The drum is beating.
Suhashini comes out from the hut and looks
in the distant sky. A calm sky. The leaves are silent.
The loud sound of Padmanabha’s rhythmless
breathing is reaching outside the house amidst the
hemanta afternoon. Suhashini knows that beating
the drum is a warning. The setting sun is spreading
a red glow across the grain-fields. There is blood:
in the paddy fields, on the lands and the blood-rain
is falling from the sky.
Padmanabha’s room is full of books.
In that mud house, in the midst of books and papers,
there is a space in which exist Padmanabha and
Suhashini's world. Outside the hut is a small place.
The boys of the village come to study. But now is the
time of war. Tanyu, Chohar, Durga have left with
blessings. They are hidden in the - bushes, grain-fields,
and on the banks of the river. Some are on the trees,
some are inside the earth like the foxes. Weapons are
spear, sword, khara, knife, and torch. They have the
drum. To send us a message.
Suhashini looks at the distant sky and pranams.
She walks a few steps, keeps looking at the grain-field.
The light of the west has fallen on her face. Behind her
is the mud-hut. Inside the hut Padmanabha is struggling
to breathe. He knows this war is unequal. Defeat is
She knows the rice-plants have bathed in blood in this
light. The drum is beating. She is preparing to play the
conch. Slowly the sun is turning red.
Born in 1978, Kolkata, Hindol Bhattacharjee is a Bengali poet. He has authored 16 books of poetry. Besides poetry, he has authored three books of stories and three books of essays and discourse. He has translated poetry of more than 75 poets of German language the time period of which ranges from 18th century to recent.
"Her writing is mercurial and often difficult to get a hold of. But there’s an art to her volatility that makes Island mountain glacier incredibly exciting to read.” (Modern poetry in translation)
"‘Tumultuous work, in which the chaos can scarcely be tamed and much is possible that would not work in more concentrated poetry. Vegter’s later books make it evident that the poetic principle of free and idiosyncratic use of language forms the basis of everything she writes.” (Daily magazine,Trouw)