Identity

( Translated from Rabindranath Tagore’s poem পরিচয়)

Once upon a time, the spring wind
Made my boat anchored at this bank.
You all asked me, “ Who are you?
And where are you going to go.
I only said, “Who knows”.

The river danced in waves
The ropes tightened
And in solitude,
I sang the sad song of my youth.

And that made the young men and women
Under the flowered tree, pickup the ‘ashok’
They gave me the flower and whispered:
“ You are indeed ours”.
That’s all , this is my first identity.

And then came the tidal waves
But the waves bid us farewell too.
The cooing of the cuckoos, tired as they were,
Suddenly reminded me of my by-gone days.

A host of Kanak Chapa flowers drop down
And float far away….
Perhaps, they were broken
And hence meaningless bits and pieces
Of invitations
To the Festival of Flowers
Eventually the ebb
Drew the boat away
To the sea.

Young passengers of this new age
Watched me from far away and asked,
“ Who is rowing this boat towards the evening star?”
And then I played on the strings of the Sitar and sang
“ Let my name get fame
That I am indeed all yours and nothing else
Let it be my final identity .

Copyright @Anis Ahmed
September 26, 2019, Maryland

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