Dec 31, 2009

Let the flute resound

বাজো রে বাঁশরি বাজো
bajo re, baa(n)shori bajo

Let the flute resound
Adorn yourself, O beautiful one,
In this auspicious evening
With garlands scented with sandalwood

Such is this momentous day of spring
A time of arrival of the restless one
With the magnolia blossoms yet to blow
At the touch of the humming bee

Won't you adorn your hair and lace your arms
With the crimson spring flowers
Ankle bells chiming with your steps
In the fragrant, tranquil breeze
And euphonic songs of his grace playing
In enchanting premises

What a wonder you are to my eyes

বড়ো বিস্ময় লাগে হেরি তোমারে
boro bishshoyo lage

What a wonder you are to my eyes
How is it that you found your place
In my own heart?

Why do I adore that face, that smile
And drown in my silent tears of longing?
It is as though I have known you forever
To be my love, in all eternity
Without you, the music stops
Light fades away
And my smile dissipates in darkness

Dec 30, 2009

Open are gates to the southern breeze

আজি দখিন-দুয়ার খোলা
aji dokhino duwar khola

Open are gates to the southern breeze,
To greet you, O spring,
Our hearts yearning to sway
With dancing rhythms

Let your arrival resound
With impassioned tunes of the flute
And festive procession
As you alight delightful, lush pathways
Strewn with Bokool blossoms
Dusted with pollens of the Piyaal

Come home to the leaves
And the blossoms of the forest

With your restful, enchanting smile
Approach the land of crazy winds
Letting your cloak afloat in the sky

(Another version by Rumela)

Today open are the southern gates
Come hither, come hither, come hither,
O my springtime come hither
Rock you will I on my swinging heart
Come hither, come hither, come hither,
O my springtime come hither

On a chariot graced with new greenery
Come on pathways paved with Bakul flowers
Come playing on reeds of eager longing
Smeared with the pollen of Piyal flowers
Come hither, come hither, come hither,
O my springtime come hither

Emerge in dense leafy foliage
Come hither, come hither, come hither,
Emerge in groves of jasmine blossoms
Come hither, come hither, come hither,

With a slight sweet intoxicating smile
Come to this land swept by the wild winds
The ruffled and restless robe of yours
Let it aflutter in the open skies
Come hither, come hither, come hither,
O my springtime come hither

Listen to the flutes play in celebration

বাজিবে, সখী, বাঁশি বাজিবে
bajibe, shokhi, banshi bajibe

Listen to the flutes play in celebration
Behold your beloved one
Step into your heart

As words lose their purpose
A blushed smile spreads on your face
Tears of happiness shimmer in your eyes
And with painful bliss your heart,
Like a tender, flushing flower
Yearns to offer itself
At the lotus-feet of the beloved

Raise this silent lute

লহো লহো তুলে লহো নীরব বীণাখানি
loho loho tule loho nirob beena khani

Raise this silent lute, my Beautiful one,
Filling her notes with your ethereal tunes
As I mantle the night with darkness
Longing your star-lit messages of hope

My soul cries out in agony, in lifelessness,
Bearing the hardness of a rock
Pleading your touch to be revived
In a deluge of tears

My arid heart implores your grace
To cloak her leafless shame
With monsoon-lushness

Let the fondest memories fill

ভরা থাক স্মৃতিসুধায়
bhora thak smritishudhay

Let the fondest memories fill the void of separation
To bring back and rejoice
In the hours of togetherness

From despairing tears borne of silence
A new message will arise unseen

Solitary, somber the path will be
Yet your eyes, contemplating radiance
A tune of longing secretly resounding
In the lute within
Suffusing the heart with blissful strains

Dec 28, 2009

Beyond this river of tears

অশ্রুনদীর সুদূর পারে
osru nodir shudoor paare

Beyond this river of tears
On the shore faraway
I see the quay at your doorstep
En-fettered by my own hands
A part of me lingers at home
A part of me slips outside
I will now let go of myself
And drift along with the evening breeze

Hours have gone by in barter and bargain
Buying the burden of what people say

Unload those words from your heart
Listen, do listen in wordless silence
Which song does the Veena play
Strummed by the distant breeze

There sounds the flute

সখী, ওই বুঝি বাঁশি বাজে
shokhi oi bujhi baashi baje

There sounds the flute
Though I know not whether
This music I heed
Is outside of me, or within

Where does the spring breeze blow
And flowers blossom
Where is this blithesome night
Outside of me, or within?

Why do I musingly wonder
Whether to leave or to stay
Afraid of what people think
Where does my despondent love
Await me with longing
Is it in the wilderness-tryst
Or within my heart?

Do not leave, my beloved one

না, যেয়ো না, যেয়ো নাকো
na, jeyo na, jeyo nako

Do not leave, my beloved one,
Keep your promise of togetherness
Bokool, the spring flower
Yet has many blossoms to share
And we have so much to fulfill
My dear wanderer, do stay on
The moon gazes with high, dreamy eyes
Her glow suffused with music and fragrance
Yet why does Mallika the young blossom,
Fleet away in tender dejection?
Call her back, my dear wanderer

In my dreams, you betrothed me

কখন দিলে পরায়ে
kokhon dile poraye

In my dreams, you betrothed me
With a garland of tears
I woke to find the morning sun
Touching upon the clouds
And a flute announcing
The tearful melody of your departure
In the darkness, you arrived
And left, unnoticed
Leaving me heartbroken
Adorning me with the pain of separation

Dec 27, 2009

With every wound are you testing me

আঘাত করে নিলে জিনে
aaghat kore nile jine

With every wound you test me
You seize my heart day by day

Breaking down the fences of comfort
Then did you step into my heart
I came to know you after much grief
Time and again in the face of death
Tossed by waves in this stormy night
I have given up helm to your hands

Nowhere did you let me be in peace
Not on the road, not in the mart
When all of mine was auctioned away
Only then did you acquire me

My distracted love

আন্‌মনা, আন্‌মনা
anmona anmona

My distracted love,
The time is still unripe
To bring my bouquet of messages to you,
For the tunes would slip your notice
And my truth elude your heart
And vainly would I wonder, if I had touched you

But when your eyes are thoughtful
In a glowing moment of silent beauty in the dusk,
My gentle notes will comfort your agony

The rhythmic verses will then
Bear for your listening
Languid beats in soft nuances,
Like the hum of crickets
Imparting songs in the woods
Of a meditative darkness
Let me sit at the fringe
Of your solitary home
Tracing alike a musical image
In deep contemplation

In the darkness I came

আমি এলেম তারি দ্বারে
ami elem tomar daare (audio)

In the darkness I came
And knocked at your door
Moments passed
Yet I found no answer
Alike, you eluded my sight

With vain ventures, let me depart
Leaving this message at your feet
My quest may have been fruitless
But I had come to look
And now in my painful desolation
I travel afar leaving you behind

Dweller of my heart, come home to me

এসো আমার ঘরে এসো
esho esho amar ghore esho

Dweller of my heart, come home to me
Take your place in my tears and laughter
And beat to the pulse of my life
Step into the sunshine
From the abode of my dreams
Show yourself to my yearning eyes
As you flourish like a happy flower

It was but a while ago that we met in the woods

সেদিন দুজনে দুলেছিনু বনে
shey din dujone dulechhinu bone

It was but a while ago
That we met in the woods
And swayed on a swing
Adorned with flowers
Let us hold on to that memory
That seems to surface
Over and again in my heart

The wind had muttered
The same crazy words as my own
And in the sky the moonbeams spread
Assuming a strange likeness to your smile

A full moon overhead
Lit our paths
And there we met
In that auspicious moment

Now with those memories past
I bear our painful separation
Within my silent solitude
If I were to entrust my heart to you
Would you secure it forever?

In my sleepless nights

জাগরণে যায় বিভাবরী
jagorone jay bibhabori

In my sleepless nights
Who is it that keeps me awake?
She who remains lost to me
I yearn to find in my solitude
Her flute resounding in my heart

Speechless is the somber night
Yet I heed silent, secret messages
In my heart filled with pain
And in my eyes brimmed with tears
It is her shadow that trembles
Now and again

(another version by Rumela Sengupta)

The night slips by in sleeplessness
Who keeps me awake so
Oh sweet is this sorrow!

For her I wander all alone
Athirst my eyes see her not
It is her flute, her flute it is
That resonates in my heart
Oh sweet is this sorrow!

Words unspoken yet I hear
What is it I hear who can tell
In my heart brimming with ache
In my eyes streaming with tears
Her silhouette flickers time and again

This is but a flight of fantasy

এ শুধু অলস মায়া
e shudhu olosho maya

This is but a flight of fantasy
Painted with imagination
Like clouds coloured by the sun's radiance
Such are momentary tears and laughter --
A mere melody fading in the air
Imparting the transience of a garland
Put together by an unmindful one,
Then torn apart again
Like sun-rays that stir the leaves,
And blossoms that play with their shadows
It is but spring-bouts of shade and sun

I forget my path and spend all my hours
In this playfulness
Losing myself in a land of mist
Drawing strange blossoms
To offer a nameless friend,
Flowers that wither by the dusk
And return to forests unknown

Who will be my companion in this game?
Whether anyone does care or not
I will go on singing my songs
Forgetting them by the moment,
Hoping that these passing tunes will perhaps
Touch someone, somewhere

Dec 23, 2009

Read his note to me my friends

দে পড়ে দে আমায় তোরা
dey pore dey amay tora

Read his note to me my friends,
Let me delve in his message,
Distant, yet so close to my heart

Let it bear the sweet smell of pastures
Into my solitary hearth,
Like a languid traveler wind
Stirring my free locks,
Ushering in a tune of the blue sky,
Unfolding beauty of dusty, wandering paths
At my window

In the blushing twilight,
I too will pour my heart in a colorful rally,
The trace of a tear catching me unawares
In that dusky, lonesome moment

Are you merely the image

তুমি কি কেবলই ছবি
tumi ki keboli chhobi

Are you merely the image?
Are you not as certain
As the galaxy of stars
As true as the luminary
Wayfarers of darkness?

As you elude my sight,
You venture into the seat of my heart
Spreading in the green of the earth,
In the azure of the sky
And in that match, my world
Finds its harmony

None realize how
Your melodies play unheard
To blend in with my songs,
And how you become the muse
Within the poet's heart

Greet your joyous one as he arrives

তোমার আনন্দ ওই এলো দ্বারে
tomar anondo oi elo daare

Greet your joyous one as he arrives,
Spreading your apparel and happiness
To adorn his path
Sprinkling his feet with fresh fragrance
Hail the Beautiful,
Offering him blossoms
Of your yearning heart

Blessed is all wealth today,
So throw open the gates
To the world's well-being
And behold the sunset-sky
Tinged with the hues of his smile
Here is an enthralled world
Stray no farther
Greet his eternal radiance
Come close, and illumine your heart

My heart desires to leave

সখী, আঁধারে একেলা ঘরে
shokhi aa(n)dhare ekela ghawre

My heart desires to leave
A solitary home of darkness,
My yearning soul searches for a path
But knows none
In the sound of incessant rains
In the profound somber night
And in the monsoon breeze,
I can occasionally hear a message,
But time and again it escapes me

Come Spring, touch me now

রাঙিয়ে দিয়ে যাও
Rangiye diye jaao (audio link: Hemanta Mukhopadhyay)

a translation meant for an English rendition of the song
(Find an English rendition of this song in Youtube here:)

Come Spring, touch me now
as you make your way to go
your tender brush
this secret show
your smiling ever-youthful face
loving tears, all the flow

red and purple, touch my soul
pink and orange, touch my toil 
blue and saffron, touch my soul.
Spark my flame, light my room
paint my night, paint my gloom.

Wake me up 
wake me up, as you go
awake my pulse 
awake my pulse, as you go.

Like a sky, making stars in the night
like a spring, falling out, out of plight
like thunder, rumbling in the heart of space
like a dance forming in the universe

undulate undulate 
lead my path, lead my way
free my chains, free my stay

translated by Anandamayee Majumdar, 12 March 2017

(another version by Rumela):

Colour me in crimson
Colour me in saffron
As you take your leave
Colour me in all shades
Of your own emotions
Those you kept a secret
Those you let bloom in youthful smile
Those you let flow in soulful tears

Let your hues brush upon my soul
Colour each and every action
Alight upon the flame of the evening lamp
Caress the sleeplessness of a dark night

Do arouse me before you go
A gentle nudge of your feet to
Make my blood pulse to your rhythm

Like a star lighting up the dark night
Like a spring bursting through the rocks
Like a rumble raging within the cloud
Like the rhythm that vibrates
In the heart of the dancing cosmos
Do let my heart sway to your beat
Even as you take your leave
Freeing me from fetters of tears

Dec 18, 2009

My Veena resounds today

মোর বীণা ওঠে কোন সুরে বাজি
mor beena oThe kon shure baji

My Veena resounds today
With fresh melodies,
And emphatic rhythms,
My heart echoes in thrill
To the pulsing of the earth

Now a restless youth
Spreads his golden cloak
Over and yonder,
What a flurry of unbridled joy,
As woodlands rejoice in dancing lights

One listens to the sky
And heeds silent anklet chimes
With leaves applauding
To that speechless beat

Who does the grass await
Wishing to be touched by the feet,
Why do rampant winds wander
Distraught with fragrance of wild blossoms?

You arrived in the dark

যখন এসেছিলে সিন্ধুপারে চাঁদ ওঠেনি
jokhon eshechhile shindhu-pare chaa(n)d oTheni

You arrived in the dark,
When the moon was not yet up
Over the river-banks

My unknown love,
Even as you were hidden from sight,
I had only to listen to your songs to know you
Feeling the echoes within myself

When you left on a desolate path,
The moon glowed overhead
It was then I found your garland
Lying on the earth
And realized, who you had left it for

Your sight may amend the false

বাহিরে ভুল ভাঙবে যখন
bahire bhul bhangbe jokhon

Your sight may amend the false
But what of your heart?

Will you await
The grace of compassion
After the first tide of agony is over?
Will it rain after the searing heat,
And turn your shameful blush
To the first flush of love?

As far as you may stray
Woeful longing
Will wrench it harder in pain

When clouds, dark with melancholy
Have gathered low
A gust of monsoon breeze
Will summon the tears in torrents

Your distant eyes are like restless birds of the forest

কোথা বাইরে দূরে যায়রে উড়ে
kotha baire dure jayre uRe

Your distant eyes are like
Restless birds of the forest
As they search from afar,
And fly back in plight
To the wilderness

Yet a day will come when
A beautiful melody will usher them in,
And they will happily
Accept the bondage of love,
Ending a long wandering quest

But now, your distant eyes
Are like restless birds of the forest,
Flying back in plight to the wilderness

You seem heedless of the one
Who quietly leaves his message at your door
Only listening to the southern breeze
Bearing its secret notes

Silently an eternal spring
Steps into your heart, in enchanting melody,
In blissful tunes,
In the scent of blossoms,
Yet, you have vainly searched for all
Outside your heart's premises

And now your distant eyes
Are like restless birds of the forest,
Flying back in plight to the wilderness

Dec 10, 2009

On this harp of finitude

সীমার মাঝে অসীম তুমি
sheemar majhe awsheem tumi

On this harp of finitude
You play the tune of Infinite,
O Boundless!
And so it is that your joy in me
Is so sweet

In varied smells and colours
And music of manifold rhythms
The ecstasy of your infinite beauty
Illuminates my heart,
So grand is your revelation in me!

The perfect union of us two
Lets down all bars,
And the world with its ocean and sky
Becomes rampant in mirth

Your crystal luster is a formless halo
In the confines of my finite comprehension
It assumes various forms
And to it my tears impart exquisite beauty
So sweet is your revelation in me!

(Translation: Subrata Majumdar)

I know not if you will care

মনে রবে কি না রবে আমারে
mone robe kina robe amare (audio: Hemanta Mukhopadhyay)

I know not if you will care
To remember this poet
Coming and singing with no intent
Off and on at your door.

Time flows on,
So long as I am here,
I like see the flash of smile
Of sudden happiness in your face
If and when we meet,
My songs yearn thereafter.

Flowers blossom in spring,
Wither and fall in its wake.
The gift of fullness in the transient moment
Expresses their sole purpose.

But my days will come to an end,
The light will fade into dusk,
Melodies faint away to cease,
And the Veena retire to rest.

Till then let me sing
So long as I am here.
Won't the gift of your smile delight
and fill in these playful float-some moments?

(Translation: Subrata Majumdar)

In this somber rainy evening

আমার দিন ফুরালো ব্যাকুল বাদল সাঁঝে
amar din phuralo

In this somber rainy evening
I think my call has rung,
And the heaping clouds melt in
Heavy showers.

The sweet purl of the flowing river
In the deep shadows of the forests
Tune my heart with the saddest notes
And it pours forth the resonant music
At the profound beats
Of the thunder drum.

My remotest friend has come today
He stands silently
In the obscure dark.
While his heart is heavy
With the pang of separation,
It brims with the hope of our
Secret meet.

I think I know his silent footstep sound
And am charmed of his unseen grace.

Dec 8, 2009

Hearty, free a blissful song

জগত জুড়ে উদার সুরে
jawgoto jure udar shure anondo gaan baje

Hearty, free a blissful song
Reverberates across the earth
Wonder when that music finds
The deepest echos in my heart

When steeped in love would I,
Embrace waters, air and sky
And the light, with decor
In myself as they thrive

Through my eyes, would I then
Find delight with every gaze
Gladdening my fellow souls
Whose paths I cross, with kindliness

When would I with trustful ease,
Comprehend your being there
Voicing your beloved name
Through my service, through my care

Dec 6, 2009

Yet do remember

তবু মনে রেখো
tobu mone rekho (audio)

Yet do remember,
Afar if I do go
If enshrouded is an old love
Beneath the web of a love new

If close at hand I do stay
But see you can't, like a shadow,
Am I there or am I not
Yet do remember

If tears do film the eyelids
If on a pleasant night one day,
there be a pause in play
If an autumn morning one day,
there be a lull in work
Yet do remember

If ever in remembrance
Tears do not well up in your eyes
Yet do remember

Walking on this path alone

যেতে যেতে একলা পথে
jete jete ekla pothe

My light has died out
As I walk this path alone
O look! a storm gathers
I now have a mate

Calamity flashes it’s smile in the skies
Disaster plays with my locks in wild abandon
I forget the path that I was on

Where again have I to go in this dense darkness?
In raging thunder will I hear of a new road?
On reaching which realm will this night break into dawn?

Dec 4, 2009

Just to go to and fro

শুধু যাওয়া আসা
shudhu jawa aashaa

Just to go to and fro
Just to float with the flow
Just to laugh and cry out
In sunlight and in shade

Just to catch a glimpse
Just to feel a touch
Just to look back with tears
While going far away
Sailing forth with new doubts
Leaving behind false hopes

Limited is strength though limitless are desires,
Intense is effort but imperfect are results
Broken is the boat on which I sail the ocean
Emotion cries out, limited is expression

Incomplete be the acquaintance of hearts
Unfinished be the words, do convey them
With tremulous half-formed trust
Just to share a fraction of love.

Dec 3, 2009

Secret silent you will thrive

তুমি রবে নীরবে
Tumi robe nirobe hridoye momo (audio)

(a version by Anandamayee Majumdar that was translated to allow a song rendition in English)

Secret silent you will thrive
In the seat of my heart
Like a deep, divine night
Aglow in moonlight.

My life, my youthfulness,
You will fill with glory
Like a deep, divine night
Aglow in moonlight.

Your lone, gracious eyes
Will be watching over me
Your canopy will be shading me
All day all night

My pains and dreams realized,
You will steep with fragrance
Like a deep, divine night
Aglow in moonlight.

(Another version by Rumela Sengupta)

Silently echo you will in this heart of mine
Like a dark and lonely night aglow in full moon
The springtime of my life, this entire world of mine
Suffuse with honour you will like the night aglow
Awake are you alone, in tender watchfulness
Keeping me safely sheltered in your gentle shade
My despondence, grief and angst, all my dreams fulfilled
Suffuse with fragrance you will, like the night aglow

A rendition by Hemanta Mukhapadhyay and Lata Mangeshkar in Kuheli

Nov 30, 2009

Whoever spread the colors in the forest

কে রঙ লাগালে বনে বনে
ke rong lagale bone bone

Whoever spread the colors in the forest
Undulating the air in rhythm!
All gateways of earth are free
Swaying trees responding to the waves
Of an eternal craziness at play everywhere

As the impassioned music pour forth
Won't you bring your flute
Bearing the strains of farewell tears and laughter
Into the spring breeze?

Such heartbreaking melody of an evening sky
Will fill the parting night with sweetness
A sea of twilight-glow
Reveling in the deluge of music

Nov 29, 2009

Awaiting me you are

দাঁড়িয়ে আছ তুমি আমার
dnariye aachho tumi

Awaiting me you are, on the shore of my song
My music and lyric find place at your altar
Yet you remain beyond my reach

Softly wafts the breeze, swaying me with it
Linger no more, untie your boat, and set afloat
Come into my heart, crossing over to this shore

This playing with you through song, is but from afar
Dawn to dusk, this flute plays on, revealing my ache

O when will you come yourself, and play on my flute
In silent secluded blissful darkness of night

A cascade of joy is flowing

আনন্দধারা বহিছে ভুবনে
anondo dhara bohichhey bhuboney

A cascade of joy flows through this world and beyond
Night and day, ambrosia spills forth from heavens above

The sun and the moon drink up the sweet nectar in fistfuls
Ever luminous is their inextinguishable glow
Ever bountiful is this earth with life and light

Why are you lost in your own thoughts
Why absorbed with self-centred goals
Look around you
Open up your heart
Value little, this trifling pain of yours
Let love permeate the void in your life

Such the tasks you let me shoulder

তুমি যত ভার দিয়েছ সে ভার
tumi joto bhar diyechho shey bhar

Such the tasks you let me shoulder
Giving me the grace to bear
Chores yet that I have chosen
Have added to my burden's share

Let me off this gruesome burden
Staggering path of mighty loads
Sparing me a joyless journey,
Resting flights on endless roads

Despondence which I have summoned
Left me those with no respite
Bristling woes turned to ashes,
Fruitless pains to burning plight

Your sorrows are as monsoon showers
Enriching with the fruits of grief
Flooding me with spates of fruition
Offering bounties to relive

Everything that I have gathered
Amassed in heaps now brought to bay
Merciless in claiming balance
All demand that I repay

Let me off this gruesome burden
Staggering path of mighty loads
Sparing me a joyless journey,
Resting flights on endless roads.

Nov 26, 2009

What a legion of strangers

কত অজানারে জানাইলে তুমি
kawto awjanare janaile tumi (audio)
(audio - Suchitra)

(link to Tagore's own translation)

You have made me embrace
A legion of strangers,
Leading me on
To curious frontiers,
Gaining me shelter
At strange homes,
Bridging me with the far,
Uniting me with the unseen.

When I turn to my travels,
My comforts are tossed aside,
And I am shaky of my road

Yet, however the newness
                   Turns out to be
How can I deny
Your perennial presence
On my quaint pathway?

In life, in death,
In every recess of the cosmos
You shall be my lead
You shall illumine my path

Once I have known you,
Every other falls into place,
Every other grows akin,
Restraints unlatch,
Fear is released.

In everything I do
I desire to find you,
Chalice of all creation,
Embodiment of all essence!

(another version by Rumela Sengupta)

You made known many an unknown
A refuge You gave in many a home
You brought close, my friend, afar who was
Linking me in a fraternity with the ones who were not my own

When I leave the comfort of home
I wonder with trepidation
What may or may not be
Amidst the new, my known You are
Time and again, how I forget

In life, in death, in this whole world
Whenever wherever You take me
You, my ever familiar friend
Will acquaint me with all

Knowing You, stranger there is none
There are no bars, there is no fear
Embracing each and every one
May I sight Your awakening

Nov 23, 2009

My life meets its fruition

সার্থক জনম আমার
sharthok jawnom amar jonmechhi ei deshe

My life meets its fruition
My motherland,
In having born to your soil
Fulfilled so am I
In having loved you

What do I care
That you are not wealthy like a queen
This I only know
That my limbs are replenished
When I take shelter in your soothing shades

Where could I find
The sweet fragrance of your flowers
Such that offers exquisite bliss?
Where could I gaze at such moonlight
That would stroke my soul like a gentle smile?

From your heavens streamed down
The first rays of the sun
I witnessed in birth
The same light will put me to rest
When I depart.

You elude my sight to become endless

নয়ন ছেড়ে গেলে চলে
noyon chhere gele chole (audio: Debabrata Biswas)

You elude my sight
To become an endless presence.
You are scattered in my reality,
Like perennial seeds.
Even if I lose you,  you remain.

Nights of our togetherness
May have come to an end.
But I will keep discovering you,
As you permeate my dreams,
Timeless companion.

Your love, my elixir,
Flows like a stream with unseen depths
Flooding my tears with sweetness.

You created profuse music
For me, once, on your sonorous lute.
In my heart, they now emerge
As melodic resonance
Of a sustained symphony. 

Madhobi, the young spring flower

My heart is secured

Nov 22, 2009

Entwine me in tasks

আমায় বাঁধবে যদি কাজের ডোরে
aamaay bandhbe jodi kaajer dorey

If you will entwine me in tasks
Why do you then distract me thus

Why does the wind waft in
Bearing secret tidings
From a distant beyond
Pervading my being

The flecks of gold tinging the sky
How they dance into my bloodstream

Now and again
Who is it you send
To sing at my casement
And steal my heart away

- 7th April 1914

Not just with words, my friend

শুধু তোমার বাণী নয় গো
shudhu tomaar baani noy go bondhu

Not just with words, my friend and beloved
At times, do bless my soul with your caress
This fatigue of way, this craving within
I know not how to satiate this thirst
Tell me O do tell me
This darkness is suffused with your being

This heart of mine wants to give, not just to receive
Trudges along burdened with all it has amassed

Reach out your hand, place them in mine
I will clasp it with all my might
Holding close your touch so precious
I will make pleasing this solitary journey of mine

Where does this road end

পথের শেষ কোথায়
pother shesh kothay

Where does this road end,
Where is the end
What is there at the end?
So much desire, such untiring quest,
Where does it melt and fade away

Waves of tears rise and ebb
Dense darkness looms ahead
Shore there is for sure, I know
Where, in which land, I do not know

Today I pause to ponder
As I run after a mirage in vain
Unquenchable is this thirst I fear
Rudderless is my boat, torn are it’s sails
Yet rows on my sorrow, to a destination unknown

Nov 18, 2009

Got to give all I have

আমার যে সব দিতে হবে
aamaar jey shob ditey hawbey (audio)

Everything I have and reap
Lyrics, wealth that I may keep,
What I see and what I hear,
All my labor, fruits I bear,
Every service old and new,
I know will be my gifts to you.

My morn and dusk will bloom unseen
In the heart's own ardent green
With joy and ardor as they shine
Will be your presents O divine

To tune this Veena now I learn
You will teach me, in my turn
A music which befits your way
With your Veena thus in play

Your bliss that fills the cup of life
Rousing happiness and strife,
Is a tribute that you offer me
Forever yours that it should be

Everything that I receive
Auspicious in the life I live
Will offer me the glory true
As I surrender them to you.

another version by Debashis Goswami

I must give forth all I possess
Forever it's known to me
All my treasures, all my lyrics
Let it be yours, let it be...

What I behold, what I hear
Pathways that I wander
With the nimble hands of mine
Services I can render
Let it be yours, let it be yours....

From the budding core of my heart
Days and nughts bloom
Open up to your loving eyes
You let them plume

I merely hold the lyre
Tuning its strings
You let it voice your song
Whenever it sings

In the light and dark of life
Mingle your joy
In me you live your dreams
Bliss you enjoy

Make me worthy of it all
Gifts you gave me
Let my life flow into you
Be it yours, let it be

(Another version meant to be sung in English, inspired by Debashis Goswami's version, transcreated by Anandamayee)

Got to give all I have,
I know well the prophecy;
Treasures, words, songs and prayers
Yours ever, let it be

Everything I gaze upon
Every care I render
All my ears hear and hold,
Roads, I surrender

From my bud, from my heart
Days and nights unfold
blossoming beneath your gaze
Secretly cajoled

Instrument's in my hands
Tuned to be played
When it's ripe, let it sing
Music you have made

All my darkness all my light 
Mingle with my soul 
you live your dream in my life
When I lived in whole

Gifts I found, my energy
I gracefully surrender
Life, let it overflow
Make it your splendour

Nov 17, 2009

As an unknown wanderer walks along the road

পথ দিয়ে কে যায় গো চলে
pawth diye ke jay go choley

As an unknown wanderer
Walks along the road
Her silent call
Urges me to tread the path
Forcing me out
Of my own retreat.
I do not know
These songs that resound in the air
But in my heart and in my pain
They reverberate and come alive.
A night of the full moon
Summons the ocean
Motions the waves
And rocks the heart.
And now that doubts are gone
Why and for whom should I wait?

 (another version by Rumela Sengupta)

Who is it that goes by the road
Calling out to me as he goes
How do I now remain indoors

What is this melody blowing in the wind
It resonates within my bosom
It plays on my deepest ache

Waves rush forth from the seas
In this night of the full moon
I feel that pull within my soul
Lost in thought I gaze on
Nothing there is to hold me back

To discover you anew

তোমায় নতুন করে পাব বলে
tomay notun kore pabo bole (audio: Bikram Singh)

I keep losing you over and gain
Only to rediscover your presence
My precious love.
You disappear often to let me seek,
To hold you again, with my gaze.

You are no stranger to me, my dear,
You are my endless Truth.
Your eclipse is but a fleeting whim
Of your passing game.

When I am bent on my quest of you,
My soul quivers with suffering
And my ocean of love is swayed adrift.

Is it because you are rooted in perennity
That in charades such as these
You allow yourself to be sensed
As nothingness...
Simply to refresh my smile of relief
With tears of longing!

Another version by Rumela Sengupta:

To discover you anew
I lose you now and again
O my love most precious

You become out of sight
To let me seek you out
O my love most precious

Screened you are not from me
Mine you have been for ages
In this play of hide-n-seek
You are lost but for a moment

When I seek you far and near
Aquiver my heart in fear
Billows my love in waves

Endless you are
In nothingness therefore
you let yourself perish
That smile of yours is lost on me
As tears well up in my eyes
With this harsh separation
O my love most precious

Go on, go on, go forward do I

চলি গো চলি গো
Choli go choli go (audio: Sasha Ghoshal)

What a way to venture on,
Beneath the gaze of starry shine
Playing the tunes of the path, 
Flaunting the smile of the trail,
Running up against the world,
Brandishing every hue we can!

The earth, an endless voyager
Loves the soul of the dreaming tramp
And so, she spurs us on our way
With a quaint, queer, compulsive song.

As we shimmer on and on,
The road unfolds, seasons launch
In grandiose glory and tenderness.
Each footfall, becomes a win
A godly dare to Death, as if,
A challenge met, at every breath.

(Another version by Rumela Sengupta)

Go on, go on, go forward do I
A beacon gleams at the horizon
I go playing the reeds of the road
Sprinkling the gaiety of wayfaring
Waving my colourful scarf on land and water alike

The wandering earth loves wanderers
And so she beckons with a sweet song

Seasons summon with great affection
Leading me to roads yet to be travelled
Every footstep defies death, in every moment

Nov 15, 2009

Games I should play, what and when

কোন খেলা যে খেলব কখন
kon khela je khelbo kokhon
(audio - Suchitra Mitra & Amjad Ali Khan)

Games I should play, what and when
I sit and think about it
Worry I would not
If only you make me
A part of your own play

A morning kissed with dew
It appears to be your leisurely play
A carnival of clouds
Entreats me to join them and glide away

On the day of reckoning
The day you are merciless in your play
Bells will toll, drumbeats will roar
An army of clouds will darken the skies
The winds will moan out a plaintive refrain

On that day at your beckoning
May worldly fetters fade away
On the tidal waves of doomsday
Unflinching may this spirit sway

Another version by Anandamayee Majumdar

I have countless games to play
I am torn by which to embrace,
Allow me to be your playmate,
And eternally solve my bafflement

The day breaks open with dewy sunshine
Like it is one of your games of recess
An army of clouds sailing in the pure blue
Beg my heart to file along

Some day, you will play with disaster
Some day, the sky will douse in dark,
Some day, clouds will cap my clarity

On that day of terror and doom,
I hope my fetters will fall apart
So I can respond, become a free bird,
So my heart can dance in the storm

Nov 14, 2009

Where in the distant yonder

দূরে কোথায় দূরে দূরে
durey kothay durey durey (audio: Kanika Bandyopadhyay)

Where in the distant yonder
Does this mind of mine wander
In tune with the flute that rings
With the wailing of the winds

The trail that
Going past many a land
Loses sense of direction
On that trail
This famished spirit of mine
Thirsts for a voyage unknown

Nov 13, 2009

The good old days of yore

পুরানো সেই দিনের কথা
purano shei diner kotha

The good old days of yore
How can we forget them
Insights shared
Secrets revealed
Forgotten can never be

Come my friend, come once more
Come into my midst
Talk we will, of things joyous and sad
And let our hearts find sweet relief

In the morn did we pluck flowers
Rock did we to our heart’s delight
The garden alive with our songs

And then separated we got
Where to, we knew not
If ever we see each other again
Come my friend, come once more
Come into my midst

Nov 11, 2009

Awake my truth

জাগো হে রুদ্র জাগো
jaago hey rudro jaago

Awake my truth!
Awake like an ever-relentless warrior
In strains of courageous striving

Weary am I
Of this dark screen that surrounds me!
Tear it apart with unwavering hands
And throw open all gates!

Eternal monk that is in you,
Will you not ask me for the alms
Of a consummate offering?
To give up my pride, possessions and wealth,
My body, soul and life
In your very service !

Morning through dusk I spend my hours

আমার বেলা যে যায় সাঁঝবেলাতে
aamaar bela je jaay (audio)

Morning through dusk
I spend my hours
tuning my instrument with yours in harmony.

My Ektara has but one string ;
It fails to bear all the tears that songs evoke
However hard I try
I keep losing to you in this game
time and again.

This one string of mine
Reverberates to the tunes of a nearby world
While the flute that you play
Resounds far, far away.
Can anyone simply
Join in the orchestra
That plays within the heart of the universe
And resonate to the very own voice
Of its soul?

Can anyone simply
Tune one's instrument with yours
In perfect harmony?

Elusive are your paradise-aspirations

নারে নারে হবে না তোর স্বর্গ-সাধন
nare nare hobe na tor shawrgo shadhon

Elusive are your paradise-aspirations
Such are enchanting ploys
Of dreary pleasures

How you contemplated fantasies
Since a long and sultry road was over,
Hoping your tears would now transpire
Into a sunshine-sky

But a restful layover
Beneath the gentle, starlit heavens
Always escapes your fate

Yet again a restless pilgrim
Will urge you onto the pathways,
Your heart will bleed
And open, like a bud
Into an endless prayer of life

Nov 10, 2009

Be a peaceful presence for me

দাঁড়াও আমার আঁখির আগে
dnarao amar ankhiro agey (audio)

Be a peaceful presence for me,
In front of me.
Let your gaze hold my heart.

In the sky that unfolds before my eyes,
In every horizon of the earth,
In this unsurpassed radiance,
Be a peaceful presence for me,
In front of me.
My heart yearns for you in every instance.

Melt this passionate Earth
That craves for you with divine desire,
Caress the lushness
She sweeps across her courtyard.

Radiate into every being,
Seep into every breath,
Exalt, embrace all creation.

Be a placid presence for me
In front of me, in the space
Where my heart glows with longing,
In the room of its waking dream
For your presence in my eyes.

(another version by Rumela Sengupta)

Do appear so my eyes can behold you
That your gaze may alight upon my heart

Amidst the azure and all of creation
In this amazing light, this ardent radiance
Do appear before me

My eye seeks with every blink
My heart yearns in each moment
To be blessed by your visage

Awaits the earth expectantly
Bless it with more beauty
Step upon the carpet of green
That she has laid out for you
Across the dust of her fields

Flooding all that there is
Brimming over this world
Pervading my whole life
Take your place, my Lord
Where my spirit, estranged from you
Stays awake in her loneliness

- 5th June 1904

There comes the storm

ওই বুঝি কালবৈশাখী
oi bujhi kalboishakhi

There comes the storm
As it envelops the evening sky!

What have you to be afraid of
And who have you to fear?
Throw open all gates
And listen
As the resonant thunder
Calls your name

So respond as readily
With your melodies and your songs

Let it shake
The delicate branches
And free the momentary twigs
Frailties shall be shattered
And what's there to stay
Surely will.

A while has passed since you called my name

তুমি ডাক দিয়েছ কোন সকালে
tumi daak diyechho

A while has passed since you called my name
But no one heard you
And now I can not withhold the unseen tears
But no one listens

I wander with a musing heart
And gaze at the faces I find
No one evokes such tears
As you do

The strains of music sharply rise
And this enclosed world
Trembles in agony, in ecstasy
Yet no one knocks at the door

The sky reverberates with the pain of the unknown
The air bears the flight
Of a nameless message
Yet here, the pathways
Do not speak of the untold secret.

The world I had seen

chokher aloy dekhechilem
audio: Debabrata Biswas

The world I had seen,
A world of images, was outside.
Now, as darkness draws a screen,
I turn to my heart for a vision.

There were times I yearned for you
When I searched high heaven
And you willfully kept me at bay
Even so, you engaged my whole heart.

But now, I find you within me,
Aglow in your own radiance.

There were times we were engrossed in play
Till all toys were pitilessly dashed
By a tempest that destroyed my world

We have had enough of playfulness.
It is time to let life in
It is time for one soul to meet another
My severed lute-strings have lost their function,
But my heart shall emulate the melody

(Another version by Rumela Sengupta:)

With the sight of my eye
I looked for you outside of me
Inside of me I'll see
When light there is no more

When you elude my embrace
My heart you permeate
Aglow in your own refulgence
Now I gaze at you

You and me, we played in my little playroom
Wrecked by storms, the doll-house is now in ruins

Let it be then, this mere play
Unleash the spirit within
The source of all life-force
Broken be my Veena
I will play on
Strumming on my heartstrings

Nov 9, 2009

Withered leaves of mine

আমার জীর্ণ পাতা যাবার বেলা
amar jeerno pata

Withered leaves of mine
Call upon the new
As they depart.

This is how spring is reborn
In my forests
And how fresh melodies
Spread wings across the sky
And how
My branches fill with young blossoms
In a panoply of colour.

My forever-new
My friend in life,
Stand before me
With your radiant face.
As you summon me to carry on,
So shall I tread my path youthfully.

The last rays of the sun slip past
And my path suddenly halts
Before an ocean's silent gaze.
Then again
Your flute resounds in the darkness
And the once empty space
Is now vibrant
With a galaxy of stars.

Why should I fear the unrevealed?

অচেনাকে ভয় কি আমার ওরে
Awchena ke bhoy ki amar ore (audio: Srikanta Acharya)

Why should I fear the unrevealed?
Life fulls with richness
By embracing strange frontiers

I have long sensed
That I will endlessly unfold secrets,
That nameless forces
Will incite me on unbeaten trails

My mother was once a stranger to me,
She held me to her heart, and I knew.

So is every love a secret,
Before it floods;
It is a faith that softens my heart

Exposed to the mysteries of this world,
My soul breaks into countless tunes.
So I exist, endlessly enamored,
Drunkenly dazed with my unknown life

(Another version by Rumela Sengupta:)

What fear have I of the unknown?
My life will attain fruition
As the unknown becomes the known

I know this knowing of mine will never end
It will pull me to paths less travelled
With an unseen unknown force

Unknown was the mother who took me in her lap
All love is but unknown and thus sways the heart

Amidst the soul of this world unknown,
Sings the heart to many a tune
Unknown in this life of mine,
I wander spellbound in a daze

Don't you find Your happiness in me

তুমি খুশি থাকো
tumi khushi thaako

Don't you find
Your happiness in me,
As I sing about in your melieu!

Your touch reverberates
The passions in my heart
To create melodies,
And rhythm flickers and dances in joy
Traversing the world in gladness.

I know that you awake
The strings of the latent Veena
And they respond to you in
Their soft nuance!

I have come to love
Your darkness and your light alike,
And have known your smile
Through my bliss forever.

(Debabrata Biswas performing the song in Calcutta Doordarshan )

Walking along my pathway

পথে চলে যেতে যেতে
pothe chole jete jete (audio: Debabrata Biswas)

Walking along my pathway
In moments of sparking revelation
I sense your hands rest on my heart.
Yet who can say how, and when!

Often sensed in the florid fragrance
Of a nameless bud,
Often, in a sheer moment of bliss
Spiraling from within,
And yet sometimes, in a snatch of song
In the wake of a traveler humming by.

There are moments
When I am taken with suffering,
When a mighty pain unleashes
And the earth trembles below my feet.
When I lose every hint of a trail,
Burn every bridge,
When I am struck by a bolt of death.
That strange, seismic moment
Brings back the sensation
Of your hands resting on my heart, again. 

(Another version by Rumela Sengupta:)

As I walk along my way
Where, in which moment
I feel your touch
Who knows

In the fragrance of an unknown flower
In a secret bliss deep within
In the song of a passing wayfarer
Where, in which moment
I feel your touch
Who knows

In a sudden blaze of sorrow
When the world quivers and quakes
When I can see the path no longer
When all attachment is torn asunder
And death strikes at my core
I feel your touch yet again
Where, in which moment
Who knows 

Many a time I eavesdrop

আমি কান পেতে রই
aami kaan petey roi (audio)

Many a time I eavesdrop at the distant gates of my own heart
Who is it, that mysterious dweller
The one whose secrets I so wish to hear
Many a time I strive to hear
The story behind the laughter and tears

There it is, the bee wanders from it’s path in quest of a hidden flower
Which bird is it that sings alone at night in a darkness sans friend
Many a time I strive to hear

Who is he to me, who knows
A bit do I glimpse of his glow
A bit more I guess and gauge
Even less do I realise

Oftentimes his missive finds expression in my speech;
His words come to me wrapped in melody of song
Many a time when I listen in quiescence

(Another version by Anandamayee Majumdar)

I hover at the gateways to my heart
Intently listening to the secrets of the soul
Who lives within,
Who plays out her joys and aches
Ever so often.

In that realm of the soul where bees flit,
Absently yearning for a covert blue lotus,
A nameless bird lilts in the lonesome dark.

How we both are linked, who can say.
Sometimes I glimpse an aura
Sometimes, it is a sheer glimmer
And the rest remains concealed.

Yet isn't there that magical instance
When she speaks her missives through mine?
I know how I keep receiving her gifts of eloquence
Wrapped in symphony, ever so often.

Nov 8, 2009

My heart has found expression

হৃদয় আমার প্রকাশ হল
hridoy amar prokash holo

My heart has found expression in the boundless skies
The wind starting to play on the flute of my grief
This wanderlust of light, know this to be my tale
Alighting upon my heart, driving me to distraction
Far and wide you roam, in many garbs, many forms
Know I not to whom did I then give my garland
Today I see within me, all my garlands adorn you
All did you snatch before letting yourself be found
In total and absolute annihilation

(video link)