Kazi Nazrul Islam: Crossing Boundaries

Goddess as Avenger 1
How much longer will you
Stay hidden behind a clay statue?
Heaven today is subjugated by merciless tyrants.
God’s children are getting whipped,
Heroic youth—hanged.
India today is a butchery—when will you arrive, O Destroyer?
God’s soldiers are serving terms of hard labor
Exiled to desolate islands.
Who will come to the battlefield
Unless you come with your sword in your hand?
(Kamal, 73)
Goddess as Avenger 2
Wake up, Shyama (Kali), wake up, Shyama!
Appear once more as demon-chopping Chandi!
If you don’t wake up, Ma,
Neither will Your children.
Oh Giver of Food! Your sons and daughters starve,
Running here and there
More dead than alive. This sight
Doesn’t pain your heart?
The cremation grounds You so love
Today are the land of India.
Come, dance on this cremation ground;
Breathe life into these skeletons.
For I desire, Ma, a free wind;
Energy I desire; I desire long life.
Shake off Your sleep of delusion, Ma,
And wake up this Shiva—
You’re surrounded by corpses!
(McDermott, 75) Goddess as bringer of equality 1
He who has seen my Mother
Can he hate his brother?
She loves everyone in the three worlds;
Her heart cries for all.
With her there’s no difference of caste,
No distinction of high and low;
All are the same.
If she sees a Candala
Like Rama with Guhak
She clasps him to her breast.
Ma is our Great Illusion; highest Nature, and
Father our highest self;
That’s why one feels love for all
We feel love for all.
If you worship the Mother
Hating her children
She won’t accept your puja:
The Ten-armed One will not.
The day we forget the knowledge of difference
On that day only
Will Ma come home to us.
(McDermott, 144-5)