Dr. Jamuna Bini (India)

 
Dr. Jamuna Bini (India)
 
Dr. Jamuna Bini was born in 20 th October 1984, Ziro ( Arunachal Pradesh ). She is M. A. Gold Medallist in Hindi. She is a bilingual writer. She writes in Hindi as well as in her mother tongue Nyishi. So far she has written Criticism, Travelogue, Short Stories and Poetries. Her poems are included in the M. A. Curriculum of Allahabad University-better known as Oxford of the East. Her recent published book of Nyishi Folktales called ‘Uiimok’ has been also included in the NCERT Curriculum of Govt. School of Rajasthan. Her works has been translated into many Indian languages including Santhali, Assamese, Malayalam, Punjabi, Rajasthani and in foreign language Turkish also. She has got many recognition across the country for her literary works. Currently she teaches at Hindi Department, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh.
She can be contacted at jamunabini@gmail.com
 
 
Those Idle Days
 
I remember
till to this day
those idle days
of my early years.
 
Swinging my puny feet
over the Phurup of Jhumkheti
and eating gourds.
 
Far down Appa chasing goat in the playing field
defending maize, paddy and millet.
 
The Dancing beat of my will,
sometime drag me to play a part in their daily grind,
sometime drag me to sleep all day long.
 
My indolence irked Appa
but lightsome me,
lost in a world of my own,
weaves jovial dreams…
admiring the lively gaze of colourful butterflies playing
hide and seek in the midst of emerald meadow of paddy.
 
But
Appa tangled with rowdy beasts
In her acre,
bereft of this joyous sight of flickering plays of butterflies.
 
In the distant inky grey,
when the sun enfolds its golden rays.
My tender fingers holding soil stained hands of Appa,
concord to her custom limbs
descend towards home
through slippery slope.
 
Fumes of grannys tobacco
in the air of courtyard,
inside, roaring fire dancing in the hearth.
This is my Namda ,
the biggest house of the village.
 
In this bamboo house,
When the fourteen hearth
blaze in tune
the floating flame swims through the slit
and brighten up the world outside.
 
In these hearths frolic folks circle the fireplace
feast and recounts anecdotes
soon to fall asleep.
For tomorrow they have to rattle again in drowsy hour
towards their playing field.
 
Today…
these hearths are broken
folks no more live together.
Seeking opportunities and knowledge
they depart towards the cities
deserting smiling village.
 
Now….
We don’t live in bamboo houses anymore,
no more fire burns to glow through slits of those bamboo houses
our house are made of concrete now.
Sunk in laptop, mobile and Tv
has stretched our night.
SMS, Facebook and Whatsapp has
became the conjunction of our bond.
 
*Phurup – farmhouse
*Jhumkheti – slash and burn farming
*Appa – Mother in Nyishi tongue
*Namda – Traditional bamboo house of Nyishi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh
 
 
 
The Gogol’s Overcoat*
 
‘The Overcoat’
Read so often,
that I could not recall how often.
 
I could only recall
whenever I read
It harboured tears
and every bit of me hurts.
 
Akakiy’s acute poverty,
his death,
then his conversion into phantom
so overpowered my mind
that my dozing eyes
found Akakiy right infront of me.
 
When Akakiy was born
his mother held him close to her bosom.
There was euphoric fanfare
to christen him.
I was there stood close to his bedhead unseen.
 
I was always with him
But remained unseen to
Bald headed liveried
Copying clerk – Akakiy.
 
In office,
his official made fun of his modesty,
laughed at his threadbare overcoat
strewed piece of papers
over his head
calling them snow.
Smiling me stood right next to the door
 
He knew only one work-
Copying
and lived entirely for it.
Outside this copying
it appeared
nothing existed for him.
 
Every day on return from the office
sipping soup and
with inky hands
once sat down on the unpainted table-
begin copying papers
that he had brought from the office
I stood beside him gazing his fair hand.
 
In his unsuccessful attempt to escape
the frosty lanes of St.Peterburg
cold wind pricked his back and shoulder
like a sharpened needle and
shrunk his coat thin as gauze.
Seeing him sinking in the womb of despair
made me despair too.
 
I was lending a hand
to one eye, pock-marked
Petrovitch, a drunkard tailor.
sound of weary footsteps
treading the stair
soaked with dishwater
reeking and smell
disrupted our attention.
 
Petrovitch said –
‘Days of your Overcoat are over’
and I could read his gloomy, pale face.
 
He survived in hunger
for two or three months
to save 80 rouble
the only thought of ‘New Overcoat’
brightened his slumberous eyes.
 
For couple of weeks
Petrovitch and I
slogged together day and night
in threading the overcoat
with varying vines of ornament
we knew we were threading the dreams of Akakiy.
 
‘New Overcoat Day’
Most memorable and happiest day of his living
Was it lesser than a festive day!
Where Akakiy would go?
He flew towards his office.
 
Hearing the propos birthday bash
of assistant head clerk
and for the New Overcoat
He halted.
 
Stealthily and in silence he stole out of the party
I followed him
trod through lonely lanes after lanes
in the dark and desolate night
We reached end of the square.
The climax of the story begins now
there appeared a bearded crook
took off his New Overcoat
and blow him down on the snowfield
 
On regaining sense
unable to find his Overcoat
he burst out wailing like a child
I ‘Appeared’ in that very moment
with his Overcoat
and helped him to wear the Overcoat
Stunned, he asked-
Who are you?
Reply- A reader
to save the story from the tragic end.
 
* Nikolai Gogol’s famous Russian short story ‘The Overcoat’
 
Translated from the Hindi by Yater Nyokir
 
 

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