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Subodh Sarkar


Marilyn Monroe in Sealdah

With full stomachs and hungry stomachs and wearing shoes and in
Bare feet those who come
They are Lalgola, they are Ranaghat, they are Barasat
Every day, every month.

They are from Bengal, through the ages they are fathers, uncles
They usher in victory in votes
They are primary, they are total failures, they are MA, BA
They run, after they get off the trains.

They are action, they are revolution, they smoke bidis
The train stops in the ricefield
The ricefield is locked, the house opens up, who wants to go
Home in the dawn.

Full stomach, hungry stomach, wearing shoes,
Bare foot, its me, me
Ah Kolkata, you are Sonagachi, you are Bara Babu
Hypocrisy on every street.

Thousands, thousands I am Kakinara, I am Shimurali
I am alone in the middle
A girl, some have discarded after raping
In her I saw Durga.

Startled I stop, I look intently, like mine
Hundreds of other eyes
Stare at the girl, officer, clerk and judge
And the iguana.

Empty stomach, torn clothes and torn slippers
Yet a crushed moon
Your face is like Bethuadahari, you are Barisal
"My hopes and desires unfulfilled."

You are like Hollywood in the Coke Pepsi cup.
I saw you
I saw you, really, I felt I saw
Marilyn Monroe.

Translated by Sanjukta Dasgupta

 








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