Thursday, December 14, 2017 | ePaper

Boishakh in the eyes of three Bengali poets

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M Mizanur Rahman :
Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was the myriad-minded genius that manifested as the touch-stone of Bengali language and literature. This wonderful genius of Bengali literature is illuminated as the brightest star in the firmament of our sweetest Bengali language. There is no such place in our language and literature where Tagore’s unparallel waves of works of arts and rhymes have yet to flow magically. So he made his excellence in making poetry and prose along with the notes of the sweetest Bengali songs. Hence it is not much to say that he is the greatest Bengali lyricist among all the lyricists of his age. His poems are, by far the best, endowed with rich and most meaningful words that can put us in the art of meditation listening to varieties of ornamental qualities. When we listen to him intently we have to admit that he is exactly talking of our hearts. Tagore adorned all six seasons of the Bengali year but when we, all on a sudden, find him welcoming the New Year Boishakh, we join our chorus with him joyously. Thus he exclaims-
Come on O Boishakh, come on, and come on!
By the force of your ascetic breathe anon
blow out the dying and let the yesteryear
be driven out.
Let old worn out memories and forgotten songs
and steamy tears wiped out far away
and let infirm, weariness,
and mental repining be driven off.
Let the earth be purified being tire-bathed.
Dry up by your heated breaths languid
and blow on your storm conch-shell
and let illusive stormy mists go far off hell.
The very age of Rabindranath’s literary works culminated within the suzerainty of the British imperialism and colonialism. His two poems were published in an English Magazine, ‘The Servant of Humanity,’ 4th Volume, edited by Syed Abdur Rab from    Calcutta are placed hereunder in the title, 'Two Poems of Dr Rabindranath Tagore.
The Comrade
Break the bar, break it.
Let the captive mind be freed.
Let life with its boisterous laughter
flood the dry river-bed
sweeping away the dead and the dying.
We have heard the call of the new;
we shall storm the castle of the unknown.
The Prisoner
My unquiet spirit
yearns for the unexplored.
The bird of the alien nest
goes crossing the hazy horizon
and my thoughts are driven
by the troubled wind
rushing from the far away sea;
my dreams spread its wings
while I remain chained in a golden cage.
The revolutionary spirit of the poet was exposed in the aforementioned poems that had the urge upon his own soul which we can assume identical to his song, ‘Come on Boishakh.’
After Rabindranath another epoch-making great poet came up with the victory standard of Boishakh, the Rebel Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) as he is known by virtue of his rebellious deliberations against the colonial and imperialist cruel oppressor British Raj as well as the impostors, zealots and other ills in society. He welcomed Boishakh with his poem, Proloyullas (The Stormy Ecstasy):
Oh! You raise the victory slogan, raise it.
Look at the victory standard of the new unfurled
and that's the storm of Kal Boishakhi.
Oh! You raise the victory slogan, raise it.
Frenzied dance of the maelstrom is yet to come
that must have broken the Royal-door
with frightening raze across the seashore!
That's coming out of the dark-death-well
along with the hard time
of fret-frenzy-fury appears spreading smoke-incense
igniting the torch of the stormy flame
that's the horrendous fury.
Oh! You raise the victory slogan, raise it.
Oh! You raise the victory slogan, raise it.
None of the poets or litterateur of the then India could dare to hoist the rebel flag against the British imperialism and colonialism in literature directly like that of Kazi Nazrul Islam. Herein lays his undaunted heroism. His heart is though well-textured and honey-quoted Bengali words of love-blended lyrics thoroughly that romanticism knows no bounds; at the same time his rebellion has stricken the miscreants direct like bursting the shell of explosives. His each expression is explicit having no space of vagueness.
He never indulged in shadowing truth and sparing falsehood. He upheld the truth of human equality, economic equity and boldness of personality against all sorts of fanaticism, zealotry, bigotry, tyranny, injustice and orthodoxy in society. He feared none but Allah. He welcomed the new to weed out all refuges; dirt and dying from the mother earth symbolizing Kal Boishakhi-Jhor as the remedial measure. By symbolizing this ferocious storm Nazrul wanted to uproot injustice, inequality, and oppression against the weaker section of the people by the wealthy oppressor.
The free and sovereign Bangladesh is proud and fortunate to have Kazi Nazrul Islam as its National Poet. The ideals of Nazrul respects on the ideals of Sovereign Bangladesh. Let us uphold the truth and equality in the society to uplift the nation in honour of our Great National Poet from his poem on Boishakh.
After Nazrul we are fortunate enough to welcome another celebrated poet of Bangladesh. Farrukh Ahmad (1918-1974) is well known as the poet of Islamic Renaissance in the world of Bengali poetry. He felt the revival of the force of truth as enunciated in Islam turning out from the vague shades of man made isms. Rather he boosts on the ideals of Islam to save humanity.
Here is  a quotation I hear in your harsh tongue on time of shoal of sand
an unfailing sound of storm;
the worn-out leaves of Choitra
as the last mark of ending the year.
The flowers of Falgun like the fairies
of the Koh kaf remains the memories today!
In the scorching sun-shine the traveler became fatigued
and remained still at rest on the path-end;
the flames of fire beam out of the red-hot sunrays;
the earth dozes as if dying;
the burning heat of Roze Hasore, warmed copper-like field
where the forest seem to be dying
remained; speechless
but you come in the tune of Israfil
on the bank of Padma and Meghna!
Oh! Blazing Boishakh!...
Let’s destroy the castle of falsehood
and the terror-ridden night
Where thy call of Towheed (Monism of Allah)
has come in the tongue
as if, standing Morde Khoda, Jalali Fakeer;
like Asa (Stick) of Musa Kalimullah at the hand,
come with your keen sight at the Bengali horizon,
Come O Boishakh, come
breaking the frustration of Choitra,
come in each and every  room;
let the still night of pale idolatry go.
You are the axe of time, come
among the dying multitude, O shining Boishakh!
Let false magic of darkness be burnt and the world
hear your forceful tongue, O invincible soldier of truth!
Let the silent, speechless self-conceit
listen to you fearfully.
O Boishakh! Come back to the bank of this Padma and Meghna
being the struggle for life!(Boishakh)
Farrukh Ahmad’s Boishakh has its clarion call for the new with vigorous inspiration to bring about a transcendental struggle for life that puts a hallmark of the present for the advancement towards progressive future.
It is also to be noted here that all the three poets of Bangladesh welcome the Bangla New Year with a positive motive towards establishment of truth, equality, and justice among mankind in spite of all trials and tribulations in the fury of troublesome storm Kal-Boishakhi. In all adversities they have the human urge to remain undaunted for untoward situations. n
(*Most of all poems above including Boishakh, partly translated by the author of this article)

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