Jodi Ar Banshi Na Baze
(If the Flute Blows No More)
Original in Bangla by: Kazi Nazrul Islam
Translated by: Subrata Kumar Das
[‘Jodi Ar Banshi Na Baze’ (If the Flute Blows No More) is a speech that Kazi Nazrul Islam delivered on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of Bongiyo Musolman Sahityo Somity (Bengal Muslim Literary Society) on 5 and 6 April 1941.Organised at Calcutta Muslim Institute, Nazrul rendered his speech as the President of the occasion. Mohammed Habibullah Bahar (1906-1966) and Mujibar Rahman Khan (1910-1984) were then closely associated with the society. A.K.Fazlul Huq (1873-1962), the then Prime Minister of Bengal, inaugurated the Jubilee ceremony. That was the last speech that Nazrul made in his life.]
The Supreme of the cosmos the Almighty only knows why you have selected me as the Chairperson of the Jubilee festival of Bongiya Musolman Sahityo Somity(Literary Society for Bengal Muslims). It is no moreunknown to you that I do not have any desire to preside over any where in or outside the home, functions or graves. The only one who is the Lord of creations, religions, nations and countries has that right to preside or to
lead. I agree that man may get this right. But if that right is not used in the name of ‘Him’ it is called pride. I consider this pride as the messenger of non-beauty. That pride is not ‘divine’, rather it is ‘demon’. My worship is not for non-beauty, my Allah is the bestbeauty. To me he is always dear-beauty, loving-beauty, interesting-beauty, joyousbeauty. When I come down at your call in thisrealistic world, I miss the company of my excellent-beauty, my mind and body shriek with tearful cry. I can not bear this separation for a single moment. Because I have sacrificed, all my life,death and works, along with past, present and future in the name of Him. Today I do not hesitate to admit that my compassionate-beauty has accepted my egoism.
Many of my dearest authors and poets have very often complained that I had immense power to contribute to the country, nation and the literati, but I refrained myself from doing it. They love me more than my relatives do. When they speak in such a way I burst into tears. With all my impassionate loneliness to my excellent beauty I do feel the same pique that they feel upon me. From the ocean where one stormy night I suddenly came out as deep and black clouds in lightning ⎯in thunders, in deep darkness, covering far and near with my patted hair, satiating the thirst of the dry fields with heavy rainfall. Observing my destruction, the beauty they could not understand that I did not come in the
form of clouds with my tiny drum only for destruction, but hundreds of flowers of love, their branches and stalks have also been produced from the tears of it. The greenery has been filled with joys. This cloud has brought the flow of joy, the sounds of the river of tunes, the stream of songs—oneday that cloud discovered itself as frozen and white snow on the peak of the Himalayas. His power, his beloved is also buried at his left in the form of Mohashweta in the same grave I recall the ocean from where I came. Off and on the question came where from has this ocean come. While looking for it my mind, intellect and pride would miss its way in the highest vacuum above the skies. So I want to say to my friends that this is not my misery or selfishness, this is my own religion, my nature. They are not satisfied with the snow-pieces that they have got breaking my frozen existence. They say that when I told of my incapability they did not believe. The kite has been locked in the branches while flying, if you drag and pull its string, both the kite and the string will tear ⎯ but the stupid hand does not stop dragging and pulling.
You have not come to hear about my poor life in this literary gathering. I informed you earlier about my incapability. If a singer has a tonsil-problem or whose throat has blocked by a seed he will sing less than talking about his inability. The pain caused by tonsil and fruit-seed will become greater than the tune. You have received your punishment willingly, so I am blameless. You can disjoin the tail of a caged lion, hear its
roar, but cannot bring it out. I have no way to come out if he does not open the door who has shut it.
I have told you earlier that the goddess ofpower, who was the only source from an unknown sky of extreme golden pleasure, sometimes takes burial as Mahashweta.I myself also became silent them. My flute did not blow any more. The current source became inactive. My pleasing body turned into a statue. It is not death but more than death. I will declare before you today that my buried asleeppower has awakened again, though not yet it has come out of its unconsciousness fully. If that power of pleasure does not take a burial again, if it does not abolish my existence for ever in the higher spheres, I will sing more songs of love, joy and equality which the earth have not experienced for a long time. If I do not get the love of my eternal beloved, I will realize that my existence has come to an end. I will go away leaving my flute on the lovely banks of the Jamuna.If some other one can play that flute collecting it from the sands of Jamuna, the flute will achieve its fulfillment.
If He returns my power in the form of pleasure and love, if there come tears in the eyes of that power, if there flows the life-giving substance inHis person, if He gets the rhythms of Rasa-dance in the feet whose desire I have visualized the form-less form in the mortal, I will beautify the non-beauty from jealousy, communality, distinction and depression. The earth will again get that equality, impartiality, peacefulness, joy and love after a long absence of love, life and bliss. I will be the pretext only, the source. From my eternal beauty and love that equality, impartiality peacefulness and joy and bliss will come. You will not get any secretion wringinga dry plant. Let it be sappy. I know your desire for bliss and salvation is becoming greater, even then you need to wait. I am standing at His door with my alms–dish for this bliss and love. If I do not get it, and if any other one of you get it, I swear I will get the samepleasure as I would get it myself. I will adore him first, serve him and obey his orders. If your thirsty eyes aspire that happy time from me, then bless me let not my half-sleeping joyous power submerge into contemplation. Pray for me that I can again get His blessing and can dance being filled with joy, knowledge and power.
If the flute does not blow more ⎯not that I am speaking as a poet ⎯rather I am speaking so because I received your love ⎯please forgive me ⎯please forget me. Believe me I did not come to be a poet, I did not come to be a leader ⎯I came only to give you love and to achieve your love ⎯as I have not got that love I am leaving this lifeless world in my silent pride for ever.
Riots between Hindus and Muslims are occurring everyday. There are envy and war between nations. On one side humans are suffering from severe poverty and debt and want, on the other greedy devilsare storing huge amounts in the banks. I came to remove all these disparities and differences. I came to create indifferent beauty and equality in my poetry, music and life. I came to pardon the non-beauty and destroy the demon. You are my witness, witness is my excellent Beauty. I do not want fame, I do not want popularity. Nor I want establishment or leadership. Even then when you place me on the seat of leadership I can not control my tears.I have not got His order, but as destructive beautya hope arises in me to destroy your non-beauty, and ugly demons. If I am to get down untimely from my alienated vacuum for your deepest love−-you must mind that I will not be that Nazrul. That Nazrul has fledaway through the back door of death much earlier. That day please do not identify me as one of the Muslims. If I come, I will be one above all Hindus or Muslims. I will come asa servant of the only One who has no second. You please do pardon my separation, the beauty for whom your jubilee festival has turned dark as a rainy night. Pardon me, pardon my separation, the beauty. Take it in the way that a restless youth came with the thirst for fulfillment but in the grief of not getting it his departed sow cried among you in the dreams.
Literature is the expression of personality. What I have done in my literature can be seen in my personality. I have prepared myselfas mybeloved in my contemplation as the lotus contemplates and blooms for the sun. I have never accepted my bondage, the memories of my bygone days were wrongs. I am speeding through my ways now.
My connection with Bongiyo Musolman Sahityo Somity is of many days. In response to some of my friends’ call I attended theaddasof it. I was befriended with litterateurs like Mr. Muzaffar Ahmed, Mr. Abul Kalam Samsuddin etc. The gatherings of those days were of hilarious people in the true sense. We were not then the so-called funny aristocrats. Barinda, the well known bombardier came and attended at our gathering one day and commented that it was an actual adda.We did not make an abode that the youths of today have made. Rather we enjoyed life.
Well, if the Sahityo-Somity did not give me refuge that day I do not know where I would float away. For this bondage of love I first made the abode. If I could not get this shelter I do not know whether I could be a poet at all.
I request all to keep Sahity-Somity alive giving all sorts of help, particularly in regard to financial affairs. If the Sahityo-Somity can bewell-off, it will be able to give refuge to many youths and help their creativity develop.
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