Private Conversation

Private Conversation

All merciful Lord, why do You not respond to my ardent call?
Have I not obeyed Your commands in a spirit of submission without recoil?
Morning and evening and at each meal I say my prayers with devotion.
I observe the canons and fast on all sacred occasions.
Drinks I avoid and my tongue does not hanker for joy.
I carry out Your work with all my conscience,
And deny myself sleep and rest in Your service.
I have cut out pleasure and day-dreaming from my routine,
And study the Scriptures when others enjoy a dance or a picture.
No gale or fire can disturb my hours of meditation
And when I have leisure, I write poems in Your honor.
For games and recreation I have little time to spare
Yet You seem to be so indifferent to my endeavor,
That I am often tempted to give up the chase
Wondering if after all You too were not a mirage on the way.
My friend, I am so near to serve your pleasure
Yet rare is the soul who recognises me
When I knock at his door with a begging bowl,
They are too much occupied with the means to remember what they seek.
All men work driven by their own nature.
If you were a gardener, you too would grow flowers on a barren hillside.
Did you water a honeysuckle vine for my sole pleasure?
Did you ever drop a vase of porcelain in a moment of inattention
Because you saw me smiling in the mirror of the glazed floor?
Did you ever have a day when you could hardly concentrate
Because I had been laughing and humming too loudly in your brain?
Did you ever leave your duty and run out into the fields
Because you could hear me calling you from every bush and tree?
Have you ever gone without food or drink
Because nothing tasted good in my absence?
Have you ever forgotten to say your prayers at mealtime
Because you saw me in a child winking at you?
Did you even once miss your meditation
Because I had suspended the motion of the Sun and the Moon?
Did you ever think of pawning the Scriptures
To buy me some incense sticks and fresh flowers?
When you are impatiently seeking for your poems striking rhythms
Did you notice me waiting patiently to have a word with you?
When you passed by your unfortunate sister, avoiding her as a snake
Did you not feel a pang in your heart for insulting the Creator?
If you keep away from the pictures and dances
And do not participate in games and tournaments,
How will you hear my laughter mingled with voices?
If you do not wrestle with me out of fear or respect
Then from where will you get the strength to bear my descent?
When you were busy improvising melodic movements for your music
Did you notice me going away from the hall feeling unwanted?
I do not want to be an idol in a temple,
I want friends and comrades.
Love me, I am your bond-slave as long as will last the play.
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Niranjan Guha Roy 19560
 

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