Nazrul’s famous love letter to his lady love on his birth anniversary
Nargis A’sar Khanam or Sayada Khatun was the first wife of Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, though their marriage was not consummated. Nargis was Ali Akbar Khan’s niece. Kazi Nazrul accompanied Ali Akbar Khan to Daulatpur in Cumilla and stayed there for about two and a half months.
During his stay there, he fell head over heels in love with the stunning beauty of young Nargis. Their wedding date was finalized on Asharh 3, 1328 B.S or middle of June, 1921. However, their wedding is mired in controversy. Unfortunately, their relationship did not last long. For the next 16 years, Nargis had no contact with Nazrul. Then in 1937-38, Nargis wrote a letter and in reply Nazrul wrote the famous song: Jaar haat diye mala dite paaro nai, followed by a letter.
Here is that famous love letter of poet Nazrul Islam.
I received your letter in the beginning of monsoon, on a fresh and wet morning. Today’s torrential showers will probably remind you of that day of Asharh,15 years ago, when the overcast sky was threatening to drown the world. I greet the new clouds of Asharh even today. In the era of Kalidas, the cloud-messenger carried the pining of the solitary Yaksha to his ladylove in the far-off land of Malabika, where she waited for her love, on the banks of the Reba river. For me, however, the clouds bring no happy tidings. They revive memories of all the pain, dragging me into the dark abyss of sorrow. Now let me explain myself and respond to the admonition and complaints against me. Trust me, whatever I am writing is true. If you try to judge me from heresy and from stray comments by acquaintances, you will misunderstand me.
I don’t have any desire to take revenge for whatever happened and this I assure you from the bottom of my heart. The Almighty knows, how our relationship left a deep wound, that will never heal. I have been tormented by the pain, but I have never wanted you to go through the same torment. If you had not ignited the fire within me, I would not have been able to play my Agni-veena, I would not have been able to appear like a meteor (Dhoomketu) in the literary sphere. I had seen you for the first time when I was in my teens and you were the very personification of grace, beauty and love. That is the image engraved in my heart and nothing can tarnish it.
Don’t forget that I’m a poet. If I strike, I strike with flowers. I aim for the unattainable, I am a worshipper of beauty and I don’t let anything that is ugly come near me. I am not a barbaric coward who exterminates anything or anyone. Heaven knows I do not have any complaint or expectations from you. I do not know your present situation. Instead, I remember you as I had seen you when you were an innocent girl whom I had yearned to own and honour as my muse, but you refused to accept me then. I still worship the muse I had created out of your image then and I have nothing to do with whatever you are today. I am not interested in you anymore nor do I want you anymore in my life. May be, I am rejecting the present because I know you are unattainable and if I again start hoping afresh, my desires will be dashed.
We may not meet again, but then why regret? If we are not destined to meet in this mundane world, perhaps we will meet some day, somewhere, not here. The physical presence is not everything. If you miss me, you can always imagine me beside you, and you will find me. Laila did not get Majnu nor Shirin got Farhad, yet no love story is complete without these couples being named together. Self-immolation is a sin, but the soul cannot be destroyed and love never dies. If you have been touched by love’s magic wand, you are one of the very few lucky ones, a chosen soul indeed. Love will lift you to a higher plane. You cannot run away from sorrow and carry it like baggage. We can rectify our errors and make life better. But you cannot run away from sorrows and pain. You have to pay the price of your deeds in this life only. Only then will you be liberated and the Almighty will pardon your sins. I have lived amid mediocrity but have been able to discard my immediate surroundings and reach a higher level where I can see the world and its frailties benignly.
I am suddenly reminded of a day, 15 years ago. You had high fever and I yearned to touch your fair forehead and feel it and I finally did so. I can still feel the warmth. Did you look at me? My eyes were swelling with tears and I longed to take care of you as my heart prayed for your speedy recovery. Seems like yesterday. Time could not wipe off that memory. What a surge of uncontrollable emotion, and flow of love that was! I could not sleep a wink for days after that. Now, as my journey takes me down my sunset days, you don’t have any power to stop the journey and don’t you try doing so. Let this be my first and last letter to you. No matter where I am, my prayers will always be like a protective shield around you. May you be happy and attain peace in life. I am not as evil or bad as you think I am, and this is the only and the very last explanation I present to you.
Your forever well-wisher,