by Trishna Basak
Translated from Bengali by: Chirayata Purna Chakrabarty

They have burnt a lot of libraries, they still do, and always will,
And in the midst of this, I’ve finally found a flameproof library.
Some of the books here are lakes, some rivers and some oceans –
They don’t catch on fire,
I dive in whenever I want,
What a fun library,
Where you gotta bring a swimming suit
Every time you come!
I read while I float,
I read while I drown,
Back stroke, front stroke, butterfly stroke, even the love-locked stroke have I learnt.
People come here to learn, so have I.
So bent was my head, I could not for the life of me find the entrance,
Then I realized, there was no entrance to begin with,
It was an open library,
Little boulevards surround it like green syrup,
So it gets somewhat hard to find,
But I found it.
From another planet have I walked to this place,
To read to my heart’s content,
Won’t you take me, library?

Click here to read the original Bengali poem লাইব্রেরি


Trishna Basak

She did her B. E. and M. Tech. from Jadavpur University and worked in a Government Press as Manager. She taught at Jadavpur University as visiting  faculty and later joined Sahitya Academi. She left her lucrative career for the passion of writing.


She started writing at very early age. Her first prose was a drama written at the age of eight.Till date, She has several books of poetry, short stories, novel and essays to her credit. She regularly writes science fiction for children and translates from original Hindi and Maithili. She has also edited anthology of stories of Indian literature.


Recipient of several prestigious awards, like Ila Chanda Smriti Puraskar from Bangiya Sahitya Parishat, she has recently received from Paschimbanga Bangla Academy, Government of West Bengal ‘Somen Chanda Smarak Samman’ as an young writer for her overall contribution to Bengali Literature.


She  also received Karigar Kriti Sahitya Samman, 2019.

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