I’m compelled to live in such a house
Where I’m forbidden to say ‘I like it not’
Though I feel aghast to live in here.
Such a safe house I live in
Where I’m destined to live and suffer
But cannot weep.
I must avoid eye contact with others
Lest I should expose my pains inconclusive.
In this house everyday at dawn
My longings are slaying and before evening descends
The pallid corpses are buried on its courtyard.
My deep sighs break the silence of the safe house
All other sounds are inconspicuous within and without the house.
Every night I go to bed trepidation,
And with the same feelings I wake up,
While awake, I subject my own shadow to a monologue.
I’m caught unawares by the invasion of a venomous snake,
Hurtling wrath and loathing, squirms all over my body
And hiss: Be off transcending boundaries
Hush-hush escape to a far off quaint land
Towards the impassable mountains.
While creeping around the shadow, the serpent demands:
Get lost forever.
Friends, do pray for me
For my safe exit, from the safe house,
Pray for my lucky sojourn,
Once in safety in an unsafe house.
[This poem was written while Taslima was forced to live in confinement in an undisclosed location in Delhi from 22 November 2007 to 19 March 2008. Sujal Bhattacharya translated this poem from her book PRISONERS POEMS]