Sunday, October 16, 2011

I made a mistake in my life

*by Kamal Kumar Tanti

I made a mistake in my life.

When began reading my brain and my mind, I broke the instrument of error.
The instrument of understanding and perceptions and estimates.

I made a mistake in my life.

When was by the side of the river with my beloved.
I jumped thinking that she would also jump, and she never jumped on the swallowing water.

I made a mistake in my life.

When asked what would I study, I told them I would read and calculate the stars, not the beauty of it.
I was sent to the jail of practicals and mathematics, not to the college canteen.

I made a mistake in my life.

The day I was about to reach the graveyard and my granny died.
I took a wrong train to Myanmar and landed up near the human tree.

I made a mistake in my life.
Since the day I wanted to make a mistake in my life.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Day I lost my own land

By Kamal Kumar Tanti

A first glimpse appears through my childhood magnifying glass,

As seating over a hard stone, near to our own land.

I remember my parents weeping and consoling each other,

As the bulldozer had pieced our own land, own home.

Those cruel people, on the bulldozer, had nothing their own.

They were neither our well-wishers nor our enemies.

They came to finish their duty, and the same day,

We lost our own land and identity.

I remember, I stood up over the stone and

Started pelting stones on them, though I knew it’s useless.

I remember of picking up all broken pieces of my magnifying glass,

On the same day, we lost our own land.

My parents were born-farmers.

My grand-parents were born-farmers.

And I, son of a poor farmer.

And the same day, I remember watching my parents’ helpless pale faces,

Crippled of being lost all the farmers can have in a lifetime.

Those cruel people had drawn a border line,

Between me and my land, my home.

Those political people defined a border line,

Between me and my weak, apolitical parents.

I remember people telling the final truth of our destiny;

We lost our own land, our own home and own self,

The same day, we lost our land.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Poem in "Cerebration" (ISSUE I, 2009): "Postcolonial Poem"

My poem Postcolonial Poem is featured in the recent issue (Issue I, 2009) of Cerebration, a world-reputed literary journal.

For the poem, click here

For "Cerebration", Issue I, 2009, click here

For "Cerebration", click here

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Four Poems (Published in "Kritya")

"Four poems" that was published in well-known poetry journal "Kritya", January issue, 2009, consists of four different poems, tied in a single thread.

# A Night With Old man

# Silent Freedom

# Truth lies in your eyes

# Blood-stained Sun

# Profile in "Kritya"

By Kamal Kumar Tanti

(Tr. by Geetika Phukan)

On the silent street in Salonah tea garden

we lost our way.

Grieving at our grief

an old Kachari said,

“Children, follow your noses
there are dreams on the way, not reality.
At the end of the dreams, there will be dawn.”

We realized,
Looking for flowers is easier
than finding thorns.

Flowers do not make us feel,
They feel themselves.
Thorns do not feel their sharpness,
They make others feel.

As travelers,
we wanted to thank the Old Kachari
so, halfway through we killed him
and left his blood for the vultures and crows.

The cuckoos loved us for that,
And finally, we reached a land of swords.

(Published in Muse India, July-Aug, 2008)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Post-colonial Poem : 3

(Published in SADIN, Rongali Bihu Special Magazine, April, 2008)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Poetry Is For Those Who Wouldn’t Read It

Nilmani Phookan is considered Assam’s most distinguished living poet. Born in the village of Dergaon in 1933, he started writing poetry in the early 1950s. Inspired by the example of his precursors, Hem Barua, Amulya Barua and Maheswar Neog, he and his other contemporaries, Navakanta Barua and Ajit Barua, took to free verse, exploring and extending the possibilities of Assamese modernism. He has written thirteen volumes of poetry, and has won ten regional and national awards, including the Sahitya Akademi Award for Poetry in 1981 and the Padmashri from the Government of India in 1990. He joined the Arya Vidyapeeth College in Guwahati as a lecturer in 1964 and worked there until his retirement in 1992.

Phookan has been described as a “sage-like presence” in Assamese literature. It is possible to see why. His canvas is vast, his imagination mythopoeic, his voice bardic, his concerns ranging from the political to the cosmic, from the contemporary to the primeval. The landscapes he evokes are epic and elemental: he speaks of fire and water, planet and star, forest and desert, man and rock, time and space, war and peace, life and death. And yet, you find not merely a sage’s reflective detachment here, but urgency as well as anguish and a deep sense of loss. Most importantly, to my mind, the unapologetic preoccupation with the cosmic and existential does not lead to grandiosity or a resort to misty abstractions. For even while the poetry invokes generalities, it does not ignore the scorching particular that has always been such an integral part of the poet’s province. This is poetry that can speak of “the meaning of death/ and the vacuity of living” and “the mothers of five hundred million sick and starving children”, but it can also memorialise another more fragile moment: “the yellow butterflies with wings spread on barbed wires”.

(Written by Arundhathi Subramaniam, in "

Here you can read a poem of this "living legend" poet of North-East India, which is my one of the favourite poems.

Poetry Is For Those Who Wouldn’t Read It

by Nilmani Phookan

A poet had stated
poetry is for those who wouldn’t read it
for the wounds in their hearts
for their fingers where thorns are embedded
for the anguish and the joy
of the living and the dead
for the outcry that trundles
down the road day and night
for the desert sun
for the meaning of death
and the vacuity of living
for the dark stones cursed by ruins
for the red patch between the lusty lips of maidens
for the yellow butterflies with wings spread on barbed wires
for the insects, the snails and the moss
for the bird flying lonely down the afternoon sky
for the anxiety in fire and water
for the mothers of five hundred million sick and starving children
for the fear of the moon turning red as blood
for each stilled moment
for the world that keeps turning
for one kiss from you
that man of dust will become dust again,
for that old saying.