Confused | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 23, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 23, 2019

Poetry

Confused

I am mixed-up — cannot help

English and Bengali under my belt

I can read a bit of Hindi

Cannot understand much of French

A little Chinese ... low class, they said...

I am mixed up — cannot help

English and Bengali under my belt

I grew up thinking I will find a way

But now pidgin is all that I can say

I write in English — the language borrowed from the West

The language that taught us or brought us unrest

The language that through The Raj spread

Importing Nationalism in its tread

I am mixed-up — cannot help

English and Bengali under my belt

But my life is that of the non-English,

A probashi Bengali at best.

People say I am not typical, not quite the right type

A mixed-up Bengali — I said

Culture is something I dread at every tread

Because what Culture I have is mine

— Not of a Race, a Country or Religion —

Human being is the only race to which I belong.

Help protect my home, the Earth — its every drop, its every stone.

In a world of 7.7 billion, can I be alone?

I am mixed up — cannot help

English and Bengali under my belt

 

Mitali Chakravarty’s poetry has been published online and as part of anthologies, Harbinger Asylum Quarterly (November, 2019), In Reverie (2016), An Anthology of Indian Poetry in English (1984). She is also a translator.

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