Mamata Dash: Translated by Mona Dash

Mamata Dash


Mamata Dash is an award winning, eminent poet from Odisha, India. She has nine collections of poetry, four short story collections and one novel in Odiya. She also has one poetry collections in English. Some of the awards she has received include the Stata Sahitya Academy Award, Bhanuji Rao award from the Gangadhar foundation, Bharata Nail Smruti Sammana, Bishubha Poetry award, Sachi Routray Poetry honour, she has also received a senior fellowship from cultural department of Govt of India. She has also several works of translation to her credit, having translated twenty-five books in non –fiction from English and Bengali to Odiya. She has been invited to participate in literary functions of India like Bharata Bahawan, Bhopal, Kala Academy, Goa to name a couple, appeared on television and is often invited as a speaker to events in Odisha.

Mona Dash


Mona Dash is an Indian writer settled in London. With an education in Telecoms Engineering and Management from Odisha, she works as a sales manager in a leading global technology organisation. She writes fiction and poetry and her work has been anthologised widely and published in international journals. She has a Masters in Creative Writing (with distinction) from the London Metropolitan University. She has two collections of poetry ‘Dawn- Drops’ (Writer’s Workshop, 2001) ‘A certain way’ (Skylark Publications, UK 2016). ‘Untamed Heart’ (Tara India Research Press, 2016) is her first novel. Mona has also participated in readings in venues such as Lauderdale House, Nehru Centre, the House of Lords, The Library, Leicester Writes festival, Yurt Café, London. Her short stories have been shortlisted and longlisted in various competitions such as The Asian



The Unknown Presence

Who is there? Who is it?
The lift opens and a form turns invisible
footsteps squelch as if in water
but on the dry balcony, there is none

Through the glass window pane, I stare
eyes half shut, half open
Who is there, who is it?
The flowers for the puja
are spattered, as if blood drops
I open the car door
From behind the pillar, as if an embezzler
steps out to steal all the adornments
of my soul

And at night, when I wake all of a sudden
there is someone
at my feet, sometimes next to my head
Who is it?
Ripping through the guts of darkness
with a knife
Who is that who comes unbidden?

Why is my wardrobe open?
And how is it empty?
Empty also, my body, my mind
the room I store my words in
every room is empty, the playground’s desolate
Where did those children go, the ones
Who were playing with a ball of fire?

Does he come as he thinks
I am all on my own?

But I am not alone
the clock on the wall is speaking
teasing me, flirting with me
stopping at three in the morning
and then starting at three in the afternoon
the chair comes rushing and offers a place to sit
My iPhone and the computer talk to each other
in close conversation

But who is that who plays invisible games
hides, peeps
Does he think I am alone
and can rent my quiet sheltered life?

I would call somebody from outside
scream aloud
But the problem is
whatever I see, have lost, will lose,
whatever I fear, whatever I have suffered
No one else can see it
No one here can see it.

କିଏ ସେଠି?

କିଏ ସେଠି, କିଏ?
ଲିଫ୍ଟ ଖୋଲିବା ମାତ୍ରେ କିଏ ପଳାଏ ଅଦୃଶ୍ୟ,
ପାଦ ଛପ ଛପ କରେ,
ପାଣି ପଡ଼ି ନଥିବା ବାଲକୋନିରେ।

ଝର୍କା କାଚରେ ଆଖି ଚାପି ମୁଁ ଦେଖେ
କିଏ ସେଠି କିଏ?
ପୂଜା ପାଇଁ ରଖିଥିବା ଫୁଲ ଡ଼ାଲାରେ
ରକ୍ତର ଛିଟା ନା କଣ,
କାର ଡୋର ଖୋଲୁ ଖୋଲୁ
ଖମ୍ବ ଉହାଡରୁ ସେଇ ତସ୍କର ଛୁଟି ଆସୁଛି
ଚୋରାଇ ନେଇ ପାରେ ହୁଏତ ମୋ ଆତ୍ମା ର ଅଳଙ୍କାର।

ରାତିରେ ନିଦ ଭାଙ୍ଗିଗଲେ, କେବେ ଗୋଡ ପାଖେ
କେବେ ମୁଣ୍ଡ ପାଖେ,
ଚାହୁଁ ଚାହୁଁ ଅନ୍ଧାର ପେଟକୁ ଛୁରୀ ରେ ଚିରି ଦେଇ,
କିଏ ପଶି ଯାଉଛି ଭିତରେ?

ଅଲମୀରା ମୋର ଖୋଲା, କାହିଁକି?
ଅଲମୀରା ମୋର ଖାଲି,କିମିତି?
ଖାଲିବି ଦେହ ମନ ମୋର,ଶବ୍ଦ ଘର
ସବୁ ଘର ଖାଲି, ଖେଳ ପଡ଼ିଆ ଖାଲି
ଟିକିଏ ଆଗରୁ ନିଆଁ ର ବଲ ଖେଳୁଥିବା ପିଲାଏ
କୁଆଡେ ଗଲେ ବାହାରି?

ମୁଁ ଏକେଲା ଅଛି ବୋଲି ଏମିତି ଘଟୁଛି କି,
ମୁଁ ଏକେଲା ନୁହେଁ ତ
କାନ୍ଥ ଘଂଟା ପରା କଥା କହୁଛି
ଥଟ୍ଟା ଖେଳୁଚି ମୋ ସଂଗେ,
ରାତି ତିନିଟାରେ ବନ୍ଦ ହୋଇ ଯାଉଛି
ପୁଣି ଚାଲୁଚି ଦିନ ତିନିଟାରେ!
ଚେୟାର ପରା ଦଉଡି ଆସି ଯାଚି ଦଉଚି
ବସିବା ଜାଗା।

ମୋବାଇଲ ,କକମ୍ପ୍ୟୁଟର ଟୁନ ଟୁନ
ଆଳାପ କରୁଛନ୍ତି ନିଜ ଭିତରେ।
କିଏ ସେଠି ଅଦୃଶ୍ୟ ଛଳ କରୁଚି
ଛପି ଯାଉଛି
ଭାବୁଛି କି ମୁଁ ଏକେଲା ବୋଲି

ଖିନ ଭିନ କରିଦେବ ମୋ ନିରୋଳା ଜୀବନ ଉପଚାର?
କାହାକୁ ଡ଼ାକି ଆଣନ୍ତି ଯେ ବାହାରୁ
ଚିତ୍କାର କରନ୍ତି,
ଅସୁବିଧା କଣ କି ମୁଁ ଯାହା ଦେଖୁଛି, ହଜାଉଛି
ହଜୁଛି, ଡରୁଛି, ଭୋଗୁଛି
ତାକୁ ଜଣେ ବି ଦେଖି ପାରନ୍ତି ନାହିଁ ଏଠି।


The Flutes maker

They were talking about flutes
iron, copper, brass, sliver, bamboo made
even a flute made of gold
The tune of a flute, the notes magical, mischievous
dulcet tones of a flute.
Someone mentioned a world famous
Flute maker
His name, address, life story
The madness of his life

When I uttered the word
The pain resounded in my bones
The tarnished door opened
Through it I saw a woman
So beautiful, young
Dishevelled, lost
in the moonlit night, flute in hand

Made from kadamba flowers, a sun
rose in the horizon of my mind
On the artificial trees of my childhood sat
hundreds of fragrant butterflies
Cuckoos like the one in doorbells
perfect and sweet, chimed
I held in the palm of my hands
honey from my lips

and wiped with my saree, my hidden secret eyes

Should I tell them then
About that day, about the flute?

Should I say, that I know the tune of
just one flute, only one
Have seen only one flute maker
Under a vast universal night
Under a canopy of moonlight
alongside the shores of blueness
He had played the flute only for me
only once
and at that moment, my world had come so alive
that even after, trying once, trying again
could never commit suicide, could never be annihilated

Whatever had happened that night
Whatever had been enacted that night
on the eternal stage
Can I today, point towards it?
Should I?

(The flute is a musical instrument from India and is associated with Lord Krishna, the eternal lover who played the flute for Radha and his gopis)


ସେମାନେ କଥା ହେଉଥିଲେ ବଂଶୀ ବିଷୟରେ।
ଲୁହା ତିଆରି,କଂସା,ତମ୍ବା,ରୂପା,ବାଉଁଶରେ ତିଆରି
ଏପରିକି ସୁନାର ତିଆରି ହୋଇପାରିଥିବା ବଂଶୀ ,
ବଂଶୀର ବିବିଧ୍ସ ସ୍ଵର ,ଧ୍ୱନି ,ରନ୍ଧ୍ର,
କୁହୁକ ବଂଶୀର, ଦଦରା ବଂଶୀର,ମଧୁର ବଂଶୀର ସ୍ଵର ବିଷୟରେ।,
ଜଣେ କହିଲା ବିଶ୍ଵର ପ୍ରସିଦ୍ଧ ବଂଶୀବଦକଙ୍କର
ନାଁ ,ଗାଁ, ଠିକଣା ,ଜୀବନ କାହାଣୀ ଓ ପାଗଳାମିର ଖବର।

ମୁଁ ଉଚ୍ଚାରିଲି ତ
ମୋ ହାଡର ଗମ୍ଭୀରି ଘରେ ଆଘାତ ଲାଗିଲା
ଖୋଲିଗଲା କଳଙ୍କି ଲଗା କବାଟ।
ଦେଖିଲି ଜଣେ ଅପରୂପା ତରୁଣୀ ତରବର,ଅସମ୍ଭାଳ ସେଠି,
ଜହ୍ନ ଅନ୍ଧାର ରାତି,ହାତରେ ବଂଶୀ।
ମୋ ଚିତ-ଚକ୍ରବାଳରେ
ଉଇଁ ଗଲା କଦମ୍ବର ସୂର୍ଯ୍ୟ,
ମୋ ଫୁଲଦାନିର କୃତ୍ରିମ ଫୁଲ ଗୁଚ୍ଛରେ ବସି ପଡିଲେ
ମହ ମହ ପ୍ରଜାପତି।

କଲିଂ ବେଲରେ କୁହୁ କୁହୁ କଲା ଅରୂତୁୁର କୋଇଲି,
ଓଠର ମହୁରେ ଜଡସଡ ମୋ ହାତ ପାପୁଲିକୁ ମୁଠା କରିଦେଲି ମୁଁ,
ଶାଢୀ କାନି ରେ ପୋଛି ଦେଲି ଲୁଚା ଛପା ଆଖି।

ମୁଁ ଆଜି କହିବିକି ସେମାନଙ୍କୁ,
ବଂଶୀ କଥା,ସେଦିନର କଥା?
କହିବି, ମୁଁ ଜୀବନରେ ଚିହ୍ନିଚି ଗୋଟିଏ ମାତ୍ର ବ୍ବଂଶୀ ଧ୍ଵନିକୁ
ଦେଖିଛି ଗୋଟିଏ ମାତ୍ର ବଂଶୀବାଦକକୁ,
ଏକ ବିଶ୍ଵମୟ ବିଶାଳ ରାତିର ଚନ୍ଦ୍ରାତପ ତଳେ,
ନୀଳିମ ଜଳ ବିସ୍ତାର କୂଳେ କୂଳେ
ସିଏ ଖାଲି ମୋରି ପାଇଁ ବଜାଇଥିଲା ବଂଶୀ,
ଥରଟେେ ମାତ୍ର।

ସେଇ ମୁହୁର୍ତରେ ମୋ ପୃଥିବୀ ବଞ୍ଚି ଉଠିଥିଲା ଯେ,
ବାର ବାର ପ୍ରୟାସ କାଲେ ବି ତାପରେ,
ଆତ୍ମହତ୍ୟା କରି ପାରି ନଥିଲା କେବେ ବି।

ଯାହା ଯାହା ଘଟି ଥିଲା ସେ ରାତିରେ,
ଅଭିନୀତ ହୋଇିଥିଲା ଯେଉଁ ସଦାକାଳର ରଙ୍ଗମଞ୍ଚରେ
ମୁଁ କଣ ଆଜି ସେ ଆଡକୁ ବଢାଇ ଦେଇ ପାରିବି ମୋର ଆଙ୍ଗୁଠି?


Colours of Illusion

I do not have to recognise happiness
Nor do I have to understand sorrow
An untimely rain washes away
colours of faith, desires, illusions
Suddenly an unwavering reality appears
nothing to be afraid of, there is no one to blame

When someone takes back the yearning
commitment, responsibility
and your left hand slips from his
You cannot lift your right hand to say goodbye
Whatever is left, is that not enough?

Maya, illusionary colours
have merged in the calm horizon
My folded palms arranged in a Namaste
in the blink of the eye, blink of blood,
Whatever is left, isn’t that enough?

How many more footprints
can be left on this? On this quicksand?

ମାୟା ରଙ୍ଗ

“ସୁଖ କୁ ଆଉ ଚିହ୍ନିବାର ନାହିଁ କି
ବୁଝିବାର ନାହିଁ କାନ୍ଦଣାକୁ,
ବିବିଧ‌ ବିଶ୍ୱାସର, ମାଗିବାର,ମାୟା ର ରଙ୍ଗଧୋଇ ଗଲା ପରେ ଅଦିନ ପ୍ରଖର ବର୍ଷା ରେ ହଠାତ,
ଦିଶିଯାଏ ଯେ ନିଖୁଣ ବାସ୍ତବତା,
ତାକୁ ଦେଖି ଆଉ ଡ଼ରିବାର ନାହିଁ କି ଦୋଷୀ ମଣିବାର ନାହିଁ କାହାକୁ।

ଗୋଟାପଣେ ନିଜର କେହି ଯଦି ଫେରାଇ ନିଏ ତାର ଦାୟ, ଆକୁଳତା ,ପ୍ରତିଶ୍ରୁତି କି ଅଙ୍ଗୀକାର,
ବାଁ ହାତରୁ ଖସିଗଲେ ତା ହାତ, ଡାହାଣ ହାତ ହଲାଇ “ବିଦାୟ” ବୋଲି କହିବାର ନାହିଁ।
ଯେତିକି ବାକି ରହିଲା ତାହା କଣ ଯଥେଷ୍ଟ ନୁହେଁ?
ସବୁ ମାୟା ରଙ୍ଗ ମିଶି ଗଲେଣି
ନିଶାନ୍ତ ଦିଗବଳୟରେ
ପ୍ରଣାମ ଭଙ୍ଗୀ ରେ ଥିବା ଯୋଡ଼ା ପାପୁଲି ଭିତରେ ,ଆଖି ପଲକ
ରେ,ରକ୍ତ ଫଳକରେ,ବାକି ଯାହା ରହିଯାଇଚି ତାହା କଣ ଯଥେଷ୍ଟ ନୁହେଁ?
ଚୋରା ବାଲିରେ ଆଉ କେତେଟା ଅବା ପାଦଚିହ୍ନ ପଡିବାର ଅଛି ଯେ!



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