His ancestors came from the Bikrampur region of Dhaka district, from a now-extinct village called Gaupara on the banks of the river Padma. He was an early exponent of the reformist Brahmo Samaj movement in Barisal and was highly regarded in town for his philanthropy. He erased the -gupta suffix from the family name, regarding it as a symbol of Vedic Brahmin excess, thus rendering the surname to Das. The child who achieves not in words but in deeds, when will this land know such a one? Milu fell violently ill in his childhood, and his parents feared for his life. Fervently desiring to restore his health, Kusumkumari took her ailing child on pilgrimage to Lucknow , Agra and Giridih.

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Everyone is going to take advantage of everyone else and Thereby get to heaven ahead of all. In this world, interest accrues: but not for everyone. Indescribable bank notes in the hands of one or two persons. And these high-ranking persons of the world demand And take everything, even women. The rest of mankind, like profuse leaves of late autumn in darkness, Wish to fly off toward a river somewhere, or toward the ground- and mix in with some germinating seed of the earth.

Even knowing that many births have been destroyed, still The proprietress must take possession of the familiar waters, partial light, When again she returns in the smell of sunshine, in immortality of dust, grass, flowers: And considering this, they blend into the darkness. They disappeared then dead. The dead never return to this world. Are the dead nowhere; are they somewhere? It seems the dead are nowhere except in the hearts of peaceful men pacing some November path; In that case, it would be well calmly to enjoy Light, food, sky, and woman somewhat before death.

Thousands of Bengali villages, silent and powerless, sink into hopelessness and lightlessness. When the sun sets, a certain lovely haired darkness Comes to fix her hair in-a bun-but by whose hands? But it remains loose and flowing as she gazes out-but for whom? There are no hands-no person anywhere; one of the thousand Bengali village Nights, smiling, like a picture on some scroll, some floral decoration, Had almost become a beautifully wife-eyed woman; then all was extinguished.

Over there in the field on a moonlight night the peasants used to dance, After drinking strange rice wine, prior to the wedding of a boatman with the little goddess daughter of a low-caste fisherman- And after the marriage-and before the birth of their child. Is everything today hazy? It is now difficult to think clearly; The rule is to keep everyone informed with half-truths in darkness; And then alone in that darkness it has become the practice To surmise the other half of the truth; and everyone Looks at everyone else out of the corner of his eye.

The inner thoughts of creation are-enmity. The inner thoughts of creation: the dragging of a shadow of our doubts over our sincerity and thus bringing us pain. They sleep on. Yasin, Makbul, Sasi Suddenly came near and before saying anything Spoke at length as if from the interior of a half-fragmented eternity; yet- Eternity is not fragmented; thus that dream, effort, speech Have vanished within the unfragmented eternity; There is no one, nothing-the sun has gone out.

Today is there not in this world such a pervasive darkness? Is there no sweet breeze, no profundity, no purity? Yet man, as he turns from the blind state of adversity toward soothing darkness, From darkness toward the celebration of his new cities and villages Where degradation has not set in even today-an area of self- awareness, Transcending the sources of error and sin in his heart, Does remain, it seems to me.

Come forward, oh knowledge, humility, unclouded vision, peace, light, love.


Jibanananda Das






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