Dabirul Islam Choudhury

Dabirul Islam Choudhury was born in 1930 in Kulongegram, Sylhet. He came to Britain in 1957 and worked as a recruiter of Bengali workers at an aviation factory in Hertfordshire. He later became a community worker and opened a corner shop in Hackney in the early 80s. He is now retired and lives near Cable Street. Mr Choudhury’s passion for poetry writing came from his mother who was a brilliant dhadha poet (riddles in poetic forms). Mr Choudhury has written 1000s of poems and can recite over 500 of those from memory. He has published several poetry books in Bengali and during his teens he was regularly invited to weddings to perform dhadha as poetry was the main form of entertainment in conservative Muslim weddings.

Listen: Mr Choudhury talking about learning dhahda from his mother
Listen: Mr Choudhury reading 'Matrisriti' - Memory of Mother

Memory Of Mother

When it was decided that I will move to London,
For my mother, getting me married was her only concern.
I asked her why so much talk about my wedding.
I shall get wedded duly after I return.

Mother smilingly said after you are gone,
My heart will be afraid daily,
Listen to what I say, darling, before your departure.
son, if only you were to marry…

I promised, that I will return and asked her to let me go,
I returned to marry before two years were past,
Obeying Mother, all the preparations were made by my older brother.
A fair bride’s photo reached my mother’s hand.
The wedding took place in the capital as planned.
Seeing the fair bride I was over the moon.

I went to Karachi taking my new bride with me;
O, brother, the London flight caught fire!
So, about a week later we flew to London.
There I made a new home with my new bride.

My Mother was suffering as I was her youngest son.
With her in my mind, I returned from London.

I lost my Mother, lost my Father, -it was a losing trend.
I cry so much alone thinking of them.
I pray to Allah after seeking His forgiveness
O Allah! Place Mother, Father and others in the heavens!
My tears roll down ceaselessly,
O the great Compassionate, I beg You with folded hands!

Sylheti Londoni 

Hearing of London city of Europe,
Sylhetis dream of living there.
Long ago elders sailed there by steamers,
The young ones want to go by selling homes.
Let me tell a little of the unskilled labourers,
Lots of examples are shown in reality.
Mastered the language living in foreign country,
As if they were born in the overseas.
I am amazed seeing their clothes,
Sure proof how scene changes with honest endeavours.
Lots of devotion to Allah,

They have made great progress living in London.