night whose pensive song
Ever made me restless.
Today morning only he told me
Some entered in his heart of hearts
In my dream yesternight
And left me in all the mess".
She imagines a Majuli of her heart where the golden flowers bloom. What wonderful lines she composes which can hardly be translated into English from Assamese:
that flows is not a river
All that smiles are not happiness
Blooming palash cannot promise
a Rosy heart that bleeds no less"
describes how bit by bit the lover entered her heart.
"Bit by bit when you entered my heart
My heart as if eaten by cankers
Still if you are with me
My happy bosom dances in ecstasy
I go oblivious of all the scars"
In her ever romantic love poem 'Toma Loi '( For You O Mine!' Nibedita imagines Love as moonlit night and she poured it on the lover's 'sleeping pillow'. Then her imagination begins:
would have been no darkness
I could see in the sky from below.
Web and tide of wavy feelings
I could see in the sea of your heart"
craves for being the sweet floral essence and the beautiful sensuous
lines oozes out so gracefully from the deep of her heart:
"Your smile awakens me to bow
Only my love dream to pursue!
A soft resonance of love
Let it for ever shine
Rose and rains are two very clear images in her poems and this poem on love too ends with the imagination of a rose blooming in her heart for her lover:
rose bud suddenly blooms
Only for you, O mine!"
NIbedita loves Nature and expresses her deeply passionate Love feelings through Nature images as in 'Fagunor Aloran' meaning Fagun Summons': The poet was basking in the sunny dawn from inside the grilled window which was mysteriously half opened.
was basking in the sunny dawn
Soft and so joyous touch
In front of my grilled door
That I opened not much
One sweet smile from the sun
It touched my heart so deep
As deep as it could
My whole life and its essence
Shook me to brood
You recognised me true"
She addresses Fagun as her sweet friend and this intimate tone makes her romantic poem quintessentially lyrical.
"O Fagun my sweet friend/My sweet dost you pervaded me/In your sweet notes I am tranced!"
In her poems this female Assamese poet induces in us an ardent desire to take a short trip into life itself when she in her romantic ecstasy. She poeticises her philosophical thoughts when she saunters from one poem to the other with a graceful ease. Her poems are graphical and sometimes conversational as 'Katha Kanonor Mela ' or 'Kathopothakathan'.
The poem ' Kathopokathan' which means 'Monologue ' here is quite interesting. It begins as a dialogue.
Okay Tell me.
Don't keep in touch with me.
Never I can.
No I cannot.
Nibedita goes on with the monologue. She describes the pain of the
beloved whose heart goes berserk. She is restless.
"Fire is not needed to burn oneself
I feel it now myself.
as it I were the thirsty dry boughs
Awaiting the vernal wind blowing
Nature images abound in the poetry of Nibedita Indrani. She waits for the rains, the vernal wind and the blue eyes of the Earth gazing at the sky.
for the spell of shower
The blue eyes of earth gazed at the sky
Eager for impregnation and the scream
A green earth with a crystal clear dream"
knows that parting is a pain.
"The season comes and goes
The earth changes and
Different seasonal shows." But still when the lover goes she feels it so profoundly inside her heart:
I feel so deep on parting
Parting is always a pain and she waits for the lover as Radha waits for her lover Krishna. She utters the wonderful couplet: "You my Sun The forest knows my pain"
One is amazed to read her love poem on Waiting as in 'Apekkar Ancholat Dhori':
Palash waits for Fagun to bloom
Me too crave for you to come to me as a boon
As Showers wait for the drenching Monsoon
Me too thirsty heart for love to occur soon"
is so nicely presented when the poet complains that her lover never
waits for her like this patiently:" If you never wait this way for
me my darling
How can you be a life long lover for me to sing"
A huge question is raised in the poem on the need for patient waiting.
patient and hopeful in your love I cherish to see
We may walk together in love's way- you and me "
Here Nature, Human and Love are commingled intensifying eco-feminist approach of the poet. The imageries she culls from nature to focus on human feelings of pains and joys are simply brilliant displaying her intelligence. Nibedita is romantic but she is also intelligent and has a keen sense of poetic jollity. Any reader is impressed by the honesty of a poet from Assam and constancy in passionate intercourse with life and love gave Nibedita the necessary zest for enchanting the readers.
Above everything, Nibedita has a fabulous command over English and she translates many English poems into Assamese which sometimes surpass the original. It shows her keen poetic sensibility and love for transcreation. Today translation studies are getting importance in Assamese literature. Nibedita can attempt to translate a good many English writers into Assamese for enriching the language.
One great quality in a Romantic poet is the desire of the moth for the star or the love for the far-off, from here to somewhere else as expressed by Nibedita in her poem ' Thikana Bisari Uri Jau' meaning 'Soaring High in a Sojourn'. The language has a profound depth and Nature is vibrant in the narrative of Winter when the poet imagines of the warmth of the lover".
leaves its hangover on boughs
in an idyllic slot
The bird in my heart
Searches for you
Soars so high. Where I know not
Whom to ask where you live
This time I will be in your warm touch"
honestly she confesses that "A caress on your lips consoles me
Or gives me more sorrow to my spirit!
Thirsty me! for ages for centuries
Humans or gods!"
At the same time she knows that 'Love craze takes a heavy toll':
is the way Krishnachuda blooms
Dreaming of chalice of wine
O the quest for love in our soul!
The swallow drinks honey
The poison pervades the mind in fear
Your red blossoms still in my locks"
The poet is crazily waiting for the touches of the lover like Radha:
me now I need it dear
Whom to ask where you hide behind
My good feeling you know
Where it is!
In my deep heart O my darling
You are my bliss"
There are many more poems of Nibedita Indrani which need translation. A focus on the essence of some of them as done above reveals the power and profundity of her poetic thoughts. The transformation of a short story writer into a poet is so welcome!
About the Poet: "Nibedita Indrani (Indrani Mohan) who is a Jorhat based poet is basically a published story writer . But in recent times She has started writing poems in Assamese. She muses on life as a Romantic Poet and her social consciousness is reflected in her poetry".
About the reviewer: Dr Ratan Bhattacharjee is at present the Associate Professor and Head of Post Graduate Dept of English Dum Dum Motijheel College, columnist cum poet.
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