Oh gorgeous dusky woman, you’re as spectacular as the darkest night.
Take a look, in your reflection the light of countless stars shine.
Descend into the heart of the universe with your black kohl lined eyes.
You’re beautiful in black, I like you a lot arrogant one!
I’m an unknown traveler who on the shores of this earth doesn’t recognise his path,
Yet a tiny ray of hope rises in my heart like a star - my dreams will fulfill for sure.
Night, oh my friend, I shall travel with you in
wherein truth be found - tell me will it satiate my unfulfilled heart?
The world is very harsh - I don’t want to be tied down in any discipline or form;
A knowledge thirsty seeker of truth - I would rather wander door to door.
Oh I know you’re the image of the evolving time of the universe - devotee of truth
open your cover, wring out your heart - show your look!
— Mahamaya Saha(Chowdhury) 18 years on 18th February,1959
—Translated on 21st Feb, 2023
by daughter Shuvashree Chowdhury.
On International Mother Language Day today, I made a sincere attempt to translate my mother’s Bangla poem from her posthumously published book, to English. The book is currently available at Kumudini Handicrafts stores in Dacca, Bangladesh. Looking forward to it being available globally…
This translation of her poem, is a tribute to Ma, but more a challenge to try and learn the language that I ought to have learned much earlier – now with a teacher for the last year and a half after Ma passed away suddenly. I have written 2 books of English poetry out of my 5 books but translating this was a real challenge – I know it’s a poor copy but my intentions are sincere for which I’m sure Ma will be pleased.
My 2nd academic language through school and college on my Mother’s initiation was Hindi as she had struggled with the lack of knowledge of it as a Bengali – going straight from Dacca in 1964 to Gwalior and then Delhi till 1975 when she moved to Calcutta.
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