Monday, July 03, 2006

God’s garden

Somehow I took to vulgarity in Bengali. Some of my former colleagues in employment used to derive much amusement from hearing me launch into a recitation of choice abuses and vulgar slang, like nodey punu (a deliberate spoonerism, for purposes of affected euphemism).

I can never forget some lines by the famous Bengali poet, Shakti Chattopadhyay, which I find applications for all the time. This ridicules smug, glib, misplaced, disingenuous, gung-ho idealism or optimism about something that is really very difficult. Of the attitude that something is a cake-walk, or a rose garden, and if everyone just held hands and sang "we shall overcome", everything would instantly be solved!!!

Chol, tui amu
haath dhorey
shorgyer bagaaney giyey
Ishworer podey chumu diye aashi

I had translated this for a close friend in Jerusalem as:

Let's you and I
hold hands
go to God's garden
and kiss his ass.

I was surprised to discover a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson which I thought was in a similar vein:

It is very nice to think
The world is full of meat and drink,
With little children saying grace
In every Christian kind of place.

1 comment:

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