The Alternative

We present this work in honor of the 35th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Premendra Mitra
1904 – 1988


Had thought of going somewhere
But I didn’t.
The closed windows suddenly shake
In an abrupt wind.

Let them shake, at least I am at home
Sifting through thoughts for signs of rot.
When it gets to be too much
I swat at flies.
One thing I know,
One wants no more. if one shuts their eyes,

I have learnt to follow the sun
And grow in that direction,
Reaching for any dreams within hooking distance,
Or let them go, blaming their substance.
Who cares what I do, so long as I feed my soul?

For what was never to be, I no longer cry!
Come, let’s talk of what ifs and how I wonder why.

Translation by Ruma Chakravarti

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