Getting older – a poem by Sunil Gangopadhyay translated by me

Getting older

I am told that I am getting older? Chuckling heartily
I repeated the phrase in the bathroom!
In the solitude of that place it wouldn’t have hurt
To dance a few steps by myself either-
Shall I start exercising to lose weight? Wearing tight-fitting trousers?
I laugh myself silly; in the afternoon
I ask Neera,
Have you heard the news? Have you heard that I am getting older?
You know, there is a bit of grey in my chest hair, in my sideburns, and in my beard
You can see it too. Take a close look
Everyone who sees me wonders, where is the boy, this is a man!
These are very complicated magic tricks- how a boy becomes a man
How men then become aged and then die-
I too will die.
Loving for a little while longer, writing a few more poems
I too will eventually die
Isn’t it?
Wandering along aimlessly, where have I come… this place is unknown.
Mine was a vast kingdom, beyond it is so much that is limitless.
A tune reverberates through my entire body, I hesitate to even blink
I enjoyed this brief sojourn, I got a chance to witness a lot;
The darkness is also dear to me, Neera, give me your hand
Let me take its fragrance.

Neera, only when I am near you I realize
Even today time stands still!

– Sunil Gangopadhyay


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