August 08, 2003

The pen of the heart

I am reading now a collection of columns & editorials of a notable journalist & writer Mr. Syed Shamsul Haque. Since he writes in Bangla, I thought I could share some of his writings with you by translating them into English. I am not a writer and English is not my first language. so pardon me if there are mistakes in the post.


There is a pen in every writers heart, or as if his heart is the pen, which writes on without ceasing. By 'heart' we mean an organ in the left side of our chest. Its primary job is to pump purified blood to the whole body. Science says that blood is the carrier of our inheritance; blood is the root and blueprint of our existence. The existence of the pen, which I feel inside my heart, is really a pen inside my blood, or as if blood is the pen. Blood speaks. What blood speaks cannot be untrue or false. When I was young, my father used to tell me 'Why can't you feel it inside your blood?' I did not know what he meant then and he could not make me understand either. But now I know there are many things in the world which cannot be made understood. Many things wait for our own experience. We learn many things from real experience. Now I know our root and the blueprint is in our blood. What I feel inside that blood is the real truth.


Two persons are standing in front; both have a cycle each in their hands. There are only the cycles separating them. The front wheels, handles of his & her cycle are neck-a-neck, though they are not touching themselves. There are trees, greenery, red leaves evident from the nearby hill slopes. I was in a bus with other passengers. I discovered them during a lazy browse outside the window. I could not see the boy's face from this angle. But the girl was in my front with a worried face, and eyes filled with tears. She just stopped after a long argument but her tears did not. The cigarette stick is burning lazily in the boy's hand waiting for a puff. My bus drove on. I lost the sight of them.

I saw that face of the Chinese girl in a lazy afternoon in Beijing. But I can still remember her face like I saw it yesterday. One brush inside my mind still tries to sketch her face again & again. I sometimes ponder, what was the girl saying? What happened to her that day? Why there were tears in her eyes. Was that boy the cause, or was he merely a sympathetic friend?

I don't know what I would do with that face; that afternoon, those tears. The writers are very selfish. They want to try out each of their experience to be used in their writing. But there was something else in the tearful face of that girl in Beijing. I knew from that very moment that I would not use that face in any of my writing. That face would only keep me aware and awake, will keep me company.


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