Saturday, November 12, 2016

আমি লিখে যাব // i will continue to write

it is a dream to be living in my motherland learning the art that is the bangla language. i decided against a classroom or school setting and have been working one on one in the comfort of my cousin's dining room with my bangla teacher david halder.

i want to celebrate having learned to read and write in basic bangla (completed around 10 hours of lessons with more to go) by sharing a poem on lupus. this piece started as a haiku, my go-to poetic genre because it's quick and short with its 5-7-5 syllable structure but also thinking-intensive in that, for it to provoke the reader, the words have to be written thoughtfully.

learning to read and write in bangla is political and personal to me. i write and organize to heal but all of my content is unavailable to my parents and other bangla-fluent people in my life who are limited english proficient. i want to and will create more work in bangla on disability and illness for this narrative to be out there and for my parents to read what i may not be able to communicate in plain conversation. #DisabilityJustice #LanguageJustice #BabySteps (ps: I am so proud of myself. i've added transliteration and translation, but as usual, it reads better in bangla).

আট বছর আগে (aat bochor agey)
আমার শরীরে লুপাস (এটি একটি রোগ) (amar shorire lupus) (eti ekti rog)
ধরা পড়েছে | (dhora pore)

অনেক কঠিন দিন (onek kothin din)
পার করেছি এবং এখনো করছি (par korechi ebong ekhono korchi)
এই অসুখ নিয়ে | (ei oshuk niye)

ঔষধ খাই আমি (oshud khai ami)
প্রতিদিন দুই বেলা করে, (protidin dui bela kore)
চিরকাল খেয়ে যেতে হবে | (chirokaal kheye jete hobe)

আমাদের সমাজ চায় (amader shomaj chai)
শরীরের এই অক্ষমতা (shorirer ei akhomota)
চেপে ধরে রাখতে (chepe dhore rakhte)

কিন্তু, আমি চুপ থাকতে চাই না! (kintu, ami chup thakte chai na!)
সমাজ বদলানোর জন্যে (shomaj bodlanor jonno)
আমি লিখে যাব (ami likhe jabo)
এবং বলবো (ebong bolbo)
---
eight years ago I was diagnosed with lupus (this is a disease/illness).
i survived and continue to survive the challenges of having this illness.
i take medicines twice daily, which i'll be consuming for the rest of my life.
our society overlooks and does not speak about disabilities of the body
but, i will not stay quiet! to transform our communities, i will continue to write and speak