi cā'i.
Kē'u bā balē, "Prēmēra kathā?  Bōjhā'ō, sēṭā ki?"
Bōjhātē giẏē, hāsāhāsi.  Chēṛē dilāma, chi!

Bukēra kathā balā kaṭhina, galā śukiẏē yāẏa.
Balāra samaẏē, lajjā pēẏē, byartha halāma, hāẏa!
Ājō bhābi, satyi kathā balāra chila, tā'i,
nā balātē, prēmēra cārā hala śēṣē chā'i.

Yadi takhana sāhasa pētāma, hata ki takhana kichu?
Kata āgēra dinēra kathā, tā'i ta bhābā michu.
Sakhī ēkhana kōthāẏa āchē? Sukha pēẏēchē ki?
Kēnō ēkhanō bhābachi, bhēbē lajjā pēlāma, chi!

Mithyē kathāẏa prēmēra marana, nā balātē'ō tā.
Satyi kathā balalē, bhābi, prēma ki pētāma nā?
Anēka dinēra āgēra kathā, kē jānē ki hatō?
Lajjāra cōṭē hala nā balā.  Haẏō nā āmāra mata.

br̥haspatibāra, 4ṭhā juna, 2015 khri
bruklina, ni'uẏarka  


Premer ko`tha bolte gie, lo`jja e`mon laglo,
Xo`kol ko`tha, amar buke, ajo gopon thaklo.
Pelam na je xahox xedin, tai to de`kho hal.
Bo`chor gulo ge`lo boe, elo notun kal.

Premer ko`tha bo`le na go, notun kaler lok.
Bho`nd’ami te mo`tto tara, dicche cho`le jog.
Mithe ko`tha arame bo`le, lage na tader laj.
Xotto premer mo`ron elo, jolche cite aj.

Keu ba bo`le, “Phe`nai ami, e`mon bhabe, bhai,
Pha~de por`e phaxe jate.  xet’ai ami cai.”
Keu ba bo`le, “Premer ko`tha?  Bojhao, xet’a ki?”
Bojhate gie, haxahaxi.  Chere dilam, chi!

Buker ko`tha bo`la kot’hin, go`la xukie jae.
Bolar xomo`e, lo`jja pe-e, be`rtho holam, hae!
Ajo bhabi, xotti ko`tha bo`lar chilo, tai
Na bo`late, premer cara holo xexe chai.

Jodi to`khon xahox petam, hoto ki to`khon kichu?
Ko`to ager diner ko`tha, tai to bhaba michu!
Xokhi e`khon kothae ache?  Xukh pe-eche ki?
Ke`no e`khono bhabchi, bhebe lo`jja pelam, chi!

Mitthe ko`thae premer mo`ron, na bo`lateo ta.
Xotti kotha bolle, bhabi, prem ki petam na?
O`nek diner ager ko`tha, ke jane ki hoto?
Lojjar cot’e holo na bo`la.  Hoeo na amar mo`to.
brihoxpotibar, 4-t’ha jun, 2015 khri
bruklin, niu io`rk

 Too Shy
I tried to speak of my love, but I couldn't.
And so the words are still with me today.
I couldn't find the courage, so I've paid
The price of years.  A new age has come.
The moderns do not speak the words of love.
They're busy with their dodges and their scams.
They lie with ease.  They feel no shame in this.
The love that's true has died.  The pyre burns.
One says, "I spin my tale, like a spider does
its web, and so I trap my prey.  Haha!"
Another asks, "Your 'words of love'?  Explain."
And so I try, but being mocked, desist.

It's hard to speak of what we feel.  We gulp.
From my embarrassment, I couldn't speak.
And even now, I think: because those words
Remained unsaid, love's little sprig had died.

If I had found my voice, what might have then
Transpired?  So long ago!  What point in this?
Where's my darling now?  Did she find love?
I feel ashamed, that I'm still wondering.

Love dies from lying and from silence too.
If I had told the truth, would I then still
Have lost?  So long ago!  Who knows, what might
Have been.  I was too shy.  Don't be like me.

2015 June 4th, Thu.
Brooklyn, New York

Tuesday, June 2, 2015



I ventured out at twilight and I saw, beside the lake,
Where the woods were dark, and the water light,
What seemed to be, perhaps—
A man…

I’d seen a figure small—no more, in height, than just a child,
Walking, in the shadows of the woods
And out, where I could see—
And back.

And as I watched, across the lake, I saw it turn and look.
I froze—and when it saw me, so did it.
And time—and everything—
Stood still.

And then, it turned and went into the woods!  I stood and stared.
I felt a shiver, running down my back.
And so I turned—and ran—
And ran!

I only stopped when I was out of breath and far away
From where I’d seen what seemed to be a man.
But really, what was it?
A ghost?

I panted, bent and held my knees. I tried to catch my breath.
But then, before I could, I ran again—
Away, away, not looking

And I was lost by then, upon a field—and it was dark.
But when at last I stopped, I felt again
That tingle on my skin—
And turned.

It wasn’t there—it wasn’t there!  I felt a great relief.
I took a breath of air.  I almost laughed,
But couldn’t, lacking breath.
I sat.

The moon was out—a crescent, hanging low—and stars.
And as I watched, the sky was filled with them.
They twinkled, and it seemed
They laughed.

I rose up then and slowly sought to find my way towards home.
But still I knew I should avoid that place
Where I had seen it stare
At me.

On getting home, I quickly shuttered doors and windows tight.
I lit the lamp and saw, through window glass,
Its twin.  I could not see

And when I crept in bed, beneath the quilt, I shivered still.
I hardly slept, and woke in sudden fear,
For every sound, it seemed,
Was it.

And so, I told myself, “You cannot sleep, except in bits.
You toss and turn. You wake and start at sounds.
You’re anxious, full of fear—
Of what?”

But as I said that “what”, I felt, again, that shock. I saw
Those eyes that locked with mine, across the lake—
Those eyes, that seemed to be—
Of what?

“Oh nonsense!  What a stupid fool you are!  A coward too!
It was a man you saw—a little man,
Who also turned and fled—
From fear.”

And so I tried to scold myself.  I felt some comfort spread
From zones of reason to the rest.
I breathed a sigh and sought—
Some rest.

And when I woke again, the dawn was there.  And with that light
I felt that fear of darkness disappear.
It seemed, it was a dream
I’d had.

So I dismissed it then, and rose and went about my day.
But when the sunset neared, I felt unease.
I could not go towards
That lake.

So every night, I close my doors and windows tight.  And then
I eat my dinner and I try to sleep,
But often wake again
In fright.

I wonder, “What was it I saw, at dusk, across the lake,
That walked out from the woods?  It looked at me
And I at it and then—
I ran.”

I wonder, “Does it also fear, like me? And does it fear
The one it saw, across the lake, at dusk—
That great big one?
Does it?”

I sense an ebb of tension then.  I even laugh.  I feel
A passing pity for that little thing
That seemed to be a man—
Or what?

This doesn’t last. I say, “Tomorrow, I will go again
To stand, at dusk, beside that lake and gaze
across.”  But then, I know
I can’t.

2015 May 2nd, Tue.
Brooklyn, New York