BANALATA SEN Jibanananda Das Long I have been a wanderer of this world, Many a night, My route lay across

the sea of Ceylon somewhat winding to The seas of Malaya. I was in the dim world of Bimbisar and Asok, and further off In the mistiness of Vidarbha. At moments when life was too much a sea of sounds, I had Banalata Sen of Natore and her wisdom. I remember her hair dark as night at Vidisha, Her face an image of Sravasti as the pilot, Undone in the blue milieu of the sea, Never twice saw the earth of grass before him, I have seen her, Banalata Sen of Natore.

as I sit there face to face with Banalata Sen. Light is your wit now. Said she. "Where have you been so long?" And raised her bird's-nest-like eyes-Banalata Sen from Natore. all rivers. Her face. For thousands of years I roamed the paths of this earth. like hush of dew Comes evening. I am a weary heart surrounded by life's frothy ocean. Sees the grass-green land of a cinnamon isle. As the helmsman. I was there in the gray world of Asoka And Bimbisara. A hawk wipes the scent of sunlight from its wings. no fall somewhere but of dews Dips into the dusk. the craftsmanship of Sravasti. just so Through darkness I saw her. all of this life's tasks finished. only darkness remains.When day is done. To me she gave a moment's peace-Banalata Sen from Natore. From waters round Ceylon in dead of night to Malayan seas. Fanning fireflies that pitch the wide things around. . pressed on through darkness to the city of Vidarbha. Much have I wandered. far out upon the sea adrift. All birds come home. At day's end. the smell of the sun is gone off the Kestrel's wings. When earth's colors fade and some pale design is sketched. Then glimmering fireflies paint in the story. Her hair was like an ancient darkling night in Vidisa. His rudder broken. For Banalata Sen of Natore.