Treasure Island

Kazi Nazrul Islam

(24 May 1899 - 29 August 1976 / Bardhaman / India)

Woman


I sing the song
of equality;
In my view gender difference
is essentially a triviality.
Everything that is great in the world,
all the works, beneficial and good,
half must be credited to woman,
and to man half only we should.

All the vice or bad in the world,
and the pain or flowing tear,
for half, man should be blamed,
the other half only woman should bear.

Who belittles you as woman,
connecting you to Hell's flame?
Tell him that for the first ever sin
not woman, but man must carry the blame.

Or, it may be that sin or Satan
is in reality neither man or woman;
Satan is gender-neutral, so
it flows equally in woman or man.

All the flowers blossomed in the world,
and all the fruits grown,
isn't in beauty, nectar and fragrance of those
woman's contribution?

Have you seen Taj Mahal's marble?
It's spirit, have you seen?
At the heart of it Momtaj, woman;
outside is Shahjahan, the King and lover so keen.

The fortune of knowledge, or of music,
or, the fortune of all harvest,
woman's grace has made it so worthwhile,
flowing from every home and nest.

In the hardship of day and its scorching heat,
you can see reflection of man;
in the soothing breeze
and in peace of night, who shines but woman?

During the day she is source of strength.
She glows in affection at night;
when man needs comfort and love,
her grace and sweetness flow to make his life bright.

With man behind the plough,
the crop field became bountiful, indeed;
the greenery was only more beautiful,
as woman sowed the seed.

Man carries the plough, woman carries the water;
from soil and water mixed together,
the crop grows in abundance,
ears of paddy - like blooming heather.

Of course, the metals -
gold and silver: ordinary otherwise;
those become fancy jewelry
with woman's touch that underlies.

In longing for woman, or in her communion,
man found where the poets' hearts belong,
as his words became poetry
and sounds turned into song.

Man's present - the passion; woman's is affection -
with the communion that hungry loves entail,
comes the children - all magnificent
from man the great that even angels hail.

All the great victory of the world
and all the grand voyages,
gained grandeur and nobility from sacrifice of
mothers, sisters, and wives, throughout the ages.

How much blood man has offered
is recorded in annals of history;
how many women became widow -
No record of that - Is it a mystery?

How many mothers poured their hearts,
and how many sisters did serve?
the memorials of heroes - great or small
do not show that - do you not observe?

Victory hasn't kissed man's sword,
because of the valor of man alone;
the inspiration and pride woman brought
to men, that should also be known.

While king rules the kingdom
and queen rules the king,
the misery and sadness go away,
joy and happiness her grace does bring.

Man!
heartless, like a stone;
to make human out of him,
woman gave half of her heart as loan.

All the great celebrities, immortal -
whose fame knows no bound;
we celebrate in their memory
regularly, every year around.

They came to this world,
as at moment's passion they were fathered;
but Raam found shelter in jungle,
while all the care and nurture Sita gathered.

Wasn't it the woman who taught baby-'men'
love mercy and compassion?
Didn't she touch their eyes with kohl
as a shadow of her sad affection?

Man paid that debt off
in a very strange way;
holding on lap she who kissed him,
behind curtain and wall, she was put away.

Man the great;
Is he so, really?
who cuts open his mother's throat
at the command of his Muni father, bending his knee?

In the world's bed, half the deity: woman
just turned the side;
so far woman has taken enough,
now man will be confined.

Gone
is that age,
when man was the master
to enslave woman in his wish's cage.

This age is of empathy, of being human,
of equality is this new time;
no one would be the other's prisoner -
don't you hear that chime?

If man imprisons woman,
then the turn will come sure;
in the same prison he built,
he will rot and die without a cure.

Take this lesson -
a wisdom always right and true,
if you make suffer someone,
suffering will catch up with you.

Listen!
you the creature of this earth!
the more you oppress others,
your humanness? gradually, there will be dearth.

In the dungeon of treasure
with jewelry of silver and gold,
who confined you, O woman,
who is that animal with heart so cold?

No more agitation or bewilderment
to express yourself any more;
now you are timid, vulnerable, and
speak only from behind the wall or door.

You can't look eye to eye, and still wear
bracelet and anklets - the prisoner's symbol;
tear off the veil of yours,
unchain yourself, it has taken enough toll.

The veil that made you timid,
let that go away;
all those ornaments and symbols of servitude,
throw away, throw away.

Woman!
To this world precious you really are!
Don't roam in jungle or
to sing to trees you wander afar.

When did the Regent of Death come
flying on the wing of night's shade,
snatched you to captivity
in its dungeon where nobody can raid.

In that bondage of old time,
you are still living dead;
from that time world's light is stolen
and our vision is obscure in dread.

Come like a lightening, O mother,
breaking away from that pit;
your broken grass bracelets
will keep your path lit.

The animal, that is man's hunger -
at the fling of your leg,
will dropp dead at your feet, and
together, with smashed undertaker, will earnestly beg.

Your ambrosia all of us enjoyed,
now different is the need,
the hand that offered ambrosia before
to the monsters must now offer hemlock, indeed.

Not very far
is that cherished day,
when with homage to man,
to woman also homage, the world will pay.

[Original: Nari (Bengali) ,
Translation: Mohammad Omar Farooq]

Submitted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Edited: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Raam and Shita: Two important figures from Hindu religious scriptures

Muni: This is related to story from Indian scriptures where a Muni, religious sage, commanded his son to slaughter his mother - Muni's wife - due to alleged adultery, which the son was not a witness of. The son, to prove his religious devotion, complied.

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