About Me

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Hi, I am Anubhav Tulasi (1959 -) and poetry has been my passion since childhood days. I'm relentless in fighting a crusade for the freedom of the writer and the written word. For me a word originates in silence and to it ultimately the word must return. Though I have seventeen books to my credit, poetry has been a continuous struggle for me and will remain so....

Thursday, June 3, 2010

24 Assamese Poems by Anubhav Tulasi

A weird dictionary

A Selection of Poems by Anubhav Tulasi

Translated From Assamese by Nirendra Nath Thakuria

Again on Saturday the flood will rush around

Again on Saturday the flood will rush around

The fragrance of heart sips in the incessant rain

The ration will reach on Sunday

Pitching a tent sadness will settle in my heart

On Monday with the flute and Bonghosha

a full byre of ambitions will climb up the hill

Very often you come on Tuesday

to gather the twigs of bony fingers of hands

On Wednesday relying on a plantain raft

I’ll send the oar out on other errands

The milky paddy ears will rot on Thursday

Flesh and blood will crumble in erosion

On Friday along the slippery path I will go

to creamation ground to smell the eddies of my death

* * *

Legion of the sun

After a long time

as if the artist in God

woke up that day

The clouds were still

Bulgy the clouds were hanging

Too humid was the sky

Attraction swinging fast in heart

Boundless love

This is the glory of the supreme moment

The unease of the noble creator

On the russet of leaves in the ajar wood

lusty rhythm burst into

a jhumur dance


All of a sudden

the spirit of the forest flares up

From Tuensang the arrow of sleep

hits the van of the fire brigade

Forked branches gape

Under the silikha tree he is

rapt in thoughts

Chasing the shadow of the wings

of a giant bird

it is about to fall on

hand-made paper

As one sun is about to set

horsemen come up

and another legion of the sun

* * *

Never come to the hizal tree

As I see you weeping over the tamboora

I feel like pulling out the hizal tree

Leaving the door open

the way you begin

to weep over the tamboora

I don’t get a wink of sleep

in the bed of sin

Going along the string way

of the tamboora of night

if I reach

a river of remorse

Don’t come down to Kajalimukh

to stare at my body

drifting downstream

What if I come back

once again to life

getting stuck at the creamation ghat

among driftwood and reeds

What’s the use of leaving you behind

under the hizal tree

Leaving the door open

never take out your tamboora

to the feet of the hizal tree

plucking the strings so sweetly

* * *


Dead midnight

we were walking

in the moonlight

Under the jamun tree a path

led up to the hill

Dewdrops soaked her mind

the chilly wind did not feel like

shaking off the kanchan flowers

Dressed in white like the wings of a heron

I found no words of sympathy

Slowly the moonlight was dimming

In the darkness

the path under the jamun tree

led up to the steep hill

* * *


I’ve spread so arid an atmosphere

that the tears of my wife have dried up

I’ve kept burning such a fire all the time

that the smile of my wife has burned up

I’ve created such a high pressure

that her blood circulation has got affected

I’ve fed her bitters after bitters

that she has gone off salt and sugar

I’ve set off blast after blast

My wife has lost her voice

In the ultra-modern microwave I’ve so toasted my wife

that her mind and body crumbles even at a rub

For crisp dollars of foreign traders

it is high time to exchange my wife

* * *

A. K. Series

Got from politicians taken from traders

skimmed from different planning heads

all money turns into dollars

Dreams pale because

Of indirect exploitation

A. K. series

in exchange of people’s blood

that bursts all of a sudden

into ‘sovereignty’

Can it be achieved at will

This asset lies mortgaged

now in the World Bank

* * *


The doll

means the toy means just not the toy

the old toy the blighted toy

When the dead toy

mingles with clay

our doll is born

It glistens at its birth

easily learns to step up the ladder

all necessary tricks

A master of tongue-wagging

an expert in porn trade

Our doll devours

the misty garden of poets and artists

the post-modern dustbins

one hundred per cent of the 21st century

* * *

The moon

A deer grazes at the heart of the moon

Very often the question arises

Who is a man

Who’s a woman

Whose is the domain

on the moon

Who aims the bow and arrow

to capture the deer’s mind

One group says

No man is

on the moon

On the visible side

of the moon

gleam the moonlit vulva

and the breast curves

The other group holds

The invisible side of the moon

is male-dominated

India and Pakistan

Woman and man

Between the bodies

of the two countries

lies the God-given


* * *


A weird dictionary I planned to compile

Long ago I built a castle in the air

Utterly absurd

No word would find a place there

without a hundred per cent fancy

Its meaning would be

given there in a fanciful context

Only I would use it as a patois

with my fancied characters

Only I’d laugh during every chat

Mine would be the monopoly on anger

Three times at most I would use a word

and then wring its neck

I’d bury the body of the word

like that of a dead child

The word once rejected

would leave no trace

Only I’d script a newborn’s lot

I would keep no register

of its birth or death

by drawing a line on a white wall

with a cinder

When myself I’d forget

the dictionary would meet its end

* * *

Moving House for the fourth time

For the fourth time I’ve moved house

Even in the fourth place

he keeps sitting tight

His name is Ancient Quietness

Despite the love and cordiality

of his relatives

he has received since birth

he is wild and flippant

His voice bears no whiff of gratitude

He is not water opposite of mercury

whose dimension is ever fixed

who is constant even in the newness

of the fourth place

It is he who is akin to stone

whose heart is a native to the polar region

whose head is erect even in adversity

a piece of steel that rust cannot touch

an imperishable pillar of concrete

He is the proud owner of the vast wealth

which the thief cannot steal

which the seven brothers cannot divide

among themselves

At dead midnight I wake up

What is that sound

I suppose it’s a rain

after a long dry spell

I flick the electric switch dead

With the flashing eye of the torch

stuck to the tips of my fingers

I see

in the fourth place

Quietness scatters


* * *

On the night deepened by pigeons’ coos

Drum beats and clapping of bamboo clappers

on the night deepened by pigeons’ coos

my heart is impaled as if jabbed by a spear

What are you doing now, o bihuwoti

in the dead of night

Woken up by a nightmare

you’ve taken a cold gulp of water

Like an old lotus seed

sprouts the strain of Bonghosha

under the pillow

Seeking relief

I place my hand on the chest

My mind is hazy

The pensive poet says

Let the spear stay embedded

spreading pollens of pain

Let the tunes of horn and gagana glide down

every hour of the night

deepened by pigeons’ coos

With every glide

let the world of pain swell

spreading all over

my chest and back.

* * *

Around a deep blue star

Till yesterday which was not a bird

but something else

Even today morning

it crossed the bridge on foot

To change into a bird

from something else

is absurd unheard-of

But some of us

have seen the bird

and exchanged

motley ideas

how the skies scramble

for a kiss on its beak

I am also

full of praise

for the deep blue of its wings

* * *


Like the thorns

something is there

in the rain too

Leaning against a pillow

it wants to settle itself

and burn the wick of dreams

The rain leads me

to show the murmuring ghat

of an unseen river

I deck on the candle stand

the blooming drops of rain

The rain tills me

and in its heart

the paddy seedlings I plant

Sometimes I fly kites

with the rain

We both play the game

of snapping strings

* * *

A magician who first brought love

I smelt a flower in your river

The erosion has begun since

The fire began to fly in the air

The ocarina in the stream

The lac of my heart began to melt

That day

on a curved knife

I was scaling

the live fish of life

That was the beginning of love

I smell a flower with the roots

On water was floating

the bare tree

* * *


I didn’t sit with you on grass

in case the green turned delicate

I didn’t get drenched in rain

for fear of melting like salt

I didn’t jump like others into the river

in case the rolling waves broke

I didn’t go into the woods

in case the arrows of sin hit me

I didn’t go with you to become sunshine

in case the cool shade spread out

I didn’t keep pace with butterflies

I just kept sitting like Roivat

* * *

I won’t go shopping but go

I won’t go shopping but go

I won’t buy but buy

On impulse I buy


I won’t go shopping but go

I won’t buy but buy

Buying home the disarming smile

I smash

the mirror of sorrow

of both eyes

I won’t go shopping but go

I won’t buy but buy

Having bought the full moon

I hoist it like a flag of pride at the gate

and mock at the new moon of others

I won’t go shopping but go

I won’t buy but buy

Buying home barbarity

I strip the night naked at noon

I won’t go shopping but go

I won’t buy but buy

Meaning to buy the grassy breeze

I buy worm casts

I won’t go shopping but go

I won’t buy but buy

Meaning to buy a bouquet of flowers

I buy dodders

I won’t go shopping but go

I won’t buy but buy

Meaning to buy bulletproof

I buy the white of a shroud

I won’t go shopping but go

I won’t buy but buy

Self-interest I buy on impulse

Having killed two score of chickens

I wring my own neck

On impulse I buy

and never have another think

* * *

Ever seen

The ever-seen road

is a slough

The ever-seen trees

lampless stands of evenings

The ever-seen crows

losing blackness


The ever-seen

water and sky

are turbid

Whose is this face

ever seen

ever pale

Say, o mirror

* * *


Is that my vehicle

blown up in the explosion

Is that my body

coming out like a ball of fire

I have lost my birthmark

My relatives would not recognize me

I have lost the definition

of man

My successors will not find

my bone my flesh

The onus to rescue me

lies on the machine called the government

The onus to rescue me

lies on the fiery leaders

The onus to rescue me

lies on dumb statues called people


Don’t throng around me

Let fresh air come in


save yourselves

from being dead bodies

* * *

Castle in the air

This is a humble attempt of a craftsman

to fix the sky in the frame of a window

Blue ideal sunny wish

Building a castle in the air

Chand became a merchant

When the sky caved in

you became clouds or a grey joke

You beckoned to the sky

and the sky touched the land

Above my head the sky

is missing

the land under my feet

Folding them both you slipped them

In an envelope and posted …

* * *

Smiles on the faces in hoardings

Yeah, the smiles on the faces on hoardings

have faded

Something has happened so

what happened to the Iraqi twins

in the operation theatre

what happened to the neem sapling

planted in the front yard

for fresh breezes

what happens to the flowering mango tree

in the hailstorm

Yes, something has happened

Something has happened so

Someone has set fire

to the oil well

One after another

the doors have flung open

Through the open doors

are coming and going

two guests —Coming and Going

Something has happened

to those hoardings

* * *


A burden too old

As it is a part of body

I’m hardly aware of it

Not a bother if he were a corn on a limb

But he is an actor used to leading

So he has not taken easily

the frowning eyebrows

on the forehead

tears rolling with melted salt

No ease only anxiety

The velum is soft, the palate hard

shaking the jaws and lips

Chat recite a poem sing a song

I feel like putting down

this ancient load

before being buffeted by blows

Let my shoulders take eternal rest

I too chance to live

the life of a headless one

* * *

The garden of Spring

In the garden of Spring

nightmares are milling about

All of a sudden fire engulfs

a pregnant daughter-in-law

I say silk cotton trees are in bloom

In the garden of Spring

nightmares are milling about

At the jerk of a bulldozer

the huts of sorrow tumble down

Wailing the sky is naked

The wind is heavy with sadness

I say the palas trees are in bloom

In the garden of Spring

nightmares are milling about

The countdown has begun

Country’s keepers are going on a hunt

Well, what is public

At best

piles of petals of Indian corals

lying on ground

In the garden of Spring

nightmares are milling about

Long-handled saws and axes

are plundering the forest

Where else will cuckoos and bulbuls fly away

The flags of fear flutter on all leaves

In the garden of nightmares

my thoughts go against the grain

Having forgotten to bloom

screw pines are just

sharpening their thorns

* * *

Dance of the mantis

Under the shadow of that rock

of pain and sorrow

your heart dances

Beneath the rock

runs the murmuring brook

Leap and run. O murmuring brook

Yours is the dance of the open sky

the frantic dance of the sea

with blue hair hanging loose

Above it the moon the sun and stars

Self-absorbed dust beckons to strange birds

The leaning gulanch is your dance

The uruli that glides into the dance

the smoke that thins coiling up

the fire that flares in cleaning up a mess

yours is that frantic dance

If I could dance

If I were carried away by the dance rhythm

In the privacy of the song

in the privacy of the dance

the chirping of the cricket

the dance of the mantis

Listening to that song

grows the rose-scented darkness

Watching that dance

I forgot to blow out

the lamp

* * *

At midnight to the poet’s home

At midnight I went to the poet’s home

to watch the rise and fall

of waves in his angry veins

On the slope of sullenness

he was sitting

his spirit as pale

as the water hyacinth

It happened with dazzle

and a loud crash

From his hair the brainwave

hit the roof of his house

Over a sheet of blank paper

was hanging a watersprout

* * *


Dead midnight

we were walking

in the moonlight

Under the jamun tree a path

led up to the hill

Dewdrops soaked her mind

the chilly wind did not feel like

shaking off the kanchan flowers

Dressed in white like the wings of a heron

I found no words of sympathy

Slowly the moonlight was dimming

In the darkness

the path under the jamun tree

led up to the steep hill

* * *