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  • The Hungry under-caste: A Conversation with Debi Roy : Debayudh Chatterjee
    Debi Roy was born in 1938 as Haradhon Dhara to an impoverished under-caste household residing in a slum in Howrah. He had to discard his real name 
    to survive in a literary establishment dominated and hegemonized by the upper-class elite. Roy was one of  the four founder members of the Hungryalist movement.
    He was hailed to be the editor of the first manifesto of the movement that came out from Patna in 1961. His slum address was used for official correspondence 
    during the movement. Pitching an under-caste in the forefront  was conscious effort to lodge an attack on the Brahminical arena of Bengali poetry. Roy passed his school final in 1958 and IA in 1960  before enrolling himself in a course on library science at
     the University of Calcutta. 
    His first anthology Kolkata o Ami (Kolkata and I) came out in 1965. He was arrested later on the ground of obscenity along with other members of the Hungry generation. 
    While he was suspended from his government job, the lower court soon acquitted him. After 1965, as the movement fizzed out and splintered into different groups, Roy continued writing as an individual in his own merit. Till date, he has authored more than ten titles in poetry, translated extensively from Hindi into Bengali, and wrote three books of non-fictional prose.

    Debayudh: Let me begin by asking why you changed your name to Debi Roy.
    Debi Roy: There wasn’t any other way apart from adopting that name. No way whatsoever. There was so much of Brahminism around me, so much of humiliation… When they cannot topple  over you in any other way, they seek resort in caste. 
    This is just a way of suppressing you. Some of my own friends can be accused for that crime. Some very close friends who used to frequent my slum once upon a time. 
    They came at an hour when my mother couldn’t eat… But they were ones to humiliate me first. They still do it… even now… though their powers have ceased to exist.
    Debayudh: What I know about the movement is that after four years of its inception, it got fragmented. Some of the members denied their allegiance in the court, some pioneers changed their stance, a lot of other nasty things happened. You were one of those who actually faced the music. You were arrested, heckled, suspended from your job… Today, after more than fifty years, on retrospect, would you relate that as subtle form of caste oppression?
    Debi Roy: I despise caste. I have no words to condemn what happened to me. It’s just that I have to remain silent. My wife passed away last June, on 24th… 
    I am not in the right state now. I am a self-made man. I was born in a slum and now I live in an apartment with an air-conditioner in each room. I never imagined I could climb such heights.

    Debayudh: Did you ever write directly on caste?
    Debi Roy: Nirendranath Chakrabarty once told me that I can skillfully enmesh my life in my poetry. He once asked me why I don’t write an autobiography. I mocked back, should I write a Jibansmriti? Tagore wasn’t any less humiliated for being a Brahmno… a fallen Brahmin… But why would I write? Who would be interested to read about me?
    Debayudh: I can share an anecdote with you. In 1926, Tagore attended a Namasudra conference in Dhaka. He was severely chastised by his folks 
    at Viswabharati. He never went back to Dhaka again, that was his final visit. AK Biswas has written about it in detail.
    Debi Roy: Imagine. Such is the consequence of the caste system. But Bangladesh has been very hospitable to me. I have been there four times as of now.  However, Tagore is zillion times greater than me. I owe my life to him.
    Debayudh: Although Tagore was preoccupied with discrimination throughout his life, he kept altering his views on the caste system. You can track that change from Gora to Home and the World to a couple of short stories to Chandalika. He preferred Gandhi over Ambedkar at the time of the Poona Pact. 
    I find it deeply problematic.
    Debi Roy: Tagore championed the supremacy of the human spirit over anything else. He was in and out a humanist. There’s one thing that I can tell you. If you leave everything aside, the profound knowledge and love that the Geetabitan speaks of transcends any barrier imposed on humankind. Apart from the  Ramkrishna Kathamrita, one book that keeps me alive and immensely influences me is the Geetabitan. Sri Ramkrishnadev didn’t have a single degree, but the kind of wisdom that runs through his words is  amazing. Even Tagore didn’t have a university degree. But look at how these two men went on to shape the consciousness of the entire civilization.

    Debayudh: Yes, Sri Ramkrishnadev and, later on, Vivekananda, did play an important role in reforming Hinduism from within. They were strictly against caste discrimination albeit they never thought of annihilating it by its roots. I see a photograph of Vivekananda hanging on your walls. What’s his impact on your life?
    Debi Roy: My wife and I have been baptized by the Ramkrishna Mission. We were going through a restless period, a lot of agony and pain. I subscribed to Udbodhon, their mouthpiece, and started reading the Kathamrita. I realized it was already too late, no point in delaying further, we decided to embrace the Mission.
    Debayudh: This leads me to my next question. If you think it’s too personal and uncomfortable, do refrain from answering. The Hungry Generation began 
    by repudiating the existence of God. I remember that you wrote in one of your poems, “It’s more important for me to look for bread than run after an unnecessary God…”
    Debi Roy: That was solely Malay’s idea. Most of it was gimmick. Not mine. Whatever came from my side was youthful folly.
    Debayudh: Describe the initial years how you met Roychoudhury brothers, Shakti Chattopadhya, Subimal Basak in those early days of the movement. 
    Debayudh: What it was like to be part of it?

    Debi Roy: The “Hungry Generation” was mostly conceived by Malay. He was the one who wrote to me. Later on we met face to face in Subarno Upadhyay’s rented apartment. Subsequently I was introduced to the other members of the movement. In 1962, in the month of April, Malay brought out the first Hungryalist bulletin and mailed it to me. It was published in English. Creator: Malay Roychoudhury, Leader: Shakti Chattopadhyay, Editor: Debi Ray. It’s natural to protest against convention, social evils, and injustice when you’re young, quite natural to be a non-conformist. 
    Someone who accepts everything is a person who cannot question. That’s certainly not the trait of youth.
    Debayudh: Could you help us understand the Hungry aesthetic better?
    Debi Roy: Immersed in youthful folly, the Hungry Generation dared to challenge 
    the norms and ethics with whatever cultural capital it had. The movement opened up a lot of windows in our minds. There was no hesitation, but pride. I used to read a lot, at times, a lot of random stuff at that age. John Keats made me thinking, “Thou was not born for death,  immortal Bird! No hungry generation tread thee down…” 
    Malay told me how he was influenced by the English poet Chaucer’s phrase, “In sowre hungry tyme”. Spenglar’s theory of cultural degradation provided the philosophical axis of the Hungry generation. Uttam Das researched on the theoretical and philosophical implications of the movement.
    Debayudh: Can the hungry aesthetic of breaking the state of art exist without the classical dictum?

    Debi Roy: Poetry or literature in general, is not a boxing ring that you need to knock 
    somebody out to gain fame. I write by myself, for myself. Alone. Surrounded by stalwarts on all sides, I live a low-profile life. I do not have any sense of inferiority 
    because of that. I ask myself, am I educated? I have never been educated in the institutional sense. I did not have the opportunity to. I prefer not to overload my writings with postmodernism and other theoretical back-scratching. My liaison with poetry is like my long conjugal life. I am still enamoured in her spell. I will be until I die. Is there an end to knowing one’s self? There is a need to bridge the gap between life and death. That is why you need poetry. It’s another name of 
    delving deep into life. I have to leave this world someday even if I don’t want to. Death is inevitable, life ephemeral. But that does tamper with its charm? I find these ideas of  ‘classic’ and ‘eternal’ quite problematic though. My real work is with poetry.
    Debayudh: Do you think the Beats and the Hungry generation had anything 
    in common and if they have inspired each other? Tell us about your interactions with the Beat poets and publishers.
    Debi Roy: When the first bulletin came out, I went to the editorial office of Janasebak 
    to hand a copy over to Sunil Gangopadhyay. He quickly went through it once and remarked, “So you’re bringing out all this?” Later on we got to know that he believed that our movement was completely influenced by Allen Ginsberg and the Beats. The Beats and the Hungryalists were similar only on the grounds of being anti-establishment. But one stemmed from the soil of a wealthy nation while another thrived in the dust of poverty.

    Debayudh: The leftists often view the movement as a middle class reaction that celebrates urban alienation and male sexual frustration. They accuse that the movement was politically wrong. They say you bring in a new order of morality while trying to tackle the classical Bengali bhodrotta with obscenity and rage of alienation.  What is your opinion on that?
    Debi Roy: I’m not into politics. That’s not my cup of tea. Why don’t political leaders 
    across party lines teach us to love people irrespective of differences? Aren’t the ones in opposition human beings too? Some of them travel enveloped in security, 
    in bulletproof cars, instigate the common mass from a distance, and go back to their ivory towers. There are exceptions that must be respected. But why are there so many commandos around the leader of an impoverished backward country? 
    Why can’t the peasants avail the irrigation and manure they deserve? Why do the workers out of work stare depressingly at the gates of factories that have been shut down? Why do trade unions end up being centres of other profitable trades? Why are the youth still unemployed? Why are they forced to choose such despicable ways of life? But, in the middle of all this, I know of a communist leader who refused to take more than a piece of fish on his platter. There was another who did his own laundry. You cannot imagine such a brand of politics in our times.
    Debayudh: Tell me more about your engagement with the Hungry Generation.

    Debi Roy: There are a lot of memories. Some of them are too sad to recount. 
    I remember spending a month in Varanasi on a friend’s travel pass. Probably we hardly had any inhibition those days. I adjusted quite well in the household of a widow and her son. That’s where I met Anil Karanjai and Karunanidhan Mukhopadhyay. Once, after I wrote a piece on Subhash Ghosh, an Englishman, probably British rang me and asked whether I speak English. I replied that I obviously do, but I cannot speak in your accent. This is not my mother tongue. I am a poet from Bengal, I write in Bengali. I am quite satisfied with myself.
    Debayudh: Yes, English for most of us is an acquired language. We had to learn it from scratch. It’s obvious that our English will be different from her native speakers.
    Debi Roy: We are rather compelled to learn it to make a living. Not that I put much of my heart in it. Like Hindi, I had to master it to find a job. It had nothing to do with my love for that language.
    Debayudh: I can understand. I didn’t know a word of Hindi when I first came to Delhi. I had to acquire it.
    Debi Roy: Exactly. My bosses thought that they would put me into trouble by asking me  to learn Hindi. But it became a boon in disguise. The lady who taught us Hindi came to know that I was a poet who tries to translate once a while. She advised me to take Pragya, the highest qualifying examination in that language, to find a better job. The College Street kept calling me, but why would I go?

    Debayudh: That echoes a famous poem by Shakti Chattopadhyay, your once upon a time comrade.
    Debi Roy: I have written about it in length. Despite Malay keeps bitching about him, 
    I believe that he was a great poet: a poet in the truest sense of the term. There can be no qualms about it. I have not come across many who had so much dedication for poetry. The rest of the poets I know taught at different places, worked in myriad offices, but Shakti, he gambled his life for the sake of poetry.
    Debayudh: I read that he moved out for personal reasons. Once of his affairs didn’t work out and that placed him against the Roychoudhury-s. Shakti Chattopadhyay, as I believe, was eccentric and mercurial to the core. May be that’s something that defines his poetry.
    Debi Roy: Very true.
    Debayudh: Could you please run us through a timeline of major events that led to Shakti’s parting ways with the movement, and the various fractures within the group until the arrest of the poets when the movement ended?
    Debi Roy: One of the reasons is what you said. Shakti fell for one of Malay’s relatives. Apart from that there were personal clashes between Malay and Shakti. 
    Shakti was also offered a job. But, at the end of the day, I believe he is great poet with a timeless appeal.

    Debayudh: Describe the last days of your time with Hungry generation. How was it to live with the threat of arrest and other threats that you all faced during the last phase.
    Debi Roy: I was suspended for a year from my job—I was working at the head post office in Burdwan then—for being involved in the Hungryalist movement. Some custodians of Bengali literature weren’t happy with us. I was arrested and put behind bars. I was acquitted at last after a lot of storm. My friend Samir Ray arranged for my bail. Our friendship is still intact. During the trials, Gourkishore Ghosh, Jyotirmoy Dutta, and Sunil Gangopadhyay among others stood by us. By then, the famous Times magazine brought us into limelight. Almost all the major magazines and newspapers across the nation started publishing gossips  and news about us. Dharamveer Bharti, Khushwant Singh, Pupul Jayakar, all of them came out in our support, collected funds for us, and moved strings to secure our freedom. 
    Pranab Kumar Sen, who was the police commissioner of Kolkata back then, also admitted later on that arresting the Hungryalists was wrong.
    Debayudh: Let me get back to the sixties again. The time in which you took up writing was just a few years after Babasaheb Ambedkar’s death. Jogendranath Mondal was back in India and was trying to consolidate his political career. He failed though…
    Debi Roy: Hasn’t Debesh Roy written a novel on him?
    Debayudh: Yes, Barishal-er Jogen Mandal [Jogen Mandal of Barishal]. It got published from Dey’s. Anyway, it was that time, in the sixties, when you were forced to adopt a different name. I completely empathize with that. But weren’t you even drawn to their anti-caste ideologies? Didn’t they inspire you to fight back? What’s your take on Ambedkar?

    Debi Roy: I immensely respect them. The kind of struggle they put up against this system gave voice  to thousands who were silenced for centuries. But I got to know of them much later in my life. At that time, in the sixties, I was hardly familiar with their names. I was far from being exposed to their life and works.
    Debayudh: I can understand. The middle class intelligentsia of Bengal after partition has always been very hostile to identity politics. As I just told you, Jogen Mandal fought a lost battle of reinforcing caste politics in the public sphere of West Bengal. With Congress on the one hand, and the Communist Party or the Hindu Mahasabha on the other, all the mainstream  political forces tried to bring the scheduled castes into their fold. This was carefully done by appropriating, if not shrouding Ambedkar from the common masses.
    Debi Roy: Very true. That’s the reason. May be that’s why we never thought so intricately about caste assertion in our times. There’s another reason. In an impoverished land like ours,  livelihood becomes an important matter to take care of. As you know,  I come from a very humble origin. In the sixties, at the brim of my youth, I was desperately trying to make ends meet. I began my career by working as an errand boy who delivered water and tea. I wanted to get out of the muck at the any cost. I didn’t have much time to delve into other things. Whatever leisure I had, I devoted it to literature.   
    Debayudh: Yes, it calls for a bit of privilege to actually engage in activism. Those coming from well-to-do families can think about losing their job and writing, distributing pamphlets for free, buying and sending masks to the pillars of the society. Obviously, none of it is free of cost.

    Debi Roy: Hahaha… and I had to face the brunt…
    Debayudh: …Even the regular doze of booze, weed, hash and travelling to different places need some amount of financial affluence…
    Debi Roy: All of these were gimmicks. Going to crematoriums and getting drunk… pure hoax! All of us have done that, the next generations will also do, there’s nothing wrong in that. But all these are gimmicks. These have no connection whatsoever with literature.
    Debayudh: Ginsberg once in an article that marijuana brings about an aesthetic experience that a writer requires…
    Debi Roy: I don’t believe in that. Literature has no connection with the use and abuse of substances. You can write without excess. I don’t think Tagore needed any drug to write. But Sarat Chandra was completely different. Michael Madhusudan had a life of excess.  It varies from person to person. It’s a matter of individual choice. 
    Besides, it doesn’t mean that all of us have to have a similar lifestyle for belonging to the same movement. You can go to Khalasitola and have a blast together, but writing itself is a solitary exercise.
    Debayudh: As I went through a lot of anthologies on the Hungry Generation, I noticed that you have been obnoxiously ignored. Not many of your poems have been included, there’s hardly any write-up on you. Although you were the editor of the first manifesto and your address was used for official correspondence, you have been strangely sidelined in the discussions later on.

    Debi Roy: All of it is because of jealousy. I achieved what most of them couldn’t. The Sahitya Academy, the ICCR took interest in my works, translated me,  included my poems in their definitive anthologies. It is no wonder a group of ghettoized poets would be envious of me. They thought that I was being sold out to the establishment. 
    I reminded Malay that he was promoted to the post of an officer from a clerk. It is the same process. But, leave it, there’s no point in resurrecting old wounds. Let the sleeping dogs lie as they are. There is no perfect job in the entire world, there’s no fun in humiliating others as well.
    Debayudh: Yes, opportunism and back-biting have perennially plagued the Bengali literary establishment. I have seen poets shamelessly advertizing themselves and buttering the ones who matter to go places.
    Debi Roy: Oh yes, I am a victim of it. A friend from Germany once asked me why I have made  so many enemies. He held a powerful position. He was once asked why he never recommended me. He remarked that supporting me would lead to riots.
    Debayudh:  Such miserable spinelessness.
    Debi Roy: Poets behave like bureaucrats these days. They’re running after publishing their pictures on mainstream dailies, inaugurating stupid programs… 
    There’s no point in talking about them.  There was one major poet who changed his jersey and made it big. He was after my life once though couldn’t do much. I pity these people. But his wife was a genuine poet.  

    Debayudh: Let’s go back in time. You were telling me about your humble origins, the immense hard work you had to put in to materialize your aspirations. In the middle of all this, how did poetry happen?
    Debi Roy: There was a library near our place. I went there to while away my time or forget the pangs of hunger. I started reading, I read as much as I could. I still remember the librarian. He used to smirk and enquire whether I had no other work. There was another library near the Howrah Girls’ College. I spent hours there reading authors  like Bankim Chandra. Not that I understood all of what I read but 
    I realized that literature is my poison. I also loved music. But once literature takes over someone, his life and afterlife are perpetually destroyed. (laughs)
    Debayudh: Did you face any sort of caste discrimination from the other members of the movement or other writers when you started publishing?
    Debi Roy: There are things that I don’t want to recollect. So much of shit has been spewed. Shaileswar Ghosh used to think a lot about history. I was perpetually humiliated by him. Sub-altern-heaven-afterlife-soul-moksha-the four varnas– these are his truths. Some of those Hungryalists are doing the Vedas and worshipping now to make a living. Just as Jabali once told Ram, do not be blinded by deceitful Brahmins; only the dumb can pin his faith in spirits, afterlife, rituals, reconciliation, etc, even in post-modernism! Will these theories enable the lower castes and marginalized with two square meals a day? Will the roads be repaired after the elections? Proper drinking water? Will the peasants get irrigation, manure? Education for all? Light? Will the youth from ‘our homes’ get a job? Equal opportunities? Will the wheels of historical oppression come to an end? An end to discrimination? Prejudiced mentalities? Will all problems be solved if a percentage finds employed in software firms? Will the closed factories start producing again? 

    People like me who have fought their way to privilege, do we carry out our duties? Such hullabaloo about caste! That Dalit, that OBC, that Yadav, all that discourse with names. Young progressive people laugh at it. One of them once asked me, is your ‘friend’—he was referring to Malay—from that time, a big fan of Manu? How could you tolerate him since the sixties?
    Debayudh: Do you have any regrets?
    Debi Roy: Once a friend told me that I made a major mistake in my life. He argued that had I passed my masters, I would have got a far better job and a lot more time 
    to read and write. But people do make mistakes. One’s life is defined by his mistakes. There’s no point regretting them. Another mistake that I made was not to secure a medical insurance. I still haven’t been reimbursed for the heart surgery I had to undergo. This is the condition of a central government officer in an independent nation.  
    Debayudh: Thank you Debida! That’s all for now. It was beautiful getting to know you.
    Debayudh Chatterjee (b 1991) is pursuing his MPhil at the Department of English, University of Delhi. 
    While his dissertation looks at Dalit writing as a ground of contention between caste and class ideologies, he takes active interest in the avant-garde, counterculture, 
    and 20th century Bengali literature. Apart from being employed as a Project Fellow at the department he is affiliated to, Chatterjee is a published poet in Bengali, having three titles to his credit.
  • Malay Roychoudhury | 110.226.180.86 | ১৭ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০২৩ ১৮:৪২740769
  •  Malay Roychoudhury’s poems
    Translated in English
    Nay-Ballad
    From uncoiled wings of the burning swan
    after sea of blood was born out of green caterpillar
    that skin sheared moon from cloud’s underbelly
    ordered  waves to abolish horoscopes on crabs’ breasts
    .
    On the evergreen epiglotis of lotus full to the brim
    the pollen fiddling honey bee waved  her double scarf
    searched for drunk village of pride red beating crowd
    humming songs sleeping side by side of worried distance
    .
    ( Translation of ‘Na-Ballad’. Written on 15 August 1999 )

    A Quasi Governmental Report
    Unarmed military  offered prayers
    One tin water is for ten rupees
    .
    Underground river cut off from source
    Habitually disgusted because of envy
    .
    Strong words used for sealing border
    Public Works Department has broken
    .
    Since at the day’s end in share market
    A woman’s body cut in two with sickle
    .
    Postal ballot in hand amid tomato field
    Lying pristine with great expectations
    .
    Ambitious pair of shoes for parliament
    Let them say whatever  face betray
    .
    As if  rice field is scared of Tiger’s roar
    Daughter of cultivator is in ministry
    .
    Tired cuckoo-man grieving  due to son’s death
    From football field corner in direct shot
    .
    Solved the problem of freedom movement
    On the forehead of dead that was the truth
    .
    ( Translation of ‘Ekti Adha-Sarkari Protibedan’. Written in 1996 )
    Sonpur Fair, Evening of Gumrahi Tart
    Sliding jute curtain
    flickers in tent lantern
    dot beauty gait her
    small coins in betel  box
    was counting tobacco scent
    in broken wine glasses
    .
    half naked on rope cot
    coin colour  country liquor
    leather shoes well oiled
    beat stick resting at corner
    and yellow stain turban
    cheese-penis landlord
    .
    atoned in elephant shit
    put red petticoat on shoulder
    switched song amplifier
    hemp torn milk wet
    eye on eye sharp dark
    depends on who is beneath
    .
    myrobalan under tongue
    betel nut cutter in waist
    box full of scent tobacco
    corset on blown breast
    strung undies on string
    one suck tumbling tart
    .
    artificial hair on bamboo pole
    hypnotized hornet-man
    mosquito on naked bum
    his thighs are of mafioso
    one and five coins for police
    she is whatever fair or pure
    .
    ( Translation of ‘Shonpur Mela, Gumrahi Baier Sandhya’ )
    Ruffian
    I who am a swapping lapwing’s bullet ridden sky
    was born out of drowned water filled bison’s horn
    in idle-eye noon beneath the pearly neem tree
    was enjoying black blonde’s adornment of soft-paw brows
    in rain drenched gold-flower tucked in coiffure’s knot
    .
    I who am standing in front of grilled horizon of meadow-dawn
    on the trampled foot-printed grass of mourning sun’s wet-earth
    heard nightlong wood mite’s  buzz in my last wallowed bed
    thought why should purposefulness  be bad my dear
    is not there art of  sweat-salt in labour of post a chair holds
    .
    I who asked  gallinules what taste do you get from  wings of butterflies
    like  chipko playing bride of thrice-wed groom’s hoof-sound headgear
    am in a ship evading  lighthouse’s beam a saw-teeth shark
    in the Secretariat cage-lift with a clerk having breasts of Jamini Roy painting
    bawled shrieks of rider throwing stallion’s bridle snapping neigh
    .
    I who am a whispering song sung in cricket’s musical notation
    have trapped Hilsa fish shoals’ colours in vagina shaped nets
    beneath the fig tree of hanged martyrs during freedom movement
    from corners of caterpillar-chewed  perfumed lemon leaves
    flying out in sky from  nape shaved hillock of stone chip proprietor
    ( Translation of ‘Tapori’. Written on March 1, 1990 )
    Crematorium, 1992
    During a paddy husk flying noon, from the corpse of a white-owl, gnat children
    were stealing butter
    with their hands having fragrance of rice crispies
    picked up lightly the throttled shrieks of last akanda flowers
    in the brittle breeze of Jaisalmer
    sickly happy
    at the spiraling city, blood drenched minute hand of wall clock
    and the faces were beaming in wood fire warmth
    pigeons fluttered making sounds of torn documents, just a bit
    of living one’s own life
    from those colours of sunset  eyebrows, on the sad boat at web-tide
    dead body wrapped in coarse mattress
    I walked towards the gold rimmed estuary
    in my palm I held the split moment of a knotted storm
    at the breast beating grief of thrown parched rice
    that was only mine
    .
    The Clapper
                    Then set out after repeated warning the grizzly
    Afghan Duryodhan
    in blazing  sun
    removed sandal-wood blooded stone-attired guards
    spearing gloom brought out a substitute of dawn
    crude hell’s profuse experience
    Huh
    a night-waken drug addict beside head of feeble earth
    from the cruciform The Clapper could not descend due to lockdown
    wet-eyed babies were smiling
    .
    in a bouquet of darkness in forced dreams
    The Clapper wept when learnt about red-linen boat’s drowned passengers
    in famished yellow winter
    white lilies bloomed in hot coal tar
    when in chiseled breeze
    nickel glazed seed-kernel
    moss layered skull which had moon on its shoulder scolded whole night
    non-weeping male praying mantis in grass
    bronze muscled he-men of Barbadoz
    pressed their fevered forehead on her furry navel
    .
    in comb-flowing rain
    floated  on frowning  waves
    diesel sheet shadow whipped oceans
    all wings had been removed from the sky
    funeral procession of newspaperman’s freshly printed dawn
    lifelong jailed convict’s eye in the keyhole
    outside
    in autumnal rice pounding  pink ankle
    Lalung ladies
    echo forgets to shriek back sensing the beauty of sweat’s fragrance
    .
    thereafter
    Operation Bullshit
    ulcer in mouth
    numb-penis young rebel’s howl on the martyr platform
    non-veg heart daubed in onion paste
    black eyed flowers
    drenched lotus flower suffered from pneumonia
    cloud’s forced roar on a hookah smoking octogenarian train
    and lightning covered with gold laced spider web
    frog-maid dropped a fat toad  from her back
    .
    creamy hell-fairy of Babylon
    fed medicine tablets to north facing clouds
    swirling green fireflies on castor-oil lamp
    splints of songs from the crown of ruffled hair comet-face princess
    swan with blood-stained feet
    prayed for a spring season for the repatriated  armies
    who arranged green-bed farmland for the shot-dead rebel’s parents
    sulphur mist spread through secret savanna of lion-skin poachers
    marriageable horseman The Clapper
    Heigh ho
    .
    suffering from  angst of a little unrecognition
    the garden which lifted the betel-nut palms on little finger
    in long distance cyclone
    below the lamppost
    covered by clothes of rain
    that broken gait is his form
    the profile which searched for relaxing waves
    the universe in tandava trance
    mouth blocked with leucoplast tape inside a temple
    The Clapper
    .
    when fire separates from smoke
    within that flash
    the epiglotis
    feels bitter between two heart beats
    feverish rebels invade through sluice-gate
    palash flowers united themselves in blooming red during the cyclone
    just like futureless in zoos
    in the last breeze
    tin-bordered clouds exploded firecrackers
    as if  The Clapper will appear just now
    .
    in the morning the sweeper gathered all clappers assembled during night
    in painless love
    shoved sick Ganges river in a bag
    one or three colour flapping rainbow
    food plates were found in graves
     bone columns fell due to wails of exploiteds
    nobody is happy
    when asked how are you replied
    fine
    handed over rings of barbed wire from their waist
    .
    after the oath ceremony of depraved
    corpse collectors started visiting towns and villages
    people prayed for their right to cry
    somewhere else The Clapper
    in fractured health
    was trying to correct the songs of birds
    in star flickering darkness
    pillow hugging rainy nights
    fish smelling asthma of slippery catfishes in Palamou Jehanabad Rohtas districts
    on the eyelids of snail-chin old woman gray dusts of  salt-petre-sulpher
    .
    for listening to songs of small wide-eyed fishes of half rotten Hooghly river
    winter’s fine moult came out of cobra-girl’s attire
    suddenly a porcupine
    kapok flowers in red wedding dress
    young sunflower stared on the side
    healthy crab danced in hot oil raising her two scarlet hands
    white muslin soft fairies leaped in rice-bowl
    after he wept  in darkness The Clapper smiled in light
    listened to the jingle of shackles with which he was tied to hospital bed
    nightlong tick tock of incarceration of the table clock
    .
    ( Translation of Bengali poem ‘Hattali’ )
    .
    Blood Lyric
    Abontika, my house was invaded midnight  in search of you
    Not like her not like him nor like them
    Comparable not to this not to that not to it
    .
    What have I done for poetry plunging into  lava-spewing volcano  ?
    What are these ? What are these ? Result of searches at home
    of Poetry ? Bromide sepia babies from Dad’s broken almirah
    of Poetry ! Mom’s Benares sari torn out of hammered box
    of Poetry ! Breaths are recorded in the seizure list
    of Poetry ! Show me show me what else is coming out
    of Poetry ! Shame on you; girl’s half-licked guy ! Die you die
    of Poetry ! Wave piercing sharks chew up flesh & bone
    of Poetry ! AB negative sun from small intestine knots
    of Poetry ! Asphyxiated speed stored in impatient footprints
    of Poetry ! Delicate tart-glow in piss  flooded jail
    of Poetry ! Mustard flower pollen on prickly feet of bumblebee
    of Poetry ! Hungry farmer in dirty loincloth on salty dry land
    of Poetry ! Rotten blood on feathers of corpse eating vultures
    of Poetry ! Sultry century in faded humid spiteful crowd
    of Poetry ! Black death shrieks of intelligence in guillotine
    of Poetry ! You die you die you die why didn’t you die
    of Poetry ! Fire in your mouth fire in your mouth fire
    of Poetry ! You die you die you die you die you die
    of Poetry ! Not like her not like him nor like them
    of Poetry ! Comparable not to this not to that not to it
    of Poetry ! Abontika, they came in search of you, why didn’t take you along !!
    ( Translation of Blood Lyric )
    Mumbai 2011
    .
    Nail Cutting and Love
    Tagore, this is for you after one fifty years :
    who clipped your nails in offshore lands–
    that foreign lady ? Or the chick adulators ?
    There isn’t any photograph of yours with
    your hands placed on laps of young ladies
    cutting nails ; your feet on Ocampo’s knee ?
    May be the girls on whose shoulder  Gandhi placed
    his wings, cut his nails. As you know, it’s so painful
    to reach the nail-cutter up to one’s feet at  old age–
    oh, men like me without young girls for company
    are aware. Love’s strange demand from senile age.
    Gossipers say Sunil Ganguly did have for each nail
    a struggling poetess. Joy Goswami also have had
    the same ; the girls closed eyes and jumped  into muck.
    I’d seen  Shakti Chattopadhyay’s lover clipping his nails
    in the small Chaibasa room. Does Sharat do same for Bijoya ?
    Yashodhara, did Trinanjan ever cut your nails ?
    Subodh, have you ever took Mallika’s feet
    on your lap and cut her nails ? Just a glance
    at the feet of a poet tells you how lonely he is.
    Think of Jibanananda ; he has been searching for
    Banalata for thousand years for his nails to be cut.
    ( Translation of Nokh Kata O Prem )
    .
    Mumbai 2010
    Immortality
    Those who beat us to death after village court trial, they
    did not spare you as well, Abontika ! We rotten corpses
    drift in muddy Hooghly river ; what was our crime ?
    You are Party boss’s wife, I am just an uncivil nobody.
    There were endless praise of communism in last 33 years ;
    nothing for lovers. For whose benefit were the tomes–
    whatever are left of the rotten corpses of lovers remain
    metamorphosed domestic bullocks yoked to grinding,
    useless party-worker. Better to exude on chariot of waves
    to the seas clutching each other in oceanic splendour.
    ( Translation of Amaratwa )
    Kolkata 2006
     .
    Salt & Betrayers
    You touched my sweat with your tongue
    Abontika, and had said, ‘Ah salty beauty
    heart of heart…scent of masculinity…’
    That day, from Police custody to Court
    rope tied to my waist and handcuffed
    I walked along with murderers hoodlums;
    circus loving crowd on both sides of road.
    The betrayers, who volunteered in
    court to testify against me, said, when
    they came down from witness-box, ‘No,
    the sweat was sweet and not salty ; thus
    no question of treachery could arise–
    and should not be marked as Betrayers.’
    ( Translation of Noon O Nimakharami )
    Kolkata, 2005
    .

    The Spam Mistress
    This is interesting ! In a flash you entered my desktop with mail
    topless polygirl your smiling invite for a black night fling
    The hungry wolf in me looks at  Baudelairian dark Venus.
    In funny English you’ve written on your belly you love me
    princess Africa hooker girl exposed trapdoor for  love
    adorable soft thighs. What’s that,  colour or blood on shaman-nails ?
    Which country are you from, mischief-sissy ? Kenya Uganda
    Zambia Burkina Faso Congo Cameroon Sudan Niger ?
    I am sure you’ve ganged up in Mumbai’s Nijerwadi.
    How did you know I have never slept with an African chick !
    Delightful to say the least your lighted lap sex appeal
    you know quite well . That’s why invite for an embrace.
    How many Rupees or Dollars for that experience
    you haven’t indicated ; just a call to meet at Meera Road
    Junction, where you’ll  descend in flesh from digital beauty.
    ( Translation of Spam Premika )
    Mumbai 2009
    .
    Green Angelgirl
    Oh, so you are the divine beauty I read about
    in adolescence, whom Toulouse Lautrec, Rimbaud,
    Verlaine, Baudelaire, Van Gogh, Modigliani et all
    held on to waist curvature and took flights to
    healing sweetness of  inebriated light
    blazing hallucinatory juice of green lichen
    on the coloured thighs of sizzling dance girls
    who broke rhythms and picked up their
    contorted feelings on paper or canvas
    At De Wallen crowds in Amsterdam
    wide mouth I ogle at almost naked
    showcased blonde dark brown ladies
    sourced from all over the world
    pink halo tinkling in semi-dark rooms
    twenty minutes fixed missionary style.
    I count  Euros in my pocket and switch
    to the old controversy of form versus content :
    which generates more happiness and how
    is Absinthe different from others ?
    The guide retorts, ‘Why don’t you sleep
    yourself and see semen turning green !’
    ( Translation of Sobuj Devkanya )
    Amsterdam, 2007
    .
    Love Returns or Love Does Not Return
    Saw you Abontika squatting on a milestone in gracious moonlit midwinter
    your back and chest still carrying 44 year old dust and dry grass
    wail mark of rashes  all over your body due to moon’s crime, aha, result of peity
    you were shivering may be due to a vortex of hookworm in abdomen
    your ivy strand golden hair flowed down your shoulders up to waist
    seated on the sign-stone completely naked on third day of November
    guides of death in guise of mosquitoes sang Death Metal around your head
    you do not remember the last lover who deserted you at this place.
    I said, ‘Abontika, do you still possess the 9mm pistol
    with which you had killed me ?’
    Waving your Naxal hand you brought down the pistol from air and
    emptying all bullets on my chest you said,’Ya, here it is !’
    I scooped out  44 year old bullets from my chest and placed on your invisible hand–
    You said, ‘That’s good, we shall meet again Comrade.’
    ( Translation of Prem Pherey Pherey Naa )
    Mumbai 2009
    .
    Elopegirl
    I could not find you in your bedroom , what a mess, am at a loss
    Abontika, which river has seduced you ? I unanchored my iceberg boat
    have a look, in  Keleghai Churni Gumni Joldhaka Mayurakshi Kangsaboti rivers’
    currents, no trace of scent of your sweat, am sad, the fishermen also
    could not find your blind touch, full-moon is in the dark,
    how would I manage, onions are not weeping, shit,
    bangles are clamourless, in which dream you have saved the kisses
    I could not locate, you could have informed someone, reflection of your face
    you had thrown away  along with mirror, oh what a problem, at least
    you could have left behind bed sighs, why the almirah is empty,
    whom did you donate hair-oil from pillow and birth-mark of your navel
    I could not recognize the voice of your mind, toothbrush is without music
    slippers are without dance, why do you give such agony Abontika, your
    name used to be tied with your fallen hair, I could not find even after sweeping the floor,
    your office going road is waiting for you inside cobweb of spiders
    your fish-breath drawing  routes on the palm has gone astray
    there, there, that bugger with whom you fled, his
    musical notes of  shoe-marks are loitering on the marble floor
    ( Translation of Elopekanya )
    Mumbai 2012
    .
    Stoniness
    Midnight may be called a kind of colour dogs dislike
    stones too despise being locked up whole life within its breast
    if picked up by someone at midnight it hurts their solid guilt feeling
    it wakes up and listens to the dog’s moans
    why is there such difference with a dead snail which even after death
    has the right to nurture her lover’s gestures inside heart
    probably because of blessings of sighs of couples
    even a drunkard would not throw a dead snail at a dog
    would abuse if he steps on it and hurts himself
    but that is done by all lovers amid busy crowd
    in the flesh of the snail whispers of his lover
    continuously  resonate to  respond to sex-waves
    pity the stone without a female organ
    ( Translation of Pathorata )
    Mumbai 2012
    .
    Counter Discourse
    Relentless salty invite of sea was telling me I am not the same I used to be dear
    I am not because after my legs were tied to railing of a hospital bed
    cultivators’ river and labourers’ river were flowing separately on both side of bed
    an enforced discipline in which the sun rises and sets only once throughout the day
    if one has to draw comparison one would say it is not wedding vows of frog and snake
    when the half-wet seed has for the last time embraced its sprout
    I knew I was not as I used to be as locks of all words have been opened
    days are such that roses refuse to bloom without bonemeal of saints at roots
    and some bugger has spitted red at the corner of the sky and fled
    may be… may be… the raven seated upon the head of scarecrow
    from the rag-stitched water of the pond during springtime noon
    I have cleaned and picked up the last piece of shadow of my own
    ( Translation of Counter Discourse )
    Kolkata,  30 March 2000
    .
    Objectivity
    Regaining consciousness in a trickle
    Hands & feet tied and mouth gagged on a railroad track
    The silent whole
    Shirt and trousers daubed in dew
    Whining crickets drone
    A rural gloom studded with night-chilled stars
    Can’t shout as mouth is wool of spew
    Ribs and shinbone smitten — not possible to move
    Stiff stonechips bite at back
    How beautiful is the world and peace everywhere allround calm
    A pinhead light is rushing on rail route piercing the one-eyed dark
    ( Translation of Pratyaksha )
    1986
    .
    Kurmitola, Jehanabad, 1989, Evening
    Mother
    while standing in waterweed, in the kitchen,  in her petticoat, was caught
    by police, her hair unkempt
    in wintery autumn flying horses stored in glass jar held in left hand, knitted in loincloth
    a comet from the yellow piece of cloud
    she floated her boat made of hay, unconcerned, lilies within shouts of children
    I know what will happen to her now
    Abdul, Gafoor’s brother, was first to bring the news
    but Mother gave up, hazy domesticity in the dusts of her brows
    why did she conceal behind Goddess Kali’s lamp-oil
    broken pulses and rice crumbs  brought from Murshidabad
    a little sun tainted skin, in unknown fear, palm on her chin, forgot her own name
    damp shadows on her hung face
    brain completely naked
    in drizzling dewdrops, smiled a skinny deer
    wooden shoes on snow, sky facing wolves, she cried whole day
    the priest
    drew blood in a syringe from her hand
    pain at the corner of her lips, was tired to climb the stairs
    ( Translation of Kurmitola, Jehanabad, 1989, Sondhya )
    .
    To Save People of West Bengal
    I do not know why
    inside pinkflesh jailhouse of a shark’s stomach
    during domesticated dangers in a wet honest alley of wayward rains
    when the 205 route bus carrying darkness on shoulders reached Babughat
    driver said go carefully to other side of river as it has gone for spawning to the sea
    you must be aware apart from rotten corpses other funerals have been banned
    I do not know why
    in the No Entry zone where only scoundrels win
    saw the parasite-ear crater-mouth reporter counting
    with painless hands of Duhshasan ashes of last breath from burning pyre
    whose only job was to contradict other people’s opinion in the motherland of bugs
    I do not know why
    men who prefer to lend tongue instead of ear to rumours
    when they made it free to board and eat for accepting disorder as peace
    victory arose from self named grave of poison smeared sheepfold
    everyone was shouting Hail Revolution but we do not want transferable jobs
    I do not know why
    the day ditched girl inside frog-echo water-well
    floated upward — sweet memory of iron-weight at grocer’s shop
    was balancing wheat flour for Satyanarayan Puja
    demeanour was such as if southern breeze was tickling fishes brought on land
    I do not know why
    faster than dementia of a wound’s  remembrance  of pain
    I saw funeral ants in a row carrying candy particles on corpse’s forehead
    ( Translation of Pashchimbanger Manushkey Banchatey Holey )

    Mumbai, 17 February 1999
    .
    Democratic Centralism
    To be honest I became  plywood leader after giving up cultivation of teeth & nails
    when I am in disguise my real appearance slips out
    is there any original work other than  self-hostility ? Tell me !
    To be honest I am a loose eagle haggard in  dilapidated sky
    I feign to pretend and pass it on as life
    I lead domesticity in a  hackery on swimmer dribbling  stream
    To be honest I hammer out stone from heart of stone and find
    through sandy glance rows of turtle-flesh eater gout sufferers
    searching for wing-flight smiles from drowned girl’s livid lips
    To be honest while I weep during adulterated smoke  offerings of ghee
    I create truth create death create up & down circles
    the snake was inside its hole I insert my hand to bewitch it as well.
    ( Translation of Ganatantrik Kendrikata )
    Kolkata, 27 November 1999
    .
    The Empty Womb
    After having layers of dust on ear lobes on breeze stitched paddy field
    when cobra children started dancing around me
    pointing nude fingers toward husky darkness
    I saw jingled sounds of sunrise amid whispers of rain
    the four squared universe seen through  soft barrel hole of a rifle
    which was encircled by a thorn crowned slogan-wet wall
    After the garden came forward to receive me
    dancing bells of cobra mom-dad were strewn all over grass
    and cobra housewife reminded several times
    she would expose and reveal the real thing
    The lady whose beauty I had ravished just by a glance at her
    I could glean through twisted arms of her sexless embrace
    my horoscope on dazzling  liquid breast of the crab
    licked with smooth kissing lips by  cobra housewife
    At the happy eating festival of the menu-card funeral
    the sick street dog licked its own shadow from bodyfur
    and over the bread crumbed map only then
    ant columns marched from one country to another
    ( Translation of Shunya Garbha )
    Ahmednagar, 12 October 1997
    .
    Two Worlds
    We know we are incapable of redemption
    but because of it why in your rain-echo drenched stingy  lungs
    piranha shoals would swim wearing pink raincoats
    Rumour is your veins carry ashen flight of one-dialect pigeons
    we’ve heard you used to tame fat-belly clouds with your blind vision
    you used to tuck  donkey brays of your daily diary in your armpits
    and now you claim that even Karna of Mahabharata did not donate his vote
    Everybody is aware that only coffin bearers are immortal
    since you did not get someone to talk to in  darkness of semen
    you searched for an one-shot lover in  clocktowerless city
    you scoundrels don’t you have any address or it is your sinister blood
    that the wrinkled mirror carries your pulpable image throughout the day
    Shame shame shame you want back the breath after you breathe it out
    I thought you would apply your power of doubt
    instead you are shredding  your prehistoric body-hair with ding dong cotton-gin
    My best wishes you get both hands of Duhshasana  of Mahabharata
    with which you may count the sparkles of flints in your fort of smoke
    ( Translation of Duti Bishwa )
    27 April 2000
    .
    Bite
    India, Sir, how long will you carry on like this, really, I feel awful
    India, I ate your jail food for  complete one month which means for 30 days
    No job since September 1964, you know India, would you mind lending me 20 bucks ?
    India, those guys are very bad, even rats are eating away your grains
    What did Suhrawardy advise you in the Control Room India ?
    O tell me — I am really happy, promise, I can make faces !
    And I do not know where Kolkata is hurtling in this bitter renaissance
    India, why don’t you get a few of my pulp published in Nabokallol magazine
    I’ll also become saint, or guide us to Santiniketan
    We would be servant of literature, you would give me a set of cultural attire
    Let us go to country liquor den Khalasitola today evening, we would cook Bengali culture
    India, why aren’t you exploding an atom bomb,  fireball suits the sky !
    Do you want to try LSD ? Both of us would sunbathe at Nimtala crematoria
    India, here, take this handkerchief, wipe your specs
    In this election please help me win, I’d contest from Chilika lake
    Which lecture of yours is going to be published in tomorrow’s newspaper, India ?
    I have snatched the key from them which keeps you going
    India, I surreptitiously read the love letters written to you
    Why don’t you cut your nails ? There are dark patches beneath your eyes
    Why don’t you apply colour to your teeth these days ?
    You kill in revenge but blame us for murder when we  follow you
    Don’t think I am just a cat’s paw
    How about a self-compromise eating one’s own heart
    India, withdraw Section 144 of Penal Code from paddy fields
    Send all great books to Vietnam, Huh Huh
    May be the war will stop
    India, tell me what exactly you want !!
    ( Translation of Kamor )
    Hungry Bulletin, 26th January 1966.
    .
    Chicken Roast
    Puff your plume in anger and fight, cock, delight the owner of knife
    smear sting with pollen and flap your wings.
    As I said : Twist  arms and keep them bent
    roll the rug and come down the terrace after disturbed sleep
    Shoe-boots—-rifle—whirring bullets—shrieks
    The aged undertrial in the next cell weeps and wants to go home
    Liberate me let me go let me go home
    On its egg in the throne the gallinule doses
    asphyxiate in dark
    fight back, cock, die and fight, shout with the dumb
    Glass splinters on tongue—breast muscles quiver
    Fishes open their gills and enfog water
    A piece of finger wrapped in pink paper
    With eyes covered someone wails in the jailhouse
    I can’t make out if man or woman
    Keep this eyelash on left-hand palm–and blow off with your breath
    Fan out snake-hood in mist
    Cobra’s abdomen shivers in the hiss of feminine urination
    Deport to crematorium stuffing blood-oozing nose in cotton-wool
    Shoes brickbats and torn pantaloons enlitter the streets
    I smear my feet with the wave picked up from a stormy sea
    That is the alphabet I drew on for letters.
    ( Translation of Murgir Roast )
    1988
    .
    Repeat Uhuru
    Hood-covered face, hands tied
    at the back…On the alter plank
    breeze frozen in bitter hangman’s odour
    who composes time ?
    Doctor Cop Judge Warden or None !
    I unfurl myself in the dungeon cloud
    where salt-sweating history of dirt is tamed
    the rope quivers fast at first
    Weak jerks thereafter calm, with dumbness of bawl
    wherein bards and butchers repeat their fall
    I revive my rise.
    This rising is singular. None other for the monster of words
    whose feet adore the ruined universe.
    I don’t face the gallows every time to keep alive
    a dynasty of faith of those who are spawned for death.
    Translation of Arekbar Uhuru
    Homology
    I am ready to be mugged O deadly bat come
    Tear off my clothes, bomb the walls of my home
    Press trigger on my temple and beat me up in jail
    Push me off a running train, intern and trail
    I am a seismic yantra alive to glimpse the nuke clash
    A heathen mule spermed by blue phallus ass
    ( Translation of Monushyatantra )
    1986
    .
    Chicken Roast
    Puff your plume in anger and fight, cock,
    delight the owner of knife
    smear sting with pollen and flap your wings.
    As I said: Twist the arms and keep them bent
    Roll the rug and come down the terrace after disturbed sleep
    Shoe boots ….rifle….whirring bullets….shrieks
    The aged undertrial in the next cell weeps and wants to go home
    Liberate me ... let me go... let me go home.
    On its egg in the throne the gallinule doses
    Asphyxiate in dark... fight back, cock, die and fight, shout with the dumb.
    Glass splinters on tongue….breast muscles quiver
    Fishes open their gills and en fog water
    A piece of finger wrapped in pink paper
    With eyes covered someone wails in the jail house I cant make out if man or woman.
    Keep this eyelash on left hand palm…blow off with your breath
    Fanout snake-hood in mist .... Cobra’s abdomen shivers in the hiss of femme urination.
    Deport to crematorium stuffing blood-oozing nose .....in cotton wool
    Shoes brickbats and torn pantaloons en litter the streets
    I smear my feet with the wave picked up from a stormy sea
    That is the alphabet I drew on for letters.
    (Translation of ‘Murgir Roast)1988
    .
    Counter-Man
    Circumcision made me apostate
    I thumped thighs and turned Tartar
    The king will go and evil eves raped
    Just as tutored Nadir Shah
    I’d kiss the sword and leap in air
    On galloping mare a burning torch
    I proceed towards falling outposts
    The metropolis burns
    A naked priest elopes with Shiva’s phallus.
    (Translation of ‘Palta Manush’) 1985
    .
    Preparation
    Who claims I am ruined? Since I’M without fangs and claws?
    Are they necessary? How do you forget the knife
    plunged in abdomen up to the hilt? Green cardamom leaves
    for the buck, art of hatred and anger
    and of war, gagged and tied Santhal woman pink of lungs shattered
    by a restless dagger?
    Pride of sword pulled back from heart? I don’t have
    Songs or music. Only shrieks, when mouth is opened
    Wordless odor of the jungle; corner of kin and sin-sanyas;
    didn’t pray for a tongue to take back the groans
    power to gnash and bear it, fearless gunpowder bleats:
    stupidity is the sole faith---maimed generosity---
    I leap on the gambling table, knife in my teeth ...Encircle me
    rush in from tea and coffee plateaux
    in your gumboots of pleasant wages
    The way Jarasandha’s genital is bisected and diamonds glow
    Skill of beating up is the only wisdom
    In misery I play the burglar’s stick like a flute
    Brittle affection of the wax-skin apple
    She-ants undress their wings . ....before copulating
    I thump my thighs with alternate shrieks: vacate the universe
    get out you omni-competent
    conch shell in scratching monkey-hand
    lotus and mace and discus-blade Let there be salt rebellion of your own saline sweat
    along the gunpowder let the flint run towards explosion
    Marketeers of words daubed in darkness
    In the midnight filled with young dog’s grief
    In the sick noon of a grasshopper sunk in insecticide
    I reappear to exhibit the charm of stiletto.
    (Translation of ‘Prastuti’) 1985
    .
    Motorbike
    I am on mobike Yezdi Yamaha
    When flanked by horizon gallop backwards through sand blizzard
    tinsel clouds explode at my feet without helmet
    and speed-split air at eighty
    in midsummer' s moon
    each sound-cart recedes
    onrushing lorries flee in a flash
    no time to brood but Yes
    accident expected anytime
    may even turn into a junk-heap in a drought-nursed field.
    (Translation of ‘Motor Cycle) 1986
    .

    The Light
    I get a thud-kick in pitch dark thick on belly and tumble
    Hands tied at the back on damp floor shack to humble
    Lights flash on face eyes blind in case I spin
    Then lights go off a boot or two rough on chin
    I feel blood drips and snail down the lips in trickle
    The glare blinks on and off and on and off in ripple
    A hot metal rod scalds hard breast broad to snip flesh warm
    The lights hem in piercing thin a ruthless swarm
    Red eyes get shut in blinding rut my vision erode
    Final blackout in grisly rout in elliptic node
    I prepare my grit to encounter the hit as a fightback code.
    (Translation of ‘Aalo’)1985
    .
    Classic Fraud
    Classic fraud get down from palanquin
    I’ve quit the job of a slave
    A chopper now seethes from waist up to shin
    It’s not a free kitchen to be in the queue with an enamel tin
    O virgin money come crisp and rave
    Green-frock butterfly in the unemployed’s land
    Swoosh and jingle in a parachute. And
    Cops keep a watch and censor my letters
    Heavenly boss---how long in fetters
    I’ll spring up on all fours and snip your neck
    Climb the corn shack and wave
    Henna-dyed hair on a hay-staired deck. Well!
    Classic fraud come down on your own or face hell.
    (Translation of ‘Dhrupadi Jochchor’)1986
    .
    Objectivity
    Regaining consciousness in a trickle
    Hands and feet tied and mouth gagged on a railroad track
    The silent whole
    Shirt and trousers daubed in dew
    Whining crickets drone
    A rural gloom studded with night-chilled stars
    Can’t shout as mouth is wool of spew
    Ribs and shinbone smitten---not possible to move
    Stiff stone chips bite at back
    How beautiful is the world and peace everywhere all round calm
    A pinhead light is rushing on the route piercing the one-eyed dark.
    (Translation of ‘Pratyaksha’)1986
    .
    House Arrest
    I kick the door planks and reveal a midnight yell
    Whoever’s home I’ll break it open.
    Take care of your deity, your woman, gold and slaves
    False documents, Henceforth the hearth is mine
    Throw off your things on the road when day breaks.
    Summer from corn, coconut shadow from doormat,
    afternoon clouds from clothes
    Affection from jewels and hunger from dinner utensils
    Kick them all out through the main entrance as a token.
    Not arrested now as there are many more in line.
    (Translation of ‘ Baridakhal’) 1986
    .
    Dilemma
    While returning I’m hemmed in. By six or seven. All
    Have weapons. I knew it when I came
    Something bad was going to happen. But framed
    My mind that first attack would not be from my call.
    A mugger holds the shirt-collar and blurts: Want a dame?
    Why here? Mama and not in chawl?
    I keep my cool, teeth on teeth. Right then a blow on chin
    Feel the hot blood lather.
    A jerk and I sit down. In my socks I spin.
    A stainless knife beams in halogen shadow
    Rama inscribed on one side and Kali on other.
    The crowd disperses. Power in the name of gods
    Not known to all. Why are men jinn
    Why don’t they love the lover? The six or seven encircling me
    Withdraw mysteriously.
    (Translation of ‘ Dotana’) 1986
    .
    Uncle Chapter
    Yudhishthira
    Hey you Pandava Chap Yudhishthira
    Climb down from your multi storied flat and come in the lane
    Brihg Krishna Bhima Nakula and other lackeys
    Daggers hockey sticks soda water-bottles and iron chains
    Tell Draupadi to have a glimpse from the sill
    I’m weaponless alone
    Dhrishtadumna Duryodhana not with me
    I donated my forefinger at your behest when I was young
    Your victory-cry will now be ripped open
    Unchain the bitch of mahaprasthana and fight me
    I’ll fight left-handed yet won’t budge
    Call me mugger and call me lumpen
    I’ll fall on the footpath with frothing lips
    Speeding mules will emboss their hooves on my back
    You’ll flay my navel with broken blade
    Press cigarette butts on my arse
    Bludgeon my ribs with a wool=covered mace
    But I’ll show you
    I’ll rap my feet on the ground and put a halo around the earth.
    (Translation of ‘Meshomashay Parba’)1986
    .
    Existence
    Midnight knock at the pin drop door.
    You have to replace a dead undertrial.
    Shall I put on a shirt? Gulp a few morsels?
    Slip off through the terrace?
    Door-planks shatter and wall plaster flakes
    Masked men enter and enflank
    “What’s the name of that squint-eyed guy
    Where’s he hiding?
    Speak up, or come with us !”
    I choke in terror: Sir, yesterday at sunrise
    He was lynched by a mob.
    (Translation of ‘Astitwa’) 1985
    .
    Throne of the Weevil
    O antsucker tongue of the shy mammal
    delighted in one-horned matrimony
    terrestrial aqua and aerial
    host-beast of the smuggler moll
    ruminant antelope
    earth roamer water-cat the perfumed bitch
    ate up the sonorous black hole and established
    a slave kingdom in this ditch.
    (Translation of ‘Ghunpokar Singhasan’) 1986
    .
    From ‘Jakham’
    Awning ablaze with toxic fire above me
    I lie watching the winged blue of this crawling sky
    putting down the crushing anger of my suffering
    I cross exam my nocturne doubts
    pushing a gramophone needle over the lines of my palm
    I scan the prophecy
    armature on the left turned slag long ago
    now eye flesh twitching in the smoke of malay’s burning skeleton
    dismantled tempests sweep by at 99mph
    uniform queues of wrist watched zombies tattle trade cyclic seine
    a swinging bat threatened me in this black dungeon
    800,000 doorless jamb stare for eternity over the liquid meadow
    16 division ravens whirl around my torso for 25 years
    my bones reel clutching my raw wounds
    my peeled flesh blood
    flaying my skin I uncover arrogant frescoes of my trap
    ageless sabotage inside the body
    patrolling darkness in the hemoglobin
    I’m deciding what to do with me now
    I’ve inherited emergent vengeance polished for 6000 years
    tugging at man’s insensibility scraping old plaster of my skin
    fingernails look magnanimous after the meal
    people are returning home on tortoise back
    failing to search out my heart in my body
    man training man the fair-spoken codes of war & hospitality
    gathering fallen limbs from the torso we’ve to retreat to
    I lie lazily closing both eyelids wrapped in sun flakes
    coked reeks conspiring in my veins turned loose
    ohh
    from the vapour of brain’s angry kernel
    technicoloured nitrocellulose oozes over dreamlined retina
    letters of sympathy heaped against half closed futureless door
    my black muscles rust
    equally true corpses of geniuses & fool... slime simultaneously into earth
    each woman is waiting with a conversion chart in her desolate womb
    Gandhi & Attila’s equi-chemical blood
    streams through  same veins
    nothing happens to me... nothing will happen to this earth either
    neither could I practice usury like the rest of mankind
    nor shoot dice made of human bones
    seeds floating in air try to slouch roots
    into my unfertile swea-tbeads
    I dreamt of my failure in Bumghang’s apple orchard
    I couldn’t choose the luxurious comfort of an insect
    sleeping in the cushioned kitchen of a corn’s kernel
    I’ve been spitting inside my body for the last 25 years
    scraping off from mirror’s knave mercury self-savior imprints of my violent face
    each & all having a certificate from the burning-ghat doctor
    for their performance of duty until last breath
    2000 hounds released from out of my skull
    haunting me for 25yrs
    sniffing the alleys trod by women I advance toward their
    amateur abode
    my heart-lump split open in terror
    when I looked at footprints on dark pavement
    sounds of dripping sand have evoked my skin pores
    my spine burnt smoke billow through chimneys of skin
    ants drag flesh copses through moth made clay veins
    damn barefoot amid sea gulf I proceed
    to sullen den of vultures
    I’ve experienced magic simultaneously of food
    concealing envious tints of blood & pus
    perverse sugarcane brain sucks
    liquid philanthropic dirt out of earth
    my Dirt my Love my Blood
    clouds drift by like pieces of discarded bloodseained cloth
    I now recall Bluegirl’s sick left tit….
    Vibrating with heart’s feeble flutter
    Life’s whacklings are to be endured until death
    with a dumb tongue
    a blazing mantle hangs in place of my heart machine
    plus-minus signs and compasses with broken needles
    stream through my arteries
    rifle’s dazzling nozzle & diesel-roller sleep
    in iron-ore of earth
    and stored deep down in zink’s brain
    newspapers’ Yes & newspaper’s No
    my feet do not realize
    I’m controlling their speed & direction
    I’m not sure if I’ll have to become unworldly
    paying excise with an untransferable woman
    I gloomed all through the winter forging my own signature
    was born not wanting to be born
    now without unlacing my shoes
    I want to plunge into the glow less dark
    everybody is making arrangements for Tomorrow
    shoes are having sympathetic polish this evening
    only for Tomorrow
    yet even circular roads get hold of man’s legs
    one day or the other
    lusting for limbs 303 greased cartouches
    stashed in new pineboxes rush up to frontiers of countries
    2510 years after Buddha sprawled on Gandhi-lawn
    model-’65 leftover shoes & umbrellas of cop & non-cop clashes
    in the warehouse of cocaine & counterfeit money
    Indian & Chinese citizens mirth together in ecstasy
    I had lifted a 5-paise coin from a blind beggar’s palm
    I had looted benevolent money of hearse-corpses
    Out of parched groin
    crossed death-panic on a boat not knowing how to swim
    I may be censored I can not be disregarded
    (Translation of ‘Jakham’)1965
     .
    Stark Electric Jesus
    Oh I'll die I'll die I'll die
    My skin is in blazing furore
    I do not know what I'll do where I'll go oh I am sick
    I'll kick all Arts in the butt and go away Shubha
    Shubha let me go and live in your cloaked melon
    In the unfastened shadow of dark destroyed saffron curtain
    The last anchor is leaving me after I got the other anchors lifted
    I can't resist anymore, a million glass panes are breaking in my cortex
    I know, Shubha, spread out your matrix, give me peace
    Each vein is carrying a stream of tears up to the heart
    Brain's contagious flints are decomposing out of eternal sickness
    other why didn't you give me birth in the form of a skeleton
    I'd have gone two billion light years and kissed God's ass
    But nothing pleases me nothing sounds well
    I feel nauseated with more than a single kiss
    I've forgotten women during copulation and returned to the Muse
    In to the sun-coloured bladder
    I do not know what these happenings are but they are occurring within me
    I'll destroy and shatter everything
    draw and elevate Shubha in to my hunger
    Shubha will have to be given
    Oh Malay
    Kolkata seems to be a procession of wet and slippery organs today
    But i do not know what I'll do now with my own self
    My power of recollection is withering away
    Let me ascend alone toward death
    I haven't had to learn copulation and dying
    I haven't had to learn the responsibility of shedding the last drops
    after urination
    Haven't had to learn to go and lie beside Shubha in the darkness
    Have not had to learn the usage of French leather
    while lying on Nandita's bosom
    Though I wanted the healthy spirit of Aleya's
    fresh China-rose matrix
    Yet I submitted to the refuge of my brain's cataclysm
    I am failing to understand why I still want to live
    I am thinking of my debauched Sabarna-Choudhury ancestors
    I'll have to do something different and new
    Let me sleep for the last time on a bed soft as the skin of
    Shubha's bosom
    I remember now the sharp-edged radiance of the moment I was born
    I want to see my own death before passing away
    The world had nothing to do with Malay Roychoudhury
    Shubha let me sleep for a few moments in your
    violent silvery uterus
    Give me peace, Shubha, let me have peace
    Let my sin-driven skeleton be washed anew in your seasonal bloodstream
    Let me create myself in your womb with my own sperm
    Would I have been like this if I had different parents?
    Was Malay alias me possible from an absolutely different sperm?
    Would I have been Malay in the womb of other women of my father?
    Would I have made a professional gentleman of me
    like my dead brother without Shubha?
    Oh, answer, let somebody answer these
    Shubha, ah Shubha
    Let me see the earth through your cellophane hymen
    Come back on the green mattress again
    As cathode rays are sucked up with the warmth of a magnet's brilliance
    I remember the letter of the final decision of 1956
    The surroundings of your clitoris were being embellished
    with coon at that time
    Fine rib-smashing roots were descending in to your bosom
    Stupid relationship inflated in the bypass of senseless neglect
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
    I do not know whether I am going to die
    Squandering was roaring within heart's exhaustive impatience
    I'll disrupt and destroy
    I'll split all in to pieces for the sake of Art
    There isn't any other way out for Poetry except suicide
    Shubha
    Let me enter in to the immemorial incontinence of your labia majora
    In to the absurdity of woeless effort
    In the golden chlorophyll of the drunken heart
    Why wasn't I lost in my mother's urethra?
    Why wasn't I driven away in my father's urine after his self-coition?
    Why wasn't I mixed in the ovum -flux or in the phlegm?
    With her eyes shut supine beneath me
    I felt terribly distressed when I saw comfort seize Shubha
    Women could be treacherous even after unfolding a helpless appearance
    Today it seems there is nothing so treacherous as Woman & Aet
    Now my ferocious heart is running towards an impossible death
    Vertigoes of water are coming up to my neck from the pierced earth
    I will die
    Oh what are these happenings within me
    I am failing to fetch out my hand and my palm
    From the dried sperms on my trousers spreading wings
    300000 children gliding toward the district of Shubha's bosom
    Millions of needles are now running from my blood in to Poetry
    Now the smuggling of my obstinate legs are trying to plunge
    Into the death-killer sex-wig entangled in the hypnotic kingdom of words
    Fitting violent mirrors on each wall of the room I am observing
    After letting loose a few naked Malay, his unestablished scramblings.
    ( Translation of Prachanda Baidyutik Chhutar )
    .
    I Danced with Tagore
    Arrey Rabindranath, remember? I danced with you?
    raised half-folk ding-dong around my fingers on monochord
    from crowded Free School Street to the clove market of Sadar St
    while walking along you said I am coming from Silaidaha
    on my way to Alumuddin Office.
    On your lips made of fire and water there was still
    trace of Holy Song what heat what heat you threw away the
    gabardine robe I found leeches on your pink person
    there are lots of leeches in rainy Jorasanko
    At the whiff of mutton kebab from Selim’s shop, What are
    the muslims cooking, when you asked he replied, ‘Don’t you
    know? Its bull meat! Why don’t you give a try? ‘
    In the tea stall bald-headed goat-bearded Vladimir Illich
    golden hair Vera Ivanova Jasulich and like your silver beard
    Axelrod and Martov whose cheek was quivering
    you asked, Where are their torsoes?
    Since I was unable to stop my dance you wanted to
    donate me your monochord as whoever got a chance has taken
    away dances from your feet and now even during daytime
    halogen lamps are on what joy what joy
    Your three-legged chair is lying on Sadar Street balcony
    you had broken it while making tumultous love, it is written
    in your Autobiography with year & date what love what love
    The horse of your carriage is singing like a cuckoo
    grandpa Rabindranath and all those spawned from your
    sperm are eating fried horse-grams from the floor
    What are these? I replied, ‘crows’. What are those
    called? I said, ‘You better ask Selim, he raises gangland
    money in this area.’ What divinity what divinity.
    (Translated from his original Bengali poem “Ki Bishaya Ki Bishaya”)
    .
    Sanitary Napkin
    Malay Roychoudhury | Translation: Uttaran Das Gupta
    Love is like that girl, who
    had to drop out of school;
    Three-and-a-half days each month,
    Must wear dry grass tied in cloth;
    In monsoon, the grass is green,
    So, ash wrapped in cloth,
    to soak up the blood,
    seated quietly, alone, book-less.
    Translation of Sanitary Napkin by Uttaran Dasgupta

    .

    Please Don’t Tell My Grandmother
    He asked you not to like me,
    So why did you, Neera?
    Even now, I perform breaststrokes in caterpillar-stuffed north eastern clouds
    He didn’t ask me for any poems for 50 years,
    So why are you asking now, Neera?
    Even now, standing in 10-foot-deep water, I wield icy rods
    He wrote an editorial on my sub-judice case,
    Turning an editor, why are you asking for my writing, Neera?
    Even now, I love flatbreads stuffed with smoked penguin fat
    He did not confess to being my anthology’s publisher
    Why did you confess, Neera?
    Even now, I have family-pack yawns in the face of families,
    He didn’t like pronouncing my name
    So why are you telling it to youths, Neera?
    Even now, in bloody waters, I join the Bollywood chorus of tiger sharks
    He had said I have nothing of a true writer
    So why do you think I do, Neera?
    At Imlitala, I knew rat roasts don’t taste too good without charcoal smoke
    He said I have nothing creative in me
    So why do you think I do, Neera?
    Having burnt bank notes worth Rs 5,000 crore, I smelt death
    He said I’ll never write poetry
    So why do you think I have, Neera?
    On the banks of Amsterdam’s canals I have heard doddering old men sing limericks
    He transcended from sorrow to anger and anger to hate
    Why are you so generous Neera?
    Please don’t tell my grandmother.
    Translation of Aamar Thakumakey Jeno Bolben Na by Uttaran Dasgupta
    .
    Comedy is Tragedy’s Parasite
    What was the name of that editor of Janata? 1961:
    On the front page, he wrote: “Won’t last, won’t last!”
    Him? Maybe he is called Mogambo.
    Then 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
    Who was that short man, wrote in the daily literary supplement
    “That? How long will that last? Won’t last.”
    What was his name? That man, at the Esplanade book stall
    Can’t remember? Where did he go, that man?
    In a famous little magazine he wrote—
    Him? Maybe he is called Dr Dang
    Then 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972
    Can’t recall? Thick glasses, a swift stride—
    Him? Maybe he is called Gabbar Singh
    Why can’t you remember the names their fathers gave them?
    Forgotten in just 50 years? Where did they go?
    And that fellow who wore loose trousers and a bush shirt
    And wrote so many times: “Won’t last, won’t last.”
    Then 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979,
    1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985,
    1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992,
    1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999,
    2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,
    2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
    What? Can’t remember yet? What a strange fellow you are!
    So many writers, editors, poets repeatedly
    Wrote: “Won’t last, won’t last, won’t last too long
    People will forget soon.” And yet you struggle
    To recall their names? Then let it be!
    Let Mogambo, Dr Dang and Gabbar Singh
    Be their names in the history of Bengalis.
    Comedy Holo Tragedyr Porgachha translated by Uttaran Dasgupta
    .
    Insomnia
    Feel like writing; write
    Feel hungry; eat
    Feel love; do
    Feel inflamed; burn
    Feel addicted; drink
    Feel funny; laugh
    Feel like touching; touch
    Feel like looking; look
    Feel like cooking; cook
    Feel like giving; donate
    Feel like reading; read
    Feel like laying; lay
    Feel like pissing; piss
    Feel like yawning; yawn
    Feel hate; hate
    Feel like shitting; shit
    Feel like sneezing; sneeze
    Feel hurt; cry
    Feel like farting; fart
    Feel like dancing; dance
    Feel like singing; sing
    Feel like breathing; am
    No sleep
    No dreams
    Bengali poem Insomnia Translated by Uttaran Dasgupta 
    .
    Homeland
    Can’t say my Uttarpara ancestral home isn’t my homeland,
    I know unidentified bodies, their eyes plucked out, float by in the Ganga.
    Can’t say my aunt’s Ahiritola isn’t my homeland,
    I know abducted girls are bound and gagged in Sonagachi nearby.
    Can’t say my uncle’s at Panihati isn’t my homeland,
    I know who was killed, and where, in broad daylight.
    Can’t say my adolescent Konnagar isn’t my homeland,
    I know who was sent to cut whose throat.
    Can’t say my youth’s Calcutta isn’t my homeland,
    I know who threw bombs, set fire on buses, trams.
    Can’t say West Bengal isn’t my homeland,
    I’ve the right to be tortured to death in its lock-ups,
    I’ve the right to starve and have rickets in its tea gardens,
    I’ve the right to hang myself at its handloom mills,
    I’ve the right to become bones buried by its party lumpen,
    I’ve the right to have my mouth taped, silenced,
    I’ve the right to hear the leaders sprout gibberish, abuse,
    I’ve the right to a heart attack on its streets blocked by protestors,
    Can’t say Bengali isn’t my homeland.
    Translation of Aamar Swadesh by Uttaran Dasgupta
    .
  • মলয় রায়চৌধুরী | 2401:4900:1c21:ac28:9b2:9db2:df68:e74f | ২২ সেপ্টেম্বর ২০২৩ ১৮:৪৬740852
  • উত্তরাধুনিক কবিতা কাকে বলে : সমীর রায়চৌধুরী
     
    ভাষাতাত্বিক প্রবাল দাশগুপ্ত তাই উত্তরাধুনিকতাকে বলেছেন ‘সাজানো বাগানের পরের স্টপ’ বা ‘অধুনান্তিক’ ।
    প্রবাল দাশগুপ্ত অধুনান্তিককে বলেছেন “সাজানো বাগানের পরের স্টপ” । আরও স্পষ্ট করে দিয়েছেন এই কথাগুলোতে, “কিছু কাল আগে ‘সাজানো বাগানের পরের স্টপ’ বলে একটা প্রসঙ্গ ফেঁদেছিলাম। সেই সূত্রে ভেবে বলো তো, তুমি যখন আধুনিক বিজ্ঞানের দূরবীক্ষণ আর অণুবীক্ষণ দিয়ে দূরের মহতো মহীয়ান্ আর কাছের অণোর্ অণীয়ান্ জিনিসপত্রকে যথাক্রমে কাছে টেনে আনো এবং বাড়িয়ে মাঝারি আয়তনে নিয়ে আসো যাতে তোমার নজরে তাকে ধরতে পারো, তখন তুমি আদতে কী করছ? আমি বলে দিই? জিনিসটাকে তুমি তোমার বাগে আনছ, যাতে তোমার পছন্দমতো ম্যাগনিফিকেশনে দেখতে পাও। বাগ, ইয়ানী বগীচা, ওই বাগান আর কী। তোমার সাজানো বাগানে নিয়ে আসতে পারলে তবে তুমি স্বস্তির নিঃশ্বাস ফেলে বলো, এইবার ধরতে পেরেছি।
    .
     নীটশে যখন পাগল হয়ে যাচ্ছেন ঠিক সেই সময় দিয়ে, যতদূর মনে পড়ছে ১৮৮৯ সালে, একজন প্রখ্যাত নীটশেবিদ পণ্ডিতকে চিঠি লিখে বলেন, “আমাকে তুমি ধরতে পেরেছ ভালো করেই জানি। খুব ভালো ধরেছ। এবার আমায় ছাড়তে পারবে কি? ছেড়ে দেখাও তো?” অধুনান্তিক শেখাটা ওই ছাড়তে শেখার দস্তুর। বাগে আনা কথাটার ব্যুৎপত্তি যাঁরা জানেন তাঁরা ভুল ধরিয়ে দেবেন, সেই অপেক্ষায় আছি, পাঠক তুমি তখন ধরতে পারবে আসল উত্তরটা কী হবার কথা, আমি আগাম বলে রাখছি, তার পর ভুলে যেও না উত্তরটা ধরতে পারার পর ছাড়তে পারাও চাই, নইলে তোমার সঙ্গে আকাশের সংযুক্তি ছিঁড়ে যাবে, পড়ে থাকবে খালি আধুনিকবাদের যুক্তি, দেখবে যে মাটির সঙ্গে একেবারেই আকাশের কোনো যোগ নেই তাকে আর মাটি বলে চিনতেই পারছ না, মনে হচ্ছে ছাই। চারিদিকে অসত্য কথন, মিথ্যাচার, ক্ষমতার রহস্যাবৃত কথাস্রোত সচেতন মানুষকে দগ্ধ করে। এক আস্তিক বিপন্নতা দেখা দেয়। লেখার মাধ্যমে সে তার কথন বিশ্বকে ব্যাপ্তি দেয়। পুনর্নির্মাণ করে তার সত্যদ্রষ্টা সত্ত্বার বহিঃপ্রকাশ। ধারণাময় এই ধরিত্রীর মাইক্রোস্তরে যতই প্রবেশ করা যায়, দেখা যায়, বহু সংকেত এমনই যে, বাস্তব জগতে বা প্রাত্যহিক কাজেকর্মে তা তেমন কাজে লাগে না। তবু তা প্রয়োজনীয় নয়, একথাও বলা যাবে না। অস্বীকার করা যাবে না, ব্যক্তি মনের সৃজন জগতের মুক্তির একটি পরিসর নির্মাণে তার ভূমিকার কথা।”
    জাঁ ফ্রাঁসোয়া  লিওতার্ ‘দ্যা পােস্ট মর্ডান কন্ডিশন এ রিপাের্ট অন নলেজ’ নামক একটি বই লেখেন। লিওতার্, ইয়ুর্গেন  হাবারমাসের বক্তব্যের প্রেক্ষিতে বলেন যে, আলােকময়তা বা এনলাইটেনমেন্ট  কিছু মহাবয়ান বা মহাসন্দর্ভ বা গ্র্যান্ড ন্যারেটিভ তৈরি করেছে। এই বয়ানগুলাে প্রচণ্ড শক্তিশালী। এই আন্দোলনে যুক্তিবাদী ধারণাগুলাে যেমন, প্রগতিশীল, যুক্তিবাদী ইত্যাদি ধারণাগুলাে শক্তিমত্তা অর্জন করে। তিনি বলেন যে, এই গ্র্যান্ড ন্যারেটিভগুলাে দাবি করে যে সমগ্র বিশ্বে যা কিছু ঘটছে অতীত, বর্তমান এবং ভবিষ্যৎ সবকিছুর ব্যাখ্যা প্রদান করতে পারে, মূলত পারে না। লিওতারের বক্তব্য হল, বাস্তব আরাে জটিল আরাে বহুবিধ এবং সত্যও বহুবিধ। তিনি বলেন কোনাে বিশেষ সংঘাতের ক্ষেত্রে নানাবিধ যে দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি আছে তা সামনে নিয়ে আসা অত্যন্ত গুরুত্বপূর্ণ। লিওতারের কথা হল, বিভিন্ন অবস্থান হতে সত্যাকে বুঝতে হবে, একটি বিষয়ে সত্য পরবর্তীতে সেটি সত্য নাও হতে পারে। লিওতারের দৃষ্টিতে পুঁজিবাদ বিবিধতা মুছে ফেলে, এটি সমরূপতা ও অখণ্ডতা তৈরির চেষ্টা চালায়। লিওতার বারবার মেটা-ন্যারেটিভ বা গ্র্যান্ড ন্যারেটিভ বা মহাবয়ানের ওপর গুরুত্বারােপ করেন। তিনি এটির প্রতি সন্দিহান। তিনি বলেছেন, এই মহাবয়ানসমূহ তাদের বিশ্বাসযােগ্যতা হারিয়ে ফেলেছে। উত্তর আধুনিকতাবাদীর দৃষ্টিভঙ্গির একটি বিশেষ বৈশিষ্ট্য হল এই বিশ্বাসহীনতা এবং বিবিধতার ওপর গুরুত্বারােপ। সত্য বহুবিধ এবং সত্য উপলব্ধিতে অবস্থান অত্যন্ত গুরুত্বপূর্ণ। সত্য বহুবিধ হলে কবিতার সত্যও বহুবিধ হবে ।
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    জাঁ ফ্রাঁসোয়া বদরিয়ার বলেছেন যে,  আধুনিকতাবাদে বাস্তব এবং অবাস্তবের বিভাজন রেখা স্পষ্ট ছিল। এই দুটির মধ্যে পার্থক্য দাঁড় করানাের ক্ষেত্রে বিজ্ঞান ও প্রযুক্তি অত্যন্ত ক্রিয়াশীল। যেমন, ভূত দেখা, এটি বিজ্ঞান সম্মত নয় বিধায় এটা বাস্তব নয়। বদরিয়ার বক্তব্য হচ্ছে যে, বর্তমানের সমাজ জীবনে সিনেমা, টিভি, বিজ্ঞাপনের ইমেজসমূহের সর্বব্যাপী প্রভাবের কারণে বাস্তব এবং অবাস্তব, সত্যি আর কল্পিত, আসল আর নকল, উপরিতল আর গভীরতা,  এসবের স্বাতন্ত্র্য হারিয়ে গেছে। এর ফলে আমরা একটি হাইপার রিয়েল সংস্কৃতি পাই। যেখানে দুইয়ের ভিন্নতা ক্ষয়ে গেছে। যেমন, আমরা প্লাস্টিক সার্জারির কথা বলতে পারি। প্লাস্টিক সার্জারির মাধ্যমে আমরা আমাদের জন্মসূত্রে পাওয়া রূপের পরিবর্তন করে সৌম্যকান্তি বা সুন্দরী হয়ে আরেকজন হয়ে যেতে পারি। যেমন নাকটা পছন্দ হচ্ছে না, তা প্লাস্টিক সার্জারির মাধ্যমে ঠিক করে নিতে পারি। এই প্রেক্ষিতে বদরিয়া বলেন যে বাস্তব এবং পরিবেশন এই দুয়ের মধ্যে যে সুস্পষ্ট বিভাজন ছিল সেটি উত্তর-আধুনিকতার ফলে সংস্কৃতিতে, বিজ্ঞাপন, সিনেমা এসবের প্রভাবে হাওয়া হয়ে গিয়েছে। অধ্যাপক ইহাব হাসান একটি বিকল্প জ্ঞানভাষ্য এবং সমালােচনার মাধ্যম হিসেবে উত্তরাধুনিকতাকে  মানতে চান। তিনি যে উত্তরাধুনিকতাবাদের কথা বলতে চান তাতে উইলিয়াম ব্লেক, ডি সাদ; একটা সময়ের পাউন্ড, জয়েস, দাদা, স্যুরিয়ালিজম বা পরাবাস্তববাদ, নব্য ফরাসি উপন্যাসের ধারা, জেনে, বিট আন্দোলন, জনপ্রিয় সাহিত্যকে অন্তর্ভুক্ত করতে চান।
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    অধুনান্তিক পত্রিকা “হাওয়া৪৯”-তে আমি আধুনিক কবিতা আর অধুনান্তিক কবিতার বৈশিষ্ট্য এইভাবে চিহ্ণিত করেছি : -
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    আধুনিক কবিতা : যুক্তির প্রাধান্য, যুক্তির প্রশ্রয়, সিঁড়ি ভাঙা অঙ্কের মতো যুক্তি ধাপেধাপে এগোয়, কবিতায় আদি-মধ্য-অন্ত এই ভাবগুলো বজায় থাকে, একরৈখিক, ক্রমঅগ্রসর, কেন্দ্রাভিগ, যুক্তির দিকে কবিতার অভিমুখ, আঁটোসাঁটো, স্বয়ংসম্পূর্ণ, বদ্ধসূচনা, বদ্ধ আঙ্গিক, বদ্ধ সমাপ্তি, ডিসটোপিয়া, সুনিশ্চিত মানে, পরিমেয়তা ও মিতকথনের প্রতি গুরুত্ব, কবির ঠিক করে দেয়া মানে, স্হাবর, তলে-তলে মানে, বাইরে মুখোশ, ‘আমি’ পাঠবস্তুর কেন্দ্রে, ‘আমি’র নির্মাণ, একক ‘আমি’, পূর্ব নির্ধারিত মানদন্ড, ক্যানন দাঁড় করানো, সীমা স্পষ্ট, আত্মপ্রসঙ্গই মূল পপসঙ্গ, শুদ্ধতা, ‘আমি’র পেডিগ্রি বা কুলজি, একক মালিকানা, স্পষ্ট মালিকানা, গোপন গভীরে শিকড়, কবিই টাইটেল হোলডার, লিনিয়ার, লিনিয়রিটি, দিশাগ্রস্ত, একক গলার জোর, একমুখী প্রগতি, ধ্বনি মেলান কবি, কবি একজন বিশেষজ্ঞ, শ্রেষ্ঠত্ব, শ্রেষ্ঠ কবিতা, চার্ট টপার কবি, একজনকে তুলে ধরা, হিরো কবি, গুরু কবি, এক সময়ে একজনই বড়ো, ব্র্যাণ্ড নেম কবি, আইকন, কথার খেলাপ, প্রতিশ্রুতিভঙ্গ, শব্দার্থকে সীমাবদ্ধ রাখা, কবির ‘আমি’র প্রতিবেদন, বাদ দেবার প্রবণতা, এলিমিনেশন, একটিমাত্র মতাদর্শ, ইজম, হাইকমাণ্ড, পলিটব্যুরো, নিটোলো কবিতা, শক্তিমত্তার পরিচয়, কবিতার নির্দিষ্ট মডেল যেমন সনেট ওড ব্যালাড ইত্যাদি, কবিকে প্রকৃতির বাইরে সংসাস্কৃতিক জীব মনে করা, প্রতীকের প্রাধান্য, প্রতীকের চমৎকারিত্ব, ঘুরিয়ে বলা, স্হিতাবস্হার কদর, নাক উঁচু সংস্কৃতি, প্রান্তিককে অশোভন মনে করা, শ্লীল ও অশ্লীল ভেদাভেদ, ব্যবধান তৈরি করা, ভালো কবিতা-খারাপ কবিতার বাইনারি বৈপরীত্য, উতরে যাওয়া কবিতা, খণ্ডবাদী, রিডাকশানিজম, অবচ্ছিন্নবোধ, কেন্দ্রিকতায় উদ্ভূত, কবিতার শিরোনামের গুরুত্ব, প্রতিভা, মাস্টারপিস, ক্ষমতার মসনদ গঠন, মৌলিকতার হামবড়াই, একটিমাত্র বার্তার বাহক, কবিতার লক্ষ্য অব্যর্থ, কবির ব্যক্তিসত্তার বিবেচন, আধিপত্যের প্রতিষ্ধঠা, বৃক্ষশাখার মতন ইনটারলিংকড।
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    উত্তরাধুনিক কবিতা : যুক্তিবিপন্ন, যুক্তির কেন্দ্রিকতা থেকে মুক্তি, যুক্তির বাইরে বেরোবার প্রবণতা, আবেগের সমউপস্হিতি, কবিতার শুরু হওয়া আর শেষ হওয়াকে গুরুত্ব না দেওয়া, ছেতরানো, ক্রমান্বয়হীন, আবেগ-যুক্তির দ্বৈরাজ্য, কেন্দ্রাভিগ, এলোমেলো দেখায়, দ্বৈরাজ্যের দিকে কবিতার অভিমুখ, মুক্ত সূচনা, মুক্ত আঙ্গিক, মুক্ত সমাপ্তি, হেটেরোটোপিয়া, মানের নিশ্চয়তা এড়িয়ে যাওয়া, অফুরন্ত মানে, যা ইচ্ছা তা মনে করে নিতে পারেন পাঠক, মানের ধারণার প্রসার, প্রচলিত মত অস্বীকার, যা আছে তা লোনোর দরকার নেই, স্বচ্ছতা, ভিতর-বাহির আলাদা নয়, একক ‘আমি’র অনুপস্হিতি, ‘আমি’র বন্ধুত্ব, ক্যানন থেকে বেরিয়ে যাওয়া, সীমা আবছা, সীমায় ভাঙন, মিশ্রতা, লিমিনালিটি, সংকরায়ন, সংকরত্ব, মালিকানার রুবরিক, মালিকানার বহুত্ব, মালিকানা বিপন্ন, মালিকানা বিসর্জন, পাঠকই টাইটেল হোলডার, শেকড় ছড়িয়ে পড়া, রাইজোম্যাটিক, প্লুরালিজম, বিদিশাগ্রস্ত বহুস্বরের আশ্রয়, দিগ্বিদিকে গতিময়, অ্যাক্টিভিস্ট, জগৎ আয়োজনের মেলবন্ধন উসকে দেন, কবিত্ব হোমোসেপিয়েন্সের প্রজাতিগত বৈশিষ্ট্য, বিবেচন-প্রক্রিয়া থেকে কেন্দ্রিকতা সরিয়ে দেয়া, পাঠকৃতি বিচার্য - কবি নয়, সার্বিক চিন্তা-চেতনা, কথা চালিয়ে যাওয়া, কথার শেষ নেই, শব্দার্থের ঝুঁকি, আত্মমনস্কতা থেকে কবিতার মুক্তি, জোটবাঁধা, যোগসূত্র খোঁজা, শব্দজোট, মর্মার্থজোট, বহুমতাদর্শের পরিসর, বাক্যজোট, প্রতিনিয়ত রদবদল, ক্রমাগত পরিবর্তণ, ভঙ্গুরতার স্বীকৃতি, জীবন থেকে উঠে আসা ধারণা, বহুরঙা, অপরিমেয় নাগাল, নির্দিষ্টতার বাইরে, প্রতীকবর্জন, সরাসরি বলা,পরিবর্তনের তল্লাশি, প্রযুক্তির স্বীকৃতি, সাংস্কৃতিক বিভাজন বিলোপ, অভেদের সন্ধান, একলেকটিক, বাস্তব-অতিবাস্তব-অধিবাস্তবের ব্যবধান বিলোপ, যেমন ইচ্ছা হয়ে ওঠা কবিতা, বহুপ্রকার প্রবণতা গ্রাহ্য, কবি পরোয়াহীন, কমপ্লেকসিটি, জটিলতা, অনবিচ্ছিন্নতার দিকে, প্রান্তিকতায় উদ্ভূত, মাইক্রোন্যারেটিভ, সাময়িক প্রত্যয়, তত্বের বৈভিন্ন্য অনুশীলন, কবিতা ফ্লাক্স থেকে উপজাত, কাইনেটিক, কেন্দ্রিয় বিষয়ের অনুপস্হিতি, কবিতার শিরোনাম গুরুত্বহীন, প্রান্তিক শব্দ, আঞ্চলিক শব্দ, পথচলতি অভিব্যক্তি, একসঙ্গে বহু কন্ঠস্বর, বার্তার বহুলতা ও বার্তা বর্জন, আধিপত্যের বিরোধিতা, ছবি ও লাইন ঘাসের মতন ইনটারলকড, সংজ্ঞার সীমা ছাপিয়ে যাওয়া ।
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    আমরা পেয়েছি শিবনারায়ণ রায়কে, যিনি বলেছিলেন,   “ভাবতে হবে, চিন্তা করতে হবে, সেইসঙ্গে পড়াশোনাও করতে হবে প্রচুর। তাহলেই সবটা মিলিয়ে নতুন নতুন পথ হাজির হবে আমাদের সামনে”। তবুও শিক্ষা ও সুযোগের অভাবে বাংলা সাহিত্যে সুররিয়ালিজমের প্রভাব যথাকালে আসেনি। অথচ এ তো ভারতবর্ষেরই। সুররিয়ালিজমের মূল খুঁজতে অনেক চলে গেছেন প্রাচীন গ্রিসে যেখানে ডেফির দেবতা সক্রেটিসকে বলেছিলেন, নিজেকে জানো। কিন্তু তারও বহু আগে আমরা শুনেছিলাম আত্মানং বিদ্ধি। ধ্যানের সাহায্যে অপরলোকে উত্থান, শরীর ছাড়িয়ে গিয়ে দৈববাণী শ্রবণ, বেদ যে কারণে অপৌরুষেয়, অ্যালকেমির সমান্তরাল তান্ত্রিক উপাসনা ইত্যাদি। কিন্তু সাহিত্যে আমরা এগুলো ভুলে গেছি অনেকদিন, সম্ভবত ইংরেজদের প্রভাবে। সারা পৃথিবীর সচেতন লেখকদের মধ্যে এমন বোধহয় একজনও নেই— যিনি সুররিয়ালিজমকে পুরোপুরি অস্বীকার করতে পেরেছেন।   জীবনানন্দ দাশের কবিতায় পরাবাস্তবতার অসাধারণ প্রয়োগ দেখতে পাই। যাঁরা জীবনানন্দের কবিতা বুঝতে পারতেন না তাঁদের পরাবাস্তব আন্দোলনের কথা জানা ছিল না।
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    আধুনিক কবিতার পরের কালকন্ডে যে ধরণের কবিতা আর গল্প লেখা আরম্ভ হলো সেগুলোকেই উত্তরাধুনিক বলা যায়। একটি কবিতা উত্তরাধুনিক ফর্মে হতে হলে যেসব মানদন্ডে উত্তীর্ণ হতে হয়—তা নিয়ে হয়তো তর্ক আছে। এক পক্ষ বলেন অঙ্কের হিসাব কষে বা বৈজ্ঞানিক উপাত্ত ধরে নির্ধারিত ছকে একজন কবি কবিতা আর গল্প-উপন্যাস লেখেন না। ঠিক বিপরীত কথা বলছেন কেউ কেউ।  তথাকথিত ছক থেকে কবিতাকে মুক্ত করে সাবলিলভাবে বেড়ে উঠতে দেয়াই উত্তরাধুনিকতা। এতে অন্যের প্রভাব চাপিয়ে দেয়ার প্রবণতা থাকে না। এতে শেকড়ের টান ও নিজস্বতার প্রভাবকে গুরুত্ব দেয়া হয়েছে।
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    উত্তরাধুনিকতা হলো একটি আভাঁগার্দ বহুরৈখিক পথ । আভাঁগার্দ মানে ‘অ্যাডভান্স গার্ড’ বা ‘ভ্যানগার্ড’, আক্ষরিক অর্থে ‘ফোর-গার্ড’, ভাবকল্পটি এমন একজন ব্যক্তি বা কাজ যা শিল্প, সংস্কৃতি বা সমাজের ক্ষেত্রে প্রয়োগ করা হয় যা পরীক্ষামূলক, নতুন বা অপ্রথাগত। কাজগুলো প্রথমদিকে নান্দনিক উদ্ভাবন এবং প্রাথমিক অগ্রহণযোগ্যতা দ্বারা চিহ্নিত করা হতো । আভাঁগার্দ শব্দটা, মূলত ফরাসি সামরিক বাহিনীতে ব্যবহৃত একটি শব্দ ছিল । এই  সামরিক রূপকটি সাহিত্য-শিল্পের ক্ষেত্রে প্রয়োগ আরম্ভ হলো, বাণিজ্যিক, প্রাতিষ্ঠানিক, প্রথানুগত লেখালিখি থেকে পার্থক্য চিহ্ণিত করার জন্য । শব্দটি সেনাবাহিনীর সামনের জওয়ানদের নির্দেশ করে, যারা যুদ্ধক্ষেত্রে সবচেয়ে প্রথমে শত্রুদের মুখোমুখি হয় এবং যারা পরে আসে তাদের জন্য পথ প্রশস্ত করে । অর্থাৎ আভাঁগার্দ বলতে বোঝায়, সাহিত্য-শিল্পের ক্ষেত্রে, যাঁরা সমসাময়িক কালখণ্ড থেকে এগিয়ে । বলা বাহুল্য যে তাঁরা আক্রান্ত হবেন এবং তার জন্য তাঁরা নিজেদের সেইমতো প্রস্তুত করেন, এরকম মনে করা হয় । তবে বিবর্তনমূলক অর্থে নয়।  কারণ এটি বুর্জোয়া সমাজে সাহিত্য-শিল্পের মূল নীতি সম্পর্কে আমূল প্রশ্ন তোলে, যে বক্তব্যটি হলো এই যে, ব্যক্তি-একক  বিশেষ সাহিত্য-শিল্পের কাজের স্রষ্টা বা ব্র্যাণ্ড, পুঁজিবাদী কাঠামোয় বিক্রয়যোগ্য । আভাঁগার্দ ভাবকল্পটি সর্বদা প্রয়োগ করা হয়েছে তাঁদের ক্ষেত্রে যাঁরা বুর্জোয়া এস্টাব্লিশমেন্টের স্থিতাবস্থাকে চুরমার করে যারা এগিয়ে যাবার কথা বলেন । কবি বা শিল্পী কী বলিতেছেন নয়, কবিতা বা শিল্পটি কী করিতেছে, এটাই হলো আভাঁগার্দের নবায়ন ।
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    আভাঁগার্দ কবিতা তার আগেকার অন্যান্য কবিদের কাব্যাদর্শ  প্রত্যাখ্যান করে এগোয় এবং পরিবর্তে নতুন এবং উত্তেজনাপূর্ণ বাকপথের সন্ধান করে । অর্থাৎ আভাঁগার্দ সাহিত্য-শিল্পের মনোবিজ্ঞান এবং আদর্শে, ঐতিহাসিকভাবে বিবেচনা করা হয় যে ( হেগেলীয় এবং মার্কসবাদীদের দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি যাকে ঐতিহাসিক দ্বান্দ্বিকতা বলবেন), ভবিষ্যতবাদী প্রকাশের প্রতিনিধিত্ব করেL তাই বলতে গেলে, একটি ভবিষ্যদ্বাণীমূলক এবং ইউটোপিয়ান পর্যায়, আভাঁগার্দের বিচরণক্ষেত্র। ব্যাপারটাকে অনেকে মনে করেন, আভাঁগার্দ নিজেই বিপ্লব না হলেও তা ঘোষণা এবং বিপ্লবের জন্য একটি প্রস্তুতি। একইভাবে ছবি আঁকা আর ভাস্কর্যের নবায়ন করে আভাঁগার্দ । উদ্ভাবন ব্যাপারটা আভাঁগার্দ কাজের কেন্দ্র । ফলত, অনেকসময়ে, আভাঁগার্দ লেখা সম্পূর্ণ নতুন, দুর্বোধ্য, দুরূহ, মজার এবং প্রায়শই সমসাময়িক পাঠকদের দ্বারা প্রত্যাখ্যাত হয়। কবি বা শিল্পী তার ফলে হতাশ হন না, ঠিক যেমন যুদ্ধক্ষেত্রে ঘটে, পেছিয়ে আসার প্রশ্ন ওঠে না । মরে যাবে জেনেই  আভাঁগার্দ জওয়ানরা শত্রুনিধনে বেরোয় । কখনও কখনও কবি বা শিল্পীরা, যাঁরা আভাঁগার্দ  থিমের সাথে জড়িত, তাঁদের অবদানের জন্য স্বীকৃতি পেতে কয়েক দশক লেগে যায় কিংবা শেষ পর্যন্ত স্বীকৃতি নাও পেতে পারেন । ক্রমশ আভাঁগার্দ সাহিত্য-শিল্প মূলধারার অংশ হয়ে যায় এবং অবিশ্বাস্যভাবে জনপ্রিয় হয়ে ওঠে। তাই দেখা যায়, একদা যে ডাডাবাদী কাজগুলো আভাঁগার্দ হইচই হিসাবে নিন্দিত হয়েছিল তা প্রয়োগ করছে বিজ্ঞাপনের এজেন্সিগুলো । প্রাথমিকভাবে সাংস্কৃতিক পরিমণ্ডলে যা আদর্শ বা স্থিতাবস্থা হিসেবে বহুকাল যাবত গ্রাহ্য, তার সীমানা অতিক্রম করে আভাঁগার্দ সাহিত্য-শিল্প । আভাঁগার্দকে  কেউ কেউ আধুনিকতার শেষ বৈশিষ্ট্য বলে মনে করেন যার হাত ধরে উত্তরাধুনিকতা প্রবেশ করেছে । অনেক শিল্পী  আভাঁগার্দ আন্দোলনের সাথে যুক্ত করে নিজেদের কাজকে উত্তরাধুনিক হিসাবে চিহ্ণিত করেছেন । ‘শ্রুতি’ আন্দোলনের কবি সজল বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায় আমেরিকার ল্যাঙ্গুয়েজ পোয়েটদের বহু আগে উত্তরাধুনিক কবিতা লিখেছিলেন ।
    .
    প্রাগুক্ত বইতে তপোধীর ভট্টাচার্য বলেছেন, “সাহিত্যিকতার সংগঠনে উপস্থাপনার কত বহুমুখী তাৎপর্য হতে পারে এবং পাঠকৃতির নির্মিতিতে অন্তর্বয়ন ও পরাপাঠের গুরুত্ব কত বেশি,এ সম্পর্কে তারা আমাদের সচেতন করে দিয়েছেন । কোনও যথাপ্রাপ্ত বাস্তবতার পুনরুখাপন করাই শিল্প নয়। ভাষার বহুস্বরিক বিন্যাস ও প্রতিন্যাসের মধ্য দিয়ে বাস্তব অহরহ পুননির্মিত হয়। যে-অনুপাতে ভাষা নতুন হয়ে ওঠে, ঠিক সেই অনুপাতে শিল্পকেও মৌলিক বলতে পারি । এইজনো সৃষ্টি ও নির্মাণের দ্বন্ধ। আর, এই ধারণাও এখন অচল যে নব নব উন্মেষশালিনী প্রতিভার অধিকারী শুধু লেখক এবং পাঠক কেবল নিস্ত্রিয় ভোক্তা। রোর্লা বার্ত তার বিখ্যাত 5/7, বইতে বাচনিক নন্দনের নতুন পর্যায়ের সুচনা করেছেন। বালজাকের “সারাসিন' এর আলোচনা প্রসঙ্গে তিনি পাঠককেন্দ্রিকতা ও লেখককেন্দ্রিকতার নতুন সংজ্ঞা ও বৈশিষ্ট্য তুলে ধরেছেন। ভাষা থেকে অর্থের উদ্তাসনে যেখানে উৎপাদন প্রক্রিয়ার ওপর বেশি গুরুত্ব আরোপ করা হয়, সেখানে পাঠক সব্তিয় না হয়ে পারে না। স্বভাবত ভাষার অভিব্যক্তিতেও তার ছাপ পড়তে বাধ্য । কিন্তু যেখানে পাঠকৃতিকে আমরা নিষ্ক্রিয় পাঠক হিসেবে গ্রহণ করি, সেখানে ভাষাতেও অর্থাৎ অর্থবোধে সক্রিয়তার বিদ্যুৎস্পর্শ দেখা দিতে পারে না। যেখানে পাঠকের সক্রিয় সহযোগিতা আবশ্যিক সেখানে লিখন-প্রক্রিয়া কার্যত লেখক থেকে পাঠকের কাছে সরে যায়।”...”সংস্কৃতি ও বর্বরতার দ্বান্বিকতা কিংবা অমঙ্গলবোধ সম্পর্কিত চুড়ান্ত চেতনা কীভাবে সাংস্কৃতিক সমালোচনা-ধারাকে প্রভাবিত করে, এসম্পর্কে আডোর্নোর মন্তব্য নিঃসন্দেহে আমাদের ভাবায়। আউস্হিৎস সভ্যতার ইতিহাসে নিঃসন্দেহে বিপুল গুরুত্বসম্পন্ন জলবিভাজন রেখা । এই রেখার ওপারে যারা রয়েছে, কবিতা লেখা তাদের কাছে বর্বরতার অভিজ্ঞান কেন-_ তা তলিয়ে ভাবতে হয়। সৃষ্টির জ্ঞানও ধবস্ত হয়ে যাচ্ছে সার্বিক বিনষ্টির গাঢ়তম ছায়ার অভিঘাতেঃ তাই কবিতার মতো সূক্ষ্ম সংবেদনশীল শিল্পমাধ্যম এখন নিরাশ্রয়। তবে এই কথাগুলিকে আক্ষরিকভাবে গ্রহণ করা সমীচীন কি না, এই প্রশ্ন উঠে তাইযন্ত্রণাময় আত্মসমালোচনার সুত্রে বাচনিক আতিশয্য অনিবার্ধ হয়ে পড়েছিল। হয়তো শিক্পকর্মকে কেউ কখনো ইতিহাস-নিরপেক্ষ বলে ভাবতে না পারে ।”...”প্রতিটি পাঠকৃতি মানে সিসিফাসের পুনর্নবীকৃত উদ্যম; বয়ানের ভেতরে প্রচ্ছন্ন থাকে তাৎপর্যের গভীরে পৌছানোর সোপানমালা। অধ্যবসায়ী শিল্পরসিক পাঠক/দর্শক ছাড়া অন্য কেউ তাদের আবিষ্কার করতে পারেনা ।”
    .
    আধুনিকতাবাদীদের পরের কবিরা, যাঁদের ষাট-সত্তর-আশি-নব্বই দশকের কবি বলা হয় তাঁদের কবিতায় বক্তব্য আছে, কিন্তু বক্তব্য নিয়ে নিশ্চিত হওয়া চলে না। কবিতাজুড়েই চলে দ্বিরুক্তিবদাভাস, শ্লেষ ও কূটাভাসের খেলা। পরিচিত পরিমণ্ডলের বাইরে থেকেও তাঁরা নিজস্ব অভিজ্ঞতা থেকে আহরণ করেন উপমা উৎপ্রেক্ষা ও রূপক, মিথ ও মেটাফর। অনেক কঠিন সমাজ বাস্তবতার কথা বললেও তাঁদের কবিতার ভাষা অধিক সম্ভাবনা তৈরি করে । 
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গুরুচণ্ডা৯-র সম্পাদিত বিভাগের যে কোনো লেখা অথবা লেখার অংশবিশেষ অন্যত্র প্রকাশ করার আগে গুরুচণ্ডা৯-র লিখিত অনুমতি নেওয়া আবশ্যক। অসম্পাদিত বিভাগের লেখা প্রকাশের সময় গুরুতে প্রকাশের উল্লেখ আমরা পারস্পরিক সৌজন্যের প্রকাশ হিসেবে অনুরোধ করি। যোগাযোগ করুন, লেখা পাঠান এই ঠিকানায় : [email protected]


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