This Navami morning, I woke up to the news that the noted litterateur, Sunil Gangopadhyay had passed away. A prolific author, his works spanned genres and age-groups. With his loss, Bengali literary circle has lost a star.

Here is his poetry “Sahaj”, translated from Bengali by Nandini Gupta:

With ease I make a million flowers bloom,

All at once I light up some suns, moons, stars,

In a passing whim, I blow out the moonlight

(Remember that moonlight?) Or the sunlight (Remember that too?)

Don’t believe a thing my detractors say.

They might say that I am a child, or a fool,

Or a magician…

Ragged tents, broken drums, patches

On his black coat, but look what a deadly dance he’s dancing

On the pupils of her eyes, onlookers aren’t fooled, they laugh

But the girl will hear no reason, oh how she ails from this dose

Of illusion. Don’t believe them.

Hey you revilers, look,

Look with what ease I hold up the three worlds –

On the little finger of my left hand.

The darkness, the seas, hills, all look on amazed.

You, only you, have forgotten the language of surprise!

Come on into my house, and see what a wondrous house I keep.

The roof overhead – see, but no walls have I on the sides.

(Bounded by walls all around, dreams and phlegm in your heart,

Marking age on your fingers, drawing fancy pictures on walls,

Carefully you guys will live)

While look in my house breezes of all kinds,

Like faithful retainers move around, brush away cobwebs,

Test colours on cornices, busy day and night.

I sit in my wall-less room, and paint on the girl’s pupils.

Much easier this than making pictures without.

Go back, you revilers, you are foolish children, and you,

And you, don’t believe them when they call me magician.