The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Poem: Taslima Nasrin’s “For an Unlover”

Painting: Elizabeth Chapman

By Taslima Nasrin
Translated by Sumit Ray

Many years will pass,
we won’t be seeing each other.
We’ll be in the same city, still we’ll not meet.
We won’t cross each other’s paths even by mistake.
We’ll fall ill, we’ll not meet.
On some street corner, petrol pump
or a fish shop, book fair, restaurant,
we’ll not meet anywhere.

Many more years later, I’ve thought,
someday, when the evening will be entering
my lonely room with a crowd of light;
someday, when standing on the balcony
the wild Nor’wester will be blowing my sari’s end,
when I will speak the whole night to the moon in the sky –
that day, I’ll tell you in silence,
what happens when we do not meet.
I thought we can’t survive if we do not meet.
Who said, we can’t? Look, we well can!
Didn’t I survive because
I didn’t meet you in a few thousand years?
I well did!

I’ve thought I will tell you,
you are actually something like a nothing.
I had drawn you with my desire,
I had made you my lover with my desire,
I also made you an unlover with my desire.
I can live even a lakh years without seeing you!
Without touching the unlover, forever.
A drop of tear can wash away all those drawn pictures
like rain water. Your name can be
wiped away instantly by tears,
can erase you.

Never think I am alone.
Your unlove always stays with me.

Translation of the original poem ‘Ek opremiker jonno’ in Bengali.

Sumit Ray teaches in the Department of English, University of North Bengal, Siliguri, West Bengal, India.


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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Writing in Academia”, edited by Anannya Dasgupta, Krea University and Madhura Lohokare, O. P. Jindal Global University, India.

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