Mallika Sengupta

(27 March 1960 - 28 May 2011 / Nadia, West Bengal / India)

Tongue - Poem by Mallika Sengupta

The drumroll of centuries —
our hearts beat
with hopes and fears.
Blood. Battles. Poisoned air:
is this our fate?
Or will the new century transcend hate?

New generations, changing tastes
salt and pepper and sour and sweet
the melting pot makes culture paste
will Bangla still be heard on the street?

In this world thermo-nuclear bound
in the onslaught of Euro, Dollar and Pound
will Bangla hold up?
Our way of life, the way we speak
do we change it all because we're weak?

While we are poor,
and our faults are countless
our love for Bangla
is surely timeless ?

[Translated by Amitabha Mukerjee]

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 19, 2012

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