3 May 1966, Kolkata
From one balcony to another, from this room to the next,
I keep running away. There’s just this one house
with a few rooms
you can count on your fingers. So after a few rounds
I come back exhausted where I started from.
However much the portrait smiles its coquettish smile
from the wall,
the shadow on the floor cancels it out.
With what terrible uproar does shouting go on
in this house!
Glass in smithereens, pots and pans helter-skelter,
doors, windows, walls, corridors and roof lost
in a drunken brawl. Running away,
utterly worn out, I spread out the end of my sari
on this lunatic floor, and lie down.
Translated by Carolyne Wright and Sunil B. Ray with the author.
Published in Bengali in Swāgata Devdūt (Welcome, Angel). Kolkata: Krittibas Prakashani, 1971.
Copyright by Nabaneeta Dev Sen.