Across Time

Transcreations by Ratnottama Sengupta

Nabendu Ghosh, the author for who the elegy was written, and his daughter, Ratnottama Sengupta, who has transcribed these poems.
 Nabendu Ghosh : Elegy

 In the wee hours of the morning
 Nabendu Ghosh knocked on my door.
 His dishevelled appearance
 Reminds me of the Famine
 His Clarion Call* evokes--
 An awning sky,
 A busy suburb,
 A shaded glen…
 Fact is, even after Death,
 Some people knock on the door.
 Some people live on beyond life…
 *The Clarion Call (Daak Diye Jaai), the autobiography of Nabendu Ghosh.

(Original in Bengali By Bimal Deb)
 Long days have passed
 Since the path of two friends
 In the crowd of unknown faces
 Two eyes seek him,
 So does his heart.
 At times,
 It knocks on the door
 Of Memory.
 Time spent in togetherness
 Signals delight.
 The miles between them
 Weighs down the mind,
 The hidden flow of Time
 Ever present, never seen,
 Will it once more enjoin
 Two parted hands?
 (Original in Bengali: Kaushik Ghosh)
 I have known you
 Since I crawled out
 Of my mother's lap.
 As I walked 
 Under your leafy boughs
 I launched on
 My journey with shades.
 The enchanting weave of colours -
 They grew out of you.
 My first love took roots
 As I cut through the mustard fields
 That lifted their lips
 To the blue skies.
                Not once have you let me down.
 And when the deluge came
 You it was that steeled me
 With the warmth of your womb.
                My misty vision, reaching out
 Through my thickening lenses
 Do not falter
 Do not squint.
 Age has not withered
 Nor has Time staled
 Your luminous face.
 You rule my canvas 
 As you always have
 Since I stepped out
 Of my mother's lap
 Into yours
 O Mother Earth...
 *Vasundhara – Earth in Bengali 
 (Original in Bengali by Maniklal Chatterjee) 

Ratnottama Senguptaformerly Arts Editor of The Times of India, teaches mass communication and film appreciation, curates film festivals and art exhibitions, translates and write books. She has been a member of CBFC, served on the National Film Awards jury and has herself won a National Award. 



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