Dec 30, 2010

When you bind me from all sides

যখন আমায় বাঁধ আগে পিছে
jokhon aamaay baadho aagey pichhey

When you bind me from all sides
It seems free myself I can no more
When you thrust me to the nadir
It seems stand up I can no more
Again do you untie me
Again do you pull me up
Cradling me in your arms
My whole life long
Thus you keep on swaying me

With fear you break into my stupor
Rousing me from slumber
You shatter my fear
A glimpse of you I catch
You call out to my soul
And then you hide who knows where
Just when I feel I have lost you
From where do you again respond.

Dec 29, 2010

Entangled are strings plain and wound

জড়িয়ে গেছে সরু মোটা
joriye gechhey shoru mota

Entangled are strings plain and wound
And so is out of tune
The Veena of my life

This knot of discordance
Tortures my heart to death
Abruptly my song ends
Ever so often
No longer is in tune
The Veena of my life

This affliction I can bear no more
At the door of your assembly
I curl up in embarrassment
The virtuous ones in your presence
I cannot sit beside them
I stand behind everybody
Outside the doors
No longer is in tune
The Veena of my life

In condemnation grief insult

নিন্দা দুঃখে অপমানে
ninda dukkhe awpomane

In condemnation grief insult
All wounds that I suffer
Yet I know
Nothing there is to lose from it all
When I stay covered in dust
I worry not for a seat
Amidst my wretchedness
Without any hesitation
I ask for your blessings

When people say good things of me
When I live in joy and comfort
Deep inside I know it is
Much more of an eye wash
Wearing that crown of falsehood
I go about my life
To go to you my Lord
I cannot find the time

Hymns prayers rituals worship

ভজন পূজন সাধন আরাধনা
bhajan pujan sadhan aradhana
(Tagore's own translation)

Hymns, prayers, rituals, worship
Keep them all aside
Why sit in a corner of the temple
Where closed are the doors
Hiding by yourself in darkness
Who do you worship in private
Open your eyes and see
God has stepped out of the room

He has gone to the fields
Where the farmer ploughs the land
Where rocks are broken to pave roads
In toilsome effort all year long
In sun and in rain He is with all
In dust are smeared His hands
Like Him, discard your best attire
And step into the dust.

Salvation? Oh, where will you get it
Where is that liberation?
Bound is He to all
In ties of His own creation

Put aside your meditation
Keep aside the salver of flowers
Torn and dishevelled be your clothes
Besmirched with soil and earth
Unite with Him in action
In streaming drops of sweat

My heart loses itself

চিত্ত আমার হারালো
Chitto amar haralo

My heart loses itself amid clouds today
Where does it drift to, who could tell
Lightning strikes its lute-strings ever so often,
Thunder claps within my chest in majestic melody
A wealth of dense deep blue darkness
Blankets my body,  touches my soul
Raving winds dance in tumult
Now they form an allegiance with myself
Roaring with laughter
Where do they race to untamed, who could tell

Dec 28, 2010

That which is eventually lost

যা হারিয়ে যায় তা আগলে বসে
ja haariye jaay ta aagley boshey

That which is eventually lost
How long can I cling on to it
Awake all night Oh Lord
I cannot stay much longer
Brooding without a pause

I stay night and day locked in my room
Time and again in wary suspicion
I push away those who knock at my door

So it is that none have come to my solitary room
Your joy-filled world plays on outside my door

You too I suppose cannot find your way
You come time and again only to return
What I want to keep that too I cannot hold
It falls apart crumbling into dust

The song I have come here to sing

হেথা যে গান গাইতে আসা আমার
hetha je gaan gaaitey aashaa aamaar
(Tagore's own translation)

The song I came here to sing
Sung it yet I have not
Even today, all I can do is tune my voice
All I have is the wish to sing

That tune I could not find
Those words I could not string
All I have in my heart is
An eagerness to sing
Even today, blossomed has not that flower
Only does the breeze gently waft

Unseen His face
Unheard His words
All I hear now and then
Are His footsteps
To and fro He goes by
In front of my door

It took me all day long
Just to roll out a mat for Him
How can I send for Him
When I haven't yet lit a lamp
I live in hope to receive Him
Received Him I have not

Dec 25, 2010

Where is the light oh where is it

কোথায় আলো, কোথায় ওরে আলো



Where is the light, oh where is it
Ignite it with the fire that burns within
In agony of estrangement from Him
A lamp there is, but flame there is not
Is this what fate meant it to be
Even death would be more welcome
Ignite the light with fire that burns within
In agony of estrangement from Him

The envoy of pain sings “Poor heart,
For you the Lord remains awake,
In deep darkness of the late hour
He summons you to a love-tryst
Bestowing grief, He honours you,
For you the Lord remains awake”

Clouds fill up the vault of the skies
Drops of rain drizzle down
For whom in this dense night
Does my heart awaken with a start
In such a way does it sigh
Drops of rain drizzle down

Lightning flashes for a moment
The eyes behold a dense darkness
I know not in which far beyond
A soulful melody rings out
Each and every song pull me towards the road
The eyes behold a dense darkness

Where is the light, oh where is it
Ignite it with the fire that burns within
In agony of estrangement from Him
Rumbles the cloud, summons the breeze
If not now, never can I go
Pitch dark is night as black as basanite
Ignite with your own heart the lamp of love

- circa 1909

Come into my heart in forms anew

তুমি নব নব রূপে এসো প্রাণে
tumi nawbo nawbo roope esho praane

Come into my heart in forms anew
In fragrances and colours, in songs

My body awaits your thrilling touch
My heart thirsts for ambrosial joy
My eyes yearns for a pleasure wondrous
Come into my heart in forms anew

Come oh blemish-less bright beloved
Come beauteous pleasing serenity
Come oh come in varied codes of law

Come as joy and woe, into my core
Come in routine tasks, daily duties
Come when all work has faded away
Come into my heart in forms anew

I gazed at the path and waited

এত দিন যে বসেছিলেম
Ato din je boshechhilem

I gazed at the path and waited, counting moments,
Now you arrive in Phalgoon.
Like a young hero you conquered the earth,
What a wonder
Charmed, I hear you sing in your youthful voice
Your robe swells like breeze enchanted with fragrance,
Your ear adorned with blossoms of Krishnochoora
Yet beneath your juvenile smile I perceive a fire,
What a wonder
With what sheath do you hide your sword
As you arrive in Phalgoon


* Phalgoon - The first month of Spring in Bengal
** Krishnochoora - A crimson flower that blossoms in Spring in Bengal

I prefer darkness

আমার আঁধার ভালো
Amar andhar bhalo (audio)

I prefer darkness -- it loses itself to light
Wary I am of the mist which rubs out sunshine.
The innocent child rests in peace in Mother's lap;
The proud learned finds no entry at your doorstep.
Your path shows itself, that I will tread,
Those who flock to show the way stretch the quest
They beckon me to join in worship,
But when I arrive at the shrine
It is not god I find, but a charade
Made of their own perversions.

Dec 19, 2010

Break into smithereens my fear

দাও হে আমার ভয় ভেঙে দাও
dao hey aamaar bhoy bhenge dao

Break into smithereens my fear
Do turn your face towards me
I recognize you not
Though you are at my side
What do I espy
In which direction
You are the one
Who cavorts within me
Bestow your smiling gaze
Upon my heart

Tell me, do talk to me
Caress me with your touch
Outstretching your right hand
Do pull me towards you

All I realize, error it is
All I search for, error it is
Laughter and tears are but falsehoods
Appear before me, dispel these errors

Dec 16, 2010

Sacred motherland

ও আমার দেশের মাটি
O amar desher mati (audio)

Sacred motherland
I kiss your earth with awe.
My existence emerges,
My world evolves, here.

You and I, contain each other
In our inseparable lives
Your lush, loving image
Endlessly etched in my heart

You raised me as a child
And what can I hope for
Than to die in your arms
That formed my playhouse
Of suffering and joy

You nourished me
With your elements,
You shouldered me,
You suffered all my grief
Like a supreme matriarch

In return, I depleted you
Receiving, with hungry hands
Offering you pure emptiness

I have lost myself
To useless stints,
I have buried myself in a niche --
I have rendered fruitless
The strength you ever gifted me

Dec 13, 2010

Enmeshed I am in riches and people

ধনে জনে আছি জড়ায়ে হায় 
dhane jane aachhi jaraaye haay

Enmeshed I am
In wealth and attachments
Yet you know Lord,
It is you my heart seeks

You are O Lord deep within me
The One who knows me in and out
Who knows me better than I do
In all my times of joy and woe
Even when I stay oblivious of you
You know it is you my heart seeks

I could not relinquish my pride
I flounder carrying it around
To give it up would be such a relief

You know it is you my heart seeks
When will you take all that I have
Cradling my all with your own hands
Forsaking all that is mine
It is you I will attain
In quiet prayer deep within
It is you my heart seeks

- 30th August 1909

Dec 10, 2010

Lord, awake for you are these eyes

প্রভু তোমা লাগি আঁখি জাগে 
probhu toma lagi aankhi jaage

Lord, my eyes stay awake for you
Be that I catch not a glimpse
I gaze at the road
That too soothes this heart

I sit on the dust at the door
This heart a beggar
Craves your compassion

Be that I know not your mercy
Only that I seek
That too soothes this heart

Amidst this world today
In many a joy
In many a task
Marched ahead have all

I have not a friend
It is you I seek
That too soothes this heart

All around me is sweet nectar
Verdant eager earth
Such love all around
That my eyes well up

I see you not
Am hurt deep within
That too soothes this heart

- 29th August 1909

Dec 9, 2010

“Time to go” says the cloud

মেঘ বলেছে 'যাব যাব' 
megh bolechhe jaabo jaabo

“Time to go” says the cloud
“I am on my way” says night
The sea says “I have touched my shore
 – myself I am no more”
Sorrow says “Stay will I as His footprint”
This self says “I dissolve,
nothing more do I wish”

The world says “For you I wreathe a garland”
The sky says “For you I’ve lit a thousand lamps”
Love says “For you it is I stay awake through aeons”
Death says “It is I who row your life-boat”

Dec 7, 2010

All those who in this life

সংসারেতে আর-যাহারা
shongsharete aar-jahara 
(Tagore's own translation)

All those who in this life
Bless me with love and care
They hold me close to them
In a bondage severe

Supreme of all is your love
And so from all it differs
You bind not, you stay hidden
You let your servant be free

All of them lest I forget
Be alone they let me not
Hours pass by, day after day
It is you I do not see

Whether or not I call you
Whether I stay engaged with
Whatever catches my fancy
It is your joy that awaits
The joy pouring forth in me

Love’s herald Lord when will you send

প্রেমের দূতকে পাঠাবে নাথ কবে
premer dootke pathabe naath kobe

Love’s herald Lord when will you send
All dilemmas then will come to an end

All the rest who come to my home
They want to rule instilling fear
Restless this mind keeps shut the door
Succumbs not, turns them all away

When he comes, unbarred will be all bolts
When he comes, unbound will be all chains
Who can then hold me back at home
Respond I must to his call

When he comes, he comes all alone
A string of flowers gracing his neck
With that when he binds me drawing me close
My heart will be rendered speechless

Dec 2, 2010

If you sparked me awake tonight

আমারে যদি জাগালে আজি
Aamare jodi jagale aaji (audio)

If you sparked me awake tonight
Do not disappear, give me your beneficent gaze

Monsoon showers cascade through thick arbors,
A shiftless night hovers with rain-laden clouds
My heart, stoked with endless lightning
Desires to sing in the rain.

My tearful spirit has set out in the dark
Outspread arms yearning to reach an evading sky

Dec 1, 2010

Tearing asunder the cover

আমার একলা ঘরের আড়াল ভেঙে
aamaar ekla ghorer aaraal bhenge

Tearing asunder the cover
Of my solitary cocoon
Into this big wide world
When will I be able
To roll out my chariot of life

Amidst all with a love intense
Speed forth will I in all my work
On the road commonplace
Unite will I with you
To roll out my chariot of life
When will I be able

A world full of hopes and desires
Amidst sorrow and happiness
Plunging into the waves
I’ll take the ripples on my chest
Buffeted by the good and bad
Arise will I onto your heart
Hear will I your words
In tumultuous roar of the world
When will I be able
To roll out my chariot of life

Stirs my heart in this full moon night

এই জ্যোৎস্নারাতে জাগে আমার প্রাণ
ei jyotsnaraate jaage aamaar praan

Stirs my heart in this full moon night
Will there be a place at your side
See will I that wondrous visage
Heart of mine eagerly gazing
Swirling at your feet now and then
My tear laden songs roaming?

Summon I could not the courage
To offer this self at your feet today
Kneeling on the ground I lie down
Lest you turn away my offering

If you yourself come close to me
Take my hand and ask me to rise
Only then will the wretchedness
The abject poverty of life
Perish at this very moment