Treasure Island

Sukumar Ray

(30 October 1887 - 10 September 1923 / Calcutta / India)

Uuncle's Invention


Chandidas's uncle has invented a device
Which is causing everyone to praise it to the skies.
When Uncle was a year old, or maybe even younger,
He came out with a lusty yell that sounded just like'Goonga.'
At such an age most other tots just manage 'Glug' and 'Mum,'
So “Goonga' like a thunderbolt, struck everybody dumb.
And all who heard, said 'Here's a boy – provided hesurvives –
Will one day surely bring about a change in humanlives.'
It seems the day is here at last, and victory is won
With what will make a five miles walk seem like only one.
I've seen the contrivance myself, and say with confidence
Never had invention had such greater significance.
Let me tell you how it strikes the eyes of a beholder:
First of ail, one notes that you must strap it to yours houlder.
An arm extends, and from its end one notes there hangs a hook
To which you bait some food – stuff which you eitherbuy or cook.
Naturally the choice depends upon you predilections
(It's wiser to restrict yourself to hookable confections).
The sight of morsel dangling close provokes the urge to eat
Which, transcribed to your motive force, soon propels the feet.
Before you know you're on the go, your mind, intent on feeding,
But since the food is travelling too you never stop your speeding
The outcome, I need hardly add, will change our whole existence
Because we'll walk for nourishment, and never mind the distance.
No wonder's there’s a move afoot, to honour, Uncle soon
For bestowing on humanity an everlasting boon.

[Original: 'Khuror Kal' (Bengali), Translated by: Satyajit Ray (the able son of Sukumar Roy)]

Submitted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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