Jul 31, 2010

Amidst dense darkness of words unspoken

আমার  না-বলা বাণীর ঘন যামিনীর মাঝে

Amidst the dense darkness
Of words unspoken
My thoughts of you shine like stars.

Around the shadowy forests
In the seclusion of my heart
Floats the fragrance of flowers unseen
My feelings hide in unwept tears
A flute unheard, plays deep within.

Now and then unknowing
I make a gift of my song
My life I adorn with flowers
In course of play
Knowing not when you might choose one

In the dimness of light
You open the door in silence
And breathe new life into my work

- 19th Jan 1928

Endless, you have made me

আমারে তুমি অশেষ করেছ

Endless, you have made me
Such is your divine play
Emptying, you fill me
Again with life anew.

You roamed around many a hill and dale
With this slight flute of yours
You played on it many a melody
Over and over in your wanderings

My heart knows no bounds caressed by your touch
My words spill over in exaltation

You give to me through night and day
I keep on taking in fistfuls
Quenched I am not, though aeons pass
I keep on partaking

- 20th April 1912

Jul 29, 2010

You lay concealed in my heart

আমার হিয়ার মাঝে লুকিয়ে ছিলে

You lay concealed in my heart
I did not see you my love
I did not see you
I gazed outside and beyond
I did not peer deep within

In all my love, in every hurt, in each new hope
You were there beside me
While I never did go to you

You lived as the joy in my play
I remained thus in joyous bliss
Heedless of the passage of time

I remain curled within myself
With my songs of sadness and joy
The songs you set to tune yourself
But I did not sing your song, my love
I did not sing your song

- 8th April 1914

I live here just to sing your song

আমি হেথায় থাকি শুধু গাইতে তোমার গান

I live here just to sing Your song
In the assembly of Your world
Do confer on me that slight space

Amidst Your creation,
I have served no purpose
It only tunes to melody
This useless life of mine

At night, when it’s time for worship
In Your divine quiet abode
Then O Lord, command me to sing

At dawn, when across the azure
The Veena reverberates with
A melody of gorgeous gold
Let me not be afar
I ask of You just that honour

Your veena in my mind

তোমার বীণা আমার মনোমাঝে

Your Veena plays deep in my heart
At times I hear, at times I miss
At times I hear it not

When the skies quivering with songs
Whisper secrets into the earth
Amidst that, in sudden tumult
Dance within, boundless dreams galore

In your assembly, O Teacher*
This ardent heart, in excitement
Plays out notes discordant.

When I stroll in Your lotus-garden
Restless gusts of breeze
Distract me from my way

Awakens Your tune in the nights of spring
In accord with the crimson dust
Rouging the branches of Ashok*
Afloat that tune, I wish to drift
On swift wings of the buzzing bee
My mind oblivious of itself

Why in veils, does mist enfold me
Why is light defiled by darkness
I cower in embarrassment.

Another version by Subrata Majumdar

Deep within my heart you play your Veena;
I hear, but miss sometimes, and hear no more!
When your music stirs the sky around
And makes it whisper in the ears of the earth
The secrets of its heart,
Dreams unbound gather in heaps.
All of a sudden, in my mind
And dance with discordant rapture.
Oh, supreme Player of Veena*,
My yearning heart joins Your concert
With mad unmelodious tunes.

I vow to tread Your lotus-garden
But fail for distracting winds.
Your music fills the evening air of Phalgoon**
And imparts reddish tinge
To pollens in Ashok*** branches.
I race for the music in deep absorption
With swift humming wings of bees.
But mists cast veils,
And make light cloudy dim.
My eyes fail, deeply ashamed.

*The original Bengali word  Beenapani stands for Saraswati - the Goddess of Learning, Music and Arts. The veena is a musical instrument that represents her perfection of all arts and sciences. 

**Phalgoon, the first month of spring in Bengal

***Ashok, a tree common to Bengal, with crimson flowers in spring

While everyone offers their all to Him

সবাই যারে সব দিতেছে
shobai jare shob ditechhe

While everyone offers their all to Him
Not waiting to be asked, so shall I
Turn my harvest and gifts to the same

I came when I longed to receive 
Unabashed, indebted, with the crowd
Let it be my turn to give back now
Equally bold in an offering-game

Dawn receives His pot of gold
Sets off dancing, frolicking on its way
Dusk pays back all the splendour,
In her offering of tender respect

The joy of the flower is transformed
Through the withered petals into fruit
Wont you finish off all you have got
While there is yet some time left?

Jul 28, 2010

Why call me in vain

কেন তোমরা আমায় ডাকো

Why call me in vain
Unyielding is my heart
I do not find time
With songs so many

They seek directions from me
Do I even spot the way?
I know not which path I take
With songs so many

You are unsparing
in your fault-finding
I do not pay attention
My mind floats away
With songs so many

Today is for the buds to blossom
A riot of colours in the skies
Each direction beckons me
With songs so many

Those who use words to speak Your word

যারা কথা দিয়ে তোমার কথা বলে

Those who use words to say Your word
They build fences of words, row after row

They comprehend not each other
The more they try to clarify,
The more it grows, deadweight of words

Those who merely play the tune
Keeping aside all words
In their music, harmonised are all
From the farthest to the near

Those who do not judge - Who knows, who knows not
At your feet finds a place their deepest heartache

Every bruise, every loss I suffer

ক্ষত যত ক্ষতি যত

Every bruise, every loss I suffer
fade like glimmers of falsehood
dropping on the trail beneath my feet.
shriveling into momentary thorn-pricks.

The regret of missed glories,
of tributes denied,
the rankles of unpaid debts
become mere mirages, inane illusions
eclipsing, melting away.

I am sublimely moved
with the picture I face:
the blossoming sun in the horizon
the cracking dawn
These are my grandiose gifts -
they fill up my heart
The image of truth, expressed as bliss.



(Another version by Rumela Sengupta:)

Wounds all, losses all, are but falsehoods
Fleeting pricks of grass blades that stay beneath

What was not, what you got not,
Who still owes you a debt
All like a mirage will fade away

This that you behold, picturesque beauty
Dawn’s sun in crimson horizon
This is the greatest gift
Fulfilled is life
Arises the joyous grace of Truth

Jul 20, 2010

Won’t you be able to join this rhythm

পারবি না কি যোগ দিতে
paarbina ki jog ditey ei chhondey re
(Tagore's own translation)

Won’t you be able to join this rhythm
To wither and float away
In joy of demolition.

Straining your ear, do you not hear
In all directions, amidst the azure
What refrain plays on the Veena of death
Resonating in sun, moon and stars
To chase, rush and set afire
In joy of conflagration

Driven wild by melody of song
Who knows to rush where, to chase what
Glances not, to look back
Remains not bound in chains
To be looted, to be lost
In joy of progression

In joy of those footsteps
Seasons dance in ecstasy
Deluged is earth
With welcome song and scent
To give up and let go
In joy of destruction