Fazal Shahabuddin is a veteran poet who has also been a magazine publisher. Among the awards he has received is the Bangla Academy Award for poetry, which he shared with Shaheed Quaderi.

A Familiar Alley

Pull up here
I’ll get off at this lonely alley.

The cobbled road drowsing in the
Soft afternoon sun,
The rubbish dump at the turn,
Where flies buzz over garbage
Throughout the year,
And the house,
The familiar rendezvous
I remember all
All the gossip through the evenings,
The game of cards
And the familiar saree.

I’ll get off here.
For once I wanted to get lost,
In this tiny little world;
The rubbish dump,
The endless swoop of flies
On a decomposed rat,
The lamp post and
The hydrant in the warm sun.

This is my familiar alley,
Pull up here,
There is aroma of the past
In this desolate house.

– Translated by M. Harunur Rashid