I SHALL GO BACK IN THE NEW YEAR

Nilim Kumar

This New Year
I shall go back
Everyone thinks about stepping forward
In the New Year
This New Year I shall go backward

In the New Year
Many people think of buying new vehicle
And I have decided
This time I shall sell my two cars
And to buy a bicycle
I shall go back from car to bicycle

In the New Year
Many would perhaps think
To build a new house
Someone may think of buying a flat
But to go back from all these
I’d demolish the concrete walls of my compound
And build a bamboo fence
So that air may pass through the squares of bamboo mesh
To my home
Like in the past

Everyone thinks of going forward
I shall only think of going back in the New Year
Everyone would think of buying a lot of new things
In the New Year
At least an Android mobile handset
And, what’d I do?
Just change the cracked screen
Of my old old handset
That I bought at rupees eight hundred only
No, wouldn’t get my eyes tested
Would arrange to get Chinese reading glasses
At just hundred and fifty rupees
From footpath of Fancybazaar
That’s to say
I’d rush backward from civilization this time on

Would not take food in porcelain utensils
Would not drink from glass tumbler
Would get plantain leaves from the backyard
Would throw away the steel spoons
Would eat everything by hand – mixing with fingers
That’s to say, I’d go back
Would take off shoes and sandals
And stay bare-footed.

In the New Year
Everyone thinks of going forward
This time I shall go back
Taste going back from civilization.

The number of lies would increase in the New Year
In every work lies would be essential
Else the flag of civilization would cease to flutter
To march ahead one has to tell
Lies lies and lies.

I swear
Shall not tell a single lie
Because this time I shall not go forward
In this New Year
I would rush back from civilization
Turn back turn back
There is fun in going back


About the author: Shri Nilim Kumar is one of the most popular and notable poets of contemporary Assamese literature. He has the credit of composing and publishing numerous popular poems and also authored some novels. The above poem, ‘I Shall Go Back in the New Year’ has been included in the undergraduate course of Bangalore University. It has a deep sense of moving towards nature. Shri Nilim Kumar lives and works in Guwahati, Assam.

Some of his published collections of poems are - Achinar Akhukh (1985), Bari Kunwar (1988), Swapnar Relgaari (1991), Seluoi Gadhuli (1992), Topanir Baagicha (1994), Panit Dhou Dhoubor Mach (1990), Narakashur and Atmakatha.

He has authored a number of novels, such as, Matit Uri Phura Chitrakar, Akash Apartment and Athkhon Premar Uppannyas. Nilim Kumar Ki Srestha Kabita, a collection of his poems in Hindi translation was published by Presidency University, Kolkata, 2011.
He is also the President of ‘The Call of the Brahmaputra,’ a socio-cultural literary organization of Assam. He has translated poems of Kedarnath Singh into Hindi and published it as an anthology, Bagh Aru Annya Kabita. He has also attended poets’ conferences for international exchanges organized under the aegis of Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, held in France and Bangladesh.
Shri Nilim Kumar is a recipient of several awards, such as, the Raza Foundation Award (2009) and Uday Bharati National Award (1994). His poems are being translated into Spanish and Manipuri and have been published in Treasure Trove, a twenty five-volume literary project on Assamese literature in English, edited and compiled by Abhigyan Anurag. 

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