Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lost Landscape by Nabina Das

Bamboo flutes
That my father had played once
The leather-jacketed book
That had always been a prop on my table
The Borgeets from the Namghar
In sticky caramel noons
My teacher’s voice across the blackboard
That death silenced and
My mother’s rosebushes of hope.
What remains when blue hills weep
Or the red river goes into hiding?
Even the goddess watches from the hilltop
Squirming at slow blood oozing from
Deep coves of deathliness that
Neelachal never for once has known.
What dies when new words are born?
Not the wounds, not the burning shame.
I wonder if I still should paint
Those paddy fields, peacocks and skies
With my brush of golden taint.

I don't usually post other people's stuff but for some reason felt like deviating from that pattern, so I did.
Dunno just did? Click on title will lead to more of Nabina Das' work.


  1. Hey ND...nice to see you here
    It is beautiful

    Joy: I could not resist putting this link for you...


    This is in territory amazingly close to ND's work here!


  2. This poem reads distinctly Indian. First part reminds me of Kamala Das' A hot noon in Malabar. It has the quality and feel of Tagore, too. The parting 5 lines were heart-breaking!

  3. Tons of thanks to Joy for posting my work here, I am indeed so honored...
    Tanuj, I'll check out that blog you mention.
    Rhett, you are so kind.

    FYI: I'm gonna cross post some of Joy's poems on my blog soon, so my readers can dive deep into that joyful seas of poetry...

  4. Sticky caramel noons
    brush of golden taint

    The whole poem an agony of escape and return I think.

  5. Jannie, yes there is agony and escape, very right.

    This is about Assam in India where I grew up. Repeated violence has shaken this beautiful emerald-green northeastern state, so much so that many people actually migrated to work or study in cities that were faraway and untouched by the upheavals in Assam. I went away not because of the violence but only when I went away did I realize how much this place has given me in terms of artistic language, ethos and a good sense to embrace everything else outside it. So there is a longing there...