Kamal Kumar Tanti

Kamal Kumar Tanti is a promising young voice in the contemporary Assamese Poetry and belongs to the Adivashi & Tea-garden Labourer Community of Assam. His first collection of poetry, "Marangburu Amar Pita" (Our Father Marangburu) was published in July 2007, which has been well-acclaimed and well-criticized. This has been considered as one of the best books, among the recently published Assamese books of verse. Another collection of prose, "Nimnaborgo Somaaj Oitijya" (Subaltern Society Legacy), a compilation of all his articles on post-colonial theory and subaltern historiography, with specific reference to colonial history and culture of Assam was published in September 2007. Recently, this book has been selected as one of the "Ten Best Books" among all the Assamese books that has been published during the< year 2007-08, by Grantha-Bandhab (Friends of Books), a well-known organization in Assam.He is also a regular writer in Assamese dailies and weeklies and is the author of a regular column "Mumbai Parikrama" in Asomiya Khabar, an Assamese daily. His short stories have also been well received

Silent Freedom

Silence was impatient

and freedom is absconding

I was a lonely *karbi* down the hill

and standing by the rivers

listening to the peeping sound of sky

to get free the birds on the tree

to get freedom for the people

I heard the story

Of the Old man behind the green hill

Our lovely *mikir pahar*

Our beloved

*Karbi Burha* told the birds

Of the tree

Go, fly off the sky

as the sky was silent

And get yourself free

He had seen the young boys

in a olive-colored uniforms

went along the river

through the dark green jungles

Young boys told him

going to the jungles to get ourself free

"From whom?" asked the old man.

"From them" They told & gone with

their black-skinned rifles

Next day, early morning

old man was lying down by the river bed

in a pool of blood & dead

Silence was impatient

and freedom absconding

reminds me of the wise Old man

reminds me of the lives and struggles

reminds me of the old dark jungles

I came through all along with my

Olive-colored uniforms

Truth lies in your eyes

Gazing at your timidness and eyes

in the midst of fog and clouds

I can hear the sounds of tranquil ocean

that lives in your clandestine heart

If I were a bird, I could have seen your eyes

I can smell emotions, of two blooming leaves

I pray, the green grass could keep promise

as blooming love in the monsoon rains

I fly away to the mountains, with freedom

and ask the trees to free the leaves

Leaves fall down and meet the grass

as blooming love, grass and two leaves

Truth lies in your eyes

in the midst of fog and clouds

And I can hear the sounds of truth

having felt freedom of the self.

(18th May, 2008; Mumbai)

Blood-stained Sun

Are you awake?

A blood-stained sun

has died today

What is life?

People asked me.

Life is a blood-stained myth

What is freedom?

People asked those young boys,

in olive-colored uniform

Freedom is the sun that

died today

Are you awake?

If you want freedom,

Look for the sun of the future.


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