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Mainstream, VOL LIII No 41 New Delhi October 3, 2015

To Mahatmaji

Saturday 3 October 2015

I know I am one among the forty crores of people

I have heard the announcement: the auspicious hour 

Of my life has come and all cowardly thoughts have melted away,

There is festival in my blood, please hold my hand, Gandhiji,

We have fought, died and taken a vow here 

We’ll wade through their dead bodies and reach the invincible kingdom

Came flood, came death, came the storm of war

Great Famine left its signature on every road,

Every moment I was afraid the whole history was under threat

Yet I kept my spirit up, although besieged by death, and heaved no sigh of despair

There are signs left in the burning ghats in towns and villages

And face to face with many a death I have sung firmly of victory.

That is why today standing here, close to our dear dreams,

It seems we are all living only in you—

We have got you after scaling many deaths 

You will stand like a wall in this devastated land.

Raising your hand to the horizon in all directions you have sent us a call

And see millions of people are throbbing with life in villages and town halls.

Sukanta Bhattacharya

(Translated from the original Bengali by Jagannath Chakravorty)