By Barsha Bhattacharya
A Sudden Meeting
This room is too peopled since the morning,
We are all very busy.
It’s my school’s birthday;
There’s not a moment to waste,
And then I come across a known face.
Memories from behind the veil reappear,
There are brush strokes on the faded canvas from the last five years,
Fresh thoughts that you inspire in me anew,
The rhythm and the fragrance – my mind is flooded with words in lieu.
I take up the pen and ink with the hope to create,
Come again so I may grow in your shadow’s estate.
Daughter of clay
Mother, I’m your daughter of clay,
Ordinary, and yet ordinary in no way.
Of me what does the world assume?
It hides me in the corner of the room.
Pent up in my dark chamber,
I unleash my thoughts, I remember.
Children with schoolbags pass by,
Brimming with laughter and joy.
Society has had its laws remade,
‘Inclusion’ is now the new mandate.
But different as we are,
We can still sing the same song.
Mother, do you think of us as being different?
Do you measure us on different scales?
I don’t think so –
For I’m the daughter of your clay,
Ordinary, and yet ordinary, in no way.
Barsha Bhattacharya is a young woman in her thirties, who has cerebral palsy. She is at present doing her higher secondary level education from NIOS (The National Institute of Open Schooling) through the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy. She stays in a residential institution for disabled girls as her mother is unable to take care of her at home as well as work for a living. Barsha is a wheelchair user and a self-advocate for disability rights. She is a person who likes to dream and articulates it eloquently through her writings. She dabbles in poetry and loves reading books. Barsha is a very jovial and witty person. The poem was translated from Bangla by Pragna Paramita Mondal.
For more stories, read Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus Magazine.
I salute the young poet and also the translator, Pragna Paramita, for a sensitive translation, which brings the poetry alive for so many who do not read or understand Bangla. Thank you Pragna, also for the other poem of the poet who no longer lives.
How wonderful it is to read such a beautiful poem by the poet Barsha…your words are so deeply touching, and evocative. Wish you more beautiful compositions.