Aug 31, 2010

You blossomed in my heart

হৃদয়ে ছিলে জেগে

You blossomed in my heart
Yet now, your reflection expands
To the opalescent clouds of autumn

A dewy dawn made it's magic
Unfolding the veil of mist
To reveal resplendence

In the aftermath,
I wonder what to sing,
I ponder my deepest missive.

My melodies are swept away,
Scattering beneath the trees
Like Shiuli buds
My words disperse in the wind,
Like impetuous flash-rains

*Shiuli is a white fragrant flower with orange stalk that blossoms in the autumn in Bengal.

Silver sails emerge

অমল ধবল পালে লেগেছে

Silver sails emerge
Propelled by a sluggish breeze --
Cruising autumn clouds,
In graceful harmony,
An epiphany to my eyes.

Could this be
A luxuriant cargo
Transported from far-off seas?
My heart craves to drift along,
To renounce my haves, wants,
On prevailing shores.

Endless rain,
Drumbeats of thunder
Frame the present sunshine
Sifting through the clouds
Kissing my face.

Who musters the boat,
A strange, treasured love,
Heaping his wealth of smiles and tears?

He makes me wonder
What melodies should beset my lute,
What chants could be sung

Aug 28, 2010

Those roads of ruby earth

গ্রামছাড়া ওই রাঙা মাটির পথ
gram chhara oi ranga matir poth

Those roads of ruby earth
That leave from the village
They steal my very heart
Gaze at whom, with arms stretched
Sprawling on the red dust

Who lures me out of home
Tugging at my ankles
With every step

Who abducting takes me
Pulling me along where
To which damned place

What treasures at which turns
Unearth will he
What debts at which crossroads
Unleash will he

The end where does one find
Contemplate cannot this mind

Aug 27, 2010

Once more you return in garb of Sravan

আবার শ্রাবণ হয়ে এলে ফিরে
abar srabon hoye ele phire

Once more you return in garb of Sravan*
Encircle with raiment of clouds
Lost is sun, stars are lost
Roads lost in dense darkness
Waves ripple in rivers

All azure, all of earth
Resound with song of rains

Crazed with drizzling downpour
Resonates my dark night
Plucking on my veins

*Sravan is the second month of the rainy season in Bengal

In that Sravan sky placed have I

আমি শ্রাবণ-আকাশে ওই দিয়েছি পাতি
ami srabono akashey oi

In that Sravan* sky placed have I
My eyes brimming with tears in clouds
Across the horizon of schism
The whole night awake sans a wink

One who is out of sight
For that one is this gaze
His locks caress my dreams
Blowing in eastern winds.

In Tamal* tree forests
On the path that he left,
In that dusk of separation
Amidst dust of cows homeward bound,
The grass is wrapped in agony
Trembling with every breath
That gazing back time and again
Remains woven in the shadows

*Sravan is the second month of the rainy season in Bengal
*Tamal is a tree of dark colour

Today in welcome of Sravan

আজ শ্রাবণের আমন্ত্রণে
aaj sraboner amontroney (audio)

Today in welcome of Sravan*
The doors shudder in each instant
Home and hearth quiver as if to break free.

Earth rejoices in it’s courtyard
Enraptured in rhythm of dance
It’s restless raiment fluttering

Words from the beginning of time
Echo in mind
In abode of evergreen life

Eastern winds rush to horizons
Amble with it my reflections
Racing towards a time that is timeless

*Sravan is the second month of the rainy season in Bengal, 
the fourth month of the Bengali calendar

Aug 21, 2010

What fear in shrine of fearlessness

কী ভয় অভয়ধামে
ki bhoyo aubhoyo dhame

What fear, in shrine of fearlessness
Your highness!
Far flees at your name

Fearlessly rush thousands of folks
Skies reverberating to songs
Of the name that sparks fearlessness

With your power, O merciful
Those whom you empower
Free are they from fear of
Danger, death and what people say

Hope stems, freed are all bondage
Savour sweet nectar evermore

Aug 20, 2010

Such is your splendour

তোমার এই মাধুরী ছাপিয়ে
tomar ei madhuri chhapiye

Such is your splendour
            Suffusing the sky,
                     Yet, would any less suffice?

This abundant light from the heavens,
                From Sun and stars,
                       Finds fulfilment
                           Only when it brims my life.

Softly, like slumber
            Hue touches the blossom,
                 To be truly realized
                      By my enthralled soul.

 Love awakens tremors
                   Rousing the lute universal,
                   Yet could it light up in song,
                                         Till it had taken my heart?

You beckoned to me on the way

পথে যেতে ডেকেছিলে মোরে

You beckoned to me on the way
I have fallen far behind
How will I now go forth?

A dense darkness descends
The faint trail fades away
Do call out, do respond
In this darkening night

I am afraid lest I wander
To go further, farther I go

I tell myself, you are near
But still I fear
Lest at the break of dawn
I am there but you are not

- 21st April 1926

Aug 17, 2010

This joyful ceremony of the world

জগতে আনন্দযজ্ঞে আমার নিমন্ত্রণ
jogoter anondo jogye amar nimontran
(Tagore's own translation) 

Invited to this joyful ceremony of the world
Honoured has been this human life.

My eyes feast on lands of beauty
Wandering to quench it's desires
My hearing intoxicated
with the melody deep within

In your ceremony,
You have empowered me to play my flute
String together in songs the tears and laughter of life.

Is it time yet ?
To meet you in your august assembly
I will sing in triumphant chords
My humble offering

Aug 14, 2010

Friend what is this anxiety

সখী, ভাবনা কাহারে বলে
shokhi bhabona kaharey boley

Friend, what is this anxiety
Friend, what is this agony
What is this love, love, love
That you speak of night and day
Is it just full of agony.

Is it just a drop of tear
Is it just a sigh of woe
In pursuit of which happiness
Do folks indulge in such sadness

Beauty in all, my eye beholds
All is youthful all is flawless,
Blue skies, green woods
Milky moonlight, tender blossoms
All akin to me.

They only laugh, they only sing
In laughter and play, wish to end
Neither know sorrow, nor know tears
Not know agony of longing.

Blossom withers away smiling
Fades luminous moonlight in smiles
Smilingly surrender themselves
In ocean of light, stars in sky

Happy as me, who is
Come friend come, come to me
Joyous songs of a joyful heart
Harken and soothe your soul

If each day is only to weep
Let this be the one day you smile
To forget sorrow for one day
To sing together all of us

Let all my love reach out

ধায় যেন মোর সকল ভালোবাসা
dhaay jeno mor shokol bhalobasha
(audio: Sagar Sen)

a translation (meant for rendition in English):

Loving grace
Let all my love reach out to you
To you my lord, to you my soul, to you my world.

Heart of mine let it stray, let it soar
Showing up at your summon, as you call
Free my chains, every fetter of mine
Oh lord, with your test, with your sway, with your haul

When I am small, begging your assistance
Deplete my purse, free me of this weakness
Let my heart secretly abound
Oh lord, with your hand, with your gift, with your gold

My dear friend, in my heart so secret
In my life, all the beauty I have met
Let them sing, in harmony with you
Oh lord, with your notes, with your song, with your soul.

Aug 11, 2010

A tryst with you tonight in this storm

আজি ঝড়ের রাতে তোমার অভিসার
aji jhorer raatey tomaar obhishaar (audio)
(Tagore's own translation)

A tryst with you tonight in this storm
My friend and soul-mate

The skies cry out in despair
Sleep, it has forsaken my eyes
I open the gate, my dear one
I gaze out time and again

I see nothing through the darkness
I wonder which path you are on
Beyond which distant river bank
Beside which deep dense dark forest
In which fathomless darkness
Are you weaving your way to me

another version for rendition in English translated by Anandamayee Majumdar:
a youtube rendition by can be found here

A stormy night, awaiting your call
Loving friend, dearest of all

woeful is the weeping sky
wistful and sleepless am I
wondering if you'd come by,
meet my searching soul
Loving friend, dearest of all

Nothing can be glimpsed in the dark
how would I find your mark!

crossing every flooded stream
walking through the forest-dream
navigating the rainy dim
you arrive at my soul
Loving friend, dearest of all

(translated: 16 August 2017)

Aug 10, 2010

The one who dwells within

গোপন প্রাণে একলা মানুষ
gopon praaney ekla manush jey

The one who dwells within
Hidden from all and all alone
Do not entangle her in chores

Let many a song stream forth
From her solitary musings
Let her dwell in the world
She creates with her own melody

The one who dwells within
Hidden from all and all alone
Do not crowd her out in crowds
One as lonely as her
One who feels her ache
Let him find a way to her
Let him not be turned away

The days live no more in my gilded cage

দিনগুলি মোর সোনার খাঁচায়
din guli mor shonar khachay

The days live no more in my gilded cage
Those days of mine of such hue and colour
Bondage of joy and woe, they endured not,
Those days of mine of such hue and colour
Lyrics of my heart, learn they would, I hoped
They flew away, leaving so much unsaid
Those days of mine of such hue and colour
I dream, as if they seek in what hope
Wandering around my broken cage
Those days of mine of such hue and colour
So many feelings, can they be futile
Are they all birds shaped by shadow
Across the azure did they bear nothing.

I will bewitch you not with beauty

আমি রূপে তোমায় ভোলাব না
ami roopey tomaay bholabo na

I will bewitch you not with beauty
I will charm you with my love
I will come not to the door
Have it open with my song

Bedeck you not with ornaments
Adorn you not with flower garlands
I will wreath my love together
And have it sway on your bosom

Know will none in which tempest
Billow will waves in my breast
Like the pull of moon, unseen
Creates ripples in high tide

With you my love I play the game of life

আহা তোমার সঙ্গে প্রাণের খেলা
aha tomar shonge praaner khela (audio)

With you my love, I play the game of life
In such eager excitement today
Will my heart agree to lose this game
Can only you in such a way
Set me aflame and run away
Do willingly be lured my Lord
Bedeck your heart in my colours
Brush from my heart-flower
Crimson dust upon your raiment

Awaiting am I with all that is mine

আমার সকল নিয়ে বসে আছি
amar shokol niye boshe aachhi
(audio - Bikram Singh)

I await with all I have
In hope of losing it all
I gaze out at the road
For the one who will
Sweep me onto the road

The one unseen but all-seeing
Who showers love covertly
My heart is enraptured
By that secret love deep within

(Another version by Anandamayee Majumdar)

Waiting for my danger
To rip open my heart,
An enigma
To pitch me on my path

It's the muse I can not glimpse
The vibrant, furtive love
Which watches me, unseen

I am beset
With the undertow
Of its deepest presence

Aug 8, 2010

This day of Sravan you arrive

আজি শ্রাবণ-ঘন-গহন-মোহে
aji Sraabon ghono gohon mohe
(Tagore's own translation)

This day of Sravan*, you arrive,
In deep, dense clouds,
Your footsteps, clandestine,
Silent, like the night --
Unseen to all.
The morning has dimmed,
The winds call out in vain,
Clouds, impermeable,
Veil a blue, lucid sky.
Birds speechless in the woods,
All doors shut
Who are you, solo traveler --
Walking this lonely path,
Lone friend, my love,
Open is my door,
Mindless, do not pass me by
Like a reverie.

*Sravan is the second month of the rainy season in Bengal, the fourth month of the Bengali calendar

Dweller away from home

পরবাসী, চলে এসো ঘরে
pawrobashi choley esho ghawrey 

Dweller away from home
Do come back to your home
Set sail on propitious winds.

Behold the boat goes to and fro
Many a time across the seas
Skies resound with the boatman’s song

Arrangements in azure
Welcome song in the breeze
Respond did not your heart
Homeless are you therefore
Exiled in façade and within

If you can't fill me with love

যদি প্রেম দিলে না প্রাণে
jodi prem dile na praane (audio)

If you can't fill me with love
why spread profuse melodies
across the morning sky?

Why labor
to wreathe a starry garland?
Why care
to spread a bed of blossoms?
Why does the southern breeze whisper
sweet secrets in my ears?

If you can't fill me with love
why does my heart echo with a strange desire --
to sail away
to shores unknown?

Aug 7, 2010

When my footsteps fall on this road no more

যখন পড়বে না মোর পায়ের চিহ্ন
jokhon porbena mor paayer chinho

When my footsteps fall on this road no more
I will ferry not, my boat on this pier
I will end this buy and sell,
I will settle all my dues
I won't to and fro to this mart
So be it if you recall me or not
So be it if gazing up at the stars, you call me or not.

When dust accumulates
On the strings of the Tanpura*
When barbed fences of vines
Creep up doorways of home
When the flower garden adorns
Ascetic robes of dense green grass
When moss surrounds the pond
So be it if you recall me or not
So be it if gazing up at the stars, you call me or not.

Then will the flute still sing thus in this play
Days will pass, day after day
Just the way it does today
Ferryboats will fill up that day
Piers full in the very same way
In that field, cows will graze, cowherds will play
So be it if you recall me or not
So be it if gazing up at the stars, you call me or not.

Who says then, I am no more, in that morn
In all play, this self will play
With a new name
In a new embrace
Come and go I will,
This self that is eternal
So be it if you recall me or not
So be it if gazing up at the stars, you call me or not.

*Tanpura is a long necked plucked lute

Rejoice in the show of color

চাহিয়া দেখো রসের স্রোতে

Rejoice in the show of color
   submerged in streaming vibes,
     gifts that are useless
       when you pine to possess them.

Things you seek to enmesh, keep
 are habitually lost in darkness.
     This is music for the heart
                     made of poetic, tuneful substance.

        This is celestial food
        That can not be touched nor scaled.

         Taste this divinity
            From rippling rivers, efflorescent forests,
            and miraculous smiles
            that well up in loving eyes,
            and realize how free they are.

Aug 1, 2010

Let my heart sway

আমার হৃদয় তোমার আপন হাতের দোলে দোলাও
Let my heart sway
Cradled in your own arms
Let it sway, let it sway
Who they are, what they say
Erase them from my thoughts
Let it fade, let it fade

They keep me forever
In a web of words bound
Unleash my bondages
With your flute's lilting sound

Remember when I was
Many a night, many a day
Your mate in joyful play
Hold me close in the same way
Let billowing waves of that play
Engulf my life today

- Autumn 1921