Benimadhob | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 15, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:31 AM, July 15, 2017

Benimadhob

Translated by Syed Maqsud Jamil
 
Benimadhob!My darling Benimadhob!
I long to go to your house.
I ache to know if you still think of me.
Benimadhob, under the tomal tree 
You would play so charmingly!
I was a student at Maloti school
Doing sums at my desk
In a small classroom
While the school mistress sat with her husband outside.
I was in a saree, a student of class nine,
And had got so carried away
When I talked to you atSulekha's place.
 
Benimadhob! You were good at studies
And from the city; dark-skinned that I was
I panicked and ran home;
Benimadhob!I was from a humble family 
And had a father working at a shop
But bees would still buzz in gardens and flowers bloom!
Unmindful me would err in math on evenings.
I was in class nine and only sixteen.
How fondly I remember the date 
You and I had by the side of the bridge!
 
Benimadhob! My Benimadhob! Those days are long gone
But do you still recall the times we had together?
Have you told your beloved about us?
I only saw her once at your side
Under the glowing light: such a special sight! 
I have to admit, the two of you made a perfect pair
I was awestruck and left with burning eyes
But on returning home, I said to myself
May they be very happy!  
 
Now as I go to sleep at night in a ground floor room
Moonlight streams into the mattress on the floor,
The sister who would sleep next to me is gone
Lost in a circuitous trail of vice; who knows who she is with?
I cope with life for now but what of tomorrow? Saturn's ascendant
And I a sewing mistress of our neighborhood
Yet a fire is raging; Benimadhob, where could it be raging?
And what if I, too, become a fallen woman now?
 
Syed Maqsud Jamil is an occasional contributor to this page.
 
 

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