Saturday, July 22, 2017

Lopamudra Mitra Sings Benimadhob

Lopamudra Mitra sings Joy Goswami’s Benimadhob.

Benimadhob, Benimadhob, I want you!
Benimadhob, do you remember me?
Benimadhob, when you played your magic tune
in the forest, I was at Malati School,
solving sums on the desk, a small class room;
outside the teacher was with her groom.
I was in class nine, I was in the line
Then Benimadhob, we met at Surekha’s house.


Benimadhob, Benimadhob, it’s a long time.
Tell me the truth, do you remember me?
Have you told you lover the stories — Just
one day I saw her with you and I witnessed
that dazzling light beneath your dazzle;
I agree you did suit each other. The sight
cooled my eyes, the sight blazed my eyes;
returning home, I said let them be happy.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Nabina Das reviews 'Selected Poems Sananta Tanty' in

What Tanty has written is perhaps more pertinent today, given the current political environment. The Kashmir impasse, trouble in the North-East, low-intensity but recurrent conflicts in the so-called backwaters of northern and central India, as well as the urban angst where rifts between religions, upper and oppressed castes, migrant communities and the upwardly mobile are more visible, all offer a foreboding picture of what he said:

I will rebel inside your core, start a revolution
If you rule us at gunpoint forever.

The sky will be the colour of smoke; it will rain blood.

The city will be riotous. People will be oceans.

— "Just For Poetry"

Read the full review HERE.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

"i too call myself i"
'Mor Priyo Saponar Usare Pajore', Around my Favourite Dream, Assamese poet Sananta Tanty's 13th collection of poetry, published in May 2017.

Monday, May 29, 2017

What is your favourite flower?

I wanted to say bokul, filled with the memory of my ancestral village and my grandmother, but the flower of my childhood is a milk white tagar shrubbery (a variety of gardenia?) our next-door neighbour had, next to which we spent our evenings, me and my friend Tublu. We were princes from a faraway land and we rode pitch black horses, with white diamonds on their foreheads.

Today, I don’t remember the scent of the tagar, just a feeling, of slight breeze in sweaty faces.

Monday, April 24, 2017

On the occasion of World Book Day, I talked to four regional language writers (Assamese, Hindi, Kannada and Tamil) to understand the current state of affairs of literatures of their respective languages and the tyranny of English, for Pune-based daily Sakal Times, published on 23 April 2017.
Recently, a friend called to ask why I am not promoting the translations book I published last month. What’s the point, I asked. It’s not that my Facebook friends are ever going to buy the book; it’s poetry, plus translations. In fact, I am too old school to really trust digital marketing. The real reason, however, why I am not going out with the book is because I was going through a serious bout of translator’s dilemma. I have the author’s approval, yet I was not certain if I did the right thing. There was always this nagging suspicion, perhaps there were other ways of doing it; perhaps someone else could have done it better. Today, as two of Sananta Tanty’s poems appear in the Asymptote Journal, I am somewhat relieved, somewhat less diffident. If one of the world’s best translations magazines sees merit in the poems, they couldn’t be all that bad.
The credit goes to Aditi Machado for her enthusiasm for Sananta Tanty’s work.
A big shout out to Kamal Kumar Tanti for typing out the Assamese texts in a word document and to Shalim M Hussain for arranging the recording of the poet’s recitation.
Do read, or listen.