Independence, how this word became ours
A poem will be written.
The rebel-audience of millions have been waiting in the park-shore of the ocean of people, with eager excitement-since the morning:
'When shall the poet arrive?'
This Children's Park was not there; this floral park was not there; nor was there such a bleary afternoon. Then, how was this drowsy afternoon?
Then, how was that special afternoon? How was the heartland of Dhaka, now hidden among the trees, flowers and benches?
I know, dirty black hands are about to rub those memories out, and thus we see in this wasteland:
Poets stand against poets
Meadow against meadow
Afternoon against afternoon
March against Marchâ€¦
O the unborn babies,
O the poets of tomorrow,
one day you will see and know everything, sitting on this coloured cradle of the park. Keeping you all in mind, I am leaving the story of that splendid afternoon, the best of ours, when this garden looked different with no park, no flowerâ€¦but only an endless meadow, covered with green grass Like an endless undivided sky, in that afternoonthe greenery of our freedom-loving hearts merged with that green of the meadow.
Wearing red headbands,
Iron-built workers rushed to this meadow:
Peasants came with their ploughs and yokes;
Snatching arms from the police
came the fiery youths;
with death in the hands and dream in the eyes rushed the middle-class, lower middle-class, sombre clerks, women, old people, prostitutes, vagabonds and little leaf-gatherers like you too in clusters.
A poem is going to be read out in today's meeting.
What an eagerness all around!
'When will the poet arrive? When shall he?' Leaving behind years of struggle and rebellions, walking like Tagore in strong steady steps, at last the poet arrived to deck the People's stage.
In the twinkling of an eye, roaring water jumped up on the boat, hearts of the masses got stirred, the ocean of people roared in tidal waves, windows were opened one by one. Who dares to resist his thunder-voice?
Rocking the sunny stage of people the poet enthralled them with his immortal poem:
'Struggle this time is the struggle for our freedom.
Struggle this time is the struggle for independence.'
Since then, the word 'Independence' has been ours.
I am spread out in your shade and sunshine
In this grass and fragrance
By your side, like your shadow
All along your body.
In the gentle murmur of your rivers,
I am there, as you wish me to be -
In the rustling of leaves, in the
Whining of winds,
Day and night in your paddy fields
An indifferent Baul
A Bhatiali strain floats away into the distance
I am there like the rays of the setting sun,
Rolling at your feet
I am there in the ears of young paddy,
You girl in blue, I am there
On you like the diamond of your Nakchabi
Sparkling, always sparkling.
Translated by M Harunur Rashid