Davidson Kumam

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মরক মরক্তা

থোকখি ওইখিবা কয়ানা থোকপা ওইবা তোকইদনা
অদুদগিদি খাম্লৈদনা নীংশিংবগি শঙদা
মথৌ লোইদুনা পোত্থারবা রেলগারীগুম লেঙবা খোংবা তোক্লগা।
অদু নীংশিংবদি হনুবনি নোং মরক্তা চৎপা–
‘সুুম চৎখিনি মশানা, লৈহৌনি নীংশিংবদা য়াওবশিংনা ‘সুম
নোং মরীকশিংনা চাম চামদুনা
লম্বী লমজাউদা তুং তূংদুনা লৈহৌবা ঈশিংদা
অমত্তা ওইনা ঊৎমান মচুগি অমম্বা অতিয়াগা
অমুক উনবগুম, হরাউনা শান্নবগুম কায়নরুরবা হৌদোঙ মচা অনী।
নপতুনা য়ান্নরকই থোকখি ওইখিবা খরদমক–
কায়নখ্রবা নুংশিবা, চাউরবা মচানা অঙাং ওইরিঙৈ শক্তম,
চীনফা পুবা শৈরেং খরা, তত্তনা ঙংবা ঈশৈ পরেং অমা অনী,
মশেন মরাংবা খোঞ্জেল খরা মীশক কাউথোকখ্রবা।

করিগুম্বদা অহিংগি অমম্বা অচীকপদা
নত্রগা ঐখোয়না করিসু খল্লুদনা নুমীৎনা হন্না হননা তাখ্রবসু
কুমহৈ নুমীৎকুম্বগি মমৈদা তাহন্নীংদনা নুমীৎ তাখিবগি মমশিল্লকপা মতমদা
অচীকপা উমংগি য়ূমগি অমম্বা থোঙদা থীন্দবগুম থীল্লৈ
নীংশিংবনা কুচু তাইফেৎ তাইনা, অশিবনা হল্লকপগুম
লাক্কনি থাজদরুদবা কাউরুরবা মরূপকুম
করিগুম্বা অমদি ৱাৎনা, পিক থনহনবগুমদি তৌরগা লৈতবগি অহাঙবা।

রেলগারী খামফম চেথী চেগুম্না ইচাই চাই,
পিক থল্লী চেশিংদু করি করিনো অইবা মরোলনা
ৱারী লী লীদুনা অচীকপগি মরোলদা
করিগুম্বদা লিরি খোইরিবা নুংশীৎকি মরোলদা।

নোংজু অহিংগি অমম্বা। অমম্বদ করিসু উদে।
য়ূমসু, উসু, নোংসু, শোরারেনসু।
মীদা লুবা অমম্বতমক।

Flowerbelly

A face is a face. It tells you just what it can tell. There are other things besides faces. Faces are not the other things. Humans are addicted to faces. For them everything has a face–houses, cars, computers, mobile phones, bras, underwear, pianos, shoes, food packages, pens, boxes, tin cans, machines, flowers, and what not?

Yes, looks tell you what is what. The face of a mango and the face of a lemon tell themselves from each other. But what about two mangoes? Yes, they look different. But are we concerned only about looks? Yes, most of us don’t care–we are cognitive misers.

Still, there are some slow and quiet people who don’t want to go far in life. They dig miles into the space of a second–a second has space big like wide enough to contain a house or a hospital and deep like an abyss. And they want to fill that depth and width with thoroughly drenched experience. Just a few things for them to wriggle into like worms–enough for them. The world is too big for them. They are too little worms for the world. For them, the face is just one of the things things have, if any. They love the insides of things, which carry their own weight, and that the outside cannot represent. By the same logic, the logic of first impression does not work always for these people. You cannot get all what they are from how they look because they don’t show off. This is true of even those who make an effort to put everything they have on show like shop windows because they are richer than they can show.

Silence in Noise #1

Sound is sculpted in silence. When we are concerned so much with sound, music feels like being merciful to silence by reducing thickness at regular intervals. But when we live beyond the span of music, we know it is just a series of transient, instantaneous inscriptions in silence that erase their own traces as soon as their formations in time complete. This erasure leaves silence as if it were a trailing trace, making sound take the trailing instantaneous shape.
 
That is why cities sound like sound so full of sounds–the antithesis of silence. I love the sounds of a city–the swearing horns, the hooting sirens, the deep heavy hums of restless cars and buses, the indiscernible sounds of the voices of a million familiar strangers that don’t mean to each other. There is some aesthetic about the noise of a city. But when you live awake through the day and through the night, you will see the noise of a city has a rhythm like the sun rising and setting. The noise of a city has its beat, and the beat is sculpted in silence, and once you know this, you see and hear silence everywhere, even right in the middle of noise. Or rather noise trapped like a bubble in the vast expanse of silence.

Dr. Andrea Allerkamp

Dr. Andrea Allerkamp (Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt, Germany) read her paper Moving Constellations: The Political Challenge of the Aesthetic Regime at Auditorium, School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on 8 February 2018.

The program was chaired by Anil Bhatti, Professor Emeritus, Centre of German Studies, JNU.

The lecture invitation has the following introduction:

In critical philosophy the systematization of sensual perception leads us to two sources of knowledge – sensoriality and intellect. I shall discuss Alexander G. Baumgarten’s fundamental insight into a new discipline of aesthetics. In order to enlarge the realm of legitimate cognition and to include sensual forms in philosophy Baumgarten provokes an epistemological break which operates with poetical terms of transition and similarity: “The path to truth leads from night through dawn to noon”, it says in § 7 of Baumgartens Aesthetica. In Baumgarten’s attempt to overcome the rational metaphysics through a thinking in similarities, we are confronted with a gap between presence and presentation. It is the political dimension of this gap that draws our attention to Jacques Rancière’s aesthetical regime of arts. In modern democracy we have to face the challenge of common places of sensual experience where political conflicts become visible. Rancière’s return to Baumgarten’s Aesthetica is owed to the insight that politics can only exist as a coming to be in narration and poetry: Il y a politique – There are politics.

Manipuri Poet, Srilekhak

Manipuri poet and playwright, Srilekhak (born Ksh. Mohan) at the launch of Yengkhom Kengba’s Manipuri novel at ROLs in January 2017. Srilekhak is one of the most experimental poets in Manipur. Influenced much by the Japanese haiku tradition of the east and the imagist and modern poetry, his poetry is characteristically sharp and formal as its primary drive. His metaphors and similes are unusually powerful unlike any other Manipuri poets among his contemporaries or younger generations.

His once-famous Times Printers (late 1980s – 1997), located on the leirak across from the old post office building at Kakching Khunyai Leikai, was the center of literature in the town of Kakching. Besides printing almost every literature book and magazine published during that period here, he regularly hosted literary readings and critical sessions in his press office.

My translations of his two poetry collections will soon come out from LSC.