Mandakranta Sen
    Mandakranta Sen dropped out of the MBBS programme at Kolkata Medical College, to pursue her “passion for poetry.” Her published works include Hriday Abadhya Meye (1999), Balo Anya Bhabe (2000), Chhadma Puran, Utsarito Alo (2001), Esabe-I Rater Chinha, Akashbhara Bandhutara (2002), Barshaphalake Gantha Har, Kavya Sangraha (2004, all poetry including one verse drama), Jhanpatal (2000), Dalchhut (2002), Sahabasthan (2003), Rituchakra, Andhakar Samudrer Niche (2004, all novels) and Galper Boi (2001, a collection of short stories). She has received the Ananda Puraskar (1999), Akash Bangla Barsha Samman (2002), and Krittibas Puraskar (2003). She was also awarded the Young Writer award by the Sahitya Akademi in 2003.

    (Translated from the Bengali by the poet)



    # 1.

    She has opened a window in between her brows, and then
    Sparkled her sharp forehead, sculpted out of stone
    Darkness and light slip down the steep day and night

    From her arrogant lap, she puts down with all her might
    The newborn demolition-day — the crippled hate-child of her own
    Clusters of blood … flesh … and brain


    # 2.

    Her altar is blatant and bare
    Inside the palms folded together, froths up a lust
    Rage becomes pure touching the wine … things change …

    Ever since her birth she hid in her loin all the deepest revenge
    Placenta, a red hibiscus with stalk, is severed by the midnight’s thrust
    And the lethal mantra … hitting … and hitting right there


    # 3.

    These are her favourites: young men’s handsome skulls, chalky white
    One part sex with one part affection mixed in an earthy goblet
    A fierce lamp’s reflections, broken and all over the place …

    Right from her girlhood, — curious, thoroughly shameless —
    She’s known love as an intelligent doubt till date
    Creation-Existence-End is nothing but masturbation. Quite.


    # 4.

    Yes, they give her a high:
    A breast that’s dextral, a navel that blossoms day by day
    A vagina whose petals are arranged like that of clitoria — dark blue


    A finger more shapely than a penis — which also gives a clue
    By piercing the eye — about how to move the lamp to pray
    … And eye means — yes, the third eye …

    # 5.

    She has to cook and eat her own flesh, otherwise she too starves
    On a dark moon’s tongue, frozen moonlight still shines
    So do the marks of reckless bites and bruises


    Right below the crematory, when the last piece of firewood chooses
    To burn out after an ultimate jump, inside the vault of the shrine
    With her teeth she chews her soul —which, with her nails she carves.