Translation of 3 Letters of Kazi Nazrul Islam
Gazi Abdulla hel Baqui || risingbd.com
Translation: Gazi Abdulla hel Baqui
(Written to Mahfuzur Rahman Khan)
To my loved one,
I received your letter. I became very glad to learn that you had passed the examination. Now, you are a student of a college. It seems that you may know Idries and Illius from Rangpur. If you do not know them, then you will ask Professor Satkori Mitra, (I consider him to be my elder brother) and he will provide you with the information. You must enter into an acquaintance with them. You will feel delighted. They are very good boys. When you meet Idries, you will ask him what happened to the books lying with them (he and another boy called Aziz)? You will also talk to Aziz. The best thing that you can meet and enjoy by beholding in Rangpur is nothing but my elder brother (Satkori Mitra). I think you might have talked to him within this period of time. Convey my ‘Pronam’ to him and his wife (if she stays there). Take my affection—you, Idries, Illius, Aziz and all other students. I am passing through busy days. By 4/5 days, I am leaving for Birbhum.
(Written to Balai Debsharma, the Editor of ‘Sakti’ in Bordhowan)
To your lotus-like feet,
Balaida! I felt elated on being aware of your already sailing across the sea of consternation by catching, hold of the oar of ‘Sakti’. By riding on ‘Dhumkutu’ (the Comet), I desired to make the heart of Bangla startle for once more. But Gobor Monto (Sarkar) Shaheb followed me thwarting all attempts from behind. He could by no means make it rise high up. So, following my own principle `twelve houses with thirteen farms, and whichever house I like to go in, it belongs to me’, have been roaming about paths and ways. The environment of Bangla has turned sultry and stuffy, as a result a number of unknown beings have come into existence. Now a person possessing strong masculinity is required so that he can cleanse all these trash with the help of a spade. He has to appear in the field with indomitable courage by evading all sorts of profit and greed. However, as you have already taken the responsibility, something positive must come out and this we strongly expect. You see, brother, you must not give in at last, too. This Plume of the comet is also your behind; as and when you need to set fire on a bundle of haystack; you just send for me. More one thing to convey to you, my Dada, `do not expect to become a celebrity.’ Now I conclude.
(On 3 Ashar1328, the matrimonial tie between Nazrul Islam and Nargis Asar Khanom alias Sayeda Khatun was completed. This marriage did not last long. The separation took place between them. Later on, Nazrul married Promila on 24 April 1924. After fifteen years later, Nargis wrote a letter to Nazrul. The following is the reply to that letter.)
06, Upper Shitpur Road
'Gramophone Rehearsal Room'
To my loved one,
I received your letter—on that deeply-moistened new morning of early monsoon. On that day, it was pouring torrentially from the densely-packed clouds in the sky. Fifteen years ago, in a Ashar like this one, such a heavy flood of rain came down— maybe you can also remember that. I pay homage to the new mass of cloud of Ashar. This cloud-messenger carried the message of the deserted Yaksha to his beloved during the age of Kalidas, on the bank of the river Reba, in Malbika's country. The blessed message of such mass of cloud brought extreme accumulation of distress in my life. This Ashar, dragging me from the celestial world of my imagination, got me floated away on the huge tide of distress. However, now let me answer your accusation and complaints.
Trust me, whatever I am writing is true. If you imagine my form, based on the words heard from others, then you will misunderstand me— and that is false.
I do not nurture any insidious intent against you—I am unlocking this from my heart. The Knower of my heart knows how deep a wound for you exists in my heart; how much ache is felt there! But, only I have been burnt in that fire of distress—I never wanted to burn you in that fire. If you did not kindle that fire, I could not be able to play on my Agnibeena—I could not be able to rise with the wonder of Dhumketu. I saw your cordial beauty at first during my adolescent period; that very beauty, like the coral-tree in paradise, is ever luminous in my bosom. The heart's fire could not touch that flower garland outside.
You should not forget that I am a poet—even if I hurt someone, I do that with flowers. Any inelegant and ugly pursuit is not mine. My hurting is not so cruel like that of a barbarian's or a coward’s outside. The Knower of my heart knows (I don't know what you have known or heard) that, today, I do not have any complaint or accusation against you; no demand I shall ever raise on you.
I have never sent any 'messenger' to you. The extensive gap that has been created between us, there is a doubt even the Creator Himself, let alone human being, can be the 'bridge' of that—. You believe me; I have no any faith in those talks of `the immature'. If I did that, I would not reply to your letter. I neither have any disrespect towards you, nor do not have any right on you—I am telling you that again. Though I am serving the gramophone's trade-mark 'dog', I have never unleashed any dog. Your dog from Dhaka bit me once because of my own carelessness, but, despite having the ability, I did not take revenge of that— I did not hit them.
You pointed out my lack of courage to go to Dhaka in fear of those dogs; it made me laugh. You know how much the boys (the young ones) used to love me. My fans forgave on account of my own request; otherwise, their trace would be effaced from this world. You did not have enough opportunity to know me, so you could have written this.... However, you are glamorous, wealthy and virtuous. So, you will come across so many expectants—if you go for a free choice of a husband. I do not have any objection to that. Basing on what sort of right, I shall welcome you—or pass my order? The cruel fate has freed me from exercising all authorities on you.
I do not know how you look these days! I can recollect your adolescent countenance that, like a beautiful form of a goddess, I wanted to establish you on the altar of my heart with eternal love and respect. But, you did not accept that day's adoration. Like an unfeeling goddess, you rather chose the stony altar of distress…. Since then, throughout my life, my puja-worship is being offered there. Today you appear to be fake and vain to me. So I do not want to get her. I do not know, maybe I will be deprived of beholding that beauty; I shall get more pain,— so I am passing my days rejecting her.
Should I have a glance at you? No problem, it might not happen in this dusty world! Love's flower turns pale, burnt and ugly on this dusty world. If you truly love me; if you truly want me, you will get me from that very place. Laily did not get Majnu. Yet, no lovers did get their beloveds as they did. Suicide is a great sin. Even though it is an old saying, it is a great truth. Soul is everlasting; none can kill a soul. If you have got the touch of the wand of gold of love, then, is there anyone as lucky as you? With the illusive touch of that, everything of you will get illuminated with brightness. With distress in mind if anyone leaves one house for another, that wealth of distress does not vanish away. If humans desire, they can transform mistakes to bloom into flowers, with devotion and arduous endeavour. If you had done any mistake in this life, you have to correct it in this life. Only then, you will derive delight, salvation; only then, all distresses will end. Try to improve yourself. The Creator Himself will help you. I have been maintaining a family. Yet, I have gone high up surpassing the obstruction by family—going there, all incompleteness, all crimes are deemed with an eye of forgiveness, in delightful forms.
Suddenly, words of 15 years back fell into my memory. You ran into fever; after much trouble, the two thirsty hands of mine could touch your charming white forehead; I can still feel the touch of that hot forehead of yours. Did you notice that? I had tears in my eyes, had extreme desire to serve you with my hands and prayed with piteous request to the Almighty Creator for your convalescence. It seems that as if it is a tale of yesterday. Eternity could not obliterate that token of remembrance. How excessive unfulfilled satisfaction; how irresistible tide of love flowed on that day! My eyes were sleepless during the whole day and night.
However,— Today I am heading forward through the ebb tide, casting my glance to the last rays of the setting days of my life. You do not have any authority to take me back from that path. And do not try for that. Let this reply be my first and last letter written to you. Wherever I would be, trust me, my undecaying amulet of blessings will surround you. Be happy, get peace—this is my prayer. I am not that much bad as you believe to be— this is my last explanation.—I conclude.
P.S. Have you read the book of my poems called Chakrabak? There you will get the answers of many of your complaints. A certain book of yours contains critical remarks against me. Now I draw to its end—
Dr. Gazi Abdulla-hel Baqui is a poet, writer, translator, researcher and university professor. He has already authored twenty eight books.