[Tragic death of Mahima: Eight-year old girl falls into an open manhole in A street covered with water from the torrential rain and is swept away. Her Body was recovered the following day from the Buriganga River. A news item in Dainik Ittefaq, 8th June, 1984.]
From the suddenly swollen seasonal clouds
Ceaseless rain falls
In unending streams it comes pouring down
Onto our present barren soil.
Washing the water-color from the brush of
Rain falls from the thick clouds of Ashaar
Black clouds from the ink of Samiran's clay ink pot
and washing the black, water-color rain
falls in the mind
Within human memory endless rain falls
lyric rain falls
Gita Govinda rain falls
Meghadut rain falls in the mind.
Down the slopes of dreams onto
The deserted plateau of solitude.
Rushing to the sonorous valley of
deep personal mourning
golden rain falls
kike the sound of raga Megh Malhar
like first love
On the first day of Ashaar
Crickets whisper at night in trees
over the grass onto field.
on verandas on window-panes flooding rain falls
the enchanted pictures of past days
All the pleased faces.
are drenched and melted and dropp down
the drowsing window's glass
today on this first day of Ashaar.
and suddenly, unnoticed in the city of
air-conditioned offices, too, rain
falls in big drops
Then ceaseless water on the highways in the drains
in the damp dirty lanes
on the moss of the walls, in black, in green
in blue, flood water comes down
the Mayurakshi River;
On the slums spread out to touch
The skyscrapers of Gulshan and Banani
thrown-away torn up letters, paper, account books,
discarded boxes, broken bangles go speeding
on the murmuring water currents
at random on the flowing stream's face;
on road and manhole alike water rises inch by inch.
in the sudden gush
Of a massive stream.
On village, on granary, on field, on barren soil suddenly
No tax - collector today has reached their destination;
In such rain as this there is no traffic anywhere;
even the police are truants.
Shilabhadra once loved this earth
Mahima too, a thousand years later
With pendant nose-ring
In the city of luxurious wealth and of
Like this mother earth too once loved us perhaps
When the flooding rain fell and covered the whole road
and the open manhole alike
Mahima too went floating far away
in the terrible current's force
to the open hungry belly
of the Buriganga.
Here under the tropic of Capricorn
For a thousand years humanity and nature have
bargained with each other,
and on the first day of Ashaar rain falls
In the day's middle hours;
from black clouds
covering all the sky like swollen blackberries
with split lightning.
covering the concrete skyline on the hazy horizon,
in the last quarter of the century
Matchless rain falls in the mind.
falls down the slopes of the Chittagong hills
on the crests of the salt sea's waves
rain falls and falls.
surrounding the crowd of memory
dark rain falls on Ashaar's first day
Hayat Saif's Other Poems
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