Amalkanti wanted to be sunshine by Nirendranath Chakraborty

Nirendranath Chakraborty was a noted Bengali poet from India, recipient of Sahitya Akademi award, India’s National Academy of letters.

This is a translation of his Bengali poem, অমলকান্তি রোদ্দুর হতে চেয়েছিল, which literally means –

Amalkanti wanted to be sunshine

Translated by Mystic Wanderer

Creative Commons License

Amalkanti wanted to be sunshine by Mystic Wanderer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Amalkanti is my friend,
we went to school together.
He would always be late to class, couldn’t answer questions.
When asked a Śabdarūpa*
he would cast such a forlorn gaze at the window
that it would make us feel sorry for him.

Some of us wanted to be teachers, some doctors, some lawyers.
Amalkanti didn’t want to be any of these.
He wanted to be sunshine.
The coy sunshine that lingers on to jamun leaves like a little smile
after a brief spell of afternoon rain.

Some of us became teachers, some doctors, some lawyers.
Amalkanti could not become sunshine.
He now works in a dimly lit printing press.
Sometimes he comes to see me,
has tea, chitchats and then bids adieu.
I see him out to the door.

Those of us who became teachers
could have easily become doctors,
those that wanted to be doctors would have lost little if they became lawyers.
Yet everyone’s wishes came true, save Amalkanti.
Amalkanti could not become sunshine.
The same Amalkanti who, dreaming of sunshine,
wanted to become that sunshine one day.


* I haven’t found a good equivalent of this in English. Google translate, in the absence of a Bengali dictionary or sage advice, notes it thus:

the variation of the form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective, by which its grammatical case, number, and gender are identified.

An evergreen fruiting tree common in India

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Alter ego of @thecallofwords Wandering in the flow of words

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