(23 October 1929 – 17 August 2006 / Dhaka / Bangladesh)

An Ode To Freedom

Freedom, you're
Tagore's timeless poetry and everlasting lyrics.

Freedom, you're
Kazi Nazrul, the regally maned magnificent man,
rapturous in creation, oh joy.
Freedom, you're
the radiant gathering at Shahid Minar on Language Day.
Freedom, you're
the flag-draped, slogan-serenaded boisterous procession.
Freedom, you're
the farmer amidst his fields, beaming face.
Freedom, you're
the village lass's lightsome swim in mid-day pond.
Freedom, you're
the sinewy muscles on a skilled workman's sun-bronzed arms.
Freedom, you're
the glint in the eyes of a freedom fighter scouting the darkened and deserted borders.
Freedom, you're
the crisply-worded, scorching speech of a sprited scholar beneath the shade of a banyan tree.
Freedom, you're
the tumult of chats in tea-shops, public gathering and the park.
Freedom, you're
the roaring swoop of kal-boishakhi on the fiery horizon athwart.
Freedom, you're
the Meghna's heart, swelling shores in the month of Sraban.
Freedom, you're
the velvety touch, father's chivalrous prayer-mat.
Freedom, you're
the ripples on mother's unadorned sari stretched in the yard.
Freedom, you're
the hue of henna on sister's gentle hand.
Freedom, you're
a vivid placard shimmering stars gripped by a friend.

Freedom, you're
the wife's raven tresses, tempestuous in the untamed wind.
Freedom, you're:
The colorful kurta on a young boy.
The playful sunlight on a girl's supple cheeks.
Freedom, you're:
The home amidst a flower garden; the warble of koel-bird.
The twittering leaves of antediluvian banyan trees.
My notebook of poetry, to pen poems as I please.

[Translated from 'Shadinota Tumi' (Bengali) by Syed M. Islam.]

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