From Tungipara | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 16, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 16, 2019

Poetry

From Tungipara

Sitting beside the secluded sepulcher

Praying for the salvation of your soul,

The old folk who shed tears

The sisters of ours who have

Like their fathers, brothers, sons,

Treasured your sacred name

In their hearts with adoration;

The valiant masses who have stood up

Like all the turbulent helmsmen in the Bay of Bengal,

Taking the helms of the exploited.

 

O the great architect of our independence,

Taking an oath in the name of the Greatest Lord,

To those ancient folk, my vow goes

To those siblings, millions of people, my vow goes.

I will have revenge

At the cost of my blood and diligence,

Witnessed by the soil and people of this world,

For the most ever tragic and heinous murder.

 

The worker who has just come out leaving behind the swift-moving shuttle;

His helpless beads of sweat have appeared white on his swarthy skin.

 want to set him free from all fatigue.

I want to have his eyes filled up with tears of tranquility.

He whom I have seen crying being starved for three days;   

My aspirations are for that skeletal peasant;

My rebellion would call him comrade for years to come.

 

The path that I have embraced, I know, has no gateway

Adorned with flowers nor is life a bed of roses.

That path is blood-stained

Coated with death and temptation.

Like the War of Liberation,

You shall be our indomitable inspiration.

Braving all, I will

Take your Boat to the bank of the coveted river.

 

A great man you were - but never were a deity.

Those who eulogized you by deification,

Sacrificed their lives many times in meetings, in seminars,

After your demise

None of them is with us today.

Like concubines, they have flanked their new master.

Alas! Such a felony perhaps befits only the Bengalis.

 

Those who were closer to you- your murderers,

Were they Bengalis?

Or hirelings of a scheming country?

Those who sold themselves to imperialism

Were not our siblings.

Forgetting thousands of tales of our race, fraternity and tradition,

They all have turned attendants to the foreigners.

 

All my contempt, spite and flame of heart

Are to those villainous murderers named Bengalis.

 

I have turned my raging vengeance to those murderers.

Behold, the hearts of all true Bengalis are in flames--

We want in our native land, want only

A battalion of robust stalwarts as vigorous as roses.

 

Have eternal rest, where you were laid to rest.

The great father of the Bengalis,

Let your aura, your endearing voice move us.

 

Chivalry and towering heroism-

From Tungipara, our villages

Will inherit your gallantry

 

With the unflagging inspiration of revolution.

 

Translated by Hossain Ahmed Arif Elahi

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