I entered the garden of my childhood days after
the storm had passed over. A gentle breeze was
blowing and the sky was blue. Seeing in the
undergrowth a bird that had come out of an egg
only a little while ago and had fallen down, I
put it back in its nest.
It all happened yesterday. Today I am a grown-up
man again, and I just can’t put anything back in
its proper place.
–Nirendranath Chakravarti, India
I seem to know all about you:
your time, your place, your name,
the clean Indian-wheat colour of your skin,
your unpolished words.
But I know that there are also sounds
that you do not know, shapes
that you wouldn’t recognize.
For instance, the owl’s lean dark cry,
or the sea at Puri
during a small moon’s night.
And, at this hour, when
you are breathing so quietly
beside your mother,
I seem to hear a faraway whisper
that almost tells me
you’re not mine.
I hear the owl’s cry,
the gentle expanding roar
of the blue waters of Puri.
Never mind. I know where my night sleeps,
undisturbed by every sound and thought,
–Bibhu Padhi, India