Poem: The Hills & The Howling of Owl


Poem: The Hills & The Howling of Owl

Borendra Lal Tripura

Oh my hill,

My ever sweet hill,

An the Jum crops field

in the green tracts that always lean

And the rhythmic tunes of the dancing water falls,

Thou always look like a portrait

 That fills me with dreams.


The green vegetation spreading

Unto the far-leaned horizon

The touching sky and the hilly tract

Seems like a gentle child

Sleeping in the mother’s lap.


The drinks party of the adults at nightfall,

The controlling of attire of the hill-women,

A the Jum-field during the respite of work,

And the showering of girls in waterfalls at the dawn,

The dances at festive nights and the songs

With organic tunes of sumbur, daangdung,

The taakdum taakudum rhythm of dhul

All make me restless with warm conclusion.


My obsessive desire wants to shake the hills once

With a shrill cry, with an appeal

Stopping all the hilly rivers,

And the dances of the waterfalls-

Please adorn my green hillls

With her rinai, with her risa

With the attire of peace

And let us live our lives in our own style.


The hill people dreamt to drink amrita nectar,

To wear a safe-guard in their wrists;

Worshiping, starving and sacrificing year twenty six

With sleepless nights that were about to bring

The divine blessings.

But the dream is fading and vanishing,

As the torn out bed-mat is pinching.

The internecine fight-

The killing of brothers and fathers

Has brought legendary Porshuram back

In the hills, and the fear spreads out.

And the big boy’s mouse-trapping

  Scaring all the white pigeons away.

The owl is howling again in the hills,

It’s severe omen!!

Endless sorrow is crashing over

So, be aware brothers and sisters! Be aware!!

sumbur – flute, daangdung – mouth organ made of cane, rinai – costume of Tripura women to be worn in the lower part of the body, risa – costume of Tripura women to be worn on head and breast, porshuram – legendary figure described in the Mahabharata who killed his father and suffered.

October, 1999
The Rebel and a Painting – 2008


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here