Sampurna Chattarji & Sukumar Ray

The Song Slam
from Sukumar Ray’s Abol Tabol

All summer long you hear the song of Bhishmalochan Sharma—
A sound that barges like armed charges from Delhi on to Burma!
He sings detached and soaring, roaring with all his soul,
That dinning sound on spinning heads extracts an awful toll.

Wounded gravely pitching down, twitching restlessly and how—
Yelling, “That song is killing me, stop trilling it right now.”
Lying helpless by the road are the reinless bull and steed;
Bhishmalochan baying on, paying not the slightest heed.

Tails a-quiver maddened shiver, the beasts are wilting speedily,
In a fume and smother, “Blast and bother!” they cry out needily.
Creatures of the sea are so quietly amazed down in the deep,
Generations of trees are on their knees crashing in a heap.

In the empty air the birds flare, somersaulting till they’re weary,
All come out and pleading shout, “Stop the song now, dearie.”
The skies quake the walls break at the fury of his song,
Still gustily the merry singer very lustily sings on.

Till a masterful mad goat in blasterful high gear,
Unfurled his horns and hurled himself at the singer’s rear.
And so in fact that one act the song’s fate decided,
“Uh-oh” said Bhishmalochan and then utterly subsided.


Gaaner guto