Oct 31, 2010

Alone I walk in this world

আমি একলা চলেছি এ ভবে
ami ekla cholechhi

Alone I walk in this world
Who will show me the way

Fear not, fear not
Go on yourself
Like the bee that surges ahead
With just the fragrance of flowers

Voice of spring in autumn

হেমন্তে কোন্‌ বসন্তেরই বাণী
hemonte kon boshonteri bani  (audio)

Voice of spring in autumn
The full moon does carry
As if paints floral dreams
Moonlight on Bakul* stems
What secret whisperings
The full moon does carry
Enraptured are forests
With untimely blossoms
Of the white oleander
Warbles time and again
The sleep bereft bird
Whose name no one knows
Sweet memories of whom
The full moon does carry

Bakul* - a fragrant white flower that grows in the Indian subcontinent

The day you had called me

সে দিন আমায় বলেছিলে
shey din amay bolechhile

The day you had called me
Time I had not in hand
You wandered to and fro
Before you went away

Time it was then to play
Fair of flowers in forests
Ever restless was breeze
Anxiously rustling leaves

Today heralds autumn
Dissolved has foggy mist
Departed has décor
The hours draw near
Is it now time?
Awaiting at the door
As day comes to a close
I look towards the road

Oct 30, 2010

My heart yearns to give you something

তোমায় কিছু দেব বলে
tomay kichhu debo bole

My heart yearns to give you something
Whether you need it or not
When I caught sight of you
I saw you roaming by yourself
In dense darkness of lonely woods
I wanted to light a lamp for you
Whether you needed it or not

I saw the people in the marketplace
Flinging filth and abuse at you
Amidst the dirt and dishonour
On and on played your lute
Engulfed in it’s own tune
I did wish then to garland you
Whether you needed it or not

They come in hordes singing your hymns
Many languages much tumult
Knocking hard at your door for alms
Cursing much, weeping even more
I yearn to give this self of mine
Unconditionally to you
Whether you need it or not

- circa 1918

Oct 29, 2010

Why did I not moisten with tears

কেন চোখের জলে ভিজিয়ে দিলেম না
keno chokher jole bhijiye dilem na
(audio

Why did I not moisten with tears
The dust and dryness of the road
Who knew you would come unbidden

Across the desert you traversed
Not a tree there was for your shade
The travails of the road you bore for me
Such is my wretched fate

Couched in indolence I was then
In shaded comfort of my home
I knew not how much pain
You suffered at each step
Yet that feeling resonated
In a secret grief deep within
Left it’s mark in my very core
A deep wound to bear on my heart

- 7th Apr 1914

Oct 28, 2010

Who wafted by my heart

আমার প্রাণের পরে চলে গেল কে
amar praner pore chole gelo ke (audio)

Who wafted by my heart
Like soothing breeze of spring
He touched me, brought me to my knees
Made flowers bloom in tens of thousands

Went by, without a word to me
Where did he go never to return
On his way he did gaze
What was the song he sang
So it is by myself
I sit in the garden

Like a wave he rippled
To go where the moon beams
With each thing he smiled at
He left back his laughter
From a corner of his eye
I think he beckoned me

Where should I go, where should I go
I think thus sitting by myself
He waved his wand of moonlit dreams
Dangled a string of flowers deep within
What was it he whispered to wild flowers
Their heady fragrance went away with him
Fervent is my heart, heavy are my eyes
Through which place to where did he go

A slight sensation a few words

একটুকু ছোঁওয়া লাগে
ektuku chhowa lage

A slight sensation a few words
With that I create spring serenade
In my heart deep within

A little intoxication
Of Palash* mingled with Champa**
With that I weave in many shades
Soulful tunes so many

The little that flows in
Slipping between moments
Paints dreams in a corner
Of the mind mesmerised

The little that drifts far away
Tingles thought in sweet melody
With that passes the hour and day
Keeping beat to the anklet bells

Palash* & Champa ** : flowers of spring

Singing your melody

তোমার সুর শুনায়ে যে ঘুম ভাঙাও
tomar shur shunaye je ghum bhangao (audio: Debabrata Biswas)

My sleep from which you awaken
Singing your divine melody
That slumber to me is charming
A companion to wakefulness
Do bless her with your touch

A deep hunger she has within
A concealed wish for radiance
In the bosom of my night she is
Your own beloved of the morn

For her breaks dawn in crimson skies
Awakens new hope in birdsong
Silent your footsteps sing to her
A welcome song of your advent
Tender bud of twilight she is
Do pluck her at sunrise

Oct 27, 2010

The flower that blooms now and then

নিত্য তোমার যে ফুল ফোটে ফুলবনে
nityo tomar je phool phote

The flower that blooms ever so often in your garden
Why not nourish this heart with it’s nectar
This heart that wanders like a bee
The assembly that gathers ever so often in your courtyard
Why not make this servant sing there

The world like a lotus blooms at the kiss of your step
It looks up to you with ardent devotion
Why not let my heart-flower look up to you evermore

The sun moon and stars pace the skies
Tireless your rivers speed to seas
Why not in that very same way
Make hasten the stream of my life
To seek forever the sea of nectar

You arouse a joy in the twitter of birds
You fill the flower with fragrance
Why not in that very same way
Ever bless this heart with your grace
This heart a beggar at your door

Whatever you may say

তোরা যে যা বলিস ভাই
tora je ja bolish bhai amar shonar horin chai 

Whatever you may say
My heart is set on one
Thief of hearts, fleet of foot
The golden deer I want

One who wanders and thrills,
Evading sight
Ensnared who cannot be
When within reach
Pushes to slip away
Blinding the eye
I will still chase the one
Futile be it
Whether or not I get
Lost in myself,
Amidst fields and forests
I lose myself

You can buy what you want
And fill up your store room
What cannot be acquired
Why does it stir my mind so
Lost the little I had
In search for what is not
Accumulations wane
But do I cry in vain?
I am at peace I smile
I have no deep sorrow
Lost in myself,
Amidst fields and forests
I lose myself

Oct 24, 2010

Shadows darken over the woods

ছায়া ঘনাইছে বনে বনে
chhaya ghonaichhe bone bone

Shadows darken over the woods
Clouds rumble in the skies beyond
Who knows when in first dense downpour
Secretly crept in screw pine flowers
At a silent signal from east
A moment on a sleep starved night
Set sail in the winds on which path
Which boat carrying monsoon fancies
The heart that was filled with nectar
In what fear enshrine it in thorns
On the way to a lover’s tryst
Did your heart catch a glimpse within
A sharing in quiet seclusion
Forgetting oneself in exchange

Oct 23, 2010

Many a time have I thought

কতবার ভেবেছিনু আপনা ভুলিয়া
kotobar bhebechhinu apona bhuliya

Many a time have I thought
To forget this little self
And bare my heart at your feet
To clasp you and say out loud
Secretly, my friend, how I love you

There you were the Lord of heavens
How could I tell you of my love
Though afar and away from you
All my life worship you will I
In solitary seclusion

None will know of my deep love
None will see the tears that flow
Now that you come today
How do I say aloud,
How much do I love you

Oct 22, 2010

O fallen leaves

ঝরা পাতা গো
jhawra pata go

O fallen leaves, your kindred soul I am
In much laughter and many tears
Phagun leaves with a farewell song

O fallen leaves, in colours chrome
Decked have you in final attire
Played so riotous a Holi
Amidst the dust and the green grass
In this closing saga of spring

Colour my raiment red and gold
Just like yours, in fiery hues
May the setting sun
Caress with a Midas touch
The few remnants of my life

Phagun/Phalgun : the penultimate month of the Bengali calendar
Holi : festival of colours celebrated on the last full moon day of Phagun

What melody is it that plays

কী ধ্বনি বাজে
ki dhwani baaje (audio)

What melody is it that plays
Amidst my deepest consciousness
In which joy resonates
My own heartstring
Amidst my deepest consciousness
In captivating honeyed touch
Unperturbed and stoic are thoughts

My heart is not in itself

আমার মন কেমন করে
amar mon kemon kore (audio)

My heart is not in itself
Who? Who knows for whom it quests

A bird of a path unseen, unknown calls out
Calls out to the distant horizons
My thoughts speed with gusty winds of the seashore

The bird of my dreams spreads it’s wings
Who chains me to a golden cage?

Thus is your happiness with me

তাই তোমার আনন্দ আমার 'পর
tai tomar anondo amar por
(Tagore's own translation)

Thus is your happiness with me
Therefore have you come down to me
Without me O Lord of three worlds
Futile would be your love

In me a display of your wares
A play of emotions in me
Taking varied forms in my life
Ripples and rolls your own desire

Thus as the king of kings
In captivating garb
You roam amidst my heart
O Lord, ever present are you

Therefore, Lord, have you come to me
It is your love
In the heart of your devotee
It is your form
In the union of the twosome
In that completeness expresses itself.

Oct 10, 2010

A tempest of joy swells in life

প্রাণে খুশির তুফান উঠেছে
praane khushir toofan uthechhey 

A tempest of joy swells in life
Dams of fear and worry are smashed
To embrace with all might
To hold woe close to soul
Speeds forth this heart
To vanish in a flash

Will shelter none thought this heart
Come have all crashing through the doors

I kept this self pristine with care
It rolls in the dust in delight

Today in full moon all have gone

আজ জ্যোৎস্নারাতে সবাই গেছে বনে
aaj jyotsnaraate shobai gechhe bone (audio)

Today in full moon all have gone
Gone have they to the woods
In this delirious breeze of spring

I will not go, not go
I will remain in my room
Alone in solitude
I will stay in my own corner
I will not go, not go
In this delirious breeze of spring

With tender care
I will tidy my room
I will remain awake
Who knows when He will come
If He does remember
In this delirious breeze of spring

Oct 6, 2010

Be that you speak not words

ওরে তোরা নেই বা কথা বললি
ore tora nei ba kotha bolli

Be that you speak not words
Standing amidst the mart,
Be that you rouse not streets
Futile is your furore
In vain your words galore
They only look and laugh
Be that you burn alone
Igniting your own heart
What lies deep within you
Be that you spread it not
Belittled in rumours
Be muffled the drumbeats
March forward in silence
Work if there is, go work
Shame there is, remove it
Who, when says what to you
Be not ruffled by that

Go forth alone

যদি তোর ডাক শুনে কেউ না আসে

If no one steps forth to your call, go forth alone
Go forth alone, go forth alone, go forth alone.

If no one speaks to you, o wretched one
If in fear they turn away their face
Open up your heart, speak out your mind
Alone, let your spirit tell it’s own tale

If they all turn back, o wretched one
If on deep dark dense paths, they do not look behind
Alone, let your blood stained feet crush all thorns.

If no one holds a light, o wretched one
If in dark stormy nights, doors are closed shut
Then in lightning fire, light up your own ribs
Alone let your heart go forth burning bright


Another version by Anandamayee Majumdar (a rendition in English is given here)

If all they do is disregard, won't you walk all alone
Traveler, solitaire, walk away, fly on your own.

If the people do not speak, make you feel apologetic
if they turn away, are truly meek
release your heart
make your voice big and energetic, voice all alone

when they turn a blind eye, leaving you solitary
'neath the dour sky
embrace the path
with its suffering and wounded sigh, walk all alone

if they do not hold a light, shark away in dire fright
they shut the door in the stormy night
Burn your heart
Let your blazing breath make the light, a light of your own

Oct 4, 2010

The path on which I walk

আমার এ পথ তোমার পথের থেকে
amar e poth tomar pother theke

The path on which I walk
Has swerved away far from your path
Will my flowers ever again
Wreathe into a garland for you
Your flute in distant breeze
Rings out, cries out to whom

Fatigued are my feet with every step
I sit on the road beneath tree-shades
In secret pining for a friendship lost
Where is the one to whom I can tell
Travellers go past lost in themselves
Leaving me behind by myself

It is joy enough to gaze at the road

আমার এই পথ-চাওয়াতেই আনন্দ
amar ei poth chawatei anondo (audio)

It is joy enough to gaze at the road
To watch the play of sun and shade
As rain and spring come and go

They all rush in front of my eyes
To and fro with day to day news
I am at peace, lost in myself
The breeze wafting gently by

On the look out all day
I sit alone at the door
If arrives asudden
That sacred moment
It is then I will glimpse

Till then in each and every hour
I laugh and sing lost in myself
Till then ever so often
Floats forth His fragrance