I saw him going away

when the sun was about to set 

Through the foot-lane1 amidst the fields

 

A japi2 on his head

two heavy sheaf of paddy on his shoulders

Making jirik jirik3 sounds.

They too left with him,

the golden sunshine of August

the hay covered neighbourhood, the thin lane

midst bamboos and grass

and the singing birds.

 

Were going

and

went away.

 

Who knows,

if he will,

in this lifetime,

come back or not.

 

Original Source: Assamese poem ‘Mormantik’ by Nirmal Prabha Bordoloi

Teuk moi juagoi dekhisilu                              

beli lohiuar porot                                            

potharor bokiaidi.                                         

 

Murot japi                                                    

kaandhot metmora duta dangorir              

jirik jirik maat.                                           

Teur pise pisei golgoi                                

aaghunor sun boronia rod                         

kheror suburitu, baah bononir                

kesa aalit                                                 

aaru gaan gua soraijaak.                       

 

Goi aasil                                             

Aaru                                                    

Golgoi                                               

 

kune jane                                            

teu aaru

ai jonomot                                      

ubhoti aahibone nahe.

Notes:

  1. Couldn’t recall/find any English word to signify bokiadi. These are the thin dales which divide the farmed fields. If anyone can come up with the word, please do so; I’ll be grateful.
  2. Japis are umbrella like hats used by farmers to shelter themselves from sunlight and rain.
  3. People in Assam identify the sound jirik jirik with the one made by paddy sheaf when one stem of paddy rubs against the other, as the farmer carries them.

 

[Translated in June, 2013]