Independence, How We Achieved This Word

Original:Nirmalendu Goon
Translation: Gazi Abdulla-hel Baqui

A poem is going to be composed, and for that with an expected excitement
Millions of rebellious and crazy multitudes are eagerly waiting
In the beach-yard of the vast concourse of people since morning:

‘When will the poet arrive?
This children park was no more on the day,
This Maidan adorned with trees and flowers was no more on the day,
No more on that day was this drowsy pale afternoon.
The noon almost ran out when wearing a grave face
The poet turned up and stood on the people’s dais
Then how was that afternoon of that very day?
Then how was that children park turning into the heart-ground of Dhaka
decked with benches, trees and flower garden?
I know, to wipe out all the memories of that day, dark hands are raised.
So I see these days this unfavourable yard without poet where
Poet against poet,
Ground against ground,
Afternoon against afternoon,
Garden against garden,
March in opposition to March….

O the child of future, O the poet of morrow
Swinging on the rocking cradle at the children park
You will come to know everything one day—thinking of you
I leave behind writing the story of that great afternoon.
On that day this garden appeared different,
It was neither a park, nor a grove—nothing of this sort it was,
Only like a patch of unbroken sky, the horizon covered with
Monotonous greens of grassy field stretching endlessly.
The green of our freedom loving life got merged with
This green field that stretched endlessly.

Fastening strips of red-coloured cotton fabric around foreheads and wrists
There on this ground gathered iron workers running from factories,
Bare-bodied farmers with ploughs and yokes on shoulders crowded in flock;
Stirred up youths snatching rifles from the police came there,
Grabbing death within fists, with dream in eyes there the middleclass came,
The lower middleclass, poor clerks, women, the old, whores, vagabonds
And children that gather dry leaves like you in large groups.
What an inquisitive waiting for a poem going to be loudly voiced.
‘When will the poet come?’ ‘When will the poet arrive?’

After the end of hundred years’ hundreds of struggles,
With brisk footsteps like Rabindranath
At last the poet came and stood on the people’s stage.
Then within wink of an eye water entered the boat in gushes,
Hearts were on the swings,
Flow tide rose in the vast crowd of people and all doors are open—
Who can impede his thunderous speech?
Violently shaking the stage of the illuminated mass,
The poet made all hear a pronouncement through his immortal poem:
“The struggle of this time is the struggle for our freedom,
The struggle of this time is the struggle for independence.”

From that day onward the word ‘Independence’ has been ours.

Biographical Information:
Dr. Gazi Abdulla-hel Baqui, poet, writer, translator, and a university professor, has already
authored twenty books and great number of poems, (many haiku and rubaiyat), articles and
stories have been published in different Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Periodicals etc. .
Besides being awarded internationally for his poetic accomplishments, he has many a time been
honored by different organizations of Bangladesh for his contribution to literature, education and
research. A solo cassette album of his eleven poems called `Visions’ and his poems in some
anthologies have been published by The National Library of Poetry, Maryland. Oddball
Magazine, English Teaching Forum, Poetry.com etc.have also published his poems. His prize-
winning poems on `peace’have been published in Official Catalogues by Cultura-e-Societa,

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