(13 January 1938 - / Kolkata / British India)

When It Rains

When it rains it seems the room itself turns blue, trembles
and falls like rain, as if endless time coming from nowhere
fills the room, as if endless wind blowing in
carries the room to the riverbank;
turning into a boat, I float
I get soaked; swaying, shivering, I keep
moving; in the distance one can see the line where
the river meets the sea, as if
all around waves hiss, as if there’s nobody around
anywhere as if a profound sobbing chokes the throat
as if terrifying harsh sobs strangle
the room – By what strange magic
the ten directions sparkle in a moment,
as if everything will revert
to its real shape, as if all is a dance,
all is rhythm, all is tinted light –
Awakening and seeing the rain, sometimes it’s
like this, then I pray Oh sky
break up the room and give me more rain!

[Translated by Sunil B. Ray, Nandana Dev Sen, and Carolyne Wright with the poet]

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