(15 August 1926 - 13 May 1947 / Calcutta / British India)

The Testimonial

The news came
From the child who was born today.
She has got the testimonial,
And therefore she proclaims her rights to the new
unknown world
With piercing cries.
She is helpless and small, yet her fist is raised,
Glowing in an incomprehensible oath.
No one understands.
Some laugh, some reprove.
I recognize her language, though.
I see the signs of a coming age
As I read the child's credentials
In her hazy, misty eyes.
The new child has arrived. We must make place for
her;
And move away
Into the wrecked and dead wastelands
Of this old earth.

And leave we will. Yet as long as I breathe,
I will go on clearing the debris
with all my strength
From the face of this earth.
I will make this world habitable for this child;
This is my firm pledge to the newborn.


Once my work is done,
I shall bless the child
With my own blood.
And then, I shall become history

[Translated from 'Chhadpatra' (Bengali) by Rini Bhattacharya Mehta]

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