God appeared at midnight, and begged me
I gave Him a fistful of rice, and in lieu asked for his sympathy
You shall have it, He said, for once utter – I love you
I stared at His face in wonder –
The Almighty, seeking love
when the whole world is eager to offer him their love!
His eyes profound and tranquil –
smile at the corner of His lips;
No one loves God, said He
everyone just craves, and shouts – Give! Give!
I am tired.
Not food, not shelter, not opulence,
I want unconditional love, I want allegiance…
Wanting to hold his hand
I advanced with hesitation–
Right then, clouds clashed, the sky dazzled
a radiance filled all round me, and amidst pouring rain
the door closed
Since then, I have been alone
Alone – in love with God…
Words resurfaced after a long drawn hush
None of us wanted to know, why this silence
why love happened at all
or why we parted ways!
Bubbles do not die; they float with the current
at times calm, at times turbulent
No matter how near or far Krishna plays his flute
Radha shall always err in her steps
Illusion knots us all – you, me
We chant Krishna’s name in secrecy
yet search for Radha in our fancy
knowing fully well, Rukmini isn’t Radha.
No specified love for me,
no clichéd lifestyle; I don’t fancy walking to rhyme or rhythm
There lurks inside this mind a wandering minstrel…
Many a times did I hit the streets, dreaming to be an anchorite
walked highways or country roads
trying to transcend boundaries for the infinite,
searched inside my bloodstream for the oarsman of an abandoned sailboat
who would take me for sea bathing,
Or some all-forsaken ascetic, who has no bonds
who, like me, has embarked on a quest for God…
Or perhaps that mountain girl who walks down the winding road
Even as she climbs, up her smile- like the gateway to heaven…
I too, like her, wanted to reserve
a slice of sunlight at the corner of my lips,
Yet all routes seem to ashen and dissolve at one central point,
no matter how many times I try to break free
each time darkness descends, the stairs appear unknown, the roads too…
Aimlessly I dash, groping continually
in quest of a road…
Academic and writer Bitasta Ghoshal is currently the director and CEO of Kolkata based publisher Bhasha Samsad. In learning from our colleagues at The Antonym about the important cultural and literary work currently carried out by that publication house, especially through translation, I would like to share with our readers the description from their webpage about how the company came to be and its current status.
About Bhasha Samsad
“वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् “
BHASHA SAMSAD –an Endeavour to focus on the ONENESS of the Universe
In the late ’50s & early ’60s, a young man in his 20’s, strongly influenced and inspired by Swami Vivekananda’s wanderings across India, himself became a ‘Parivrajaka’ traveling all over the country.
During one of his travels this young man, Baishampayana Ghoshal reached Kerala . Very tired, he asked a lady carrying a pot on her head the way to the local school where he wanted to rest for the evening. The lady gestured him to follow her. He was surprised to find that the lady with the pot on her head was actually the headmistress of that school. She told that the world does not have one language, rather it is having multiple languages. We exhibit unnecessary pride by knowing one or two languages without even knowing properly the languages and culture of our own country. And, Baishampayana used to say- “ then she told me about the various works of Tagore, Sarat Chandra, Tarashankar, Bibhutibhusan – and even more astonishingly – modern masters like Manik Bandapadhyay, Buddhadev Basu, Bishnu Dey, etc. Then she asked me if I knew anything about Malayali, Tamil, or other South Indian literature. It came like a slap on my face “.
He admitted with the reverence that he had not read any of these even in translation. Then she explained to him the necessity of translation literature which will connect people across the globe.
And thus it all started.
He traveled back to Kolkata and contacted Mr. Annada Shankar Roy ICS, the very eminent Bengali litterateur, and his wife Ms. Lila Roy, herself a well-known translator, to discuss this. Greatly encouraged by them finally on 26th January 1975, with all his meager savings, Ghoshal brought out the 1st edition of ‘Anubad Patrika’.
Mr. Annadashankar Roy himself presided over the release of the 1st copy of Anubad Patrika in the presence of many distinguished writers and journalists. Baishampayan Ghoshal was the first editor.
Literature is the mirror of society and the one and only thread that connects people across the globe
irrespective of their language and culture, thus creating understanding and promoting peace and harmony in this world of unrest and disorder. So the foundation of Anubad Patrika was laid to reflect Indias Rishi Vani – “Shrinwantu Vishwe Amritasya Putra” and “Vashdhaiva Kutumbakam”. Its main objective was- and continues to be- of National Integration and International understanding and to reflect the unity in diversity of India through translations.
With the foundation of Anubad Patrika being laid in 1975, one more platform called Bhasa Samsad was created by Mr.Ghoshal, in the year 1979, for cultural exchange of various regions across India. Bhasa Samsad also used to conduct various workshops on Translation – literature and later it became a publishing house to promote promising young writers.
In the beginning, Anubad Patrika started as a quarterly magazine & later in 1987 it became monthly.
During this period various works of many major writers of India found their place in this magazine,
Which by that time has already reached the zenith of its popularity. It was at this very stage that Baishampayan Ghoshal withdrew into himself to focus on spiritual matters.
After a brief lull, his elder daughter Bitasta Ghoshal took up the responsibility of Anubad Patrika and Bhasha Samsad, after giving up her carrier as a part-time lecturer in a college.
During his lifetime Baishampayan Ghosal received many awards viz the very prestigious ‘Ananda Purushkar’, ‘Mata Kusum kumari International Award’ (Hariyana) ‘Bangla Academy award’ etc. to name a few, for his immense contribution to literature for the cause of National Integrity and International understanding.
Incidentally, Baishampayan would have been particularly happy at the awards that his daughter Bitasta received from Bangladesh.viz. , “Dui-Banglar sera kobi samman” -2016, “ Chalantika “ award -2018.
Bitasta has also received Bangla Academy award 2012, Ekantor Samman -2014. She is now an increasingly popular author and poet.