The First and Last Letter of Kazi Nazrul Islam to Nargis
[The presence of two women is almost always talked about when we discuss Nazrul's love life. Nazrul was a man of love and rebel. The place of Nargis and Promila was so special in his entire poetic venture. Nazrul, being a sensitive soul, could not overlook them ever, and they always came back, knowingly and unknowingly, in Nazrul's creative works. Keeping Nargis in his soul, since he left her amidst an unprecedented event during their marriage, he thus wrote an appealing and emotional letter to her after fifteen years of absence. This lovely piece not only shows his love for a woman but delineates his nature of love for human beings too. Poet Nazrul penned down the particular letter in 1937]
With All decent veneration,
I have received your letter in a newly decorated cloudy-drenched- morning of early Rainy Season. The immersing cloudy sky was torrentially pouring and pouring. Fifteen years ago, just like this rainy season, an overflow occurred in heavy pouring; I believe you can recall that. I admire this new and fresh bank of cloud. Once this cloud messenger (Meghdoot) carried away the sorrowful message of the parting of Jokkho in the age of Kalidas, near the Reba River, in the land of Malbika, to his beloved. These blessings of a host of clouds usher deep sadness in my life.
These rains have pulled me down to plunge into a stream of eternal pain from my heaven of imagination. Whatsoever let me answer your reproach and complaints - Believe me, what I am writing is true. If you imagine me, my image, in the words of others, you will misunderstand me- and that would be untrue.
I do not have any vengeance upon you- and I am telling everything from my heart. Only my inward eyes know what pain do I feel for you, what wound I carry in my heart for your love? I burn myself in that burning flame; I never wanted to burn you with the same flare. If you had not given me the touch of this flame, I would not have piped ' Ognibina' anymore. I would not have awakened like a comet with such a wonder.
The kind and caring and comely form of you that I encountered in my young age, the beauteous form that I first fell for, and endowed it with flowers as a form of worship- that beauty still resides in my soul like a divine flower. The burning flare of the heart could not touch the outer flowery garland. You mustn't forget I am a poet, and when I hurt someone I hurt with the touch of a flower. I do not show devotion to any sort of oppression and unpleasant form of life. The way I strike is not a way similar to the mode and act of a cowardly person. Only my Inner God knows, (I do not know what you have heard or known) I do not have any complaints, any accusation, or any demand against you.
What is your present situation- I do not know? I only know that I desired to adore, admire and fashion your young beauty in my heart like the pleasing beauty of a goddess with my perpetual love and unending respect. But you did not accept my adoration of love then. You chose the altar of pain like a stone- for my whole life; I am worshipping that stone altar. The current you are a mirage and a symbol of disappointment; so, I do not wish to attain that. Do not know, maybe, I will feel deprived if I see that beauty again, will endure more ache; henceforth, I'm perpetually denying that.
Meeting you? Who cares- if we do not meet in this transient world again? The flowers of love fade away, burn and become colorless in this temporary world. If you really love me, crave for me, you will get me from there where you are now. Laily could not live with Majnu, Shiri could not get Farhad; nonetheless, no other lover has got their beloved/lover like them. Suicide is a great sin; though it is an old saying, love is genuine. The soul is undying; none can slay it. If you already tasted the golden touch of love, who else is luckier than you?
With a touch of magnetic love, everything of yours will be transformed into lightning lights.
Shifting one room to the other will not ease suffering. People can make flowers out of their mistakes through utter meditation and perseverance if they wish. If you commit any mistake in this life, you have to correct it in this life-only then you will be salvaged; only when your sorrows will be gone. Try to develop yourself-even God himself will be your guide then. I have a family, but I have transcended into another world breaking the obstacle and boundaries of this life. From there you can forgive anyone, and you can perceive anything in a blissful form.
Suddenly I reminisced and went fifteen years back. You felt fever, and my thirsty hands touched your graceful forehead after a lot of vision and revision; still, I feel the touch of your burning forehead, can sense it. Did you keep your eyes open then? Tears rested in my eyes, a heavy yearning to nurse you; in my heart I recalled and prayed to God so that you get cured, seems like it is yesterday's story. Time could not erase the memory. What a tidal force of love, what an unfulfilled longing emanated in that very day. I could not sleep for night and day.
Whatsoever, today I am having a journey with the ray of the setting sun into the wave of stagnation and subsidence; you do not have any power to make me come back from this path. It will be the first and last letter to you. Wherever I am, trust me, my unending blessing would surround you being a wristband of the savior. Be thy happy, get peace, this is my plea. I am not as evil as you think- here is my last defense and testimony.
The translator is Assistant Professor of English