‘Majjhim Pantha’ by Roshnara Mishra – A Review by Anirban Bhattacharya

Cover…..and the search continues. A poet, bewildered, observes the very similitude of every tedium of life, whispering “ekta rasta/hothat-i arekta rastar moto’ (a street, all on a sudden, seems like another street) or reproved the beloved with “seshdike tomar mukhe/ omuker bhab tomuker bhongi/bhir korto” (towards the close, your face looked like another man’s). The same type of shock, with accompanying melancholy, lamentation and uncertainty, revolve round every page of ‘Majjhim Pantha’, a book of poetry by Roshnara Mishra, published by Saptarshi Prakashan.

The term ‘Majjhim Pantha’ meaning middle path, is a fine allusion to the ‘Majjhim Nikay’ or middle length discourse of Tripitaka in Buddhism. Probably the legend himself comes along as a sheer personification of the tranquil and gloomy canvas of the book. A weeping soul, as expressed in Roshnara’s own language “somosto math jure ek ha ha bataser paak” (a whirl of suffered wind around the field) howls here and there and finally rests in peace in the serene poetic images of ‘Majjhim Pantha’. There are many instances of stark pathos, “ami more gechi piprer moto/ami more gechi kobei” (I died, like an ant, much, much ago) or “bidhobar moto sada oi bichanate/ekhon amra shui” (we, now, lying on a widow-white bed). Probably Roshnara defends this sad tone with her innate soliloquy “ghumer cheye bishonnota sasthokor” (sorrow is healthier than sleep). A sharp utterance of insecurity, a hidden fright, looms large. The poet whispers “ritur motoi fere bhoy/bhabi – bochor gorabe to?” (terror comes back like seasons, I fear, whether the year will end or not) or “here jaoa ghumer bhetor borgi elo amader desh-e” (the invader comes amidst a defeated sleep). But readers, what makes ‘Majjhim Pantha’ so unique that, at the closure, this extreme sense of melancholy will encore you with that of a jewel, a pride, not just a fear or burden. It will enrich you. You can talk to the poet with each other’s untold words of illusion, such as “kothao ferar nei tai/na ferai mugdho kore rakhe” (no place to return, not to go back, is enchanting enough) or firm pronunciation of “e bari cheno tumi/porer bochor ar eso na/jogajog-hinotai riju thak chirokal, kothor, nirjola” (you know this house, so don’t come back next year, let this absence be eternal, stiff, and dry). It will never end, rather, remain in the deep end of the heart, as an old corpse of bird resembling a brown leaf- “pakhi more gele bohudin badami patar moto pore thake shob”. The maya, or illusion, whatever else it may be called, illuminates the mystic pages of ‘Majjhim Pantha’. It helps to fetch the sleep of Behula on the eye of Yasodhara- Yasodharar chokhe neme asey Behular Ghum. It casts a full moon in the fingernail on the tug of a lunar current-“chnader taan lege angule purnima neme asey”. It rejuvenates myth.

The cover page illustration by Biplob Mondal is praiseworthy enough to create an archaic and obscure tone, perfectly matched with the theme of the book. But, in the nutshell, what could a reader do after the serene journey of ‘Majjhim Pantha’. The reader breaks himself, with sorrow, fright, loneliness or faith, lying to and fro, but suddenly, like a true sense of joy, he thrills with a sudden sense of rebirth, assembles the parts again – as in the poet’s own language, “sesh periye thahor holo/protita bhongi, protita bhab/tomari”. Thus, through, ‘Majjhim Pantha’, the reader identifies his own mirror.



If I would not speak the words of love, and you,

too, so many murky words,

run frolicking inside us, and

conjugality, as an old house from banyan roots,

would grow.


We would know, or sleep without knowing, or busy

with a dense rug wrapping, present amidst us – words

would have been meaningless

where, no words ever existed –

and who knows

we are born with innate deafness.

About author

Anirban Bhattacharya
Anirban Bhattacharya 3 posts

Anirban writes mainly poetry and free verses. His poems was published in number of magazines like Bhashanagar, Adorer Nauka, Sudhu bighe dui, Natun Krittibas, Bristidin etc. His first book of poetry 'Santo nicolaser hargor' was published in 2015 from Dhansere. Presently, he is the Program Executive, Shantiniketan Durdarshan Kendra.

You might also like

Resignation & Other Poems: Ángel Guinda

Ángel Guinda (Zaragoza, 1948) received the Premio de las Letras Argonesas in 2010. He is the author of poetry books Vida ávida, La llegada del mal tiempo, Biografia de la

This letter won’t be long…

“But we, by a love so much refined, That ourselves know not what it is, Inter-assured of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.” – Chapter 10,


The representation of women and its evolution with time, has played a significant role in Bengali celluloid. During the 1960s when films like Mahanagar (1965) were shaping up, there were

For the Fragrance of Puran Poli & Other Poems: Ravi Korde

Name : RAVI LAXMIKANT KORDE. Born on 14th Jan. 1979.  Place: Jalgav Mete,  Aurangabad District, (MAHARASHTRA). Completed Masters Degree in English Literature. Poetry Collection in Marathi entitled ‘Dhoosar Zale Naste

The Minimal & Infinite

Our time, habits & nuances have been changing rapidly since ‘90s. It started from 1991, through Manomohan Singh’s reform & liberalized economic policies .Then  it started with more sweeping changes

I’m a dropout horse

I always suffer from the dilemma whether poetry can at all be “translated”. These one-liners have been translated, with necessary changes in some texts, keeping in mind the main spirit

My Elder Brother & Other poems

An important Bengali poet of 80’s, Dhiman Chakraborty was born and brought up in Kolkata. The first edited magazine by Chakraborty was ‘Aalaap’ (Introduction / Conversation). In the year of

Sikkimizing & Other Poems

The Dawn Half the globe is played by the children And the rest gem-studded on rich man’s hat A poultry befitting into this little earth where morning starts with a

Why Not A full Fledged One

I begin to offload. Not mere  clothes but  more . . . those  thoughts  hanging  about heavily. Stubbornly unmoving, intruding even now whilst I  am  trying to  cover this nakedness.

Firdaus: Mukta Singh Zocchi

Grass grows, birds hop around and fly again, waves smash their heads on the shore, then dissipate. I have my sponges. I will watch them as they grow and die, then

The Chemistry-Lover who doesn’t have a Nuclear Sense

As we returned from the proposed nuclear power plant, we carried a pamphlet with us. When we reached back our village, the electricity had stopped. I ran to the room

Blues for a Black Cat

Boris Vian (1920-59) led a rather too short life on this earth. But, within that 39 years, he wrote 10 novels, 42 short stories, 7 theatre pieces, 400 songs, 4 poetry

Kite & Other Poems: Bijoy Sankar Barman

An accomplished Assamese poet and translator, Bijoy Sankar Barman (b.1980) already has nine published books on different genres to his credit. The recipient of the prestigious Munin Barkataki Award in

Paradelle on Love & Other Poems: Lyn Coffin

Lyn Coffin (born November 12, 1943) is an American poet, fiction writer, playwright, translator, non-fiction writer, editor. She has published fiction, poetry and non-fiction in over fifty quarterlies and small

What I’ll Wear to Your Funeral & Other Poems:Vasudha Pande

Inspiration will not come to you nor will it lie hidden waiting to be put in your pocket this creature it is not a tease nor does it know its

Excerpt from a Dream

And when realization struck the ethereal bird singing away a faint melody that scored the background of a vague dream, it muted itself. The virtual creature refused to carry its

House With Legs & Other Paintings: Santanu Mitra

Santanu Mitra has obtained Bachelor of Visual Arts and Master Degree in Printmaking from Government college of Art  & Craft, Kolkata. His work has been exhibited in several Art Galleries

The night train through Simultala: Vineet Iqbal Singh

I would start scavenging the house looking for the ancient, weather-bitten, faithful rucksack – signaling the end of my summer vacations. My itinerary would be in public domain – a

Authors 0 Comments

Inception and the Philosophy of Mind

“Admit it. You no longer believe in one reality. So choose. Choose to be here. Choose me”. These enigmatic dialogues, directed towards Dominic Cobb are spoken by his subconscious which

Twin Peaks – David Lynch’s Unfinished Masterpiece: Riddhiman Basu

David Lynch as a filmmaker is acclaimed for his surrealist and often mind-bending cinema. The most celebrated among them are the films ‘Lost Highway’, ‘Mulholland Drive’ and ‘Inland Empire’, which


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply