Supurna Dasgupta‘s translation of Tarapada Ray’s: How much time must lapse (Bengali to English)

How much time must lapse

Until one returns,

Swiftly trot down the path, cross the jamun

Dust at my feet, wildflowers brimming from my arms

And suddenly arrive at your door.

Eventide. Lantern flame flickers in the kitchen corner.

Pulling at your veil with your spice-smeared fingers

You speak,

“How long has it been”.

The courtyard sprinkled with grapefruit blooms!

The quiet winds of March

Firefly reflections on the pond.

So many images from so many days.

Yet, one can barely return.

Supurna Dasgupta is a PhD scholar at the University of Chicago in the department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. In her spare time, she translates, embroiders, makes wishful travel plans, and teaches imaginary courses.

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