Apr 26, 2011

Amidst the flowers of Phalgun

এই কথাটাই ছিলেম ভুলে
Ei kothatai chhilem bhule

It is this I had forgotten
Again will I unite with one and all
Amidst the flowers of Phalgun

My heart will replenish itself
In new leaves of the Ashok trees
My delight will ripple in waves
On the banks of evergreen youth
Amidst the flowers of Phalgun

My flute will sound with tunes anew
Filled with the words of a new dawn
Awake in melody rising from skies
In brilliant gold strings of light

My heart will sparkle in each nook
With radiance of the azure
Tides of tears and laughter will swell
Amidst the flowers of Phalgun

Alights spring upon my heart

নিবিড় অন্তরতর বসন্ত এল প্রাণে
Nibido ontorotoro boshonto

Alights spring upon my heart
So dear, so very my own
And I gaze at you Oh Lord
Treasured wealth of every heart

Quivers a thrill of delight
Through the flowers so athirst
Winds and woods convey your touch

The spellbound cuckoo warbles
Filling night and day with song
Forests throb with rustling leaves

Such charm and exquisite beauty
Whichever way I look
Recedes all of my distress
All my sorrow comes to end

Here comes the tide to silted shores

এবার তোর মরা গাঙে বান এসেছে 
ebar tor mawra gange baan eshechhe

Here comes the tide to silted shores
Aflood is the river in deluge
Time to wish Godspeed and set sail

Where is the helmsman, where is he
Call out for him with all your force
Take up the oars, cut off the lines
Lift up the anchors and set sail

Your debts have risen day by day
You’ve traded not at the marketplace
Not a penny there is in your pockets

Your days go by moored to the shores
How will you stand tall in this world
Cut off your lines, hoist up your sails
Throw caution to winds, come what may
Whether you sink or stay afloat

Apr 22, 2011

I design my toys

আপন-মনে গোপন কোণে
Apon-mone gopon kone

I design my toys
Shutting out the world
In a secret nook within
Carving out each verse
In my workshed of words

From dawn to dusk
I am freed from all work
Rhyming each word
Measuring the meter
To fashion their colours

Who is the One amidst this world
Ever child-like in His delight
Who beckons me to join His play
And make provisions for His playhouse

He sets afloat a raft of songs
Drifting through woods in the dawn breeze
The butterfly he sets aflutter
To melodious tremor

A night of deep darkness

তিমিরময় নিবিড় নিশা
Timiromoyo nibiro nisha

A night of deep darkness
With not a trace of light,
Which way are you headed
Traveler of the night --
Alone in the murk?
Peril and pain regardless
Unfettered you walk;
Whom do you sense,
Who summons --
And walks you across the dark?
A candle burns deep within,
Unwavering in the storm;
What lyric do you sing along
With such a blissful calm?
Intrepid of the path ahead,
With fearless chants behind,
Outside, and in your heart
Whose visage do you find?

Did you rub off your footprints

চরণরেখা তব যে পথে দিলে লেখি
Chorono rekha tobo je pawthe dile lekhi

Did you rub off your footprints consciously
From the path you had once stepped on?
Crimsoned once by Ashok-dust,
I now see it vanish below the grass.

Flowers cease to bloom,
Birds  forget to sing,
Even the southern breeze
Leaves with a saddened heart.

Yet, when it thrived,
Wasn't it a source of deep sublimity?
Will death prevail,
And the living memories simply
Cease to be!

Apr 21, 2011

This is what I love

এই তো ভালো লেগেছিল
Ei to bhalo legechhilo

This is what I love
The dance of light on leaves so green
This is what delights my heart
The gallop of a maddened breeze
Through foliage of the Sal trees

Along roads of ruby red earth
Hasten those headed for the mart
A little girl squats on the dust
Playing with her knick-knacks alone
As I feast my eyes on this sight
Wells up a melody within

This little bamboo flute of mine
I seek in it songs of the fields
Tethered to the soil of this earth
My heart has felt secure
Those young lads who bask in the sun
Soaking in the light of blue skies
I fill my eyes with their eager gaze
I tune my lute to their youthful voice

If ever I wish to go afar
Surrounding me they hold me back
Beckon the skies of the village
Waving drumstick flowers in the breeze
I have no thirst for the distant
Bounteous is nectar of the near
Of all these little things
I have not yet had my fill
Of these days so commonplace
Unfinished yet is the ballad

Enamoured I have been
Mesmerised I have been
Of this I sing about
Time I have not for work
Enraptured is my heart
Enraptured are my eyes
Futile it is to call me now
Many are hopes they have
Much they want to amass
I only wish to sing about
I don’t want to grow anymore

Do arise now

ওঠো রে মলিনমুখ
otho re molinomukh

Come on, do arise now
You who sit with eyes downcast
Shadows darkening your face
Leave aside lamentations
Though athirst so be your heart

The day has trickled by
Dispersed has the gathering
Homeward bound is each one
Keeping aside their play

For whom do you sing
Tuning your beggarly heart
Darkness of night draws close
The long road stretches on

Parched and hungry is the heart
It is now time to end the song
Out of tune is the Sitar

Apr 19, 2011

My boat sinks all of a sudden

তরী আমার হঠাৎডুবে যায়
Tori amar hothat dube jaay

My boat sinks all of a sudden
Who knows where
Ripped apart by which rock

I venture not my new boat
Into the waters deep
I ferry it as if in play
Skirting the shallow shores

Alone at the helm
I had set out with the tide
A gentle breeze on my sails
Blissfully lost in myself
Not a cloud in the skies
High hopes I had of reaching
A shore of floral joys

A playhouse I build

খেলাঘর বাঁধতে লেগেছি
khelaghor bandhte legechhi (audio)

A playhouse I build
Within my own heart
Many a long night
Thus awake I stay

The traveller at dawn
Beckons me outside
I cannot spare the time
Tell me, how can I join
That game of the outdoor

That which is mine
It lies strewn in shambles
Ignored by one and all
Wreckage of days bygone
I build my house with it

This throne I make for one
Who is my new playmate
He will make whole the broken
With a few magic words

Apr 18, 2011

Thunder heralds your music

বজ্রে তোমার বাজে বাঁশি
Bojre tomar baje banshi

 Thunder heralds your music --
Could it be painless to learn?
Bless me with ears to discern,

    To rise to the stately song.
 

Never again will I be readily swayed
My heart will rejoice in lasting life,
Life, hidden in death-cove, like treasure.

My lute will freely resonate

    To all the trenchant tones --
     The embracive tunes of tempest,
                The knelling of cosmic fury.

Free me of comfort
               Take me to the depths of doom,
      Where, shielded by deep unrest

                               Lies covert peace.

Who can break my gates and guards

ভেঙে মোর  ঘরের চাবি   
Bhenge mor ghawrer chaabi / Bhenge mor ghorer chabi

Who can break my gates and guards,
Relieving me from my daily ruts
I have lost the key to set me free,
I yearn for a touch of eternity
My dearest friend, in my lonely stay
I long for you by night and day

I pine to sense the dark disband
I crave to see a golden hand--
A hint of light in a cell of dark
There, I sight the rolling path --
Wont your princely chariot
Ever touch my own doorway?

All the stars glint and gaze 
Eyeing you with wondrous chase
Musing, sensing, when it be
That you arrive, in a glowing sea
The night will vanish at its brink
With gladdened hearts, they too will sink

Do I sense the pilgrims come
In great commotion, one by one;
Is it their song that echoes so,
Are the buds all set to blow?
In magic tunes of a morning sky
Do I hear the music multiply?

Apr 17, 2011

Never again will I summon

 না না না ডাকব না, ডাকব না    
 Na na na dakbo na dakbo na

Never again will I summon from the outside, 
                           As I have always done;
If I can, my missives I will convey
                To his heart, and draw him near.
My soul stirs with pain
          In her longing to give,
          Yet where does he wander,
                           The one to receive?
Between the recipient and giver,
        Who can end the strife, eternal?
Wont my river of pain flow into his tears,
        Like the confluence of waters
            Of a fair Ganges and dark Yamuna?
What was that melody
    Resonating all by herself?
      She chose to arrive in my heart 
          And has secretly left a message of hope.

Apr 16, 2011

Your Veena resonates across the world

বিশ্ববীণারবে বিশ্বজন মোহিছে
bishwabeenarawbe

Your Veena resonates across the world
Enchanting one and all

Across land and water
Beneath the blue marquee
Ever plays a music so sweet.
Glades and gardens
Oceans and rivers
Caverns and mountain peaks
Ever assume a graceful pose.

Fresh delights in fresh spring
Celebrations anew.
So lovely, so charming,
So pleasant a humming
I hear in leafy nooks;
Rustlings of youthful leaves,
Cooings of the cuckoo
In stillness of the woods;
Wafts the breeze to and fro
Setting off soft ripples
Across deep tranquil lakes
Arousing a gurgle
Mellifluous and sweet
Gently does the wind blow
Caressing the forests
The reeds on river banks
Stirred into whisperings.
What a chirping of speech
Whichever way I look
Speaking a language new
Oozing a sweet essence.

Fresh delights in monsoons
Celebrations anew.
So deep, so gruff, so loud
A rumble of drum rolls
I hear in the azure;
As if thunders Shiva
In a dance so deathly.
Roars the swelling river
Beneath gathering clouds;
A tumult rages through
Piyal-Tamal forests
To strains of Raag Bhairav
Winds play the Raag Malhar
In deep darkness of night;
Lightning in a frenzy
Dances in mad delight
Streaking the horizons
In sparkling show of light.
What a bubbling of speech
Whichever way I look
Speaking a language new
Oozing a sweet essence.

Fresh delights in autumn
Celebrations anew
So clean, so pure, so bright
Aglow in radiance
Comes the autumn goddess
To rule over the earth.
A crescent moon glitters
On her flowing tresses
A Veena adorns her fair arms
Unfolds a sublime smile
Spanning the deep blue skies;
Lilting strains of Raag Bihag
Suffuse the still of night;
Fragrant flower gardens
Nestle in soft moonbeams;
Buzz of crickets evoke
A pleasant lassitude.
What a warbling of speech
Whichever way I look
Speaking a language new
Oozing a sweet essence.

Your Veena resonates across the world
Enchanting one and all

Apr 15, 2011

A new beauty and grace

চিরদিবস নব মাধুরী
chirodibosh nawbo madhuri

A new beauty and grace
Adorns Your world each day
Tender buds, fresh new leaves
New songs, new happiness

A new enlightenment
A new awakening
In rippling waves
Of love discovered anew

A new charm everywhere
Through each and every day
The many splendoured hues
Of Your loving gaze

Lord of my heart
You are oh so ancient
And yet so evergreen
Ever so auspicious
Enchanting evermore

Apr 14, 2011

Awaken with new joyousness

নব আনন্দে জাগো
nawbo anonde jaago

Awaken with new joyousness
In crimson rays of a new dawn
To a life bright and beautiful
Aglow with love and affection

Spurts forth a fresh fountain of life
Cascades a new song of hope and faith
Wafts a fragrance everlasting
In this serene breeze today

Companion to the clouds

মন মোর মেঘের সঙ্গী
Mon mor megher sangi / Mono mor meghero shongee

Companion to the clouds, my heart,
  Soars beyond all horizons
          Towards the wide open void
              With bright, lyrical pulse of the Sraabon* outpour;
My mind glides on swan-wings,
         Amid slight, startling spurts of lightning;
How the storm flashes her ankle-bells,
                             Resonating with fierce delight!
Mountain springs call out for a tempest
              Gurgling with deep resonance;
Blowing in from the Eastern sea 
                            The wind gushes over
Boisterous, bubbly waves of the river;
   My heart darts -- stirred by a savage current
             Surging in tune with
              Clamorous branches of the forest groves.


Sraabon* - the second month of the Rains, in Bengal.

Apr 13, 2011

Fresh green shoots of leaves

নব নব পল্লবরাজি
nawbo nawbo pallobo raaji

Fresh green shoots of leaves
Sprout in all gardens and groves
Southern breeze bursts into song

The world is fervent with fragrance
My empty life cries in distress

Come my treasured one
Let my barren heart be
Replete with your presence

My days have passed one by one

আসা-যাওয়ার পথের ধারে
Asha jawar pather dhare

My days have passed one by one
Singing away by the traveler's path.
Now that it is time for rest -- I wonder
With whom I will leave this lute of my heart.
The tunes, I will leave in fragments
Of floral melodies;
The musical ties will be dispersed
Into arrays of clouds lined with the golden sun;
Some, like wreaths of harmony
          Will sway on lovers' hearts;
Wet the eyes of an ardent listener, some will;
Again some, like fluttering remnants of my heart
 Will be picked by a muse, from the woodland grass
             Flecked with blossoms of the Bokul*
  Suddenly, on a late spring afternoon.

Bokul* - a woody tree with little white star-shaped blossoms.

For all the songs I ever sang

আমি তোমায় যত শুনিয়েছিলেম গান
Ami tomay joto shuniyechhilem gaan (audio)

For all the songs I ever sang
I do not pine for returns from you.
If they slip your mind
                           Then let them do,
When the stars shine on twilight shores,
          My days will be over at your fete;
Let these be a modicum of melodies
             For my short-lived moments.
Could you ever forget, though,
The countless songs you sang for me?
Muse of my heart,
Those memories will keep haunting you
In nights of dense rain,
                         In the spring-breeze.
This little hurt remains within--
How could you forget
                 How much you had enthralled my heart?

Apr 11, 2011

The man of my heart dwells within

আমার প্রাণের মানুষ আছে প্রাণে
Amar praaner manush achhe praane (audio)

The man of my heart dwells within,
And so I find him everywhere.
Within my eyes 
In dancing streams of light he stays,
Therefore I never lose his sight
He is, wherever I gaze.

I went far and near to hear him speak
But his words I never did hear
Now as I return to my loving home
Within my songs
I hear his missives, so close and dear.

Those like beggars who go
Door to door,
Unable to find him anywhere,
Come in haste and look!
Here he is in my heart, 
Deep within my eyes, he is here!

Today I sit and wait in the morning sun

আজিকে এই সকালবেলাতে
Ajike ei shokal belate

Today I sit and wait in the morning sun
Blissfully eager to tune my heart.
A golden music spreads in the sky,
The sweetest rhythm seems so tender,
The breeze engages in play with
Spells of sun and shadow.
The blue mingles lovingly with my
Consciousness,
My wishes tangled in radiant yarns of gold,
From farthest corners of habitat
Who has set afloat in wavy breeze
On rafts of clouds in the horizon?

Who is it dances within

মম চিত্তে নিতি নৃত্যে
momo chitte niti nritye (audio)

Who is it dances within
To a rhythm so lively
Ever unceasing
With a roll of drums
Ever pulsing to the beat

Sway laughter and tears
Like diamonds and emeralds
Adorning a tiara
Frolic ebb and tide
Quivering to the rhythm
Pirouette birth and death
Gaily waltzing together

O what joy! what happiness!
Bondage and freedom twirl on night and day
I too sway on joyful waves
Keeping beat to the rhythm

Another version by Anandamayee Majumdar

The dancer in my heart
Is an unsolved mystery,
Someone within dovetails those measures
Possessed by the big bash

And on that stage,
Tears and elation
Are jewels spilling from my soul
Enacting, in one breath
Good and irksome are twins
Tripping together
Life and death
Are partners in the sensation

The ecstasy is breathtaking;
To discover
Freedom and bondage
Spinning, inextricably,
To chase the cosmic wave,
To dance with creation

Their words confound me

ওদের কথায় ধাঁদা লাগে
oder kawthay dhadha laage

Their words confound me
Yours I can fathom
Your azure your breeze
Are simple to know

My heart blooms itself
My life is replete
I open the door
To find all treasures
Within a hand’s reach

Dawn to dusk plays a tune
On the stage of your world
Afloat a tide of light
Comes your boat to my pier

What else should I hear
What else should I know
I see you night and day
Frequent my own home
What need have I
To seek you on the road

Apr 10, 2011

What melodies play deep within

কী সুর বাজে আমার প্রাণে   
Ki shoor baje amar praane

What melodies play deep within,
It is simply I who realizes, 
It is my heart which perceives.

Why do I lie sleepless,
From whom what gems do I seek,
Why intently do I gaze at the path?
It is simply I who realizes, 
It is my heart which perceives.

Dawn nears my doorsteps,
Dusk draws on the forest greens,
A flute resonates incessantly
Inhibiting all my chores.
The unknown flutist, who is he,
What strange rhythms does he play?
It is simply I who realizes, 
It is my heart which perceives.

Why does my mind drift, I wonder

কেন যে মন ভোলে 
Keno je mono bhole

Why does my mind drift, I wonder.
Who refrains her, I wonder,
Musingly she strays.

To all she is fathomless,
She is beyond herself
They all leave her disgraced,
Yet she pays no heed.

Her ship set sail for destinies,
Yet she remains ashore.
Those that completed their tasks
Have left her behind,
Yet she does not concede.

Krishnakali

কৃষ্ণকলি আমি তারেই বলি
krishnakali ami tarei boli
(audio - Suchitra) (audio - Shantideb)

Krishnakali I have named her
Village folks call her the dark one

On a cloudy day I did see
The dark lass on a stretch of green
Her doe eyes so deep and dusky
A scarf she had not around her
Her tresses tumbled down her back
A dark one? As dark as she may be
Doe eyes so dusky I have seen

Seeing the sky darken with clouds
Moo they did two black cows
With a hurried and hassled gait
Came the dark lass from her cottage
A frown clouding her brows she gazed
Pausing to hear the clouds rumble
A dark one? As dark as she may be
Doe eyes so dusky I have seen

A sudden breeze came from the east
Rippled a wave across the fields
I stood on a dyke all alone
No one else for miles around
Did eyes meet, I know so does she
A dark one? As dark as she may be
Doe eyes so dusky I have seen

In such a way do clouds so dense
Darken the horizons in May
In such a way do shadows dark
Caress the forests in July
In such a way on rain swept nights
A sudden delight fills the heart
A dark one? As dark as she may be
Doe eyes so dusky I have seen

Krishnakali I have named her
Let others call her what they may
I saw her at Moynapara
Her doe eyes so deep and dusky
Her face uncovered, locks astray
Time she had not to feel abashed
A dark one? As dark as she may be
Doe eyes so dusky I have seen

A home you give in your abode

তোমারি গেহে পালিছ স্নেহে
tomari gehe palichho snehe

You nurture me with tender care
A home you give in your abode
Glory be to you O Lord
My life it is your blessed gift
Glory be to you O Lord

You give me birth in mother’s lap
You grant me a father’s embrace
You bind me in loving friendships
Glory be to you O Lord

Your world so wide and wonderful
You make it pleasing to the eye
With hills and dales so picturesque
And babbling brooks of sweetness
Glory be to you O Lord

Within my own self and beyond
Within my country and abroad
Through the aeons and each moment
In life and death in joy and woe
Glory be to you O Lord

Sun, moon and stars gift their luminance

সারা জীবন দিল আলো সূর্য গ্রহ চাঁদ
shara jibon dilo alo

Resplendent the sun, moon and stars
Gift their luminance all through life
They are all your blessings O Lord

Clouds spill over with bounteous rain
Dawn breeze shakes off my lassitude
They are all your blessings O Lord

Green grass spreads it’s raiment on dust
Skies speak the sweet sound of silence
Day after day bloom the flowers
Tracing a path through trails unknown
This world so bright and beautiful
Fulfills such fanciful longings
They are all your blessings O Lord

Apr 9, 2011

With what doubt had you left?

মনে কী দ্বিধা রেখে গেলে চলে 
Mone ki didha rekhe gele chole

With what doubt had you left?
In mellow twilight the other day,
On your way, what had you wondered
And turned your face to say?
What had played on your mind?
Had it been a smile 
That gleamed in your eyes? --
I muse with a troubled heart,
Now that you are in a world far away.
A flight of herons in the sky,
Soar by, like an image of my tears
To you, I would like to ask

What was it you never revealed
When you left?
Was the secret saved
In the sorrowful scent of the jasmine?

Alms I seek begging at His door

আমি যখন তাঁর দুয়ারে ভিক্ষা নিতে যাই
ami jokhon taar dooarey (audio)

Alms I seek begging at His door
I lose it all time and again
When He comes knocking at my home
I break open the locked doors
To find hidden treasure within
And I lose it never again

Morn goes begging to Him for light
That light scatters over the earth
When He lifts His hand to the dusk
Darkness lights up in sparkling rows
It’s treasures so cherished and dear
Those are the gems He dons on His crown

Liberated am I

আমার মুক্তি আলোয় আলোয় এই আকাশে
Amar mukti aloy aloy (audio)

Liberated am I
In light so radiant amidst this azure
Liberated am I
In the dust and grass beneath my feet

Liberated in melody
I lose myself in the far beyond

Liberated am I
Within the hearts of one and all
In tasks that mock peril and pain

Alight is the sacrificial fire
At the altar of creation
May I offer my life as oblation
In the hope of liberation

My song that will win your touch

আমার যে গান তোমার পরশ পাবে
Amar je gaan tomar pawrosh pabe

My song that will win your touch,
Where is it buried, deep within myself?

I delve for it in the dark, on pathways of tunes.
My tears that will run down your feet,
Where are they buried, deep within myself?

When rainless hours, I squander in vain
I keep wishing to send you my lyrics.

Beneath woes and joys, my melodies die.
To you, the last missive that I will convey,
Where is it buried, deep within myself?

Apr 8, 2011

My mindfulness of self will burgeon

আপনাকে এই জানা আমার ফুরাবে না
Apnake ei jana amar phurabe na (audio: Sagar Sen)

My mindfulness of self will burgeon
This is how, every day,
My knowledge of you, deepens

How many wheels of life should it take
So I can surrender myself to you
Becoming fuller with gratitude
Softer with debt, as I do?

I will have to pause at every harbour
Trading breathful existence
Earning the soulfulness of earth

The more I barter my heart,
The more my divine enterprise
With you, expands!

(another version by Rumela)

This knowing of myself will never cease
Along this knowing, I will recognise you

Through many births and deaths
I will lend myself at your feet
And yet will accrue my loans

I have to go down to the quays
Time and again to life’s marketplace
My dealings with you will grow night and day

The more I deal with my self

My heart is bereft of song

প্রাণে গান নাই, মিছে তাই ফিরিনু যে
praaney gaan naai michhey taai phirinu jey

My heart is bereft of song
In vain I seek it in my flute
Exiling love to lands far off
Hours go by worshipping whom?

Spring will come to sprinkle colours
Then why set aflame your forests
To struggle in vain with cinders

Why dim all the lights in your home
And wander from pillar to post
The light that floods the iris with
A thousand shimmering cascades
Who can catch it with eyes closed

You sit awake within me

অন্তরে জাগিছ অন্তরযামী
Awntarey jagichho awntarojami

You sit awake within me
Yet I wander far and wide
Welcomed have I worldly joys
Yet you are Lord of my life

I know not the road
So I wander on
Puffed with my own pride
In this big wide world

Yet is awake the pole star
With an affectionate gaze
Yet your blessings shower down

Apr 7, 2011

Let me forget it all

আমার সত্য মিথ্যা সকলই ভুলায়ে দাও
aamaar shotto mithya shokoli bhulaye dao

Let me forget it all
My truth, my falsehoods
Flood me with happiness

I wish not to argue
I do not want logic
I know not of restraints
I know not of freedom
All pervading Your will
Let it arouse in me

Let the world be immersed
In the ocean of peace
Let all joy and sorrow
Within my heart stand still

All words all sounds
All effort and action
Be stunned into silence
Your winsome voice
Let it echo within

- 13th September 1896

This is my place by the shores

এই আসা-যাওয়ার খেয়ার কূলে আমার বাড়ি
Ei asha-jawar kheyar koole amar bari

This is my place by the shores
Where seamen share crossroads
Some nearing up at me,
Some leaving for distant sea

The pilgrims sing curious songs,
Their flutes, strange and airborne,
Their trenchant tunes wrench my heart
My spirit yearns to listen on.

Wonder what they have to say
Who is it they seek to find,
Wonder what they take away.

Their music merges with missives,
As if they held secret pleas
Between the near and far-off seas,
Their trenchant tunes wrench my heart
My spirit yearns to sail astray

The darkness still lingers

এখনো গেল না আঁধার
Ekhono gelo na aandhar (audio: Kanika Banerjee)

The darkness still lingers,
The fetters still persist.
Life still falters
In it's grandiose battle
With death

When will my grief and fire
Transform to laurels of triumph?
When will my sea of black, my tears
Gleam with the radiance of dawn?

Even now,
My shadows cast mythical belief,
Even now, as I look back
Sparks of lightning dazzle my eyes.

(another version by Rumela)

The darkness has not gone yet
The impedance still remains
This life long penance of mine is not done yet

When will this searing pain of mine
Adorn me like a garland of victory
My midnight tears dazzle at dawn

My own shadow designs such illusions
Why do I still look back in vain

A sudden flash of lightning has me stupefied

Apr 6, 2011

Your name it is I will say

তোমারি নাম বলব নানা ছলে
tomar naam bolbo nana chholey

Your name it is I will say
On many a pretext
Alone I will chant it
In the shades of my heart

I will say your name
Speaking not a word
I will say your name
Wishing not for a thing
I will say your name
Through my smiles and my tears

I will call you for no reason
If only just to please my heart
Like a child who calls for mother
In the joyous bliss of her name
Calling in the mere happiness
Of being able to call her so

- 24th August 1913

Apr 5, 2011

We aren't the most agreeable sort

ভালো মানুষ নই রে মোরা
Bhalo manush noi re mora

We aren't the most agreeable sort,
Certainly we are not.
When it comes to virtue, grace or plus,
This is what we got.

In places we have gone by far
Infamous we have been,
Wherever we have stepped a course
Dangers kept us keen.
Books we never agree with
Always the converse
Among any grace we have,
This is all a plus.

Ungodly times that we were born
All things fell apart,
The pious planets had to flee
Blasphemy had the start.

Whenever we have set afloat
Misfortune takes the show,
We have no hopes of reaping fruit,
Can only hope to flow.

the mystery that sets us wild

আমাদের খেপিয়ে বেড়ায় যে   
Amader khepiye beray je (Sasha Ghoshal and chorus)

Something spurs us on
with divine wildness

does anyone know 
where the mystery is concealed?

the spring breeze raves 
with affine madness,
a tornado 
spinning the sun and stars

have you felt the free rhythm 
that simmers the mad sea?
a flow which creates dance
and makes us dancers?

let us toss burdens 
and go places
why sweat the pathway?
as we tread, so is it paved
below our feet.

Apr 2, 2011

Never will we gray

আমাদের পাকবে না চুল গো
Amader pakbe na chul go (audio)

Never will we gray,
Wither we will never,
We wont stumble at ends,
Our paths wont cease to be.

Blunders, we will make,
Lost in contemplation
We will never shut our eyes,
Nor look around for knowledge 
In the nooks of our minds.

We will cruise along with currents
From mountain-peak to sea,
But never reach the shore,
This is how we will be.

What fear have we of anyone?

আমাদের ভয় কাহারে
Amader bhoy kahare

What fear have we of anyone?
Decrepit, old pirates, thieves,
What harm can they come?

Our pathway moves forward,
No alleys do we seek,
We have no pouch to carry,
Accounts, we do not keep.

They may rob us of everything,
But our madness will not leave.

We do not look for comfort,
It isn't rest we plead,
Results, we do not pursue,
Nor fame we wish to meet.

In our tide and ebb
We dance alike,
We play the same
In loss or gain.

We are harbingers of fresh life

আমরা নূতন প্রাণের চর    
Amra nuton praaner chor (audio)

We are harbingers of fresh life!
Tramps of the road, that we are --
We have no home!
Did you think Winter would abscond
With his band of wilted leaves?
We will rob and disperse them
Across the southern breeze.
You, we will secure with youthful blossoms
Of our wreathe, in this house of Spring.
Did you wish to leave in secret
In guise of the Old decrepit?
Your raiment may be shrouded,
But how could you hide it!

My one secret the flute realizes

আমার একটি কথা বাঁশি জানে
 Amar ekti kawtha baanshi jaane

My one secret the flute realizes,
It is only she who does.
That which occupies my whole heart, 
Forever unspoken,
I only whisper to the flute of mine.
Sleepless I had remained in depth of night
My eyes watching the gazing stars,
And so the night passed by,
In solitary wakefulness.
These notes I did leave for my flute
Only through music.

Who entreats my voice

আমার কণ্ঠ হতে গান কে নিল ভুলায়ে
Amar kontho hote gaan ke nilo bhulaye

Who charms my voice into forgetfulness?
My lost melodies flock into the nest of silence
Within my soul...
In somber days of Sraabon*, 
Hovering in the sighs of the jasmine,
He waves sweet shadows, sprawling wings over my heart.
When autumn shivers with an exuberant Shiuli**
My eyes well up with a streak of a song.
In the depth of night, what melody does he make,
Spinning music between slumber and wakefulness,
With what beat does he softly rock my dreams?

 *Sraabon - The second month of monsoon in Bengal.
**Shiuli  - a fragrant small white flower of Autumn in Bengal.

Apr 1, 2011

My heart's companion

আমার দোসর যে জন ওগো তারে কে জানে
Amar doshor je jon ogo tare ke jane (audio: Arundhati Holm Chowdhury)

Is it possible to know
My heart's companion,
To deduce if his music responds
To my song,
To imagine the impassioned source
Of my flowing streams?

Monsoon buds erupt on earth
And create fragrant carpets;
I sense a stranger fleeting
In and out of sight
Below inky shadows of the arbor.
Could anyone guess
Who arrives unprecedented,
To present me
With secret bouquets!

Whose footmarks tread my beaten path

আমার ভাঙা পথের রাঙা ধুলায়
Amar bhanga pawther ranga dhulay

Whose footmarks tread my beaten path?
Flowers from his wreath
Lie strewn on the earth.
He arrived in silence
Letting me know when he left,
Who else in such fashion
Could have broken my heart?
Once when the sun was young,
Blossoms had filled the roads,
With all its colours Spring was here.
As I waited ardently in my home
I never received a message from him
And so today, I must walk the path
With my over-worn, weary life.

Deep down in the secrets of my heart

আমার প্রাণে গভীর গোপন
Amaro praane gobheer gopono

Deep down in the secrets of my soul
Is it my heart's own who lives?
In an instant I see him in the dark.
In tumultuous storms when
All locks shatter and fall,
Whose eyes suddenly gaze into mine?
When the apt moment strikes
His arrival trumpets across the sky,
Luminous lightning
Like messengers of sorrow
Flash his missives of invite in my heart.

When my sorrow summons me to your gates

আমার ব্যথা যখন আনে আমায় তোমার দ্বারে
Amar byatha jokhon ane amay tomar daare

When my sorrow summons me to your gates,
It is You who receives, it is You who calls her.
Pining for your embrace, she leaves all behind
Finding her way among a forest of thorns.
When my pain makes me sing, I sing in tune,--
You seem unable to stray far when you listen.
A bird struck by storm, my song staggers and falls,
It is then in the dark You open Your doors and arrive.

(another version by Rumela)

When my pain brings me to your door
You yourself open the door and beckon her
Yearning for an embrace
She rushes across thorny paths
Relinquishing her all just to be with you

When my pain rings out
I play to her tune
You are drawn to the song
You cannot stay away
Like a bird on a stormy night
My song slumps down
You step out then into the darkness

Your name resonates across the sky

আকাশ জুড়ে শুনিনু ওই বাজে
akash jurey shuninu oi baajey (audio)

I hear it resonate across the sky
Your name amidst all of the stars
The sound descends onto earth
Softly to caress my forehead
A sense of peace washes over me
Clearing the debris of my pain
My ego curls up in shame

My heart mingles with the night
Silent in the star spangled sky
Let it in the same way O Lord
Echo with the grace of your name
Triumph of your glow over my gloom
May it spread roots in all my work

What grace and beauty pervades my being

একি লাবণ্যে পূর্ণ প্রাণ
eki labonye purno praano (audio)

O Lord of all beings
What grace and beauty
Pervades my whole being
In so glorious a spring

Blooms the flower of love
In gladdened groves within

Entwined is my life
Around your lotus feet

Joyful songs cascade forth
In skies streaming with gold

Love she came on tiptoe

প্রেম এসেছিল নিঃশব্দচরণে
prem eshechhilo nishobdo chorone

Love she came on tiptoe
I did not hear a sound
A dream I felt she was
Enthrone her I did not

When she took her leave
Resonated the sound

By then she was a dream
A form ethereal
Fading into the dark
Like a distant beacon
A ruddy mirage