Srinjay Chakravarti

Srinjay Chakravarti Talat Mahmood (1924-1998) is considered India's finest singer of Urdu ghazals and similar love songs.

Rich red wine
In a glass goblet:
Hold it aloft
To the full moon.
Cleopatra's immense pearl
Dissolves in the scintillant melody
Of Talat's voice.

"My innocent heart,
what has happened to you?
What can heal
This ache of yours?"

-- Mirza Ghalib

Perfumes waft gently
through gardens of the soul,
a pavilion where night's flowers
recognize the fragrant wind
from Talat's voice.

"The maiden of night
lets her black tresses fall,
drenched with dew."

-- Jan Nissar Akhtar

Feet dance to the glitter
of jewelled anklets,
fire which diamonds
spark in the smoky romance
of Talat's voice.

"That which remained
as pain in my heart
and did not leave --
that which lingered
as magic in your eyes
and did not melt."

-- Majrooh Sultanpuri

Lavender shade, dappled
with mellow gold and warmth --
chiaroscuroed tints in
the sunlit sweetness
of Talat's voice.

"My heart, you used to torment me;
see, now I've made you weep.
My heart, you used to make me burn;
now I've made you burn instead."

-- Kaifi Irfani

Reams of spun silk,
shot and speckled
with gold-blond flecks
pour across her white shoulders,
garment fit for a queen:
the filigreed tremolo
of Talat's voice.

Poem and translations of Urdu love songs( c ) 2003 Srinjay Chakravarti



The dark river, draped
like a clinging wet sari
around the fleshy curves
of rocks and boulders.

Against an indigo dusk
an ethereal balloon,
almost transparent,
rises between the trees.
Memory's lambent flame
in marmoreal whiteness,
cool to the touch
of history's hands.

The moon rises,
A curved scimitar
honed to a glitter.
It sheds a milky light
on a marble mausoleum
floating in air.

I try to look at it
with the gaze of an emperor
who has lost his Peacock Throne
to his son,
and his love
to the impermanence of memory.

In Shah Jahan's room, I realize
there is no prison
like a heart
which knows the evanescence
of love and life.

The Taj Mahal ('Crown Palace'), one of the seven wonders of the world,
was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his queen
Mumtaz is said to have asked her emperor if he would love her with the
same ardor after her death, to which he had replied that he would make
her memory immortal.
He was deposed by his son Aurangzeb, who imprisoned him in a room from
where he could watch the tomb across the Yamuna river till the end of
his days.

Poems copyright ( c ) 2003 Srinjay Chakravarti

PHONE: 91-33-2359-2788

journalist, economist and poet . born in Calcutta in 1973. graduated with honors in Economics from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. He was also enrolled at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics. his poetry and prose have been published in newspapers, journals, magazines and webzines .These include The Telegraph,
The Statesman, Indian Express, The Journal of the Poetry Society (India), Snakeskin, Ariga, donga, Eclectica Magazine, Voices, LitNet, Poetry Kit Magazine, Poetry Greece, Poetry Depth Quarterly, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and The New Miscellany. His first book of poems 'Occam's Razor' (Writers Workshop, Calcutta) received the SALT literary award from John Kinsella and a literary trus in Melbourne, Australia in 1995.

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