Wednesday, May 24, 2017


RUNA BANDYOPADHYAY Reviews and Engages with Poems

Chhayader Bhalotuku / The Fair Parts of Shadows by Dhiman Chakraborty
(Bhinnomukh, Kolkata, India, 2015)

[Editor’s Note: The review was written in and first published in Bengali. Subsequently, the reviewer translated it into English. I have left her translation alone without editing.]

With the fair parts of shadows in Dhiman’s Labonya

Reviewer’s Note:
Here’s my pleasure trip on a boat made of Dhiman’s charm. It’s a conversation with fair parts of shadows. Some utterance piled up in the exterior of action, in the interior of reaction. I start engaging letters into the utterance. Alternatively I could say I start engaging words to my feelings. Sometime the words are word-illusion of me, sometime of the poet. I didn’t want any wall in between. Wall can’t be marked by water. There’s only engraving. An engraved wall is a history. I’m not writing a history anyway. I just want to implant words in my moments; the moment which is the indistinct whistle of nocturnal language; the moment which is the reflected light of the lost dew; the moment which is the unheard music of silent tears.

The journey through this water-stair has created the space for me to reconstruct my own poems in an internalized language. In the process of reviewing Dhiman’s book, I wrote these poems, with a structure of combination of prose and verse, originally in Bengali, an Indian language. The Bengali version has been published in my review anthology, Tamoser Alokbhromon (Light-Travel of the Dark) published by Kaurab publication. Here I am presenting the translated version of it. Few poems from Dhiman’s book are added here in the second section, which are translated by the poet himself.


At the very beginning let me present a stage show of the shadows:

(Cover designed by Pratik Chakraborty. Click on image to enlarge)

Light keeps the darkness in its womb. Shadow plays hide and seek with them. Fair part of it engraves the light and shade on the cover page. A question rolls down into me… is my shadow follows me?.... is my shadow follows...... is my shadow….. I start my dark-trip with a missing warrant. Nilumwala’s tumultuous call inside my brain – light...light…light… Chokor came down from wicker-basket. Rimless delirium lighted her eyes. There’s a knee-deep indulgence at the darken doorstep. Sunlight of moon is in the interior of moonshine. Distance is so illusive that it looks like a voiceless notation on the magician’s finger. With a mild touch the butterfly-sleep comes down on my eyelash. The soft touch shows that the old cooing of cuckoo with an extended Phulgun has come down from moon. I set the cooing on my lips. The aqueous humor giggled at the back of cornea. I opened my eyes to see how the soil’s coating on the frame of shelter has been washed away silently. Again I start my dark-trip at the boundary of words, embraced by Dhiman’s charm, under the shade of fair parts of shadows.

Nilumwala’s- Bengali word for Hawker
Chokor - A kind of bird said to enjoy drinking moonshine
Phulgun - Bengali name of a month of spring

Few stars come down on my palm
in my live-together with evening
Their trust nourish my finger
The homesick flight
gives Labonya
gives Riya
With this gift egotism is put up to auction
Paused rain at the corner of eye
 is in search of restless wind
tender salt is in nascent state with confusion
scatters sunshine with opened veil of eye
in sonata of love

Labonya - Bengali name of a girl, A lady character of the poet Dhiman Chakraborty
Riya - Bengali name of a girl, A lady character of the poet Swapan Roy

Love and fragments of sunshine take us a long way. Your second world walks freely with Riya and Labonya. The Phalgun with forgotten melancholy is ringing with the synthesis of left and right eyes. I have walked a long way with the reflected Riya from Swapan-beaker. Swapan has been bloomed in Riya’s eye with the rain-drenched Champak raga. Still I couldn’t turn the motion into any Labonya. You started the love-song in such a way that Riya becomes enlightened in unknown ambiance. In the pure light of rain-drenched evening there was boundless Labonya on her finger. The midday flew away with khul ja simsim. The lost finger slowly went away towards the parallel world leaving behind the first life.

khul ja simsim - Hymns used to open the door in Arabian novel Alibaba and forty thieves.
Champak – Bengali name of a flower.

Time is taken aback
by touching water-image of shadow
The moment is smashing
the endangered illusion of running future
The drunken butterfly maintains
 the musical beats on rimless circle
Single sip of death taken from a blink of life
is weaving light on the feathered cardigan
Time will fly now
in front and behind
in extreme spring
in winterless exultation

I know the story of your bird-life. It’s a story of dual-world. When the Light jumps from dimpled cheek of Madhobilata and walks down with a smile in company with Riya, your first world speaks out. When the windows fly away in the fog beyond the wall, your second world speaks out by wiping its own shadow. I always thought to join both the worlds, if I could find the static point of the source. There was no story of the static point. How it becomes myth during the settling process? Introspection recognizes the door of internal dissension. Everyday another world is forming behind that, which is the secret world inside me. Once upon a time a bird flew in the possibility of direction. Today she drowses whole day. The static point also flows down in the time-stream. It’s undecided. Our entrance and exit are marked by symbolic words. As if the serpentine motion spreading over time is just to slough off. As if the opposite attraction is just to change the position. 

Madhobilata- Bengali name of a evergreen creeper
Dew drop on evening-Sarod
Deer-hunt on silent lips
Arrow with a snake’s tattoo
shoots the invisible target
Accumulated night on the secret finger
Plays the snake and ladder game
with luminous crescent
A bunch of jubilee set to join
the broken parts of tears
The lost sky in slim Munia
laughs with the incarnation of Radha
The joint passion of North-Pholguni
opens the door
to the East window
Sarod- Indian musical instrument
Munia - Bengali name of a bird
Radha - Lover of God Krishna
North-Pholguni - One of the pair stars North-Pholguni and East-Pholguni; the twelfth of the 27 zodiacal stars according to Hindu astronomy.

You don’t have any destination. Our too. Still there’s sound of flight on speechless wings. The universe is playing tumultuous silence. The parallel eyes dive into the ocean of words and bring the galaxy of zigzag movement. The door of the old-age-home with an engraved welcome invites on the way. The T-shirt plays blind-man’s bluff in the unidirectional motion of time and continuously chants the tune of youth-verse. The call of the door doesn’t reach to his memory-less inbox. As a result a melancholic evening creeps into the knee with decayed cartilage. The genome mystery, decorated in the cells of time, tells the story of winter’s smell. The changed curriculum with words and letters coats Komol-Maa over the wrinkles. You control the play of this paralyzed darkness by your finger. You bring them in the delighted meadow of nose-pin. Then the secret New Year sparkles in the human’s interior. When I turnabout from the excuse of fairytale, un-embodied words weave the song of cure on the nocturnal lips. The musical notation of imminent dawn sings the solar song.

Komol-Maa – Soft musical notes

If the memory-slogan beacons to fly
egotism swings in the remote language of twilight
The sorrow entangled on finger
untangles love
one by one
If the unwritten letter in absence of light
is composed with Phalguni-photon
the inbox delighted with light
One or two particles of sunlit pollen
looking for the lost finger
planted secretly
with right address

Phalguni- Bengali word for one born in Phalgun, the month of spring

Flight is the name of sky; may be of love. Yet many persons couldn't hear the call of interior. As a result the feather-rain from sky remains beyond the vision. Wiping skylight the city is beautifying itself with decorated light. The feminine drinking glass is calling the disaster in the sixteen digits of moon. Oozing of the dancing mask intensifies loneliness. The breathing heart at the zebra-crossing can hear the sorrow of the torn sail, weep of the broken prow and the story of the wounded boat. The compassionate flute of Krishna blows by keeping its finger in the holes of the stories. Musical laughs fly towards the hints of light. The sky shades some feather. Love-song is flying towards the isolated cave. With its caress the lonely words becomes concentrated.

Your caring finger is at its charm
wiping waves it becomes intimate
immersed in shadow
A sky-deep indulgence
in the uncertainty of darkness
broken bud of heart
waterfall of words
An ocean-spread shelter within aquatic silence
A confident search in exultation of words
shaped into

You find the truth-speaking day by touching your tongue within water.  Yet I feel all truths and untruths are prone to grammar; so much that I return from water again and again. The direction uncovered from the answer covers the unanswered. I see the truth hanging unsupported. I become daring some more with the sensitive touch of papyrus. When the flint-glass laughed at difficult motion and subject-less feelings of truth, the sun starts singing the musical notation with central light. And I move away from the centre from the spotlight. Gradually I enter into my dark cave, where your image tries to understand the utterance of the world. Slowly I enter into your world, where I could learn to be insignificant without getting wet.

You search the logical way
with a security lamp
 I walk at the boundary of illogical way
with the deep fallacy of dangerous womb
Wildcat defendant
at the calculated dock
always rolls down from fixed resolution
towards the inevitable quarry of irresolution
The stair from Krishna’s navel
lie down silently
in homeless nudity
‘Ah Krishna’ weep in lost light
Unknotting the cured finger
I could see the hint of opened answer
through the dumb staircase of unanswered

Krishna- Main character of the Indian epic, Mahabharat, named as God in Bhagavad Gita, 

You told about light, few enlighten verse of Bhalopahar’s dawn-words. Opening the closed window of west I saw that all the lights went back. The science of light’s motion is not up to my thought. You have taught me the definition of straight line so many times. The straight line walks along the coast of love with the brighten world on its back. Touching the coast I saw that I couldn’t draw any line like that. Whenever I create a mark, they become the geometry of oblique movement. But the geo doesn’t have any obligation; metric doesn’t have any measurement perception. All my limitations reside in this ‘not’. You give shelter and nourishment to them. The hearts plucked from your finger sparkle the ocean-deep light of cure.

Bhalopahar - Name of a hermitage of Kaurab-poets, situated in West Bengal, India.

Light-embraced dawn rolled into undefined target
The confident coral reef
still weaving exile in hypnotized Shravan
The enchanted garden engraved in jest of fairy-home
is put up to auction
in the inauspicious day of millennium
At the juncture of on and off season
I could hear the intense call of lighted bone
for the golden finger
Crushing the vibrating waves of black-hole
I spread my hands towards the lap of sunlit shadow
The drawing room is embraced by love’s wing
Your hand painted deer-eye
creates illusion of eyeliner
on the wings of desire-bird
Breaking metaphor downy words touch the beauty
Aesthetic city becomes infinite
under the canopy of fairy world
Shadows appear with an out-of-composition structure
Just open the fair parts
unworldly feelings will embrace
The magic kiss will call the dazzling flash
in Dhiman’s charm

Shravan - Bengali name of the month of rainy season

@0  - Chhayader Bhalotuku (The fair parts of Shadows) - Collection of Bengali poems by Dhiman Chakraborty,

Publisher: Publisher:  Bhinnomukh
8/4e Nepal Bhattacharya 1st Lane
Kolkata – 700026
Year of publication – Jan 2015

An important Bengali poet of this time, Dhiman Chakraborty was born and brought up in Kolkata. The first edited magazine by Chakraborty was Aalaap (Introduction / Conversation). In the year of 1987, his first book of poems Aapnaader Smarane (In the Memory of You) was published. After that, he authored several poetry-books. Aaguner Aaraamkedaaraa (The easy-chair of Fire), Chander Sapludo (The Jigsaw Puzzle of the Moon), Saadaa Aashroy (The white Shelter), Paakhider Robbaar (Sunday of The Birds), Sthanio Rong (Local Colour) to name a few amongst them. His poetry anthology Dhimaner Charaachar (The Universe of Dhiman) was published by Kaurab Publications in the year of 2008. He’s the editor of Bhinnomukh (The Other Face) for more than 15 years. Dhiman Chakraborty bagged many awards for different books. Dhiman is an iconoclast & he tries to destroy our traditional culture of language and words and in fact, he intends to surpass our age-old aesthetics with his different acoustics.

Here are few sips of kisses from Dhiman’s Labonya:
(Poems are translated from Dhiman Chakraborty’s book  The fair parts of Shadows by the poet himself)

  “Labonya and Riya -3”
I picked up some dreams today on my bed,
                                     with a scent of soap .
Who cleaned them up?
Love and pieces of sunlight take a long way.
Many people know the roads --- are able to say ---
how many fallow the path ?
Grey hair is flying on the metal door.
Our group photo with half opened mouth
was never here --- alone .
The ring, very slowly finding through the corn-field
                                     picks up an old age home ,
take its favourite  lipstick .
Twinkling lights on the wrist sings
a bit peacock , sings a 
scarfed green girl

I sit inside the room silently
A different Dhiman on the road
walks in between Riya and Labonya ,
whistling                                              (P-70)

When flying windows give some rain,
the flute can hear you 
everywhere . Wound and caring --
alarm-clock sits silent in front of it .
wherever choral goes , it puts in
few worlds within the school bag .
A golden disc is walking towards us,
come, let's celebrate his birthday .
Someone said -- it is a long cherished dream
of a broken scooter , someday
I'll sit beside him and sing along.
See long-distance light
of water and sadness .
Every Sunday counts grain --
dangle a little the half-rocking chair .
Sitting in front of a triangle, nowadays
I don't judge the correct or
mistaken. At night when no one is            
hear by, my shadow talks to me,
to my defeated songs .                     (P-22)

Your room is full of snails, a piece
or two of light . Car melting through
the cloud . We pronounced some
questions and some breath .
A middle aged man with buzz,
after breaking the egg- shell throw away
four darkened voices .
Walking a few paces front 
I knot ten ends of water.
Walking through the brim
the envelop gave the joy of echo
to the prolong oxygen .
After taking out the
neon-light, our hang out
counted the raincoats of life and death .
Today sometimes with that flash
you want to mend birds laughter ,
all the best of a sunset .”                                 (P-23)

Though largely inclined night
is not being able to touch me .
Contrary to what are, 
want to learn hand-print ,
school frocks set on fire .
Seeing the almanac corn-field
hums something unknown . Spider
spreads web on the bed .
Twelfth of the zodiacal stars
weaves life alongside .
What those grey cells lay down by
flipping memory , that wants to
fasten you by the stories of fossil .
As the cold eyes do not want to give
any interview , bird-clad mask
shows the road to the carpet .
Within sleep droplets of water
calls on and on the delight of July .

The lifelong sound that you listen to
decasts the bifurcated glasses ,
walk looking back towards you ,
towards the white rain too .                        (P-29)


Ms. Runa Bandyopadhyay is an innovative Bengali poet, story writer and reviewer from West Bengal, India. She is working as Scientific Officer in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India. She focussed on alternative literary pursuits and experimenting with contemporary poetic language. She writes regularly in various Bengali Little Magazines. Her first poetry book Aseemer Khelaghor (Playroom of Infinite) is published from Kaurab in the year of 2011. After that she authored the poetry books, Nilumbala  Chha Anna (Six penny of Hawker), Tamas Journal(Journal of the Dark), Poroborti Songbad (The Next News). Her review anthology Antarbarti Pangkti (Between the Lines) and Tamoser Alokbhromon’ (Light-Travel of the Dark) published from Kaurab Publication in the year of 2012 and 2017 respectively. She also authored collection of stories: Parankotha (Word of bosom) published by Sristisukh, and Benibandhan (Compact Braiding) published by Patralekha.

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