This autumn night the tale of Subinoy Mustafi crosses my mind.
by Jibanananda Das
This all-knowing young man had the amazing power of making the cat and the mouse held between its jaws laugh all at once.
The white cat playfully biting on the mouse
or the anxious mouse being torn into pieces
oblivious of how far they were from heaven or hell
- would make room at a very cheap rate
for the feel of living a few more days
on this turbulent earth of half light and shadow.
Yet the cat would be giggling and giggling
until seized with a cramp
‘Hurrah', would shout the mouse and burst into laughter
As if to resonate with those rhythmic cramps.
[Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury]