Poems by Asit Biswas

A Sudden Meeting

a poem by Asit Biswas

A Sudden Meeting (Translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem)

I met her in train all of a sudden
Never I thought it would ever happen.

Previously, again and again I saw her
Clad in sari red in colour
As red as pomegranate flower.

Today black silk is her dress
The aanchal on her head stays
Encircling champalike fair slim face.

She had created a long distance, I felt,
Around her person’s private belt,

That up to the farthest corner of mustard field extends
And to the deep blue of the shawl forest distends.

My heart came to a standstill manner
The known one I saw in gravity of stranger.

Suddenly she kept the newspaper
And I was genuflected by her.

There opened up the process of social interaction
And we started the conversation—
How’re you, how’s your family going on and so on.

Her glance was through the window outward set
As if glance overcame infliction of days intimate.

She, to a few, in short, replied
To some she completely denied.

Her hand’s restlessness made me realize
Why these words, to keep silent is rather wise.

I was on another bench with her group members
Once she told me to come closer, by sign of fingers.

I thought, not a less courageous wench
Then I sat beside her on the same bench.

Camouflaged in the train’s noise
She said in a low, timid voice,

Don’t you please mind
To waste the time where can one find?

I’ll have to detrain at next station, as I bechance
And towards a distant place you will advance
To meet each other we’ll never get chance.

So the reply to the question so long did itself conceal
I want from your lips; will you honestly reveal?
I replied, “Yes I will.”

Fixing her eyes at the sky outside, she demanded answer,
“Have the bygone days of ours really gone forever,
Isn’t there left a little share?

I kept silent for a while and then said to her
“All nocturnal stars stay under diurnal luster.”

I felt a hesitation, did I artificially utter?
She said, “Stop, now go you there.”

All got down at next station
I alone was in motion.