হঠাৎ দেখা/The accidental meeting

হঠাৎ দেখা

রেলগাড়ির কামরায় হঠাৎ দেখা ,

ভাবি নি সম্ভব হবে কোনোদিন ।

আগে ওকে বারবার দেখেছি

লালরঙের শাড়িতে

দালিম ফুলের মতো রাঙা ;

আজ পরেছে কালো রেশমের কাপড় ,

আঁচল তুলেছে মাথায়

দোলনচাঁপার মতো চিকনগৌর মুখখানি ঘিরে ।

মনে হল , কালো রঙে একটা গভীর দূরত্ব

ঘনিয়ে নিয়েছে নিজের চার দিকে ,

যে দূরত্ব সর্ষেখেতের শেষ সীমানায়

শালবনের নীলাঞ্জনে ।

থমকে গেল আমার সমস্ত মনটা ;

চেনা লোককে দেখলেম অচেনার গাম্ভীর্যে ।

হঠাৎ খবরের কাগজ ফেলে দিয়ে

আমাকে করলে নমস্কার ।

সমাজবিধির পথ গেল খুলে ,

আলাপ করলেম শুরু —

কেমন আছ , কেমন চলছে সংসার

ইত্যাদি ।

সে রইল জানলার বাইরের দিকে চেয়ে

যেন কাছের দিনের ছোঁয়াচ – পার – হওয়া চাহনিতে ।

দিলে অত্যন্ত ছোটো দুটো – একটা জবাব ,

কোনোটা বা দিলেই না ।

বুঝিয়ে দিলে হাতের অস্থিরতায় —

কেন এ – সব কথা ,

এর চেয়ে অনেক ভালো চুপ করে থাকা ।

আমি ছিলেম অন্য বেঞ্চিতে

ওর সাথিদের সঙ্গে ।

এক সময়ে আঙুল নেড়ে জানালে কাছে আসতে ।

মনে হল কম সাহস নয় ;

বসলুম ওর এক – বেঞ্চিতে ।

গাড়ির আওয়াজের আড়ালে

বললে মৃদুস্বরে ,

“ কিছু মনে কোরো না ,

সময় কোথা সময় নষ্ট করবার ।

আমাকে নামতে হবে পরের স্টেশনেই ;

দূরে যাবে তুমি ,

দেখা হবে না আর কোনোদিনই ।

তাই যে প্রশ্নটার জবাব এতকাল থেমে আছে ,

শুনব তোমার মুখে ।

সত্য করে বলবে তো ?

আমি বললেম , “ বলব । ”

বাইরের আকাশের দিকে তাকিয়েই শুধোল ,

“আমাদের গেছে যে দিন

একেবারেই কি গেছে ,

কিছুই কি নেই বাকি । ”

একটুকু রইলেম চুপ করে ;

তারপর বললেম ,

“রাতের সব তারাই আছে

দিনের আলোর গভীরে । ”

খটকা লাগল , কী জানি বানিয়ে বললেম না কি ।

ও বললে , “ থাক্‌ , এখন যাও ও দিকে । ”

সবাই নেমে গেল পরের স্টেশনে ;

আমি চললেম একা ।

The Accidental Meeting

I suddenly saw her on the train,

I had never felt it possible again.

I had seen her many times before

In a red sari

As bright as a pomegranate blossom

Today she was in black silk

The sari wrapped around her head

Around the glowing fair face so like a champaka flower.

I felt the black created a distance between the two of us;

The same distance that colours the sal forests

That smudge the horizon beyond the mustard fields.

My heart stood still for a moment

I saw the familiar in the guise of the unknown.

She put the newspaper aside all at once

To greet me

Social mores satisfied,

We started to talk

How are you, how is your family etc?

She kept looking out the window

As if she was looking beyond the recent past

She spoke little – a word or two,

Sometimes none at all.

Her restless hands spoke to me –

Why all these words they said,

It would have been far better to have remained quiet.

I was sitting on another seat,

With her companions

At one point she beckoned me to come close,

I felt this was very bold

I went and sat next to her.

Behind the sound of the train

Came her voice very low,

“Please do not mind,

There is hardly any time to waste

I have to get off at the next station;

You will go further,

We will never meet again;

That is why the answer that has stayed unsaid

I wish to hear,

Will you tell me the truth?

I said, “I will”,

She kept looking at the sky as she said

“The days that we had together,

Are they completely finished?

Is there nothing left in them?”

I was silent for a little while;

Then I said,

“All the stars of the night lie in wait,

Lending their aura to the bright light of day.”

I felt strange, wondering,was I making this up

She said, “Alright, now go back over there”,

They all got off at the next stop;

I went on, all alone.

12 thoughts on “হঠাৎ দেখা/The accidental meeting

  1. Khub bhalo …. Just for sharing (don’t take it as criticism or “aant-lemi” please) …..

    “rater sob tarai achhe diner alor gobhire” & “baniye bollem na to” are the two main twists in the poem which made in nuanced (at least in Rabindra kabita-r simplicity -r bichare …. ) to be taken as a “bhalo kobita”

    Eta bodhhoi main theme of the poem…. And needs to be captured thoroughly in a good translation ….

    And ….

    সে রইল জানলার বাইরের দিকে চেয়ে
    যেন কাছের দিনের ছোঁয়াচ – পার – হওয়া চাহনিতে । … Very very modern expression compared to first stanza (this dichotomy is commonplace in Rabindra kobita, I think….) but I guess you can see if the translation can capture this too….

    I have no capacity to do these translations so whatever you did is great but just thought of sharing….

    • I have made a slight change to that part:
      All the stars of the night sky lie awake
      lending their aura to the bright light of day

      Kemon shuntey laglo? jodi mone koro, tahole ota include korbo…
      criticism newar boyesh amar hoyeche, so no chinta!
      Ki jani baniye bollem
      ei angsho ta niye bhabini ekhono
      bhalo theko

  2. Ektu besi freedom rakho nijer kache, jaate translation er gondi theke beriye aste paro, tate mone hay (amar) aro sundor hoye uthbe lekha gulo.

  3. Bah ! Ei kobita-ta niye-i bolchhilum ebong anekei poRchhen dekhe bhalo laglo….Oi jini bollen nijer kachhe ektu beshi freedom rakho akdom Thik bolechhen…..Akdom literal translate korle Bangla kobita-r bhaab Ingriji-te jibone aashbe na ( Obviously shorbo khetre noy )…. Godyo lekha-e cholte pare tao kono kono khetre shekhaneo changes dorkar……
    Seshe boli opore ja bollum shob tumi jano :-P……Likhte hobe !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Your translation is good. I also translated it as follows –

    A CHANCE MEETING

    I met her by sheer chance
    In the railway compartment
    I never thought it would ever be possible.

    Earlier I saw her quite often
    Usually dressed in red saris –
    As red as a ripe pomegranate
    But today I see her in a black silk sari
    One end of it she has put on her head
    Framing her lovely face
    As lovely as a flower in bloom.
    It seemed
    She chose this colour
    To create an illusion of distance around her
    A distance that we see
    In the blue tinge of the sal grove
    At the far end of a field of mustard.
    I was taken aback
    I saw one who was familiar
    Now unfamiliar and grave.

    Putting aside her newspaper
    Suddenly she greeted me
    The door was opened for communication
    I started a conversation –
    Like ‘How are you’,
    ‘How things are going on.’
    As if to avoid all touch of familiarity
    She kept looking on out through the window.
    She gave short answers to my queries
    Often she didn’t.
    By her restless hands
    She gave me to understand –
    What is the use of these now
    It is better to keep silent.

    With her companions
    I was sitting on a separate bench
    Then waving her fingers she beckoned me
    To take a seat by her side.
    I was surprised by her audacity
    And I sat by her side.
    Behind the clatter of the train
    She told me in a gentle voice,
    ‘Please don’t mind,
    I have no time to waste
    I shall get down at the next station;
    You will go far
    We’ll meet never again.
    So the question that has been bothering me so long
    I want its answer today.
    Will you tell me the truth?’
    I told her, ‘Yes, I’ll.’
    Looking at the outside sky she asked,
    ‘Our days have gone by
    But are they forever gone?
    Does nothing of it remain?’

    I kept silent for a while
    Then I replied –
    ‘The stars that shine in the night sky
    Remain hidden in the depth of the daylight.’

    Then I had my doubts –
    What I told her
    Was it a fantasy of my mind?
    She asked me to go back to my seat
    With all her companions
    At the next station she got down.
    I on my journey went alone.

    Hatath-dekha from Shyamali.
    The original is at http://www.rabindra-rachanabali.nltr.org/node/14368.

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