By Guna Moran
Original Assamese poem titled “Adipath”, Translated by Nirendra Nath Thakuria
Sitting hunched at the hearth of useful knowledge she toasted her ashen eyes through the gaps of her fingers and very often said You are my unique achievements of my sacrifice for long ten months and ten days By birth you’ve got a beautiful earth besides the vast sky So you must be generous like the sun and tolerant like the earth At my birth I cried Maybe I got the pains of my mother Since then I have had tears in my eyes in happiness and sorrow of people One can't help crying whose only companion at birth was tears That honeyed word, "Maa" was my first honeyed word Since then I've blurted out "Maa" unawares whenever I sit down or stand up My birth is my mother's sacrifice I must be made for sacrifice An ingrate I can't be My happiness lies in my mother's happiness My sorrow lies in my mother's sorrow Never can I be happy He is the lone custodian of happiness whose main assets are the sun and the earth
Guna Moran is an up and coming poet and critic. His poems and literary pieces are published in numerous journals and newspapers of India. His literary honours include Kabita Dinar Sanman 2017, Bandhu Saki Bota 2019, the Literary Lieutenant Award 2019 by Story Mirror, India Star Passion Award 2019, and Creator of Justice Award 2020 (Honorable Poetry by International Human Rights Art Festival). English translations of his poems have also been accepted for publication by a number of national and international print & web magazines.
Niredra Nath Thakuria translates Assamese literature into English, and his translations have appeared in Kavya Bharati, Chandrabhaga, Indian Literature, Yaatra, The Oxford Anthology Writings from North-east India, Poetry and Essays, and Dancing Earth: An Anthology of Poetry from North-East India (Penguin Books). Mr. Thakuria worked as associate Editor of Yaatra and as literary editor of Assam: Land and People. He edited Democracy of Umbrella, a collection of English Translations of Anubhav Tulasi’s Assamese poems.