'(The Blog) With No Name', perhaps best described as a stream of notes and thoughts - 'remembered, recovered and (sometimes) invented'.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Onam - Looking Back at Kolkata

Onam came (and aye, it's also gone). Heavy rains have peristed and many of our rivers are still in unseasonal spate. A wall collapsed in our alley and these days, I wake up hearing loud talk in Bengali as migrant laborers work to rebuild it.

Having precious little to do, I wandered the streets of Cochin. In one of the few bookshops that had stayed open, I chanced upon the poem 'Hooghly' by Ayyappa Panicker (the poem was written in 1978; Panicker perhaps witnessed the 'Flood of 78' that hit Bengal).

A few random lines in loose translation ...

Hooghly, you are no river but the Ocean, the eon-ending Deluge.
You are the debris of shanties,
You are the silenced dogs and sated cats and bloated cattle
And the Refugees who slept on pavements and never woke,
You Hooghly, are the Promise of the final Truth, the embrace of Darkness
Howrah groans, weighed down by rusting chains;
Hooghly struggles painfully under the squeezing straddle of iron bridges,...
Past the sad stink of gangrene
And then, from a far-off land blessed by both Monsoons, came a Wayfarer,
A forlorn wayfarer searching for a way lost - forever;
And of what he muttered to Time, barely a trace remains..."


Post a Comment

<< Home