The Beggar

‘I got a dime at Ahiritola
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

by Jibanananda Das

Comments (1)

It is hard to find a more humane poet than Jibanananda. Last two lines of this poem are absolute clinchers.