‘I got a dime at Ahiritola
by Jibanananda Das
I got a dime at Badur Bagan
If I could manage just one more
I would then walk away, no more self-demeaning, ’
—he said, stretching out his hand in darkness.
As if a one-eyed man with the whole body at work wanted to keep on weaving;
Yet it turned out to be a saw in a Shakhari's crippled hands.
'I've found a dime from around Mathkotha
I've found a dime at Pathuriaghata
If I can secure just one more
Then paddy will be husked in a mill, not dheki.
—saying that he brought his face out
to the gas-lamp beam.
Yet amidst the crowd—along the Harrison Road—persists a deeper concern.
A world's wrong; from a beggar's blunder; a world full of flaws.
Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury