Dec 27, 2011

From fear to fearlessness

ভয় হতে তব অভয়মাঝে
Bhoy hote tawbo abhoymajhe

Away from fear
into your fearlessness
Deliver me to a new birth
From dearth to undying richness
From doubt to the abode of truth
From insensate inertia
Into a life anew

From my wish to your will
From my welfare to your service
That seeks the well-being of all
From the many entanglements
To the one bond that unifies
From joy and woe
To the cradle of peace
Deliver me from myself Lord
Into your very arms
Arousing me to life anew

- 1899 on the occasion of his birthday

Dec 11, 2011

All that I have O Lord

আমার যা আছে আমি সকল দিতে পারি নি
Amar ja aachhe ami shokol

All that I have, O Lord
I could not surrender it all
My guilt, fear, honour and disgrace
My joys, woes and contemplations

Many a screen between us
Myriad the layers and veils
Thus I weep and wander so
Thus I cannot make you mine
Thus remains my pain within

Joy there is none in what I have
It makes me cry, it makes me brood
If I can get you by giving it up
Why can’t I still let it all go?

I yearn to give up all I have
And make you Lord, my own

- circa 1886 (age 25)

Dec 4, 2011

The heart yearns while the eyes remain downcast

প্রাণ চায় চক্ষু না চায়
praan chaay chokkhu na chaay
(audio1 - Srikanta) (audio2 - Kanan Devi)

The heart yearns while the eyes remain downcast
What an impasse your bashfulness has brought you to!
The beauteous one comes knocking only to return
For whom then is this futile adornment?

Not a word emanates from you
Burns a blaze in silence within
A bitter smile plays on your lips
While your heart sobs in its frailty

The garland feels like a nettle
Your bed besieged by thorns
On the coast of sweet union
Stricken to the core by eternal estrangement

Nov 25, 2011

Flows a cascade of eternal joy

বহে নিরন্তর অনন্ত আনন্দধারা
bahe nirantar ananta anandadhara (audio)

Flows a cascade of eternal joy
Everlasting and endless
Echoes in the boundless beyond
A sound sans beginning sans end
Awaken the sun, moon and stars
So uncountably infinite

In this kingdom of His creation
So unique and complete in itself
Reigns the Supreme One
The Greatest Emperor of all

In awe-struck amazement
In unblinking wonder
Bows the universe at His feet
Countless His devotees
Stunned into spellbound silence

Nov 24, 2011

I shall bow to you, in loving humility

আজি প্রণমি তোমারে চলিব 
 Aji pronomi tomare (audio: Sagar Sen)

I shall bow to you, in loving humility
Through my enmeshed existence
Let us hold our gaze for eternity,
Let us speak, heart to heart

Remind me, how your essence within
Makes my spirit a sovereign god
When sin seeks to enter my gateway
Let it blaze and die, with bashfulness

Through a barrage of enterprise,
A world of combative vibes,
Invoke your beautiful calm
The music of perpetual fusion.
Let your eloquence and personality
Shine through the faces of others I meet

Suffuse my eyes and words,
My actions and thoughts, with beneficence
Make magnificent melodies
With my heart

The black of the sky is impregnable

নিবিড় ঘন আঁধারে   জ্বলিছে ধ্রুবতারা
Nibiro ghono aa(n)dhare jolichhe dhrubotara (audio: Srabani Sen)

The black of the sky is impregnable,
But the North star penetrates the dark
My soul, just yet, do not lose heart!

As ache clings to your being,
Do not let sorrow fetter your song 
Release falsehoods
To celebrate eternal fruition

Believe in life,
Let hope shine
Feel the nuzzle of mother Earth,
Let her revoke your love

In a worldly labyrinth
Surrender to the aches and elation
With an imperturbable smile,
Treasuring an eternal elixir
Born of the supreme source

Nov 22, 2011

I am aware of your boundless love

তুমি যে আমারে চাও 
Tumi je amare chao
Audio: Debabrata Biswas

I am aware of your boundless love
Your poignant desire, for me.
I am aware, why, even so
You make me cry.

I can comprehend
Why you hide,
Ensconcing your face
In mazes of light and shade,
Evoking your call
During my earthly errands
Through ethereal, vibrant tunes

After the bartering of hearts
Is done for the day
After we have exchanged
Every song,
I understand, why you sail away
In the last craft of twilight.

Nov 21, 2011

The small world I live in

অল্প লইয়া থাকি 
Olpo loiya thaki tai
Audio: Subinoy Roy

In the small world I live  in
My losses, deprivations
Seem fateful.
I mourn the smallest sacrifice
That comes my way.

I am like the river-shore
That tries to own
Every passing drift
Yet the waves come up to me,
Break my heart, and heave away

What I may have
And what I may not
Are all riches for you to keep
Why can't I see, nothing is lost
In your prodigious cosmos?

How many moons and suns
You contain, my lord,
How many grains and atoms
Are in your command,
And yet, nothing is ever lost
However small
In your safekeeping.

Won't the little that I lose
Find a space to fill, too,
In your magnum opus,
At your grand seat?

My heart heard a whisper

নিশীথে কী কয়ে গেল মনে 
Nisheethe ki koye gyalo mone
Audio: Hemanta Mukherjee

My heart heard a whisper
Maybe in my wakefulness,
Maybe, my slumber
It was dark.

As I travel, or pause,
My day meshed in hustle,
Chores, judgements,
Tumble down my path

Yet, the secret speaks to me
In silence, ever so often,
Like a chant, like a dream.

I am unsure
If this feels like a strange hurt
If it is a chill of fear
Or victory

I listen to the quiet voice
Echo, 'Stop here,'
In swerving tunes, whisper,
'Far you go!'

Could it be
A resonance in my heart
Or the sky ladling songs?

I wonder if you have come

তুমি কি এসেছ মোর দ্বারে
Tumi ki eshechho mor daare

I wonder if you have come
In quest of that sleeping soul
Within myself ? Won't you awake her
Like you rouse the buds
On bare branches of a winter-tree?
It is that summon, so secret,
Which urges unseen verdant life
To step out from layers of earth.
It is that call that irresistibly
Ushers in a lustrous dawn,
Which suddenly responds
Like a sun-kissed surprise
From impenetrable darkness!

Who do you look for, hungry lover

কার মিলন চাও বিরহী
Kar milono chao birohi
Audio: Suchitra Mitra

Who do you look for, hungry lover,
Who do you look for, my heart
As you dig through this wilderness,
This woeful world,
As you unearth labyrinths, laments,
Dark despairs?
Have you missed your beloved
Who awaits you, within,
Silent, radiant, sublime
Forever yours, my heart!

Nov 18, 2011

Here you have come to me my beauty

এই লভিনু সঙ্গ তব
 Ei lobhinu shongo tobo (audio)

Here you have come to me, my beauty!
My limbs filled with blessedness,
My heart humble with grace
I am transformed, o sublime!
My eyes open like buds in the sun
Steeped deep in wonderment
The drifts of my inner sky
Find a fragrant, gentle gait
My heart blossoms into a rainbow
With Your magic touch
Your presence makes my heart
Well up with honeyed bliss
Won't you renew me always
Like this, through a myriad rebirths,
Of my one life, my beauty!

My timeless friend, my sole shelter

চিরবন্ধু চিরনির্ভর চিরশান্তি
Chirobondhu chironirbhoro chiroshaanti (audio: Dwijen Mekhopadhyay)

My timeless friend, my sole shelter,
My deepest solace, my love
You are a fountain of beneficance
A well of wholesomeness,
You are my endless companion.

You lavish a cascade of compassion
You reign in my heart.
In your very earth, 
An endless music resonates with your glory
Every moment, day and night.

(another version by Rumela)

You are O Lord forever
My friend, my guide, my peace

You are forever the source of well-being
The constant companion my whole life long

O Lord of my heart
You are the fountain of love forever
Your world sings your glorious song 
Forever through night and day

Nov 15, 2011

My love, my lord is aglow

জাগে নাথ জোছনারাতে 
Jaage nath jochhona raate (audio)

My love, my lord is aglow
Tonight, in magical moonbeams
Awake, my heart, and meet
His gaze with your enchantment.
Gaze at him with bewitched eyes.
The silence of the moonshine
The muteness of the stars
Are full of soundless waves of music.

Tonight the earth and the sky 
Share their wakefulness
With the radiant Beauty.

Nov 14, 2011

Shower your sun on the sightless

অন্ধজনে দেহো আলো
Ondho jone deho alo
audio: Maya Sen

Shower your sun on the sightless
Lavish your breath on the dead.
You are a magical river of love,
let your grace water my heart.

My breath has been sapped,
my eyes turned to ice,
move me to tears
with your loving bliss.

Embrace he, who lost you
contain the confused heart.
Refresh my thirst
with your nectarine tenderness.

I found you once
but I lost you with my indifference
When did I fall asleep?

As I rise, all is dark.
I can not divulge my tears,
I have failed to soothe my thirst.

For eternity,
I have not heard you speak
I have sorely missed
your loving voice

Will you accept my suffering,
and show up,
will you surprise my lonely heart?

Nov 13, 2011

Each glimmer I shall stand facing you

প্রতিদিন আমি, হে জীবনস্বামী
Protidino ami he jeebonoshami
audio: Kanika Banerjee

Each glimmer I shall stand facing you,
My Lord of life,
Each moment with a graceful surrender
I shall stand facing you,
My King of creation.

Beneath a sprawling sky,
In spaces of sacred solitude,
With a humble heart, with flowing tears
I shall stand facing you

In dramatic hues
Of the vast human world,
Abounding, pealing with bustle,
Through an eternal, earthy experience
I shall stand facing you.

When my tasks on earth
Are fulfilled, my consummate Prince,
I shall stand facing you in a quietness
Of my lone stance.

(another version by Rumela Sengupta:)

Each day I’ll stand in front of you
O Lord of my life
I’ll stand in front of you with folded hands
O Lord of this world

Beneath your boundless blue skies
With humble heart and tearful eyes
I’ll stand in front of you in secluded solitude

In this world of myriad shades
Beyond the shores of action and activity
Amidst the multitudes that throng your world
I’ll stand in front of you face to face

When my work in your world is done
O King of kings
I’ll stand in front of you alone in silence

Nov 8, 2011

Sweet yet is separation

বিরহ মধুর হল আজি মধুরাতে
birawho modhuro holo aaji (audio)

Sweet yet is separation
In this night so enchanting
Plays a melody profound
Strumming the pain deep within

An anxious thirst
A restless yen
A desire invisible
Pervades this Poornima night
And deludes my perception
With a piteous mirage

Adrift on a balmy breeze
A fragrance from far beyond
Wanders into my being
Tosses, turns, twirls around
A wayfarer lost and forlorn

Whose plaintive voice do I hear?
In the music of murmurs
To the rhythm of rustles
The sweet symphony of leaves
Tinkles with it my anklet
Pulsating to the same beat

(another version by Anondo)

A heartache sweet with sorrow
A night flushed with moonlight
To catch a fleeting glance
sleepless eyes
are easily deceived

A sinuous fragrance from faraway
weighs down the breeze
My journey is lost in trance

Whispering webs of leaves
brings alive a lyrical message
with a beat
Ankle-bells rebound within

Oct 29, 2011

This world of happiness

আনন্দলোকে মঙ্গলালোকে
Anondoloke Mongolaloke (audio)

This world of happiness
This world of well-being
Grace it with your presence
You who are the ultimate truth
You who are the ever beauteous

Your majesty manifests
Across the vast firmament
Like an anklet studded with
Precious stones and prized jewels
Lies the cosmos at Your feet

The sun, moon, stars and planets
With eagerly anxious haste
Bask in Your iridescence
Soak Your boundless radiance

Cascades of your soft sweet grace
Gush forth and deluge the earth
In a kaleidoscope of
Flowers and leaves
Songs and sonnets

Life flows on ever anew
Your compassion caressing
Our lives from cradle to grave

Love, affection and mercy
Piety, hope, faith untold
Mellow and soften our souls
A downpour of sweet solace
You rain to pacify pain

What festivities and joy
Reign forever in Your realm
The world sings Your glory great
In fearless refuge at Your feet
You who are our treasure and wealth
You who encompass all of this earth

Another translation meant for rendition of the song in English  by Anandamayee 
youtube link of english rendition here

In the land of joy, in the heart of love
Take your seat, true, exquisite.

Glory, love light up
sky and beyond.
The universe
bedecked with stars
at your feet.

Sun and earth
moon and stars
dancing to the beat
Drinking light,
Bathing light,

Fountain spring,
splendour green,
teeming creation,
beats and bowers
songs and flowers
vibrant melodies.

Life teems
like a stream
Your motion
Life and decease.

Oct 25, 2011

What is this compelling light

কোন্‌ আলোতে প্রাণের প্রদীপ
Kon aalote praaner prodeep / Kon alote praner prodip
(Audio by Suchitra Mitra)

What is this compelling light
Which burns your spirit, stokes your soul,
Makes you live an earthly life,
My zealous lover, pious monk,
Divinely crazed, my angel-soul?

Each ache and wound in you creates
Winged, wondrous melodies
Quivering quaintly from your strings!

How do you smile in the face of fear
As though you had seen a mother beam?
Who is it you seek, my dear,
Scorning every earthly dream!

Who is it, your secret love
That raises all the tears of urge?
Who is it, your soulful mate,
That walks together on your path?

How do you find the peace of mind
To dismiss death with disregard,
Riding upbeat tides of seas
In endless waves of ecstasies?

Another version by Suman Dasgupta:

Where did you light the flame of your heart
O noble soul before you descended on earth.
You devout, you lover, O you romantic
As you embraced this world, gazed I in frantic.

In this relentless struggle of life,
Every pain and sorrow life did contrive
You can play those in your core
Like sad triads of the Veena encore.
Belying deep distress or any such strife
Yet you succeed to wear that smile as bright
Just like the one, as I've known
Only a beaming Mother could've shown.

I know not for whom you wildly roam around
Why you let go the cosy comfort that you'd found
Why you cry, why inconsolably crave?
Who is she for whom every love you save?

You are confident and your mind is free
Wonder I whose blessings on you could that be
As you defy death and ride on the crests of seas
Swimming through your life with endless ecstasies.

Oct 18, 2011

Lavish cascades of sunshine

আলোকের এই ঝর্ণাধারায় ধুইয়ে দাও
Aloker ei jhornadharay
(Audio: Arundhati Holme Chowdhury and Shivaji Chattopadhyay)

Lavish cascades of sunshine
Purifying my layers of dust
Opening me to my aura.

Rouse my muse who slumbers
With your gentle sunlit wand.
Soften my soul with a drift
Limpid with this light of dawn,
Flowing from the cosmic heart.

Lavish cascades of happiness
That mellows every creation
Bathe my pallor, melt my chill.

I hold a silent seed of song.
It grapples with a dearth of words
It aches with a beat-less lull.
Soften it with a lilting tune
A drift, entranced with melody
Flowing from the cosmic heart.

Oct 7, 2011

A lustrous sky of young dawn

তরুণ প্রাতের অরুণ আকাশ 
Toruno praater oruno akash

A lustrous sky of young dawn
Eyes sparkling with dew,
The pines near the riverside
Twinkling in the sun --
An image deeply close to my heart
This is how I perceive,
The whole wide world--
Wondrous, wavelike, 
Become one sea of soulfulness.
This is how I know,
I am the lyrics to my poetry
I am the melody to my music
I am the life throbbing in Life,
The sunlight that breaks free
From the depths of dark.

Mother, your love reflects

জননী, তোমার করুণ চরণখানি
Jononi, tomar koruno chorono khani (audio: Kanika Bandyopadhyay)

Mother, your love reflects
In dawn's aurous sunshine

The sky brims surreptitiously
With your message
Aspiring, death-defeating,
Overpowering space.

No matter where I am,
No matter what I do,
My heart softens to you

When I worship you,
My incense
Burns with my supreme surrender--
Body, soul and wealth.

Oct 4, 2011

The music of homecoming

ছুটির বাঁশি বাজল 
Chhutir baanshi bajlo je oi
Audio: Suchitra Mitra

The sky is alive with
The music of homecoming
In gaits of the golden flute.
Why am I alone, I wonder.

Blossoms of Shiuli will soon
Burst out from fetters,
Gardens surge in a spree of buds,
Dewy winds stroke the arbors.
My absent gaze
Ambles away in an open sky,
Tunes lost to me.

Magical hands weave florid yarns
In pathways through the wilderness,
A place where light and shade meet.
Fallen buds of Maaloti steep the grass
With tear-stricken scents,
Waves of Kaash in buoyant whites
Sweep the blue. My absent gaze
Ambles away in open sky
Tracing the melody.

Oct 3, 2011

An autumn night on the brink

আমার  রাত পোহালো শারদ প্রাতে
Amar raat pohalo shaarodo praate (audio: Debabrata Biswas)

An autumn night on the brink,
As dawn encroaches
As I ponder
Whom to leave you with, my flute

Your heart exuded songs--
Farewell blues,
Homecoming majesties,
Seasonal vibes of spring, monsoon
Transported tunes of darkness, dawn.

I am riddled as to
How you stole my secret whispers
Each deep echo of my heart,
Melodies that will perish soon
Like ebbing stars of sunrise

So let them die
Our rampant symphony,
Like ephemeral buds of Shiuli

Here is to you companion

পথের সাথি, নমি বারম্বার
Pawthero shathi, nomi barombar / Pothero shathi nomi barombar
(audio: Debabrata Biswas)

Companion in my journey,
Here is to you.
Here is to you my farewell,
Here is to you my affliction,
A salute from the safe haven
That gave way to shambles.

Here is to you, radiance of dawn,
Here is to you, breath of life,
Here is to you, guiding energy,
A salute from a seed of hope.

To the one who steers my life,
A charioteer in my endless expedition,
Here is to you for trenchant travels,
A salute of the pathways.

Sep 25, 2011

Madness of monsoon in autumn

কোন্ খেপা শ্রাবণ ছুটে এল আশ্বিনেরই আঙিনায়
Kon khyapa srabon chhutey elo

The madness of a monsoon storms
Into the courtyard of autumn
He rushes in locks all astray
Matted into clouds dark and gray
A song of maddened breeze he sings

A thrill runs through the fields
Dancing in delight to the tunes
Of Raag Chhayanaut
The golden rays of autumn sun
Recede in listless languor

What words did he come to whisper
To plentiful fields of paddy
A wail of which intense anguish
Emanates from the new harvest

Restless is the beclouded sky
Spreading its wings like Garuda
A lost wayfarer from the skies
Brings to earth a sense of the road

Sep 21, 2011

A relic of time I may be

পুরানো জানিয়া চেয়ো না
Purano janiya cheyona

A relic of time I may be
But please do spare more than
  just a side glance
    a distracted look of indolence

When I come to bequeath myself
Nothing there is wasted and worn
All that is old has been cast off

The waterfall succumbs
In bursting joy of sacrifice
Paying a new homage
In each and every cascade

Ever and on flower myrtle-bowers
To fill the forests with fragrance
Ever and on blossom the buds
To favour anew each moment

In your love I have found
A melody ever so new
In my thoughts in my work
I hear a charming tune

In my giving, there is no dearth
No end however much you take
A twinkle of an eye abounds
With treasures limitless

The soul who lives in my deepest recess

কে গো অন্তরতর সে
Ke go ontorotoro she
(audio by Debabrata Biswas)

Who is it that lives in my deepest recess
Touching my hurt, my awareness,
Waving a magic wand over my eyes
For me to behold miracles?
Who is it that makes music with my heart
Welding rhythms of bliss, woe and glee?
Who laces heart-sifting beauty
Woven in threads of gold, green and blue
And seeps unseen into that image!

His breathing presence
Fills me with a lingering sweetness.

As the days go by,
As my life lives through its myriad seasons,
He quietly steals my heart.
Each day, with a new revelation, a new name,
Timeless, in lavishing tides
Of vibrant, varied emotions in my life.

Sep 19, 2011

Purify my life

আগুনের পরশমণি
Aguner poroshmoni (audio)

Purify my life
with the purging touch of fire
Purify my life
With your blessings of searing pain
Make it pure like the gold
That passes the test of fire

Take unto you my mortal form
Make it a lamp of your divine abode
Let the flame of my song glow through night and day

The slightest of your touch on the dark frame of night
Let it spark a new star one after another
To illuminate the darkness

Let my vision be cleansed from all darkness
Whither alights my gaze may it see the light
Let my pain be ablaze and rise above despair

*Another version by Anandamayee Majumdar:
(audio rendition of the English version)

Your flaming touch, let it blaze my heart
Purify this life of mine
Clarify this life of mine
Simplify this life of mine
Glorify this life of mine; atoning, as I burn.

Lift my soul, lift my heart, a blazing torch of light
Glowing in the sky with stars that shimmer in the night
Melody, let it sear, forever, as I burn

Impel my layers of dark, let your hands alight
Kindling stars awake, evoking them with light.

May darkness disappear from all my soul and sight
Deluding senses with sanctifying light
Agony, let it sear, forever, as I burn.

( *an attempt has been made to restore the  original rhythm to be able to sing this song in English as well)

Sep 13, 2011

Who sails across foreign seas

সকরুণ বেণু বাজায়ে কে যায়
Shokoruno benu bajaye ke jay

Who sails across foreign seas
A maestro with her teary flute?
From distant shores her mellow tunes
Send ripples across this part of earth
Touching me like ocean-drift.

The winged strains bring with them
Farthest tears of a yearning soul,
Secrets of an unknown plight;
Music that rises from
Seas, sands, furtive winds,
Shadows enfolding, ensconcing woods.

Plunged far away from home I hear
So it seems, in my heart
Autumn's scores sweet and soft
In dew-drenched Bhairavi.

An image rises in the mind's eye
In strokes of lyrical, lighted brush;
Who goes there on the country road,
A maiden she is, with languid steps,
Her footfalls entrance the lonesome path
Her gentle way winds in arbors dark
There she goes, to fill her pot
With water from a village brook.

The deep of Your infinitude

তোমার অসীমে প্রাণমন লয়ে
Tomaro osheeme

When I dive into the deep of Your infinitude
With all my heart and soul
Sorrow there is none, nor death or separation

Death assumes its monstrosity
Sorrow carves its abyss
When I turn away from You
And get drawn to my wee self

O replete bounteousness!
That which finds refuge at Your feet
It exists never to fade
Without a trace of the fear
That only lurks in my mind
And so I lament through night and day

The weight of worldly duties
The torturous angst within
Dissolve in the blink of an eye
If your presence I can house
In my life's abode

Sep 12, 2011

The morning rays strum heartrending notes of farewell

সকালবেলার আলোয় বাজে বিদায়ব্যথার ভৈরবী

Shokalbelar aloy baje biday byathar bhoirobi

The morning rays strum
Heartrending notes of farewell
In melodic Bhairavi.
You too come with your flute,
Soulful muse. Let time preserve your songs
Of an ardent pining breeze.
Allow your music to linger
In dawns chilled with dew,
To hover with Shiuli perfumes.
When it happens
You may have left, but let it be.

Such serene sunrise,
Horizons painted in gold
Beautiful with blossoms of Kunda
Will impress once more.

Once more
A semblance of this image
Will emerge from sweet, sombre shadows
Mellowed with pigeons' prattles,
And lovely green tenderness.
This portrait, reminiscently resonant
With ankle bells of the dancing songs
You left behind

Sep 11, 2011

As the autumn sun caresses my dreams

আজি শরততপনে প্রভাতস্বপনে
Aaji shorot topone probhat swapone

As the autumn sun caresses my dreams
I wish I knew what my heart wants
On fragrant boughs of the Shefali tree
What do telltale birds tattle on?

Distracted today is this heart of mine
In a breeze so soft and soothing
Refusing to remain within four walls
In hot pursuit of which fragrance
In hope of sighting which flower
It races to which far beyond

Someone there is amiss today
And so my life, it seems in vain
In askance my heart looks around
“It is not her”, crying aloud
In which land of dreams does she dwell
Her lustrous tresses aflutter
In Eden of which heavenly abode
Maybe she weeps because of me
Seared by pangs of separation

If I do wreathe a song
Sing for whom this lyric?
If I do wreathe some flowers
Give to whom this garland?
If I were to offer my life
At whose feet surrender?
Forever a fear lurks within
In my callous carelessness lest
Aches a heart hurting in private

Sep 10, 2011

Dispersed have clouds

আজি মেঘ কেটে গেছে সকালবেলায়
Aaji megh kete gechhe shokal belay

The clouds have dispersed since morning
Come, come now, show your smiling face
Join my play of leisurely laze

Dreams amassed with many a hope
Through many a disappointment
In each heartbreak of youth
I’ll cast them off
On the ebbing river afloat
Towards a shoreless unknown

Unstring our bonds of joy and woe
For just a little while we will
Remain oblivious to our selves

The song that eluded my voice
The gifts that eluded my grasp
All those regrets on eastern breeze
I’ll cast off in careless neglect

Sep 9, 2011

The image I had so long meant to come by

যে ছায়ারে ধরব বলে করেছিলেম পণ
Je chhayare dhorbo bole

The image I had so long meant to come by,
In her turn, now embraces my fetters of melody.
Her touch, like the fleeting play of clouds in Autumn
Dissolves into a pure blue sky
Yet now somewhere deep
     I hear her ankle bells chime with my music.
With slow drifts caressing my lazy, sweet hours
Her fragrance would permeate our secret
                              Meetings and farewells.
Today at length I find my own tunes
Resonating with the notes of Autumn
                  In a cadence of Chhayanaut
When she, with her rhythmic dancing jingles
Blends her presence into the soulful symphony.

Sep 5, 2011

Luminescence flowers

আলোর অমল কমলখানি 
Alor amolo kamolokhani (audio: Debabrata Biswas)

Luminescence flowers
Like a limpid lotus,
Enlivening a blue sky.
I am charged with
The wonder of it.

In tantamount mystery
My thoughts 
Swarm like honeybees
Setting out
To touch the radiant blossom

I listen to an autumn melody
In the lotus-pond,
A tuneful Lalit
Weep underneath the Shiuli

A breeze, bewitched
With the same drunkenness
Roves through rice meadows,
Glistening with green luxuriance

A passionate whisper
Hums in the forest.
Riddling me with its sensation

Blossoms of Shiuli

শিউলি ফুল, শিউলি ফুল
Shiuli phul, Shiuli phul (audio)

Blossom of Shiuli,  
My beloved blossom,
What an oversight 
Was this on your part?
Oh, what illusion did the night breeze
Have in mind, to nestle you gently
At the foot of arbor-shades?
Yet ever so often
You die to return at the strike of dawn;
Why do you pine, my unmindful love?
Dew glistens in your eyes.
Is this your way of bidding goodbye,
Is this what your fragrance suggests?
Oh, with you, every passing moment,
Bokul blossoms too, flock to part.

Sep 4, 2011

Autumn, your gift of sunshine

শরৎ তোমার অরুণ আলোর অঞ্জলি
Shorot tomar orun alor onjoli (audio)

Autumn, your gift of sunshine
Overflows your hands
Joined in auspicious offering,
Floods creation

Autumn, your tresses 
Wet with dew,
Your veil, brushing trees,
Bewitch the dawn.

Jewels of dew etched in your armlet
Glisten with green

Shadows of the forest speak
In hums, whispers
Flapping scarfs in their sonorous dance

Thrilled enchantment
Descends upon the Shiuli.

All night I had rested

সারা নিশি ছিলেম শুয়ে 
Shara nishi chhilem shuye

All night I had rested
On solitary earth
Next to my beloved wild flowers,
Eagerly listening to the music
Of the stars. But at dawn,
When the stars were lost
I was overwhelmed to find
The same melody overflowing
From the dew, the flowers' tearful faces.

How long have I looked
For this tune in princely chambers,
To have found it at last
On the humble soil of earth!

This melody came to me
As the eloquence of light
Wafting down from the sky
Into the green grass.
This music sparkles like laughter
Twinkling from jewels of dew
Nestled lovingly in the earth.

Sep 1, 2011

You hide your form in a sparse garb

একি মায়া, লুকাও কায়া
Eki maya lukao kaya (audio)

Is this a disguise, a delusion?
You hide your form in a garb so sparse
The denuded look of winter
To see you thus I can no more
My soul cannot endure it so

Can you be so aloof?
Miserly in your expression
Amidst your own world

The forests, their lute now silent
Won’t you gift them with your music
A wail rends the heart of azure
Wafting on the autumn breeze

Why do you while your time
On the edges of the desert
You who are treasurer of sweet nectar
Where hidden are your riches of beauty

On your bare branches shorn of leaves
A bird there is to sing no more
An empty assembly
The sound of silence
Our hearts cry out in shame

Aug 30, 2011

Do allow me to touch your feet

চরণ ধরিতে
chorono dhorite

Do allow me to touch your feet
Do not, please do not, step away
With my life and in death
Through my joys and sorrows
Close to my heart, I will hold them

My burden of desires, I can tether no more
How long do I roam around with this load
Wreathe a garland with your own hands
Do not let me come apart

Ever athirst is desire
Save me by quelling it
May it win it's last triumph
By succumbing to you

The petty trifles of this self
Door to door I can sell no more
Do please, O please do make me yours
Garlanding me with your embrace

- 17th May 1914

Aug 26, 2011

Tearful eyes smudged with kohl

হেরিয়া শ্যামল ঘন নীল গগনে
Heriya shyamol ghono neel gogone

A darkness in the deep azure
Calls to mind the tearful eyes smudged with kohl

Lips smeared with a deep compassion
Outlined in such an earnest plea
A silent gaze in the hour of parting

The rain pours down, lashes lightning
The wind races through woods in crazed song

Making way through a shooting pain
Thoughts of whom stir within my heart

Dense, opaque, overcast are skies

গহন ঘন ছাইল
Gohon ghono chhailo

Dense, opaque, overcast are skies
Woods stupefied into stillness
A quiet hush in all directions
All of creation in suspense -
   Who knows what will happen
Descends a deep darkness of night
Guardian angels shudder in fear

In sudden flashes now and then
Startles lightning racing about
Lighting up but for a moment
Sink the tremulous earth and skies
Into a pitch-dark inkiness

The rumbling of clouds cannot wake
Silent darkness from its stupor
Asudden is aroused the breeze
In a roaring crack of thunder

Aug 25, 2011

You have no qualms in letting me forget

আমায় ভুলতে দিতে নাইকো
Amay bhulte dite naiko tomar bhoy
(audio link)

You are not afraid to let me hover
To amble with an absent heart;
Since there is always an end to my drift,
But your love knows no bars.

Even if I may feel distant from you,
For you, no distance is that remote.
Even if my heart may stay furrowed,
Does that mean spring is not in bloom?

It is a game we play, often enough,
As you contentedly lose to me,
Yet win in your own sweet way
Through the glory of a chosen defeat.

(another version by Anandamayee Majumdar:)

You are not afraid to let me hover
To amble with an absent heart;
Since there is always an end to my drift,
But your love knows no bars.

Even if I may feel distant from you, 
For you, no distance is that remote.
Though my heart folds up
Does that mean Spring is not here
At your call?

It is a game we play, often enough,
You contentedly losing to me,
Yet winning in your own sweet way,
Through the glory of a chosen defeat.

Aug 24, 2011

I know not of austere penance

জানি নাই গো সাধন
Jani nai go shadhon

I know not of austere penance
Endeavoured in your name
Merely do I play in the dust
Seated beside your door

Ignorant I was, so with ease
I sought you however I pleased
I feared you not in the darkness

Your sagacious disciples rebuke me
 “Go back! You haven’t come the proper way”

You hold me back in your embrace
Cutting off the means of return
In vain they call time and again

Aug 21, 2011

A bouquet of smiles she held in her hands

তার হাতে ছিল হাসির ফুলের হার
Tar haatey chhilo hashir phuler haar

A bouquet of smiles she held in her hands
Of many a hue and colour
I was weighed down by the fruit of sorrow
Nurtured and ripened with my tears

Asudden she came the fair one
And said to me “Let us exchange”
I gazed at her visage
O so captivating!

She took my spread of sombre clouds
Glanced at me with an amused look
I took her flowers of verdant spring
And held it to my bosom

“I have won”, she said with a smile
As she hastened on far away

In the hour of dusky twilight
At the end of the scorching day
Faded had all the flowers she gave

Whom have you left behind

তুই ফেলে এসেছিস কারে
Tui phele eshechhish kaarey (audio)

Whom have you left behind?
My heart! O heart of mine
Passes by a lifetime
Yet peace you do not find
My heart! O heart of mine

The path you took to veer away
You have now forgotten its way
How will you return to her door?
My heart! O heart of mine

I lend my ear to the flow of rivers
A rustle of leaves has me all astir

My heart says I will find the way
If I can know what flowers say
The trail that seeks the evening star
And then goes on further beyond
My heart! O heart of mine

Aug 18, 2011

Do let me just sit beside you

তুমি একটু কেবল বসতে দিয়ো কাছে
Tumi ektu kebol boshte diyo kachhey

Do let me just sit beside you
      for just a little while
I’ll tend to all the tasks at hand
      just a little later

My heart knows not ease
If it cannot gaze upon your face
The more I run around in chores
I flounder in deep sea sans shores

Spring has come with impassioned breath
Rushing to my casement
A lazy bee buzzes past
Flitting about the arbours

Today is the time to sit
And gaze into your eyes so deep
Alone together in quietude
Today is the time to sing
Of surrendering my all
In leisure so quiet and still

Aug 13, 2011

Pleasant a play this is not

নয় এ মধুর খেলা
noy e modhur khela

Pleasant a play this is not
You and me from dawn to dusk
Through each and every day

Many a time went out the light
Thundered in a stormy night
This cradle of worldly life
Rocked by doubt and dilemma

Time and again ran amok
A deluge breaking through dams
Arose on days of despair
A plaintive wail all around

O terrible One
In times of woe and of joy
It is this my heart realized
Much is the pain in your love
Not a trace of neglect

Aug 8, 2011

A sleepless, tormenting night

আজি নাহি নাহি নিদ্রা আঁখিপাতে
Aji nahi nahi nidra ankhipate
(Audio link: Sagar Sen)

A punishing, sleepless night this is,
Yet, from far I trace a glow
A promising flicker at your home
Disarmed, as I brace the squall
My heart seeks mercy at your door
Wayward winds moan in anguish
Lightning lashes stun the night
Wont you open your gates, my lord,
Spare me solace in this storm?

(another version by Rumela)

My eyes know no sleep tonight
I see lamps light up your abode
Far away in the darkness outside
I stay awake with folded hands

The wind wails having lost it’s way
The night swoons struck by lightning
Do open the doors O Lord
Take mercy and show yourself
In this night of sorrow

Aug 2, 2011

Where the sky and earth mingle

ধরণীর গগনের মিলনের ছন্দে
Dhoroneero gogonero milonero chhonde (audio link)

Where the sky and earth mingle
Symphony exudes,
Cradles the monsoon breeze --
High with the aura of Maaloti.

The monsoon rejoices;
       Sraabon* knells her bass melodies,
A verdant earth quivers with life.
Shores of riverbeds,
              Stilled in anticipation
While waves heave with resonance.

The arbors have found heart
      In rhythms of rainy eloquence.
Deep, young thunder-claps
Ever so often, couple
      With spurts of lightning.

*Sraabon - the second month of monsoon, and the fourth month of the Bangla calendar

Aug 1, 2011

Where does my heart wander

কোথা যে উধাও হল
Kotha je udhao holo

Where does my heart wander,
Roving away in the thick of rains?
Deep percussions, thundering rhythms
Of rich resonance, cascades of rain
Meet the gazing eye, cloak horizons;
My soul soars, racing restive winds,
Reaching out for space, 
                         Resting on eternity.

Jul 28, 2011

My verdant shadow

শ্যামল ছায়া, নাইবা গেলে
Shyamolo chhaya nai ba gele

Do you have to leave at once,
                  My verdant shadow,
Are you finished offering up
                        Your last rain?
If days are short
Why not smilingly bid monsoon

An easy farewell
Why not indulge today
                   In an untimely game?

Your cast seems faded,
     But autumn will be here
          To relieve your shame 
With her golden touch
A new sun will beam,
Clouds orchestrate radiant melody,
Darkness and light come together
      And diffuse the sky 
                   In unsurpassed harmony.

Do beckon me

ডাকো ডাকো ডাকো আমারে
Dako dako dako amare

Do beckon me
To your calm cool deep
     Sacred darkness

Daily triflings fatigue me so
Burying this life in dust and grime
An endless burden of words
In their many distortions

Do set me free
In your dense quiet kind
    Boundless darkness

May speech be lost
In the silent night
My facade come apart
And be left outside
May I sight the one
Who dwells within
As an undivided whole

A layover of music

গানের সুরের আসনখানি
Gaanero shurero ashono khani / Gaaner shurer ashonkhani (audio: Debabrata Biswas)

A layover of music, I prepare for you
My voyager, my visitor, ever so often.
There, as your birds of dawn lilt endlessly
You come sailing in a shaft of sunshine.
Will you moor at my pier of music
To listen to my morning melodies?

This dawn, drapes of clouds shade the arbor,
The sky, like a dark blue gaze, brims with tears.

I see you radiate quaintly
Beyond the cluster of palms
Out at the far meadows.
Will you simply leave like a mystery?
Will you not wait
At the foot of the deep, dark shades
Of my rain-steeped tunes?

Jul 27, 2011

To ask for your kindness

তোমার দয়া যদি চাহিতে নাও জানি
Tomar doya jodi

I may not know how
To ask for your kindness
Do be kind enough
To draw me to your feet

That which I build
Blithely losing myself
In pursuit of pleasure
Rescue me Lord
From that playhouse of dust
Do not turn away in disdain
Arouse me with arrows of fire

Truth has been shut out
Amidst doubt and dilemma
Who else but you can reveal it

Piercing through decay and death
Gushes forth a sweet nectar
Filling up the void
Of abysmal wretchedness

With deathly blows comes awareness
In conflict and commotion
Your message profound

This difference with you

তোমার সাথে নিত্য বিরোধ
Tomar shathe nitto birodh

Day in day out
This difference with you
Endure it I can no more
Many a debt piles up
Through each and every day

Attired for your august assembly
They come and pay their obeisance
I lurk around in soiled clothes
My pride and honour in shreds

How do I convey my heartache?
When mute has my heart become
Not a word to you it can say

Do not turn it away I pray
Reclaim it from sea of disgrace
A refuge do give at your feet
And let it ever be your slave

In the grand design of your work

তুমি যে কাজ করছ
Tumi je kaaj korchho

In the grand design of your work
Will you not engage me O Lord?
On a day that calls for labour
Will you not wake me with your touch?

In troughs and crests through good and bad
In demolition and reconstruction
Allow me to stand beside you
In the workshop of this world
To see you through your work

Far away from the madding crowd
I thought we’d make our acquaintance
In shaded secluded arbours
In mellow light of eventide

Alone in the darkness
Such a vision is but a dream
Summon me to your marketplace
Alive with transaction and trade

The quintessence of rains

আজ বরষার রূপ হেরি মানবের মাঝে
Aaj borshar roop

The quintessence of rains
In humanity I see today

She marches with a rumble
Decked in all her finery
Her heart rages in a dance
Of a force terrifying
Ahead and on she hurtles
Swallowing the horizons
Goaded by an impulse unknown
Clouds converge in confrontation
Colliding in a crack of thunder

In clusters deep and dense
They parade together
Towards the far beyond
What for they do not know

They know not that
At the foothills of some mountain
Dissolve they will into raindrops
They know not that
Lurking in their pomp and grandeur
Rules the awesome spectre of death

Jul 26, 2011

I yearn to feel your joy

এই মোর সাধ
Ei mor shadh

I yearn to feel your joy
Resound throughout my life
In a grand symphony

Your skies, your lavish radiance
Let them not turn away
For lack of a welcoming heart
However small be the abode

Let all the seasons six*
Come and go as they please
Dancing their way into my heart
In adornments ever so new

Hindered be not your joy
By screens that wall off
My body, mind and soul

Let your joy be ablaze
Like a sacred fire
In my days of sorrow

Let your joy demolish
The weariness I feel
And burst forth in my work

* The six seasons in Bengal are
Grishsho (Summer)
Borsha (Monsoon)
Shorot (Autumn)
Hemonto (between Autumn and Winter)
Sheeth (Winter)
Boshonto (Spring)

Jul 25, 2011

This morning of Ashadh

নদীপারের এই আষাঢ়ের প্রভাতখানি
Nodiparer ei ashadher probhatkhani

This morning of Ashadh*
   dawning on river banks
Absorb it O my heart
   Infuse it in my breath

A touch of gold in skies sapphire
    mingles with emerald verdure
To permeate a sweet delight
    and illumine the horizons
       with a message profound
Absorb it O my heart
   Infuse it in my breath

In the very same way
   walking upon the shores
       of this wonderful world
Cull each flower that blossoms
    weave them through night and day
       onto the quilt of consciousness
Nurture each day with care
    knowing it to be a blessing
Absorb it O my heart
    Infuse it in my breath

Ashadh*- third month of Bengali calendar from mid-June to mid-July - a time of heavy rains

Jul 21, 2011

On the vast canvas of the sky

গগনে গগনে আপনার মনে
Gogone gogone apnar mone

On the vast canvas of the sky
A game you play all by yourself
Donning many a garb you are
Ever so new in each moment

The sun you hide in your matted locks
To paint the hide-n-seek of shadows
How do I know what you try to say
Wrapped in melody of Megh Malhar

That raucous laughter in Baishakh
Heralding a summer tempest
Its deep rumbles have drifted far away
That streak of golden radiance
Has dissolved into the darkness
Why tarnished is your white raiment?
In misty clouds, covert shadows
What opulence have you hidden?

In this morning darkened by clouds

এই সকাল বেলার বাদল-আঁধারে
Ei shokal belar badol andhare

In this morning darkened by clouds
To which note has the forest tuned its lute

Raindrops play a symphony
Pitter patter on the palm leaves
Restless the breeze scurries about
Startling the bamboo reeds

Drizzling droplets beneath the shades
Team up and break out into a dance
Tip-tapping away to glory

Afloat an astray melody
My heart drifts around the azure
And overhears a tearful moan
A sigh of impassioned anxiousness

Jul 20, 2011

All the joys that I have culled

জীবনে আমার যত আনন্দ
jibone amar joto anondo (audio)

All the joys that I have culled
Night and day through all my life
Amidst all of them my Lord
It is you I recall today

The day my heart thrilled with joy
Upon beholding your world
It was then I felt your gaze
Alighting upon my own

Time and again with a nudge
A song, a scent, a flavour
You have touched my inner core

Along with all my kith and kin
My nearest and dearest ones
You make your way into my heart

Lavish your melody

শ্রাবণের ধারার মতো
Sraaboner dharar moto (audio)

Lavish your melody on my face
Lavish your songs on my heart
In ceaseless cascades from the sky
In torrents of a mighty rain

From the east, like the tender sun
Tunes that waft and shine
On my senses, on my sight,
Cleansing out my deepest dark

Lavish your music everyday
Let my smiles soak them up
Lavish your music everyday
Let my tears be submerged

Fruitless, bud-less twigs of mine
Toss them with your sodden breeze,
Lavish your music like the rain
Reaching through my maladies

Lavish your tunes like the rains 
Stroking broken, buried beds
Lavish your tunes everyday
Relieving my crave, my yen

(another version for rendition in English - listen to the English rendition here)

Raining melodies
Let it rain let it rain
All the tunes you make
On my heart, on my face

From the east, like the sun
Tender on my waking eyes
In the dark in the night
Raining down on my heart
Raining melodies
in my tears on my smiles

Raining on my branches
where my flowers don't ever sprout
Waking, refreshing me
With your sodden breezy bout

Raining melodies
on my broken buried beds
Raining melodies
on my sorrow, breathless seeds
Raining melodies
Sooth my craving sooth my yen

Jul 19, 2011

Possessed is earth by violence

হিংসায় উন্মত্ত পৃথ্বী
Hingshay unmotto priththi
(audio link)

Possessed is earth by violence
In constant cruel conflict
Terribly treacherous its paths
Ravenous its greed enmeshed snares
In acute distress cries out life
Praying for a messiah
Save us O Supreme Source of life
Let blossom the lotus of love
Ever exuding a nectar sweet
Let peace prevail
Let freedom flourish
Let righteousness reign forever
O compassionate One
Let the earth be cleaned of all taints

O Municifent One
Teach us the art of sacrifice
O Supreme Mendicant
Ask from us our ego as alms
Let all people in every land
Forget their woes and worries
Dissipate ignorance
Dispel all illusions
Let knowledge shine bright as the sun
Let a vital life force run through the world
Let the sightless be graced with sight
Let peace prevail
Let freedom flourish
Let righteousness reign forever
O compassionate One
Let the earth be cleaned of all taints

The universe cries out
Its heart ablaze with agony
Decayed by a perverse possessiveness
Distressed by a deep discontent
On each nation sits heavy a crown
Bloodied by guilt and disgrace
Sound your conch of welfare and well being
Reach out your hand to save humanity
Play your auspicious tunes
To the beat of beauty
Let peace prevail
Let freedom flourish
Let righteousness reign forever
O compassionate One
Let the earth be cleaned of all taints

Jul 17, 2011

When night had not yet taken leave

কেন যামিনী না যেতে জাগালে না
Keno jamini na jete jagale na

Why did you not awaken me?
When night had not yet taken leave
The hour is late now, I die of shame
How do I go onto the thoroughfare?
My feet cringe in embarrassment

Curling up with the kiss of light
Wilts the Shefali in bashfulness
The Kamini in a dishevelled state
Holds herself together somehow

Spent after a night long vigil
The lamp sighs in relief
When put out by the morning breeze
After lighting up the night sky
The moon conceals its face
Seeking refuge in the azure

Flies by the bird chirping “Night, it has gone”
Women go past laden with their pitchers
How do I go to work tresses undone?
Tumbling down in wild abandon

Jul 14, 2011

What disquiets you, voyager

কেন পান্থ, এ চঞ্চলতা
Keno pantho e choncholota (audio: Hemanta Mukhopadhyay)

What disquiets you, voyager,
Have you heard bleak missives
From faraway spaces in the sky?

Your aching, expectant eyes
Betray parting blues,
Tumbling tresses cloud your face
Lightning, your loving consort,
Sleeps with languor

In the dusty bloom of Kadamba,
Secrets rustle in the wind
Whispers rise of a yearning earth
Once blithely washed by rains.

But have patience, hold your own,
The bridal garland is yet untouched
Savory jasmine yet kiss your feet,
And entrust to you it's pensive beauty.

Kadamba is a tropical tree native to Bengal. The genus name is "Lamarckia".

Jul 9, 2011

The sonorous roll of drums

হৃদয়ে মন্দ্রিল
Hridoye mondrilo (audio)

In my heart resounds
The sonorous roll of drums
The brows of dense clouds
Twist in curls and curlicues
A thrill runs through the forest
And the lands beyond
Swings the heart in restlessness
In it sway the dreams
Of a coming together
With one who is yet unknown

Abuzz with pitter patter
Of the pouring rain
Stricken is the night
Startled by lightning

The jasmine rustles its leaves
In a piteous tumult
The woods are timorous with
Buzz of clamourous crickets

There in the lap of stormy clouds

ওই-যে ঝড়ের মেঘের কোলে
Oi je jhorer megher kole (audio)

There in the lap of stormy clouds
Comes the rain her tresses undone
Flitters and flutters her raiment

Keeping beat to her song
A dance ripples through leaves
Of mangos, rose-apples
Shireesh and Shal trees
In uproar of delight

In that sweet melody
My eyes wander adrift
The streaming rains
In the shadows beyond

Time and again afloat the wet wind
Which dear friend calls me by?
Stirs a tempest of ache
In this heart of a lonely day

Jul 8, 2011

A few words I came to say

কিছু বলব বলে এসেছিলেম
Kichhu bolbo bole eshechhilem

A few words I came to say
And then in silence I stared

I saw you at the window
Flung open to the azure
Wreathing a garland
Jasmine buds in lap
Lost in your own thoughts
Humming a refrain

Steadfast in its gaze
The sky looked upon your face

A slight ray of light
Slivered through the clouds
To play on your dark tresses
In soft breeze stirred by rain clouds
Quivered a stray lock of hair

Jul 7, 2011

My thoughts

মোর ভাবনারে কী হাওয়ায়
Mor bhabonare ki haway (audio)

My thoughts gambol around
Intoxicated by which breeze
Sways my heart, sways for no reason
To a delightful thrill

My heart-sky is awash
With emotions so sweet
Dark dense clouds brimming
With fresh new drops of rain

I sight her not, even a glimpse
It is only in my mind I hear
There it sounds ever so often
Tinkling of anklet bells
That remain yet unseen

My secret dreams are enfolded
By an elusive gossamer
Tinged with a bluishness so new

Her loose tresses flutter
In breezy cloudiness
Casting shadows on earth
And pervading the skies

She has enthralled my heart
Stoking it to fervence
With the scent of rain-drenched flowers*
Wafting in from afar

* the specific flower mentioned in the original song is Ketaki known as screwpine in English