Thursday, May 17, 2007


I'm doing ok although I'm a little bit busy right now. Instead of writing a long story, I post a poem by an Indian poet. We had a poetry day this Wednesday and that's when I came in contact with this poem.

by Nirendranath Chakrabarthi, translated from Bengali by Sujit Mukherjee and Meenakshi Mukherjee
Amalkanti is a friend of mine,
we were together at school.
He often came late to class
and never new his lessons.
When asked to conjugate a verb,
he looked out of the window
in such puzzlement
that we all felt sorry for him.

Some of us wanted to be teachers,
some doctors, some lawyers.
Almalkanti didn’t want to be any of these.
He wanted to be sunlight-
the timid sunlight of late afternoon,
and the crows call again,
the sunlight that clings like a smile
to the leaves of the jam and the jaamrul.

Some of us have become teachers,
some doctors, some lawyers.
Amalkanti couldn’t become sunlight.
He works in a poorly lit room
for a printer.

He drops in now and then to see me,
chats about this and that
over a cup of tea, then gets up to go.
I see him off at the door.

The one among us who’s a teacher
could easily have become a doctor.
If the one who’d wanted to be a doctor
had become a lawyer,
it wouldn’t have made much difference to him.

All of us got more or less what we wanted,
all except Amalkanti -
who used to think so much about sunlight
that he wanted to become sunlight.

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