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Mainstream, VOL LI No 52, December 14, 2013 | Focus on Challenge of Religious Fanaticism to Democracy in Bangladesh

. . . Where the Darlings Lie Buried

Thursday 19 December 2013

The shivering cold nights of wintry Paush
have passed.
And now the dew drops of a morning
like tears,
shed by mothers, sisters, wives,
as they gaze self-forgetfully
at the mounds
where their darlings lie buried.
 
For the last-nine months
the soil of this land
was drenched with bubbling blood.
And now the fecund earth
lies under the warm and golden sun
and brings forth her dower
of flowers of the season.
There is a smell
of ripening harvest in the air.
Drowsy with this atmosphere
or through sheer weariness,
our darlings have dropped off
into sleep.
 
No, I shall not disturb them
in their slumber
I shall leave for them, instead,
a kiss on the green mounds.
As I touch the grass tenderly
I seem to feel the clasp
of thousands of eager hands,
and thousands of merry voices
speak to me:
’Don’t you feel proud of us, mother,
that we have liberated our Bangladesh?’
 
Ah, my daredevil darlings
that you have done indeed.
In the comity of nations
you have indeed laid out
a bright carpet,
dyed with your ruby-red blood,
for your mother Bangla.
And now, through the ages
Mahakal—the great god of time,
will stand at attention
to pay you homage
for the marvel you have done,
our deathless darlings.

Begum Sufia Kamal 
(National Poet of Bangladesh) 
 

[translated from the original Bengali by 

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