Oct 31, 2009

A song stirred in my mind last night

কাল রাতের বেলা গান এল মোর মনে
kaal raater belaay gaan elo more mone (audio: Ritu Guha)

A song stirred in my mind last night
But then you were not there with me
For those words wanting to tell you
Spent a life have I in tearful silence
Those words blazed with pure melody,
For a split second of darkness
But then you were not there with me
Thought I would convey them today
At break of dawn tell you would I
Wafting is the fragrance from flowers
Singing are the birds in the sky
No longer in tune are those words
However intensely I try
Now that you are right here with me







In cycles of tears and laughter

কান্না হাসির দোল দোলানো
kanna hashir dol dolano (audio)


In cycles of tears and laughter,
Winter and spring, 
I shall present an offering of songs,
Till eternity.

Is this your intention, is this why
You have lavished a wreath on my heart,
Fragrant with melodies?

Is it why I am forever robbed of rest,
Why all floodgates have been smashed in my heart,
Is it why the drift muses and heaves
Through my inner wilderness,
All light and shadows vibrating with the breath.

Is this your intention, is this why
You have lavished a wreath on my heart,
Fragrant with melodies?

I have prepared no rest for the nightfall.
I falter in the tasks of my day.
But there is no repose in my task-less service.

How could I find peace in this earth?
It is the the tumult which ignites my lute,
My blazing soul stoking each symphony.

Is this your intention, is this why
You have lavished a wreath on my heart,
Fragrant with melodies?



(another version by Rumela Sengupta)

Swaying between laughter and tears
Swing the seasons - spring and winter
Throughout my life amidst such days
My offering of songs I bear
Is this your divine will?
Is this why you grace me
With a garland fragrant with melody

Is that why sleep eludes my eyes
The defences of my heart come apart
A billowing breeze runs amok
In the deep forests of my perennial pain
Tremulous shivers ripple through
All of my light and shadows dark
Of each and every night and day
Is this your divine will?
Is this why you grace me
With a garland fragrant with melody

A shelter for the night I haven’t built
I fall behind in my day’s work
I find no relief in a task-less worship

Peace there is none amidst this world
Discontentment and disquiet
Pluck at the strings of my Veena
Thus bringing it to life
Ever stoking the fiery blaze
That sears my soul to yield its song
Is this your divine will?
Is this why you grace me
With a garland fragrant with melody

A firmament of sun and stars

আকাশ ভরা সূর্য তারা 
akash bhora shurjo tara (audio)

A firmament of sun and stars, 
a planet filled with life
In the midst of it all have I, 

my own place, found have I
In awe-struck wonder therefore, surges up my song


That eternal beat of time, 

to which sways world, in ebb and tide
In my pulse felt it have I, 

that tug in the flow of my veins
In awe-struck marvel therefore, surges up my song


Walked in the woods have I, 

green grass beneath my feet
Thrilled by fragrant flowers, 

my heart dancing in delight
Gifts of happiness strewn around

In awe-struck gladness therefore, surges up my song


Ears hoping to hear, eyes yearning to glimpse,

My whole life have I poured onto this earth

Seeking the unknown in the known

In awe-struck revelation therefore, surges up my song
 

(Another version by Lakshmi Iyer)

The sky is full of sun and stars
The world is full of vibrant life
I have found my place amongst them
And that is why my song fills the world.
 
The earth rocks in the ebb and flow of endless time
I feel the same rhythm in my veins
And that is why my song fills the world.
 
I walk in the garden on soft grass
A fragrant tune arises in my mind
The gifts of happiness are all around me
And that is why my song fills the world.
 
I listen, I look in wonder
My life becomes one with the earth’s heart
I find the unknown among the familiar
And that is why my song fills the world.

(Another version by Pritha)

The Earth abounds with life
Amidst all these wonders
I too have my presence and space
In awe and wonder, thus,
my song arouses

In the turbulence of everlasting time
The world sways amidst
high tide and low
I have felt the same force dance
in the blood that flows in my veins
In awe and wonder, thus,
my song arouses

My feet have caressed the grass
as I walked in the woods
The fragrance of flowers
often startling, and filling my heart with joy
Everywhere I looked, I saw
gifts of happiness!
In awe and wonder, thus,
my song arouses

I have listened intently
I have looked deeply
I have poured out my heart
upon Mother Earth's breast
I know now the unknown
amidst all that is known
In awe and wonder, thus,
my song arouses


another version meant for English rendition of the song, by Anandamayee

In  this galaxy 

with suns and stars array
abounding life 
in the middle of it all
I live and breath and thrive
wonder washes over me
rouses my melody.

From infinity in jubilation
with tides and ebbs
the earth dances on
my heart leaps with happiness
to that rhythm
wonder washes over me
rouses my melody

Footsteps on the green grass
I walk through the path
flowers breathe of sweetness
touching my heart
treasures of joy, everywhere
wonder washes over me
rouses my melody

I've lent my ears
I've opened my eyes
witnessed the earth
given her my heart
magic in the perceptible world
have I sought
surprise washes over me
rouses my melody







Oct 30, 2009

You and I will not contrive a heavenly game

আমরা দুজনা স্বর্গখেলনা গড়িবনা ধরণীতে
amra dujona shorgo-khelona goribo na dhoronite (audio)

You and I
Will not contrive
A heavenly game
In this mortal lair.

We'll not be trapped
By tearful songs,
We'll hold no charm
For Cupid's snare,

For you and I
Thrive fearless by
The knowledge 'We are',
In the life we share.

We shall hoist
In fateful cause
The flag of Love
And choose to dare.

When life is brisk
We seek no peace
But grace the pain
And do forbear.

If the sea is rough
And the sailing tough
We'll stand by us
As death looms near,

For you and I
Thrive fearless by
The knowledge 'We are',
In the life we share.

My heart met yours
We held our gaze.
We shared our sight
Across the pair.

We crossed the sand
But never lost way.
We scorned the myths,
And braced the fair,

For you and I
Thrive fearless by
The knowledge 'We are',
In the life we share.




(another version by Rumela Sengupta)

A game of celestial bliss on earth
We will not play the two of us
With songs dripping the sweetness
Of wonder, beauty, solemn tears
Enticed be our senses, my love
By the arrows that Cupid aims
A bridal chamber of mere lust
We will not build the two of us
Never in our weakest moment
Beg and plead at the feet of fate
I have no fear, I know for sure
You are for me, I am for you

A pennant of love we will hoist
Aflutter high on arduous roads
Take on tasks unendurable
With a zeal inexhaustible
Searing pain of a scorching day
We welcome it with open arms
Wish not peace or consolation
In rowing across the river
Broken be the rudder
Torn be the sails
Staring into the jaws of death
I’ll know for sure
You are for me, I am for you

In each other’s eyes the world we have seen
Seen each other we have, the two of us
Parching heat of the desert trails
Willingly we did embrace
We did not run after mirages
From the harshness of truth
Our hearts we did not veil
With this pride we will walk the talk
As long as we live
These words, my beloved
Will resonate with majesty
“You are for me, I am for you”

Fearful one, why grope in fear

ওরে ভীরু তোমার হাতে নাই ভুবনের ভার

Fearful one, why grope in fear?
The helmsman is at the boat
The world is not yours alone to bear
The ship is still afloat.

If the tempest tears and trills
Why do you need a sheath?
Watch the waves dance up high,
Break the plaintive myth.

As the night grows dense and dark
Your hopes do need to bode.
If inky be the sea tonight
The helmsman is at the boat.

You watch the westward storm unleash
The clouds dark and deep,
But the east delights in fresher skies
With starry blink and peep.

Your friends are yours for certain
But can you shield the woes?
There’s no guard against the change
No care that keeps the foes.

Let the tempest strike your soul
Let go of timid roads.
Let cries resound loud and bold
The helmsman is at the boat.



(Another version by Rumela Sengupta)

O faint of heart, rest assured
It is not on you to bear
The earth upon your shoulder
One there is to steer the oars
He will guide the boat to shores

What is it that you can do
If arises a tempest
Look upon the play of waves
To brood it is of no use
Let it come the night so deep
So be it if dark it gets
One there is to steer the oars
He will guide the boat to shores

If clouds darken the western sky
Look in joy to the sky in the east
Dazzling with a show of stars
Friends who are your dearest ones
Can you be their shelter safe?
Storms will buffet, hearts will quake
Arise will cries of despair
One there is to steer the oars
He will guide the boat to shores

We the harbingers of youth

আমরা নূতন যৌবনেরই দূত
amra nuton jouboneri doot (audio)

Here we go,
The harbingers of youth,
Strange, ecstatic and fresh,
Our ventures are unending

We defy limits
Breaking gates open to life!
We embody
The crimson flowers of spring
And the flash of lightning
That splits the heart of the storm

We make blunders too!
We dive right into the depth of the ocean
To find our shores

And when life and death
Those immortal twins bid us
We are forever-ready
To heed their calls

Oct 29, 2009

The night it was that the storm

যে রাতে মোর দুয়ারগুলি
jey raatey more duar guli  (audio)

The night it was, that the storm, broke open my doors
Knew I not, it was you, who came into my home
A darkness came down, all around
The lights went out, one after one
Reached out my hands to the sky, to whom knew I not
Curled up I lay, in the dark, as if in a dream
Your victory sign, was the storm, how could I know
In morning light, see did I, there you were standing
In the emptiness of my room, taking your place.



Another version by Anandamayee Majumdar:

On the raging night of troubled dark
When all my guards fell apart
I did not know, I did not see
In the carnage, you had come to me.

All my world was blue and bleak,
All my beacons, dimmed and weak.
Whom did I affirm as I
Splayed my arms across the sky?

I did not know, I had not seen,
The tempest braced your flag of win,
As I dropped with sinking shame
I hoped this was my darkest dream.

When at dawn I rose, I woke
In remnants of a deathly stroke.
Bewildered, I found, you stood there
Brimming up my empty lair.

Oct 25, 2009

On such a day can I tell someone

এমন দিনে তারে বলা যায়
emono diney taarey bawla jaay

On such a day can I tell someone
In such a dark and dense downpour
On such a day, can I bare my soul
Amidst the rumbling roar of clouds,
this unceasing drizzle of rain,
this sun bereft deep duskiness

None other there be, to hear those words
In seclusion and solitude
Face to face be, the two of us
Heavy of heart in deep sorrow
Incessant tears streaking the skies
None other there be, as if it were.

Worldly matters, pretence they are
Deception, is the daily din
Gazing into each other’s eyes
Sipping sweet nectar from therein
One heart reaching out to another
All else fades into the dark

Offence is it, to anyone
Unburden my heart, if I can
In this deluge, once if I can,
Sit down in a quiet little nook
Few words if I say to the one
Matter does it, to anyone?

The wind speeds in desperation
Lightning flashes from time to time
Those words that have, in this lifetime
Still remained within, in my mind
Those are the words that I may tell
Today in this dark and dense downpour

Oct 23, 2009

Doe that in my fantasy forest do glide

মায়াবনবিহারিণী হরিণী
mayabonobiharini horini

Doe who in my fantasy forest do glide
In deepest dreams does she reside,
Why do I pledge to ensnare? … Illusion

Afar, rapt on her own, let her remain,
Let me in tune to the flute’s refrain
Sweet strings of her soul do caress … Fruitless

The winds of spring will ruffle the heart
The murmur of thunder will make it start
Yearning soul will beguile … 

From afar for her forever will I pine,
With the thread of severance will entwine,
This strange captivity sans chain … In vain

To view the rap version of the first stanza click here

Oct 20, 2009

Sorrow persists death befalls

আছে দুঃখ আছে মৃত্যু
aachhey dukkho, aachhey mrityu  (audio)

Sorrow persists,
death befalls,
separation singes.
Yet there is peace,
yet there is joy,
yet stirs the Infinite within

Yet there is the eternal flow of life,
beaming sun, smiling moon and stars
Yet arrives spring, bringing to bowers,
a wondrous spray of hues and colours

Where there is an ebb, so is there a tide
When droops a flower, blooms yet another


Where there is neither loss, nor an end, no, not even weariness
At the altar of that abundance, my heart seeks an abode.



Another version by Anandamayee Majumdar:

Even as life resonates
With sadness and death,
Even as bridges are burned
And longing, heartbreaks seethe within,
There is a ring of bliss and solace,
An endlessness
Felt, touched and beheld in this earth.

Life is fluid and teeming,
The sun, moon and stars illuminant with joy.
There is a riot of burgeoning tones
As spring sprawls and shimmers.

Each ebbing wave is retouched by a new,
Every wilting bud gives way to a fresh bloom.

There is no decay, no end,
Nothing depleted at the grand source.
My soul seeks its rest in this richness
At the altar of divine bounty.



Oct 19, 2009

My golden Bengal

আমার সোনার বাংলা
amar shonar Bangla (audio)

I love you dearly, my golden Bengal
Your skies and your air forever
Fill my heart with the resonance of a flute

The wondrous smells

Of the mango orchards thrill me in spring
And in the harvest
I behold the lush paddy fields

Sway like gentle smiles

I have witnessed such beauty, depth

And tenderness in you
In the shades that you gently spread
Across the river banks
And beneath the mighty trees!

And when you speak,
Your words enchant my being
And when you cry,
I can not withhold my tears.



(Another version by Rumela Sengupta)


I love you dearly, my golden Bengal
Your sky, your breeze play on my breath
Play evermore the flute of bliss



O mother,
In spring, fosters fervent frenzy
Fragrance of your mango blossoms
O mother,
In autumn, what is it I glimpse
Sweet smile in your fields of plenty



What grace, what shades,
what affection, what compassion
Which blanket spread have you
Beneath the banyan trees,
Besides banks of rivers.



O mother,
like music to my ears
are words from your mouth
O mother,
if unkempt be your form
aflood am I in tears.



Spent my childhood have I
in your kindergarten
Bathed in your soil and dust
Honoured has been my life



At end of day, in dusk's twilight
What lamps you light in home and hearth
Then leaving all my play
O mother, I run to your lap



In your fields where cows graze
In your quays that ferry across
In your umbrageous village roads
That resound with bird song all day
In your courtyard lush with paddy
Pass the days of my life.



O mother
my kin and brothers all
Your cowherd, your farmer
O mother
I bow my head to you
Bless me with dust from your feet
Let it be the jewel of my crown



O mother
Little treasure of this poor self
Bequeath all will I at your feet
Buy will I not at foreign hands
In guise of ornaments,
a death noose for your neck.

This inner self of mine

অন্তর মম বিকশিত কর
Awntawro mawmo bikoshito kawro
(audio)
 
This inner self of mine, make it flourish, 

Oh inner Lord of mine
Make it pure, make it luminous, make it beautiful
Make it aware, make it astir, make it free from fear
Make it good, make it clear of indolence and disbelief

Connect to each and every one, set free from bindings
Instill in each and every action, the serenity of your rhythm
At your lotus feet, make still, the beating of my heart
Make me dwell in beauty, make me full of beauty, make me one with beauty.


- 11th Dec 1907

I do not plead to be saved from danger

বিপদে মোরে রক্ষা করো এ নহে মোর প্রার্থনা
bipawdey morey rokkha kawro
 

I do not plead to be saved from danger
     In face of danger, may I not be afraid
So be it if you soothe not my woebegone heart
     May I have the courage to conquer woe


A support if I do not find, 

     My strength not be worn out
A loss if I bear, if deprivation is
all I know, 
     May I not be broken down

I do not plead for deliverance

     May I have the strength to stay afloat
So be it if you relieve not my load
     May I have the strength to carry on

In days of peace and joy

     I will revere and realise you 
The night my world is torn asunder
     May I desist from doubting you

Many are the deep desires of my heart

আমি বহু বাসনায় প্রাণপনে চাই
ami bohu bashonay pranpone chai (audio)
(Tagore's own translation)

Many are the deep desires of my heart
By depriving, you have saved me
This grace of yours is a hard earned treasure
For me to save my whole life long

What you gift, without me wanting
Firmament, light, body, mind, soul
You make me worthy of your greatest gifts
Saving me from the crisis of limitless needs.

Now and then I wander,
Now and then I progress,
In my quest to follow your path
You are ruthless in eluding my sight
I know this to be your mercy
You spurn me to win me over
You steer my life to a completion
You make me worthy of your union
Saving me from the crisis of half-hearted needs.