When You Leave Me - Poem by LALATENDU KABI
Long is the path ahead;
Be with me my beloved:
The more I walk, some more way
There remains to cover still;
The feet get tired
And it becomes hard
To have a lonely walk uphill.
Heaven made our alliance,
Let's stay dipped deep in His grace;
A trust in Him alone
Will fulfill our hope;
Let's take the refuge of God,
And be there in His grand Abode.
Come, you do come with me
With a confidence;
Ever engaged in your strife
You are so chaste, my dear wife.
And tied as I am in my actin,
I dare hope to enter into Him
And be there and join you one day;
It only needs an urge from you,
And no less than a drop
From His ocean of empathy too.
Oh ascetic partner of my life,
If on the strength of your strife,
You march up to Him
Leaving me here,
As you get liberated sooner;
Will you make for me a little prayer
And tell Him, I was your companion,
With whom you like a re-union?
Will you tell Him:
Though an abject being,
I, on earth, was your darling,
And there you need me:
The only thing?
Can you entreat,
'Oh Lord! Bring him here to me,
And let my time
By your lotus feet
The happiest be?
'On getting a gentle touch of you,
He will not saddle;
I promise to hold him too;
And with all the gesture that I have,
Will impress him and make him stay'?
'That I came over to You now -
He must be alone, who knows how,
With a mind now in gloom,
For, I was his loved bride
And he my sweet, dear groom;
Down below together as we dwelled;
Much indeed we quarreled.
'Reflecting on me now alone,
He must be there in his dome,
Must be sitting hungry, feeble
In cookery he has been ever idle,
Though in elegance he is full.
'Writing songs trembling with his pen,
As foodless in his abdomen,
Sleepless there in the dark of night,
Tearing sheets of scribbling,
Must be sitting tight,
'From a withering glossary on the table,
Searching words that are suitable,
Words that do narrate his story best,
And failing to fetch, he must be sleepless.
To show his bed and to chide,
I am no more there by his side.
'To get relief from my reminiscence
Through the long, dry days and the rains,
Must he be sitting in solitude,
Through still nights of long magnitude,
Deep into his poems as the ink does flow
Putting his lamp in the glow;
The lamp of his life has but a little oil,
And till that lamp fatigues in his toil
Consuming his ink, ceaselessly in stress
As I am not in his nearness
To take care of his craziness.
As I think on, I cannot bear
And so I pray O Lord, please do hear
Bring him here to me quick
If you love me Lord, You Devotee-Sick.
'He too under your feet
Shall take shelter;
You do know all things well,
Him anyway, I know better;
'He too for you is submissive
But as long his body is permissive
Will keep reflecting on the bygone Texts
That people now call 'out of date',
Saying, 'if incantation does vanish
Learning from Scriptures shall finish'.
But now at this fading age so late
How much shall he articulate?
Bring him here and let him rest
Awhile, my Lord at my behest.
'Send him again if you feel it worth
Into the world of death and rebirth.
But do not send him there alone,
Send me too to take care.
Be kind and bring him now:
You as 'ocean of mercy' all men know.
You, the Knower of everything
Spend a drop of it and him now bring.
Hold him by the hand and lead the way,
Whisper to him sweetly as you may.
'Howsoever I call, he may play the deaf:
My mother-in-law once used to say,
'He was ever so obstinate',
On his mission, he is passionate,
'If he does not pay you heed
Still you can bring him indeed.
He claims he is son of Eloquence,
Mother Glossary his vigor and vibrance.
A dictum from the Goddess of Incantation
And he will obey, forgetting his arrogance.
'A word from Her will bind his spell:
At her command he can go to hell;
Once She tells and instantly,
Sure, he shall come here as well,
And together here we shall merrily dwell.
'Oh my Father, he is my life's baggage,
Together we shall be in bliss
In this era, and in age after age.
'Our tie up is not for births seven,
The unity is devised divinely in heaven,
To be in company through pleasure and pain,
As long creation is in progress,
Phenomena of the world
Shall our Love transgress.
'To bring him here to me,
Make some device;
Oh, Ye the Graceful Lord,
Lord over all Virtue and Vice.'
22/23 January 2016
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