Academic journal article Transnational Literature

A Chance Meeting

Academic journal article Transnational Literature

A Chance Meeting

Article excerpt

Translated by Md. Rezaul Haque

A chance meeting in a railway compartment,

I hadn't thought would ever be possible.

In the past I had often seen her

in a red-coloured sari -

as red as the pomegranate flower;

that day she had put on a black silk dress,

covering her champak-thin white face

with the aanchal resting on her head.1

The black colour seemed to have drawn

a deep circle of aloofness around her.

My whole being shook,

finding so familiar a person so reserved.

Dropping the newspaper abruptly,

she greeted me with a namaskaar2

The way to intimacy opened;

we began to talk -

How are you? How is everything going? etc.

With a distant look in her eyes,

she sat looking out of the window,

gave curt answers to some of my questions,

and utterly ignored some others.

Through the shaking of her hand,

she made me understand -

there's no point in talking,

it's far better to keep silent. …

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