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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

She(y)

আস্তে আস্তে স্তব্ধ দ্বিপ্রহরে আকাশ ঘন কালো মেঘে সজল হয়ে উঠলো, চারিদিকে নিবিড় স্নেহভরা প্রশান্ত অন্ধকার ছেয়ে এলো, ভারী স্নিগ্ধ গা শিরশিরে একটা মৃদুমন্দ বাতাস এসে সর্বাঙ্গে হাত বুলিয়ে দিতে লাগলো পরম যত্নে; জানালা দিয়ে দেখলেম, মাধবীলতা কেঁপে উঠেছে অনির্বচনীয়  সেই স্পর্শে - তখন দেখি সে নিঃশব্দে ধীরপদে এসে ঢুকেছে আমার একলা ঘরে।  কতকাল বাদে দেখা, তবু নতুন করে চিনতে হলো না; সে তো কখনো আমায় ছেড়ে যায় নি, শুধু আড়ালে সরে ছিল এতদিন, আবার আবরণ ঠেলে বেরিয়ে এসেছে আজকে, এই তো। 

চুপটি করে বসলো আমার পাশ ঘেঁষে। অনেকক্ষণ চোখের পলক পড়ে না, নির্বাক চেয়ে আছে মেঝের দিকে, নিশ্বাসের সঙ্গে বুকটি শুধু থেকে থেকে ওঠানামা করছে, এতটুকু চিত্তচাঞ্চল্য প্রকাশ করে ফেলেই বুঝি লজ্জায় জড়সড়। তারপর উঠে গেল জানালার কাছে; গরাদে হাত রেখে নির্নিমেষ চেয়ে রইলো নিরুদ্দেশের পানে; দূরে তালগাছের পাতা সরসরিয়ে বাতাস এসে লাগছে ওর আঁচলে, সারা গায়ে ঢেউ খেলিয়ে ভিজে চুলের গন্ধ মেখে এসে মৃদু তিরস্কারের ঝাপটা মেরে যাচ্ছে আমার মুখে। 

নীল বিদ্যুত তীরের মত আকাশের বুক চিরে মুহুর্তের জন্য ওর মুখখানি উদ্ভাসিত করে, আমার বুকে শেল দিয়ে নিঃশেষে মিলিয়ে গেল; আরো ঘন অন্ধকার ঘরটাকে আষ্টেপৃষ্ঠে জড়িয়ে ধরল আবার। তখন যত দেখলুম তার চেয়ে ঢের বেশি অনুভব করলুম, সে ভীত হরিণীর মত ত্রস্তপদে এসে আবার বসলো আমার পাশটিতে। মাথাটি ঝুঁকে পড়ল আমার কাঁধে। সেই অন্ধকারেও তার অতলস্পর্শ কালো চোখ  দেখতে পেলুম, তাতে টলটল করছে দুটো মুক্তো। তারপর ঠোঁট নড়ল, বুকের মধ্যে তার বুকভাঙ্গা প্রশ্ন শুনতে পেলুম - 'তবে কি তুমি ভুলে গেছ আমায়? আর কি তবে আমাকে তোমার দরকার নেই?'

মুখে কথা সরল না, চোখের পলক পড়ল না, শুধু অন্তরাত্মা অবধি তোলপাড় করে হাহাকার উঠলো - 'আছে, আছে, তোমাকে আমার দরকার  আছে আজও। তুমি ছাড়া এ মহাবিশ্বে আমার কেউ নেই, আমি একা, আমি অনন্যগতি, আমি তোমারই।'

তখন চোখের মুক্তো ঝরে পড়ল, তখন কালো অন্ধকারে আলোঝলমলে অনাবিল স্বস্তির হাসি তার ঠোঁট থেকে উপছে পড়ে আবার আমার ঘর উদ্ভাসিত করে দিল, তখন পরম তৃপ্তিতে দুহাতে আমার গলা জড়িয়ে সে মুখ লুকোলো আমার বুকে। আমি তাকে টেনে নিলেম গভীর আলিঙ্গনে।

তারপর বৃষ্টি নামল। আস্তে আস্তে সে আবার মিলিয়ে গেল পঞ্চভূতে। - তার চুলের অন্ধকার মেঘের গভীর কালোয়, তার অঙ্গের সুবাস ভেজা মাটির গন্ধে, তার চোখের জলের স্পর্শ খোলা জানালা দিয়ে আসা বর্ষণস্নাত দমকা হাওয়ায়। আমার কাছে পড়ে রইলো শুধু তার গলা থেকে খসে পড়া ফুলের মালাখানি। 

[My first ever post in Bangla. Written 23 years ago. Those who can see a great deal of Tagore here need not be surprised or suspect a coincidence - this was at a time I was immersed in him for a couple of years at a stretch, translating some of his works. The more interested and diligent of my readers might care to find out and tell me just which of his little essays inspired this one...]

12 comments:

Suvro Chatterjee said...

A girl just asked 'Was this girl real?' Of course not. No girl measures up even remotely. As I never cease to point out, everything from Kumarsambhava to Streer Patra was written by some male. Obviously...

Soham Mukhopadhyay said...

Dear Sir,
It's such a beautiful writing, Sir. Waking up, I opened my laptop and the first thing I came across was your post in Bengali. I was surprised, (thinking at first that there might be a problem with my web browser's language settings), but then I realized you had posted it in Bengali. I read it over and over again and found a deep sense of satisfaction after reading such a wonderful post in Bengali. While reading it I noticed the similarity with Tagore's style of narration (and verified my thought with your note in the end), but I failed to find the essay which inspired your writing. I'll try to find it out as soon as possible. Thanks again for such a lovely post in Bengali.

with regards,
Soham Mukhopadhyay

Tanmoy said...

Dear Suvroda
Last night while reading your post, I felt I could actually visualise the settings. Never before, I have read any of your Bangla writings, so it was a welcome surprise too. The way you have juxtaposed nature, life, loss, happiness and relief in two pages is indeed beautiful. Unfortunately I could not think of the essay that may have inspired you. I had read Tagore’s work a long time back. It is high time I revisit them. While reading your essay, I remembered so many of his songs.
Thank you for sharing this essay of yours.
Regards
Tanmoy

ananya mukherjee said...

Dear Sir,
First off I am sorry that I asked that foolish question. I completely agree with you that no girl measures up even remotely with 'She' because from my own experiences I have observed that most women are vulnerable to surface sensations and are carried away by everything that comes their way and their volcanic enthusiasm regarding anything is often associated with frothy superficiality. Hence with most so called good women morals can be bought with a little amount of money even though they get quite offended when the truth is told.
She (Natalie) is unique in her own way because she is not only the very epitome of pure devotion, love, peace and serenity but also that uncommon girl in whom you have juxtaposed love, enchantment and hope with pain and intense longing without abating her natural realism.
I have also read the story Streer Patra and feel a great deal of admiration and respect for Mrinaal because in spite of enduring unbounded hardships she never gives up and even though her life for the most part is full of sorrow, she knows that she has to hold on because that is the only way one can seek and feel the presence of God in one's life.Moreover the untimely deaths of her loved ones also make her realize death is infinite and in death itself lies the freedom of the soul because death only has the power to redeem us from the fetters or shackles of life. Streer Patra also reminds me of the poem Jiban Bhiksha whete Gautami simply cannot accept the death of her son desperately asks the Buddha to bring her son back to life and the Buddha defines death as the 'paramlagna' or the eternal bliss that brings us close to our Maker and provides a natural conclusion to our pain and suffering which form the part and parcel of life. So much wisdom is really rare and I think that such a woman as Mrinaal if not enjoying life is at least free from great shocks and horrors because life for the most part is within her understanding if not within her control.
I will come back to this post again Sir.Thank you for sharing this story.

Rajdeep said...

Read Bangla after a very long time. It is a wonderful piece of writing and I wish I could write Bangla like that. As for Tagore, it has been more than a decade that I have read his works in the original. Whatever little I have read after that has been mostly in English and some Japanese. Needless to explain to you, any translation of Tagore wouldn't sound quite the same as in Bangla.
I have no idea which story influenced yours. Please let us know at appropriate time when you think fit.
I am also interested in knowing about what suddenly started you on a post in Bangla and whether you would continue every now and then. Are you planning to put up your past writing or do you plan to continue to write in Bangla?
Take care.

Debarshi_Saha said...

Respected Sir,

Warm regards. This post and story reads so like Tagore indeed- the same poetic verses, vivid imagery, and visualization! Indeed a beautiful story, Sir.

Can it be one essay from the 'Pancha-Bhoot' collection of essays by Tagore? 'Nara-Nari' might be the one.

With best wishes,
Debarshi.

Saikat Chakraborty said...

Dear Sir,

Whenever you speak, it is either in English or in pure Bengali (except for some obvious words like hotel, taxi) and you never mix up. This quality is rare and awe inspiring; it has always made me wish to read some of your compositions in mother tongue. Because someone like you, to quote from your own writings, who thinks poetry and dreams of entropy, cannot be restrained by barriers of language. I am lucky that I got the chance to read that article in ‘Misha’ about your experiences in USA and now again this wonderful post.

What never ceases to amaze is the universal and eternal appeal of all your writings. Somewhere they all converge and give voice to the hope and despair, love and compassion, sorrow and longing that we all experience in a lifetime. And some things are best when we do not achieve them in flesh and blood; if we can dissect and strip everything to bare logic, experience and feel all that can be sensed and witnessed, then the world will lose its charm. The garland that she left behind will always be the guiding light in the journey towards perfection in the embrace of our Maker.

I have read too little of Rabindranath Tagore to know the inspiration behind this composition. But somewhere this piece resonates deeply with Syed Mujtaba Ali’s ‘Shabnam’ that I read recently. Thanks for this post and hope to receive more of such kind in the future.

With regards,
Saikat.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you, all.

One more illusion dispelled. Difficulty with the English language has nothing to do with how many people feel like commenting on something I write. As I have been finding out lately, too many people "just can't think of anything to say". It's a funny world...

Aritra Roy said...

Sir,
With your permission I want to make a short film from this. In this article you drew a picture with words. Please enrich us with more such posts and also post more of your previous works.
Aritra

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Delighted and granted, Aritra. You have made me happy as few old boys can, or even want to. I should very much like to know how you plan to expand this post into even a very short film.

Sunandini Mukherjee said...

Dear Sir,
The best moment of this essay is where you write "tarpor bristi namlo.aste aste se abar milie gelo panchabhute."I felt this line brings out that the woman is actually the 'kobipriya'!Also the last line reminded me of Tagore's 'phire ese dekhi dhulay banshiti tar geche fele....'.The images that this post generates are most beautiful.I have read too little of Tagore and honestly I found traces of 'Malyadan','Bouthakuranir hat' in the essay.
It is always wonderful to hear you speak in Bengali(you are the only person I have met who does not use an English word while speaking in Bengali) and now this picturesque post amazes me.
Thankyou Sir for putting it up.
Regards,
Sunandini

sayantika said...

Dear Sir,
This post in Bangla was a pleasant surprise. This post is more like a painting, a painting where the colours are in motion, capturing the essence in one moment and dissolving in the next. Thank you for putting this up. Please put up more such posts.
Thanks and with regards,
Sayantika