Today's Beautiful Gem: Last leaf of 'Pather
Panchali' by Bibhuti
Bhushan Banerji translated from Bengali by Clark and Mukherji
"Suddenly Opu's heart was filled with a curious emotion. It was
not grief, nor was it loneliness. He did not know what it was.
It was compounded of so many feelings, so many memories, that
flashed across his mind in a single moment of time: Aturi the
witch, the steps down to the river, the path under the chalta tree,
Ranu, the games he played in the afternoon, the games he played
at midday, Potu, Durga's face, and all the things she longed
for and never got.
"And there she was still watching.
"Then the words of his heart found expression in tears, as time
and time again he struggled to send her a message: `I'm not
really going away, Didi... it's not that I want to leave you...
they're taking me away!'
"It was true. He had not forgotten, and he did not forget.
"Later in his life when he became so well acquainted with the
earth and its girdle of ocean and tresses of blue; when his
whole body thrilled to the speed of movement; when from moment
to moment, as he stood on the deck of a ship at sea, the
unearthly beauties of the blue sky flashed new on his sight;
when the blue slopes of a mountain wreathed with vineyards faded
from distance to distance and vanished beyond the dim bounds of
the ocean's horizon; when the sweet siren melody from some far-off
shore, faintly discerned through a concealing haze, came to his
ears like the voice of the lord of song; then and at all times
like them, his memory took him back to a stormy monsoon night, to
a dark room in an old house and the ceaseless noise of the rain,
when the daughter of a poor village family spoke to him from her
bed of sickness, and said, `Opu, when I get better will you take
me to see a train?'
"The distant signals at Majherpara station became fainter and
fainter; and then finally he could see them no more."
Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao