Shahabuddin Nagari

(6 October 1955 - / Shibganj, Chapai Nawabganj / Bangladesh)

An Hypocrite - Poem by Shahabuddin Nagari

First lesson of notation.
Shall I have to tell a lie?
At this question the PP laughed and said,
There’s no sin in speaking falsehood, it is pardoned,
You have to say some to win the case
You’ll only say once, we tell it everyday
Everyone who comes here tell it.
Be it a witness or an accused, everybody tell lies.

Law-suits aren’t enjoyable when no lie is spoken,
Press doesn’t give good coverage, Govt. doesn’t listen to
Opposition parties do not make processions
At least a human chain is needed, if at all with writ petition
The case get an extra charm. If not, its very tasteless.
If there isn’t one or two strikes, what’s the use of a case
And here I put you on the witness-stand, you’ll only tell,
You’ve seen it with your own eyes. Eye witness. That’s that.
You get something. We also are getting our share.
Speak exactly as you are trained,
For today you’re a parrot to me, if you don’t agree, see there . . .
The PP pointed out outside, they’re cadre, partisans, they’ll..
Oh no, its OK. Don’t use force,
I’ll tell anything you tell me to
But if lawyers of the defenders make any mess,
Please protect me. Alright?
After returning I opened the packet and found a bundle of Fivers

From that day I started telling lies. Everyday.
I tell lies in an entreating way. Men are prone to habits.
I can’t get rid of it. Attraction of crispy notes are inviting
Falsehood at witness box touches my sky and colour my life

I tell lies regularly before Kusum, to my friend, with
The proprietor, with the grocers. Readymade lies
Jump easily out of my tongue.
‘I’ll pay in no time’ saying I leave the debt for five months
I didn’t pay house rent for three months, electric bill, gas bill,
Water bill is pending for so many months, I forgot.
Kusum asked, shall you give me a sari, next month?
Kusum is my love, a garment-girl, working from
Morning to evening physically, her desire remained
Ungratified. She has no cosmetics, no hair-clips or tapes
A morbid-looking face, still I like her. I only kissed her, not more.

I said smiling, its very simple, you know.
I’ll give you sari, kameej and dopatta, high-heel shoe,
Golden necklace, ornament of nose-tip
Anklet for you ankle, foreign-made bra-panties
She twists her sari on her finger and blushed
It seemed her lips are like a orange-pod shall dropp down now.
I advanced my lips to check her lips from falling down.
Avoiding my embrace she swiftly retreats
Unwinds her sari from the finger and covered her body,
And said, Tell me you’ll marry me, only then ...
What she doesn’t know how much I tell lies.

I’m ready to marry you, just now, but manage your old dad,
Depending on your money the old man forgot
A mature girl like you need marrying.
Speaking local dilect I buy confidence of Kusum.
Does Kusum understands all these?
Does she know without flirtation men can’t stay better.
From Clinton to Ershad all are burning examples
Has Kusum heard such incidences
Still I didn’t thought much of men’s life
Girls are most sensitive about their body
Men don’t have such problem. Only time and again
They have erection, which need to be subsided
But after I stepped at Dhaka city I found
Men’s problems are moonlight, stars and moon, lonely avenues
And political trapsdoors, like open manholes
Of the roads. When they encounter
A stout body the police and muggers get interested.

Many a times I have seen animal sacrificed
During Eid. Imam utter ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ and
Draws dagger over the neck of sacrificial animal
I used to close my eyes that time. I used to freeze
Seeing the blood. As if as cold knife pierce into
My spine. Its so painful to animals, oh, feeble creature
People do not feel it.
Still one evening in the corner of Kalabagan field
In the dull dask a bright youth was murdered
I was munching nuts on the other side of the field
It was difficult to recognize. What could I do?
Where could I go?
Lamentation of that youth is heard like a rushing wave
Of the ocean. I rushed to the youth, thought of ambulance
And hospital. Blood gushing out from the hacked throat
As if a sacrifice of best animal of the herd is amde
What’s the difference of a man and a animal?
Cunning assasin fled away like a wolf before
I could think anything, and in the next moment
The police arrested and took me to the castody.
I stayed whole night at the police station
There’s whispering all around, cadres come and go
Dialogues in the phone. Yes sir, no sir
Scripts of different dramas were now written
In the corridors, OC’s room. By morning
Lock-up filled with a handcaffed youth
What will happen to me? Have they assumed I am the killer?
Action pictures of Bombay proceeds like this

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Translated by: Siddique Mahmudur Rahman

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 25, 2012

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