For I have gone where men have never been,
and wandered over countries far and near
and crossed great mountains with no trace of fear,
and gazed on many a strange and wondrous scene;

on mighty oceans have I plied my raft
where monstrous fishes close beneath me played,
and endless water heaved and lurched and swayed
as tirelessly I hurled my lethal shaft;

and through the great primeval forests tall
I plied the lonely furrow of my life
and slew great monsters, waged untiring strife
with creatures of the darkness, great and small;

and often as I strove with might and main,
and each victory won far renown,
I thought that I bad mown my troubles down
and conquered fear and death, old age and pain;

but ever were my hopes rudely belied,
for wander as I might throughout the world
I could not rid me of the terror curled
somewhere within my being, deep inside;

for over all our mortal hopes and gains
hovers the constant shadow of the grave,
of Time, that dims the glory of the brave
and lays at waste our labours and our pains;

and what adventure, what exploit will stay
with us beyond the folded veil of death ?
and what, when we have shed our mortal breath,
will speed us on our far, eternal way ?

The Boat of Life(Simple Living)
The boat of my life
sails along the ocean of time,
guided by the oar of karma.
My timorous nature,
like turbulent waves,
tosses my life's boat up and down.
Disease, sorrow, sin,
anger, many a tempest,
submerged rocks
of tarnished acquaintances, too:
By all these the boat of my life
seems perturbed and harried.
Sailing thus, it might get caught
In the false salvation-like ties
When the mind is possessed
by worldly desires.
The captain of sound conscience,
the only savior,
on insignificant one!
Keep the polestar in mind.
Or else, the dark, violent storm
will surely sink your troubled boat
Rama Rajya(
Devi(Respect for others)
From Naoakhali to Nuapali,
beyond the threshold
of the lakshman rekha of hunger,
it is the dense jungle of mall sahi
or sonagachhi,
where perched
on the hunting scaffold,
the trident of civilization
lurks for the kill.

The pirate beyond the seas
has drawn the


rekha of humger.
If you cry
you are doomed,
if you laugh,
you are doomed.

Your womanhood
is being bargained,
your modesty
is being auctioned.
Your honor is being marked.

If you sell your honor,
you are the Miss World,
If not, you are primeval.

Let My Body Mingle(Service to others)
Compatriots, friends, and kinsmen!
Are you perturbed over my imprisonment?
This was not unexpected.
So why are you pained?
Timidity is the sign of the infirm.
The brave kills or is killed in action.
The brave knows no retreat
He dies not in mortal fear.
I know this to be a war of peace,
being fought, not with weapons nor canons,
nor strength nor wealth
nor chariots, horses, or elephants.
This is a psychological battle
to break the arrogance of brute strength.
Abandoning material bondage
I am armed with the shield of non-cooperation.
Only those who are strong
with the power of non-voilence
can find a place in this battlefield.
Here the first rew
ard is imprisonment:
the next, maybe,
the dismemberment of the body.
I have joined the battle
knowing this full well.
I am not at all bothered
by thoughts of shame or infamy.
May my body merge
with the soil of this land,
let my countrymen
march on my back!
Let all the pitfalls
on the road to swarat
be filled up by my flesh and bones.
Let my sacrifice make men advance,
however little,
in the path of freedom.
All ordained by the almighty,
may my last prayer
be fulfilled in this life!
The Tragic Plight(Fathfulness)
Awake! Awake! 0, gardeners!
Make yourselves busy. The spring has dawned.
Remember, in this garden, made beautiful
By innumerable blossoms, high and low,
There is not a single flower
That does not give joy to the Great Gardener.
Every blossom deeply desires to grow slowly
And attain its perfection
According to the will of God.
Beware! Lest some cantankerous power
Should cast a stumbling block in that way
The Almighty doles out to them
With never-fading beneficence
And without discrimination
Blissful air and gracious sunshine
And sanctified rainfall everyday.
Let them all blossom and shower fragrance!
Let them all spread their dazzling radiance!
Let them all grow their soft petals
Long and broad and enjoy delight.
Thread into garlands such flowers
That will enrich themselves in mutual harmony.
It will be pleasing to God; indeed,
It is the policy of the Almighty Creator,
Protect them from destruction,
Take steps to destroy the cankers
Like envy and prejudice and hatred
That eat into the vitals of the human heart.
Water their beds with love every day
And give all the flowers unstinted sympathy.
Build around them a
Onam Singers(Equality)
Fondly singing Onam songs,
And along the long roads trudging,
We are poor folk, always half-starved
And wrapped in tattered rags.
What once had blazed, generations back
As Onam's golden light
Now dwells a dim and subdued gleam
In our aged heads
Gray-haired like sprinkled snow.
In the fragrant land of Kerala
Redolent of numerous spices old,
On the Ganga's widespread plains
Where sanyasins conic in streams
Mingle and flow,
In the numerous tents that rise
On the great desert, silent, solemn, bare,
In the palm groves on the Nile's vast shores,
In the ever-enchanting isles of Greece,
In the rice-fields guarded by the poor
In China with her face all awrinkle,
In far-away eastern cities
Where moonlit mansions crowd
Like lovely lotus buds,
In Russian steppes
Where gypsies, doughty horsemen,
Crowd round camp-fires,
On the distant southern ranges,
Where the wondrous Mayan culture
Had its foundations laid,
In many lands, in many garbs,
In many a tongue, we tell
The story of the radiant Onam
That had dawned and set in days primeval.
Drum and pipe and flute and lyre
Accompany the song we sing.
Honey, and milk, and juice of grape
And the young coconut's delicious milk
Blend their sweetness in our song.

Before the dawn of history
Before the birth-cry of religions,
A monarch reigned, a king of kings,
Whose umbrella was like the sky
Beneath which the whole world snuggled.
He was like a mountain huge,
His ministers tall like hills,
Long and white their beards flowed
Glistening in their smiles,
Smiles that were the silver spray
Of their welling wisdom deep.
Great were their people too,
Their bodies handsome, of disease free.
Nobly generous were their minds.
Human beings virtuous, perfect
On an earth that knew no gods.
The earth, for them, did spread her green
And served them to their fill
Like some noble skilful housewife
Serving distinguished guests,
Like flowers in a floral design,
Like a variety of melodious notes
In exquisite harmony blending,
When a group of musicians sings,
Men lofty of spirit lived
In mutual concord bound
In the glory of exalted thought and deed
And obeying an unwritten code.
Though unfettered
The women were pure of nature, sweetly affable;
Though of supreme valour
The men were mercy-incarnate, deeply humble.
Sharp as spear-grass sparkled their brains
Untouched by evil's devious ways.
Even in old age glowed their hearts
With the joyous relish of blossoming youth.
To their arts an intimate audience were
The mountains majestically grave,
The oceans with their rollicking waves,
And the sky to subtle feelings vibrating.
Though they adored no gods
Their entire life was an act of worship,
Their epoch an auspicious Onam
Rich with endless flowers of virtuous deeds.
Some say
While a thousand years spring-spangled
Were winging their way forward,
Suddenly the sea surged in
Gorged on the glories of the earth
And flowed back.
Other ancients say.
Vamana the primal god descended,
Importuned the king, tricked him,
And trampled him down into darkness and ruin.

Nobody knows the truth, But aeons passed, and at last
When history her baby-eyes did open
There on earth's head like a grey hair
Were gods and priests and wicked lords.
On the earth where true men
Had once walked about
Now walked bent-headed dwarfs
Their thoughts too in pettiness enclosed.
For three feet of ground they beg and steal and kill,
And perish on their own.
They play with the toys of trivial pleasures,
Break them and cry themselves to a weary sleep.
Trampling down all glorious virtues,
And making ghastly the beauteous earth
They cry out to blind ascetic ways
To lead them on to paradise
But even in this growing gloom
In our heads there dimly flicker
The golden gleams of Onam days
That long long ago had blazed.

Science says they are but dreams,
History scorns them as mere lies
But truer far the radiant truth
Whispered by our hearts to us.
Clear to us that inner truth,
The message that comes from beauty,
The message our memories hum to us.
It keeps us, travellers on the path of art,
In a sweat restlessness every day
And what is more,
With eyes that once had kissed
A golden age in the distant past
We see once more the glimmer of On am Far away where the future is

Take me, take me back to my motherland
O ocean, my soul is in agony

I had always seen you
washing the feet of my motherland;
You said to me, "Come, let us go to other countries
and see the variety in this world."
Upon that, my mother's heart pained
with the fear of agony of separation
But you gave her your word
"I know all the ways, and
shall myself carry him on my surface,
and soon shall bring him back"
Seeing your solemn resolve,
I believed in your promise
I felt I shall attain perfection, learning from the world
"Soon shall I return". I told her and left her.
0 ocean, my soul is in agony....

A parrot should enter a cage or a deer a snare -
so is this deception!
How shall I continuously suffer hereafter
my separation from my motherland!
Everywhere about me. darkness thickens
I gathered flowers of virtues with the intention
that she shou

ld relish


their fragrance!
If my learning cannot be completely consumed
for her emancipation,
then. this entire learning is a futile burden.
0 ocean, that affection of the mango tree.
those auspicious creepers weaving new blown flowers,
those blooming little rose buds....
Alas! now I am bereft of that flower-garden!
O ocean, my soul is in agony ....

Stars are in plenty in the sky --
but to me, the dearest one is India.
Palaces here are charming ---
but my mother's hut is dearest to me.
Without her I won't accept a kingdom too
Even the exile in her forest is entirely dearer to me.
Luring me is futile now, 0 ocean
0 Lord of rivers, river is
so darlingly precious to your heart,
I put you on her oath,
0 ocean, my soul is


in agony....

O ruthless one, how cheekily you laugh
the sham laughter of foam
Why do you break your promise?
Intimidated by that England
which so prompously dons her sovereignty over you,
do you seek to deceive my motherland
thinking my mother to be weak and meek?
Why do you take me into exile?

You are gratified'by the blood of the beastly
The virtuous therefore worship you, Goddess Liberty,
and sing the eclat for you 0 Liberty. 0 Liberty
Dying for you is life and life without you is death
The entire animate and the inanimate creation
resigns at your feet

Hail thee, O holiest of the holy
You are replete with auspiciousness
The giver of the good, O Goddess Liberty,
May I pay obeisance to you

Reap the Paddy
Somewhere in my *Kolong and *Kapili
Paddy is swelling
Towards the places where I rest my head and my feet
In the sticky soil of love.
Reap the paddy with your lotus hand.
Let the full-blown sunlight bubble on your smooth dusky face.
Bring the paddy, thresh the paddy, let the four
directions resound with the rise and fall of your feet.

*Two rivers of Assam

In Memoriam
No, not while the drill of breathing was on,
but trooped in no that he is dead
to plant cut flowers at his feet.

He was not in uniform then,
not at one with the drills,
the uniform , the routine----
We'd know a man from the uniform he wears.

Poetry disdains that alien garb
Yet we'd annoint the naked body of truth
and surrender to the explosions.

In that crucial act Caesar was flanked by Brutus
As Jesus by two unwary thieves
For what will never occur again
I want to spread out my arms on nails
to die this once , then again,ag

Right behaviour towards friends, foes, strangers
is alone equality.

Justly won wealth endures undiminshed,
and with the progeny too.

Give up gains, though useful, if ill acquired;
ends don't justify the means.

Posthumous fame shows whether one had lived

Self-restraint wins us a place with the gods
passion is the road to hell.

Foster self-control as wealth beyond price;
there's no greater source of good.

The man schooled in self-restraint duly earns
the laudation of the wise.

Taller than a mountain is the stature
of one with stern self-control.

All need humility:more so the rich.
for whom it's the truer wealth.

Who-- tortoise-like -- controls the five senses.
will harvest for seven lives.

Restraint in speech is basic discipline,
failing which--mere misery!

A single hurtful word can damage all
the good things one may have done.

The fire-caused wound heals soon enough, but not
one made by a scalding tongue!

Virtue greets him who has mastered anger,
and is wise and self-controlled.

Avoidance of Envy
Prize avoidance of envy as part
of exemplary conduct.

There's no human excellece as worthy
as the freedom from envy.

Nor wealth nor virtue is his who envies
Others, not delights in them.

Knowing the wages of envy, the wise
succumb not to the evil.

The envious need no adversary,
for envy can eat itself.

Viewing gifts to another with envy
provokes penury and death.

Fortune spurns the envious man, who now
comes under Misfortune's sway.

The evil of envy destroy one's wealth
and dooms the soul to hell-fire.

One disbelieves when the envious win
or the great unjealous fail.

The green-

What we give the poor is gift; with others
there's the hope of recompense.

The poor are praised, the rich condemned; but when
the poor beg, giving is good.

The high-born, even when he's poor, gives still,
and dosen't wail "I'm destitute!"

Seeing the beggar's pained face, the giver
feels sad, till it smiles again.

Askesis is reared on hunger; greater
is the gift that ends hunger!

Of what use is wealth except for ending
The hunger of the hopeless?

Who practises sharing food with the poor
will never know hunger's pangs.

Don't the misers that save and lose their wealth
Know the great joy of giving ?

Alas! it's worse misery than begging
to hoard wealth and feed alone.

Ah, wors

Human Perfection
Men wedded to duty and goodness see
duty in all good actions.

What determines the worth of the worthy?
The light within, nothing else!

Perfection involves love, truth, sense of shame,
sharing, and benevolence.

Ahimsa is the saints mark : avoidance
of foul speech, that of good men.

With humility, the strong stoop to win,
the worthy disarm their foes.

The wise own defeat by the wise, although
inferior otherwise.

Human excellence lies in doing good
to one's enemies themselves.

Poverty shames not the man who is heir
to the wealth of character.

The Elect stand their ground, although all change
and the worlds crack and explode.

The Earth

Courtesy is the crown of nature
that receives all men with ease.

Courtesy grows out of native goodness
and excellent fostering.

It's inner affinity, not outer
likeness, that sustains friendship.

The world esteems those whose actions flow from
justice, virtue, helpfulness.

The courteous speak not scornfully, even
in jest, or to their foemen.

But for the wise men who keep it going ,
the Earth would crash and perish.

Steel-sharp their brains, yet lacking good manners,
such men are but wooden blocks.

Discourtesy, even towards one's foes,
is an unbecoming trait.

He that can never smile sees only dark,
dark, even in broad daylight.

Wealth with the miserly is like pure milk
soured in an unclean vessel.


I Sing in Praise of Dreams
The dreams of a poet create an epic;
Those of the lovers shall enrich life itself;
Our dreams on earth may herald an epoch.
Dreams do ripen ; praise be to the dreams.

In front of our eyes we see the bounds:
We close our eyelids and all limits vanish;
To all that we perceive time sets limits.
Blessed be the dreams: they transcend time.

A dream today shall be real tomorrow;
We shall transform our ambtions to attainments;
Mind ,like the Vamana*, known no bounds:
Let our dreams grow and humanity blossom!

Kulo Thungan

Who statedly with floral gifts attend,
Before the trunk-faced red-one's1 footstool bend,
And pious homage reverently pay,
Shall from the goddess lotus-throned 2 acqiure
Wit, eloquence ,and all that they desire,
And never sink in bodily decay.

If suffering worth to acts of kindness move,
Dismiss the fear your bounty may not prove
And source at last of profit and delight:

The water furnish'd to its early root,
In sweeter draughts from future plenteous fruit
The cocoa's crown will gratefully requite.3

The valued favours the desernving gain
Like sclupturein eternal rock remain;
Of virtue's tribute charity is sure:
But vain is kindness to the worthless shown,

Who debts and duties ever more disown;
On water written words as well endure.

When senseless grief the live-long day englooms,
In vain attractively the garden blooms;
In vain the spouseless maid her beauty wears:
So youth when needy is a tiresome stage,
And wealth but misery in helpless age,
A bitter mockery of peevish cares.

To love, though loved, the callous base ne'er learn;
But love for love the good and wise return;
Their greatness through calamities remains;
A purer whiteness as the sea-shell shows,
When fiercely the containing furnace glows;
As seething milk its flavour still retains.

Although in foliage richly dress'd they rise,
In figure faultless, and mature in size,
As trees no fruit except in season bear,

In any project sooner to succeed,
And gain the end before the time decreed,
Nor wealth avails, nor toil, nor wakeful care.

Not soflty yielding as the building towers,
Not bending gently when the load o'erpowers,
The stony column will asunder fly:
So they who scorn their honour to survive
'Gainst overwheliming adversaries strive,
Refusing homage though they muster nigh.

The depth and surface of the pool decide
The growth and limit of the lily's pride:
So erudition is on study based;
So riches show accumulated worth
By penance purchased in a previous birth;
So character from son to sire is traced.

Happy the eyes that on the pious rest,
The ears that hear their useful words are bless'd,
And bless'd the lips that all their virtues tell;
More happy they, their character who wear,
Their freindship gain, their reputation share,
Their sacred paths frequent, and with them dwell.

The very sight of wicked men is ill,
Their graceless words the ear with evil fill,
The lips with risk their attributes portray,
And ' its the height of self-inflicted wrong
To mingle with their sin-infectious throng,
Attend their cursed step, and with them stay.

The water turn'd to where the rice-crop grows
Refreshes kindly,as it thither flows,
The common grass that in its channel lies;
In every age, the genial rains that fall
To cheer the good , are shared alike by all,
And virtue 's revenue the world supplies.

To instruments the grate their glory owe;
The lofty are supported by the low;
Without assistance rank and skill were vain:
Too oft we spurn the object we should prize;
The rice denuded unproductive dies,
The husk we scorn preserves the living grain.

In bulk the scentless taly 4 far excels;
The little magul flowers more sweetly smells :
In seeming meanness may be hidden worth:
The spacious sea, with all its vauntful roar,
E'en for ablution fits not,5 while ashore
The humble spring with nectar gushes forth.

The branching trees that in the jungle grow
No excellence like cultured palms can show;
Appearing proudly with the learned , he
Who, lacking skill to scan the proffer'd verse,
Or seize the sense of what the rest rehrearse,
Is disconcerted , stands a jungle tree.

1. Ganapathi 2. Lakshmi.
3. The young cocoa-nut needs copious and frequent watering . The fluid of its fresh is a pleasant and abundant drink.
4. A coarse wild flowor.
5. The saline deposite spoils the look of the brown skin. English blue-jackets sometimes drive canoes away, and make room for their own boat, by naughtily dipping a hand in the sea, and dashing some water on the shoulders of the native sailors.


Mother, Motherland
I loved my mother,oh so dearly
But I could never spell it out
In so many words
Sometimes I saved the money
Meant for snacks
And got her oranges
Her eyes would fill with tears
As she lay in bed
But I could never tell her in words
Just how much I loved her.

Oh mother, my motherland,
I don't know how to
Tell you the same!
You are the land
Wherer I took my first steps
Holding on to you with all my might
Your feel is firmly imprinted
Within my toes and fingers,
No matter what I touch
It's you I find
Oh mother, it's you who play
The lute within my heart.

Mother dear, we're not afraid
Of those who have dared to plant
Their cruel talons
Upon your sacred soil
We shall grab them by the neck
And throw them out of our realm.

We shall face life our own way
The way we've always done
We're not afraid, just vexed because
Our yajna has been disturbed.
Mother dear, we shall hold our tongue
And let our busy hands
Spell out our love!

Subhash Mukhopadhyay

My Work

I want my words to stand on their feet
I want each shadow to have eyes
And provide motion to still paintings
I don't want them to call me a poet
I just yearn to be able to walk
Shoulder to shoulder with the others
Until the last day of my life
And be able to lay down my pen beside the tractor
And say, "Brother, I'm through---
Give me a whiff of fire!"

Subhash Mukhopadhyay

O, My Countryman!
The fire of your honour is out.
Awake ,my countryman!

Do not sleep like a worm
Buried deep in the mud of fear.
Come out in your hooded majesty.
Awake ,my countryman!

Caught in a whirlpool, you are amazed to see
Your stone become glass, your quicksilver water,
The pearls of your necklace worthless beads.
Awake ,my countryman!

Let flames leap out of the oven of your heart!
Fall like lightning on noxious nettles,
And meadows of flowers will live wothout fear.
Awake ,my countryman!

Abdul Ahad Azad

The Betrayal

The face yellowed.
The spine curved.The hands joined.
Darkness rose in the eyes.
Centuries passed.
The great sages, saints and poets arrived.
Each laid down the law.
Some said that one is three,
Others that three is three.
Some felt the pulse, some watched the lotus.
Some revelled, some kissed the fingers.
The people said, `Blessed are we'.
But the tambourine held out.
The mridanga split into the tabla.
The vina became the surbahar.
We now hear the spinet.
The day breaks.
The lips of the four cardinals redden.
Morning's polecats are night's.
The Age of Betrayal betrays us.


A Single Shooting Star
A single shooting star
A distant star
shoots through the blue of space
Here, someone measures its speed,
records the rise and set.
But nothingness of space,
assumed to blue, must spell
an answer inaccessible.
To stretching scope
eye muscle's strain.

Astronomers describe
its pace and spatial shift;
accont for its time concealed
in tunnels of shade.
Yet it tracks only itself,
oblivious to sketch
and sketcher, eye and scope.

With equal speed
another lone star seems
to move across the space
So in moving out of shades
of evil , reining self,
riding the void,
each star
becomes the image
its own fearless offspring----

because of this
I shall put faith in every man,
in every man's son.

Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh

My mother, black, prolific earth,
green leaf, a festival of white flowers.
With every burn, the earthier; with every pang
more fruit and petal.
Limbs that thrill to children's kicks.
Laying down the basket on her head,
she groaned, and closed eyes never again to open.

Raised a hundred measures of millet
to please father and win a bracelet for the arm,
swilling water for each clod of earth;
pepper, pea,millet and grain she ploughed with her
blossoming in flowers, ripening in fruit,
she watched over cereal fields,
spending all youth in a tatter of sarees.

She died, she did:
What's the age of a hag bent double?
How many New Year moons, how many festivals of
sweet bread
Over the live coal? How many times she wept,
this old woman, for coin, for dead calf and ruined
roamed villages, how many times,
for an ancient run away buffalo?

No, not Savitri, Janaki, nor Urmile;
nor a heroine out of history books, tranquil, fair,
in dignity; nor like the wives of Gandhi
and Ramakrishna. Did not worship the gods,
nor listen to holy legends, nor did she wear
like a good auspicious wife
any vermilion on her brow.

A wild bear
bearing a litter of little ones,
she reared a husband, saved coins
in knots of cloth; like a hurt bitch,
she snarled, grumbled and fought.

Mean, crooked, ready to scratch
like a monkey;
the only rule:
whatever raises a family.
Would flare up and burn
only if son went wild
or husband elsewhere.

A wild jungle bear has no need for your Gita.
My mother lived
for stick and grain, labour and babies;
for rafter overhead, rice, bread, a blanket;
to walk upright among equals.

Admiration , tears of thanks:
for bearing and raising;
living in mud and soil , and
for living as she did ,as if
leaving home for the fields,
cool, in the middle of small talk.

P. Lankesh

A Lesson
The poets of the Wordsworthian clan
counselled the beatnik Gregory Corso:
"Brother, open your inward eye and write,
Stop being a slave to the so-called reality
of life's misery and complexity.

Let a scene from nature
teach you a lesson.
Look at that tree, free from life's ugliness,
generous and harmless.
Be happy and give it your thanks."

Corso banged the table before him and said,
"This is the gratitude we have shown
to that noble, wonderful tree."

K.S. Nisar Ahmed


must grow weary of its burden
should the Elect themselves fail.


e than death is the sad plight of one
with nothing of charity.


eyed sinner is not for the heights;
the sinless cannot miss them!



a just life with equality.

Loss and gain are no chancy things: the wise
face them with equality.

He who swerves from justice and turns to wrong
sets upon his road to ruin.

The wise don't look down upon the good man
though he lives in poverty.

What marks the wise is their equality
unswerving like weighing scales.

Where the mind is without twist or untruth.
speech too blazons rectitude

What's the

Even as the earth suffers its diggers,
the wise bear with their critics.

Forbearance of a wrong is always good;
better still to forget it.

Poverty's worst is to turn back one's guests;
and sure strength to suffer fools.

For sustaining the honour of one's name
perseverance is the key.

The wise dismiss the vengeful as worthless;
sufferance is prized as gold.

Revenge means a day's joy, but forbearance
wins a good name for ever.

Better meet injury with sufferance,
and pity the poor sinner.

When the proud hurtfully assail, meet them
with patience and transform them.

Those that suffer hurtful speech from the proud,
know them as true ascetics.

Praised be abstinence from food, but glory
to those who suffer foul speech.

Generosity seeks no recompense:
what do we pay to the clouds?

Wherefore the accumulation of wealth ,
Unless it leads to sharing?

In this world or in heaven, there's nothing
nobler than sharing one's wealth .

He who practises sharing truly lives:
the rest are as good as dead.

The wise man of benevolence is like
a tank's life-giving waters.

A generous man's wealth is like ripe fruit
on a tree, open to all.

Like a balm-giving tree is the rich man
who shares his largesse with all.

Even if they're poor, the wise continue
their acts of beneficence.

'Tis his inability to share wealth
that hurts the poor worthy man.

Even by selling himself, the good man

Greatness is willed achievement: Acquiescing
in one's sloth is littleness.

All have a similiar birth: men differ
only the way they live.

The base are base although raised high: the great
are great although pushed below.

Chastity is woman's guarded treasure :
such is man's sustained glory.

Even under stress, the great find the means
to attain difficult ends.

The petty are allergic to the great
and will learn nothing from them.

If wealth and fame comes to the petty ones,
their pride will exceed all bounds.

The great are gentle and humble, but pride
is the badge of little men.

Greatness can make everyone feel at home:
meanness thrives on insolence.

Sensitivity to Shame
The recoil from shame is true modesty :
all else is maidenly blush.

Food, raiment, children are the marks of all;
modesty is a rare gift.

The body houses life, but modesty
houses human excellence.

Without the jewel of modesty, man's
swagger but insults the eye.

Some blush for others' shame as if it's theirs;
they're the home of Modesty.

Were it even to gain a realm, the wise
will not cross modesty's bounds.

The modest forego life for honour's sake,
and not honour for life's sake.

Virtue will flee from those that fail to feel
as the sensitive ones do.

Want of breeding injures one's family :
shamelessness ruins everything.

Lack of all modesty disgraces man
into a puppetry piece.


Their Fatherland

The dark planet may smoulder;
Or the earth be enveloped in smoke;
Or the silver planet fly southwards;
Yet crops teem there in the fields,
And flowers blossom on the shrubs,
And herds of tender --eyed kine
With their calves tethered in the homestead
Browse at ease on Lush grass.
Wise and good men throng there even more;
The welcome rain never fail, his fields;
And green;-leaved jasmine abounds with buds
Sharp and white like kitten's teeth
In the glorious fatherland
Of these charming maidens bangled bright
Since the sceptre of their father
Is ever straight.


No Heaven to Gain : No Hell to Fear
We know no other light but knowledge and wisdom:
The puzzles , that are beyond our grasp today,
we shall find the way to solve one day.
In search of truth we wander in all directions:
Ours an open mind , an ever expanding philosophy.

Never shall we accept any law of life
that fails to accept this simple rule:
"Change is but a proof that we are alive".
We seek and strive to create out of a particle of dust,
wealth enough to sustain all that lives and exists.

The twin missions in life we have ;
We contemplate and we create,
Our aim is a world with justice for all !
Posterity is our concern and for its health,
We sweat and toil; forego food and sleep---
In so doing we find infinite joy.
This ,the only happiness ,we know; we care.
Beyond this bliss,
we have no heaven to gain and
no hell to fear.

Kuto Thungan

It Does Not Matter
Every time I return and check in
my house gets a surprise and says: 'Hail'
O Lord God!
Isn't it a miracle
that whereever I go
I come back here all the time.
On the road they do not demand
your identity card
and in the mirror you do not need a proof
and what a big facility it is
that whether we are all at home
or in a tram
all curiosities
are set at rest
with just a railway timetable.

The sky on every bent
folds me up a little
and then leaves me alone,
to me only;
to take another step or just sit down.
And this is the place
where once you have arrived
the shrieks of stones can already be heard.
But the truth in fact is
that it does not make a difference
here or anywhere.

Where you once wrote 'Love'
you now write 'Road'
but it does not make a difference.

The catch-word of my age is
it does not make a difference'
It often seems
as if the faces of the friend sitting beside you
and the terminal points of the
indistinct African rivers
have become indistinguishable
And what I want to give words to
is not on my tongue
but is sticking somewhere between my teeth.

I might as well start my argument
but things are passing through such a phase
that calling the table , opposite you
'Table' is like lifting it from there
and placing it among unnamed criminals.
And this is the poibn
at which every bloody vein
Gets severed from the body
and the time
when a small nail in my shoe
starts pinching the stars.

Kedar Nath Singh

Of Equality
Of equality I sing:
where all barriers and differences
between man and man have vanished,
where Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians
have mingled together. Of equality I sing.
What are you a Parsi, a Jain a Jew ?

Or a Santal, Bhil or Garo ?
A confusion or a follower of Charvak the atheist?
Go on, say more.
Yet , friends, be whatever you may please,
whatever books and manuscripts you may carry
in your insides or on your backs or shoulders---
be it the Quran, the Puranas, the Vedas, Vedanta,
the Bible, Tripitaka, Zendavesta, Granthsahib--
and whatever you may read of these as you please,

yet why this vain labour,
this driving of an auger into your brain ?
Why this haggling as in a shop?---
Fresh flowers are blooming along the way !
Within you are all the books, the wisdom of all ages
and you need only to open wide your soul
to find all the scriptures there.
In you are all religions, all the prophets of ages;
your heart is the universal temple of all the gods of
What makes you, man of religion,
seek God in the the dead bones of treatises ?
He smiles in the silent privacy of your immortal heart.

This is no lie I speak , my friends-- it is here
that all royal crowns lay themselves prostrate.
It is the heart that is the sacred seat of Jagannath,
is Banaras ,Mathura, Brindaban, Bodh Gaya,
Jerusalem, Medina and the shrine of the Kaaba.
The heart is the mosque, the temple and the church;
it is here that Jesus and Moses discovered Truth.
The heart is the battlefield.
where Krishna sang the great Gita,
It is the field where the shepherd magi made friends
with God.
This heart is the cave of meditation
where Buddha heard the call of humanity's deep
and renounced his throne.
In this retrat the darling son of Araby heard the great
it's here that he sang the song divine that is the Quran
I haven't heard it wrong , friend----
there's no temple or Kaaba greater that this heart of

Of equality I sing.
There is nothing greater nor than man!
No distinction of time, place or circumstance---
indivisible is the community of man in religion,
for in all times and climes and in every home
God is everyman's kith and kin.

The hypocrites worship the scriptures. Listen, you
it is men that have produced scriptures
and not scriptures that have produced men!
Adam, David, Jesus, Moses, Abrahan, Muhammad,
Krishna, Buddha, Nanak, Kabir are
the priceless heritage of the world; they are
our great ancestors, and their blood
courses more or less in every vein
of these our bodies ! We are their own offspring.

and have the shape same as theirs---
and who knows but we may grow
to their stature some time or other ?
Laugh not, friend ! This self of mine
is so fathomless and infinite that I don't know
what highest of the high indwells in me.

Kazi Nazrul Islam