For coming to our home at the time of this bihu, I shall not give you my address
Come looking for me to the village ‘alupura’
Ask anyone carrying a pitcher my whereabouts
You can also ask those naked boys playing on the sandy banks of the river, my address
If the young belles burst into a rippling laughter
you will know that is my village, my address
Or you can do one thing
after crossing ‘gela beel’, the first house you come across, ask about me there.
If a woman from the house answers you in a coarse voice
Beware! Come back !
For that can either be ‘charaipung’ or ‘lakhipathar’,
But if a man answers from within and opens the door
you can rest assured that
you have reached my home and can give a whoop of joy
They will first offer you a bowl of ‘apong’
some baked ‘goroi machh’ on a plantain leaf and a piece of yam
with some salt and green chillies . that is the way they welcome their guest.
After the first bowl is over , they will give you a second,
and a fourth
do not refuse for they may feel hurt. Do not get drunk on apong they will feel hurt. once they dislike you they will never call you again.
I shall not give you my address, if you come, come on the day of ‘uruka’, beware, do not refuse to dance if the young lads and girls want you to dance
never say you do not know how to dance, for they will be hurt.
Do not desire to return on that ‘karpongpuli’ night lest they feel hurt.
Do not stretch out you hand to the bosom in an inebriated state, for they will feel hurt
and will inform the headman of your misdemeanor
think twice before you decide to come !!!
for i will still not give you my address .
Jiban Narah (born 1970) is the author of six books of poetry in Assamese. Considered a popular and influential poet in his home state, he has been translated into other Indian languages, including Bengali, Hindi, Manipuri, Marathi, Oriya, Gujarati and Tamil. A book of English translations of his poems, The Buddha and Other Poems, appeared earlier this year. He is also a writer of fiction and essays. He works as a college lecturer in Nagaon, Assam.