Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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MANORAMA MOHAPATRA BISWAL
 

MY WHOLE LIFE FOR HIM


If ever he comes under a silent sun  
Dampening my eyelids  
Or else in a heavy downpour  
Of the month of shravan  
In the behag raga of the sarangi—

How would he know  
I am not here any longer?  
I burn like a wound  
On some missile range by the sea.  

Surely, he will come.  
The neem tree must have flowered,  
Its fragrance drifting all around.  
He'll grope for a lost childhood,  
Will mope over it.  
He couldn't have forgotten  
That childhood like a squirrel's back,  
The village childhood  
Full of neem and mustard flowers.  

A quiet girl like a shadow  
Red-hued like the manjistha bloom  
A sullen sunset in her eyes  
Will ask about me  
And of other things  
But how would she know  
For whom  
A whole life passed,  
Waiting, waiting.  
  

Translation :
Jagannath Prasad Das  
and Ariene Zide  
  

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