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Birendra Chattopadhyaya

The Monsoon

Riding the black clouds' phaeton
The monsoon comes,
Even to Kalighat's slums.
All the down-and-out lanes there
Cling to the Hooghly-Ganges,
Like desperately hungry children in a swoon
Biting the teats of their undernourished mothers.
The monsoon comes and raps hard,
Thin sickly hands of children
unbolt the door.

Translated by Sandip Sarkar

Vomiting Blood

If one bleeds through the mouth
It's sin to speak now,
With enemies lurking, ministers sleepless
It's sin to vomit blood;
Sin to bend blue in pain;
Sin even to lie still in bled blood.

Translated by Samir Sengupta

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