I have seen the world recede behind the trees;

the world that was for you and me —

a vibrant blue world, dotted with green,

swirls of ocean and breeze painted

by Van Gogh — A Starry Night,

and then came a tsunami

that wiped it all from site.

 

A fakir overnight,

as Lalan, I sing afloat in space

in an intergalactic haze of nebulae

of a world lost;

of God

Burnt and Ripped out of Mosques;

Harried out of Temples with a bovine stampede;

Shot or Sickened out of Churches with Corona.

 

Will you, O God, create a new world again?

Where Lalan can pace and sing

of the wonders —

 

A blue ocean amidst swirls of green trees

Star-dotted skies sprinkling stardust each night

 

Mankind will have only one God this time

And love — lot of love in their hearts

Tolerance, Harmony and Kindness

Will you, O Almighty, paint for us

a new Hopeful world?

Mitali Chakravarty’s bylines appeared in The Statesman, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times and The Pioneer in the 1980s upto 1992 and more recently online on Kitaab.orgCountercurrentModern Literature, Words and Worlds (Austria) and The Daily Star, Bangladesh, Harbinger Asylum Quarterly(USA). Her poetry has been published online and as part of anthologies. Some of her poetry has recently been translated to German and read in a PEN symposium. Mitali also translates from Bengali and Hindi. She has published a humorous book of essays on living in China where she spent eight years, In the Land of Dragons (2014). Currently, she is the editor of kitaab.org.


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3 Comments

  1. Let’s go back to the 19th century Bengali folk poet Lalan Fakir’s sarcastic song which challenged the sectarian practices of both Muslims and Hindus – a Bengali song which I’m translating into English:

    “You can make out a Hindu Brahman male by his sacred thread, but by what sign can you make out a Hindu Brahman female ? You can recognize a Muslim male by the sign of circumcision, but by which sign can you recognize a Muslim woman ?”

    These fundamental questions raised by Lalan Fakir in raw terms more than hundred years ago, are still relevant today, when we witness the communal riots in Delhi and hear reports about Hindutva brigade vigilantes checking citizens on the basis of Hindu-Muslim differences

    • Avatar Mitali Chakravarty says:

      I think in today’s world we do need poets like Lalan fakir and Baul lore — love and tolerance and kindness — one world, one race, one God and a rainbow of languages and cultures

  2. Avatar Mitali Chakravarty says:

    I do not see any sarcasm in what Lalan sings, only the truth…