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Jibananda Das

Amar Kotha (My Words)

Published : Saturday, 25 January, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 889
Translated by: Alamgir Mohammad

Amar Kotha (My Words)

Amar Kotha (My Words)

I was born in 1899 in Falgun. I studied at B.M. school, Presidency College, University and Law College. At last I couldn't sit for examination for law degree. I taught at Calcutta City College, at a College in Delhi and in B.M. College Barishal. And I did some other jobs at different places. Still I cannot but continue teaching.  But I don't think it befitting to stay in this sector for a long time.
What we are teaching to the students aren't they absurd? Let there be change.
Ours is an extended family.  But I have noticed love for literature and the accomplishment of writing techniques in my father. He used to buy and read numerous books in English. He had a good collection of books.  Young enthusiasts of literature and culture used to meet him in his Library. Baba used to make them understand some topics of literature by national and international writers.
He did not write anything in particular.  Among his few writings that I have got were full of cohesion but they lacked any vigor. He has been a theoretically well learned man. Mother has written many poems. The choice of diction, alliteration and the rhyming of those poems have enticed me to a greater extent.  Yet I have been following up another trend. Probably I am a natural lover of literature! In an environment where I have been brought up, it is impossible to grow up singularly as a lover of literature but you feel an urge to create something of your own.
From my early life I have read native and foreign books no less. I had an urge to be a novelist. Still it is in me. Even the fiercest criticism cannot make any way out due to lack of time. Even I cannot produce dramas breaking the licentious hopelessness. Maintaining the livelihood and other duties in this hard time it is next to impossible to concentrate on a singular branch of literature i.e. poetry  deeply. But, yet an attempt can be made. Thus, I get inspired to write poems. But the source of my real inspiration for me is my logical mind has an urge to bloom with an insight into poetic endeavors accompanied by the companies and absurdities of the modern human life. After this comes up the question what is poetry, what are the components of poetic endeavors? I have discussed this earlier somewhere and will do. No more time today.
It doesn't sound good if I say the 'Kollol' published my poem for the first time but I felt mostly elated after seeing my poem published in 'Kollol '. During the peak time of the 'Kollol' I used to live in Calcutta. I used to talk to the greatest writers of the 'Kollol' often there. After a few years, there came the Kal-ikolom.
 Shaylojananda and Premendra were at the helms of Kali-kolom.  Mohitlal used to write poems in the 'Kali-kolom'. I met Kazi Nazrul Islam for the first time in the 'Kali-kolom'.  What a time it was! During my school days we got the writings of the maestros like Promoth Chowdhury, Satyen Dutt, Probhat Mukherjee, Charubabu who was a famous figure in adopting Russian stories, Moni Ganguly and later Sharat Chatterjee.  Likewise in the days of the 'Kollol' we got the critics from a very close perspective.
The predecessors were a bit forgotten then-- Rabindranath, Bankim and the other former traditions of the Bangla literature were faded amidst the blitz of the maestros from foreign literature. The movement of the 'Kollol' was a must in Bengali literature. The Kollol played a vital role of a bridge between the twists and turns of life and literature and society got highly benefitted.
 The 'Kollol' and the 'Kali-kolom' were nearly forgotten.
 The 'Progotti' of Buddhadeb Bose came out with new possibility and prospects in Bengali literature. My poems reached Buddhadeb and the 'Progotii' with much hope. Probably Buddhadeb found the poems belonging to the world known to me and him. He gave my poems a large space in the 'Progotii' and in the 'Kabita' in the beginning. Later in the collection of poetry like 'Banalata Sen' and in other poems Buddhadeb thought I have crossed the boundary of his and mine known world.
Sanjoy Bhattacharya the editor of the 'Nirukta' and the 'Purbasha' thinks my poetry in the last stage has been bloomed with the feelings and emotions of my surroundings.  Of course this perspective is related to history and society.  But still there are some other feelings that I love to find out amidst my poetry very meticulously.  Whatever the development occurs i.e. scientific and welfare to the society, is it possible for a poet or a great soul / saint to be satisfied with nature, love and chemistry of life? It has not happened in my life.

My poetry probably have had a reflection of society and history or in the coming days may get more, but; have they been able to capture that power which can lead the society towards a new way? Has there any poet who has been able to guide the society towards enlightenment?  
Still today we are unable to have that kind of society. Had all the previous poets been failure in terms of providing society a kind of scientific insight? Or were all the great poets able to play a constructive role in building an enlightened society?  Probably they did it like other maestros i.e. economists, saints and other well informed persons in their respective fields. Poetry may play a vital role in constructing an enlightened and knowledge based society and that poetry may claim a unique place in people's minds.
My modern poetry comes out from these issues.  
The translator is a University Teacher

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