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

You seem to have strayed

জানি জানি তুমি এসেছ
Jani jani tumi eshechho

You seem to have strayed
Aimlessly on this path
Very well, for you
I eagerly open my gates

Empty of decor you arrived
I miss your ankle bells,
The chimes of your very eloquence;
Very well, come as you have
In austere simplicity
There in my garden
Maloti* blossoms flutter and fall
Pick them up, won't you
And adorn your loose tresses

I am unprepared for you
My lute too, is not tuned
Very well, let us meet
In my heart's room of silence
As cascades of rain,
Resonant in the woods
Play to the melody of my being,
A fleeting, wafting drift
In its cadent flow
Startles and cradles my heart.

*Maloti - a creeper that flowers in monsoon

Jul 6, 2011

My veil flutters in the tempest

ঝড়ে যায় উড়ে যায় গো
Jhawre jaay ude jaay go

My veil flutters in the tempest
I cannot draw it close
However hard I try

My modesty swept away
Countenance bereft of make-up
You glanced at me
After unleashing this cataclysm
Tormenting me to death

All at once skies light up
Who goes? Searching for whom?
Startling flash of lightning
Illumines my dark home

Then let my all be swept away
Into the pitch dark midnight sky
Let this tumultous roar
Resound within my soul
Let my words flow unrestrained

My lamp gently died in the gust

দীপ নিবে গেছে মম নিশীথসমীরে
Deep nibhe gechhe momo
Audio: Srikanta Acharya

My lamp gently died in the gust at night
But don't let the darkness turn you away,
When you approach with a soft heart

In the profuse dimness of your path,
The telling perfume of the tuberose
Will lead you up to your shrine
When you show up, with yielding steps

I dream that my remembrance
Will dawn in your memory--
And so I keep voicing my songs
As I await your promise,
With my unbroken vigil.

But fear lingers--
In case I fall asleep in my weariness,
In case I miss you, in the last hour,
In case, my voice falters
And I lose my melodic call!

Jul 5, 2011

My eyes peer in the depths of yours

আমার নয়ন তোমার নয়নতলে
Amar noyon tomar noyontole

My eyes peer in the depths of yours
      to glimpse what lies within your heart
There in illusions shadowy
      I lose my way as if in trance
I beseech with my silent gaze
      And yet I see no signs from you
Like one who cannot be consoled
      My eyes well up and drown in tears

Can you sense my feelings – the smallest tinge?
Can you hear what my garland wants to say?

As I amble along I lay out
My ache aflutter in the breeze
The flute casts a shadow melancholic
Can anyone fathom its speech ?

Jul 4, 2011

My heart listens not to reason

আমার মন মানে না—দিনরজনী
Amar mon maane na (audio)

My heart listens not to reason
By day or night

In what remembrances
A thrill overwhelming
Races through my body
In what contemplations
Do my eyes overflow
With tears unabated

Those words so sweet
That gentle touch
And my body sings like a flute
I get lost in that melody
My heart distraught distracted
I know not why

What words waft in the winds?
Whose face I see in skies?
What pleasing tunes I hear
In murmurous woods rustling leaves
Cascading tinkles babbling brooks
The heady scents of fragrant flowers
Embrace me like a bosom friend
These thoughts
This affliction so sweet
This joyous eagerness of mine
At whose feet can I proffer

Jul 3, 2011

My eyes seek in deep shadows

আমার নয়ন তব নয়নের নিবিড় ছায়ায়
Amar noyon tomar noyoner nibid chhayay

My eyes seek in deep shadows of your eyes
The blossom of deepest thoughts left unsaid
There in remote recesses deep distant
When did it lose its way?

With a fixed gaze it entreats the silent 
Finds not a trace of words concealed within
Like a child who cannot be shown reason
Wanders tearfully amidst the unknown

The words that hide within my heart
Do they cast the slightest shadow – upon your heart?
A lotus seat at my doorstep
I’ve drawn with the ink of my blood
Does it convey nothing at all?

Walking along the trails in your garden
I lay out my pain afloat in the breeze
With such hope the flute sends a message to the skies
Does no one understand?

For you I leave this song of spring

দিয়ে গেনু বসন্তের এই গানখানি
Diye genu boshontero ei gaankhani

For you I leave this song of spring
The year will turn, forget me you will
Yet this night of Phalgun
The pathos in my song
And your eyes did well up
Enough that is for me

I do not wish to stay
Till it’s time to call it a day
I’ll go as soon as ends this play

Phalgun will come again
Once more you will hear then
The songs of a new wayfarer
Words afresh with novelty new

Wellspring of my song

গানের ঝরনাতলায় তুমি
Gaaner jhornatolay

To the wellspring of music
You came at my twilight hour
Fill me with your melody
That streams forth in golden glow

The tune that bursts from caves within
Rushing out in eager flow
To seek the ocean of tears
Dislodging the rocky stones
That have hardened the heart so

The tune that drifts in the skies
Bearing the message of dawn
Melting with a radiant smile
Into the soft lap of night

The tune that empties itself
Filling the Champa* goblets
And then goes, away it goes
Having played its part in spring

 Champa: a fragrant flower of genus Plumeria