Odour In The Court English Abol Tabol Poem of Sukumar Roy


Odour In The Court English Abol Tabol Poem of Sukumar Roy
Odour In The Court English Abol Tabol Poem of Sukumar Roy
ODOUR IN THE COURT 
 By Sukumar Roy (English Translation by Satyajit Ray)

The King sat down on the throne and turned to the Minister  
"What's this smell", he asked, "that smells so sinister?" 
The Minister said, "It's from my cloak. Your Highness –   
A new perfume I've bought to day. It's the finest." 
"That" said the King, "the Court Physician should settle." 
'The physician came and said, "I'd prove my mettle 
If the cold hadn't made my nostrils quite impassable." 
The King turned to the ageing priest in the chasuble. 
“Come here, Priest," he said, "and please identify 
The irksome smell that the air of the court does vilify.” 
The cleric said, "I've just now taken a pinch of snuff 
Hence my nostrils aren't quite clear enough." 
The King dismissed his priest and sent for the sentinel. 
The sentry marched in promptly. The King said, "Can't you tell  
What this odour is that our work does hamper?" 
:  "Your Highness" answered the sentry,' the smell of camphor 
In my betel still pervades my senses; 
I can't guess what the obnoxious essence is." 
The King said, "Off with you and sent for the strong man.  
Bhimsing the wrestler came and proved quite the wrong man.  
"Your Highness," the wrestler said, his muscles bulging, 
"I’m not in the best of health – I hate divulging." 
The King looked grim, then suddenly cried, "By thunder, 
Why not ask my distant cousin named Chunder ?" 
"Chunder dear," the King implored, "don't fail me." 
With a raucous laugh old Chunder said, "Impale me, 
Or hang me by my neck just any old season, 
But forcing a man to smell defies, all reason." 
At the back of the court sat Nazir, a nonagenarian, 
Thinking: I'm old; I haven't much longer to carry on –   
For a sack of gold I'd smell it; I'm, perfectly willing; 
So Nazir hobbled to the King and said his wish. 
The King said, "Do it Nazir. I'll give you baksish." 
Nazir went up to the minister, and down he bent 
To plant his nostrils right on the source of the scent. 
Wondrous feat The courtiers turned applauders; 
"Long live Nazir - Defier of Odious Odours."
Abol Tabol English Poem Collection