Jan 27, 2012

In the seclusion of your fountainhead

তোমারি ঝরনাতলার নির্জনে
tomari jhornatolar nirjone
(audio)

I know not when
My clay pot got filled to the brim
In the seclusion of your fountainhead

The sun sets down behind the hills
The geese take flight in which beyond
My mind drifts as I quietly listen
To the plaintive gurgling of the waters
In the seclusion of your fountainhead

I’ve wandered far and wide throughout the day
Hunting high and low for my daily needs
I’ll worry no more if they were met or not
Now I’ve come to the land that lies beyond all wants
To the banks of the never ending flow
I’ll partake of the wealth you give surpassing all needs
In the seclusion of your fountainhead

- circa 1918

Jan 26, 2012

The graceful lotus smiles

অমল কমল সহজে জলের কোলে
*Omolo komolo shohoje jolero kole

The graceful lotus smiles in lap of waters
In harmony so sound
Not the least anxious of finding home
Vainly, on the ground

Let me bloom with the same graceful smile
Fearless, in your midst, my divine
My buds of worship, with a thousand laughter
Flowering abound

Let me not ask the way towards you,
Let me not ask anyone
Let me simply be at ease within you
Wherever I may turn

If I wander in your haven in the sky
Your blissful tide of light will kiss me by
Your gentle drift will, like the closest friend
Hug me all around


*An attempt has been made to restore the same rhythm as the original.

Jan 25, 2012

Unaware, I heeded a grim call

অকারণে অকালে মোর পড়ল যখন ডাক
*Awkarone okaale mor porlo jokhon daak (audio: Debabrata Biswas)

Don't know why, unaware, I heard a clarion call
When restfully I lay down and slumbered
I found the world wonder-struck in a starlit nightfall
Nature lay still in darkness encumbered

My beloved ones, anxiously, they cried,
'How could you find a trail in this night?'
I answered back, 'I could travel with my own light,
I have with me the flame of golden amber'

The more the lantern shone with might, it did my mind confound
A blatant boldness blinding me of reason
Casting shades and fallacies and fantasies around
Figments of the truth lost me my vision

The more I hastened with my ghastly pride
The more the grime blotted out my sight
The gust swept over, off and on, fluttering went the light
On my way, it riddled me with treason.

All at once, branches in the jungle struck my face
All at once, my lamp had died in smudge.
So I found I'd lost my trail -- so long ago, in haze,
So I found the darkest night loom large.

I wept in sorrow, crying out in shame,
'I have in me no strength left to proclaim'
But as I turned around, I found, he had come my way,
My friend of life, in all my misadventure

*An attempt has been made to restore the original rhythm

You dazzle me with your music

অগ্নিবীণা বাজাও তুমি কেমন ক'রে
 Ognibeena bajao tumi kemon kore (audio: Dwijen Mukhopadhyay)

You dazzle me with your music,
Your blazing songs spark stars
With flaming animation

So it is, that you stroke my heart
So it is, that my profound pain
Glows with tunefulness.
That my creative vibes
Are set free in expression.

You take pride
In your instrument-- my heart.
You find glory in
Enmeshing it's entirety.

Your melodies flash like fire,
Birthing stars in my gloom,
Igniting them with luminous agony.

I’ve dug out a path in my heart

আমি হৃদয়েতে পথ কেটেছি
ami hridoyete poth ketechhi
(audio)

I’ve dug out a path in my heart
In hope that you will come that way
And so it throbs weighed down with pain
It trembles with a violent quake

You travel the paths paved with pain
Your feet kiss and comfort all ache
And so I seek you with my tears
Forevermore through all my days

I fear not the deluge of tears
I fear it no more
Tugging at me with deathly force
It will take me over the seas
I will drift across to the shore

The gale sings with an anxious note
As it blows towards you in this storm
Let my raft sink, I’ll jump right in
And be swept to your feet
To be saved at your feet

- 23rd August 1914

Jan 14, 2012

Nothing has come of it

কিছুই তো হল না
kichhui to holona
(audio)

Nothing has come of it
All the tumult
The laments of despair
The endless stream of tears
The heartache and the agony

I fail to find peace within
I have not what I wished for

I loved and was loved in return
And I haven’t stopped loving
Yet what is this emptiness

- April 1881

Jan 11, 2012

The sails of my song billow in the wind

হাওয়া লাগে গানের পালে
hawa laage gaaner pale
(audio)

The sails of my song billow in the wind
Oarsman, do sit at the helm
Eager to be untethered
The raft of my life dances
To the rhythm of the breeze

Gone has day to make way for night
Not a mate I have with me at the wharf

Unleash all chains, set me afloat
Embark I will in luminous starlight
Melodious a tune surges forth
At this hour of setting sail

- 20th March 1914


Your breeze unbridled

তোমার খোলা হাওয়া
Tomar khola hawa
(audio)

Unfurling sails to your breeze unbridled
Unfastening my boat from its moors
Tearing away all its tethers
I am willing to sink and go under

The morning goes by in vain
Dusk too follows in its wake
Do not, o please do not keep me
Chained to the shore

I keep awake through night and day
For the One who will steer my boat
While the waves toy with me
Keep tossing me around

The storm I will befriend
Fearing not the frown of its brow
O, let me go, let me now go
I’d breathe a sigh of relief
If only I could find a gale

From dawn to dusk

সকাল-সাঁজে ধায় যে ওরা নানা কাজে
shokal shanje dhay je ora nana kaaje

From dawn to dusk they rush about
Engaged in many a chore

It is only I who sit, lost in my thoughts
Picking out thorns from the road
Awaiting the One, I gaze on
Thorns prick my sole,
Dust soils my frame,
I die of shame
As dawn passes into dusk


- 7th Apr 1914

Jan 5, 2012

It is now time for me to go

আমার যাবার সময় হল
Amar jabar shomoy holo
(Audio)

It is now time for me to go
Why hold me back do you?

Do not entangle me
With the strand of your tears
In attachments of affection

My life of leisure comes to end
Do withdraw your beseeching look
Do not call out to me
I must now hasten on

Hear, o hear their cries of distress

সকাতরে ওই কাঁদিছে সকলে
shokatore oi kandichhe shokole

Hear, o hear their cries of distress
Whisper words of hope O Father
Tell each one of good times to come
Herald happy tidings to every soul

They live in dread and disquiet
Clinging on to their slightest hope
Lost is the little they possess
Hearts refusing to be consoled

In pursuit of happiness
They wander helter skelter
Chasing mirages in this desert

Hours slip by, play comes to an end
Descends the darkness of dusk
Weeps the anxious heart
Quivering in fright

What will be? O Maker!
What will come of it all?
Where, if at all is peace?
Bequeath yourself to us
Satiate all expectation
Come into our embrace

- circa 1883

Jan 2, 2012

Why keep me in cosy comfort

সুখে আমায় রাখবে কেন
shukhe amay rakhbe keno
audio

Why keep me in cosy comfort
Keep me O Lord in your own lap
Comfort! Let it go up in smoke

Let the ground beneath my feet fall apart
You will then hold me tight
And cradle me in your arms

Let the deluge dance into my dwelling
If you sweep me away into the waters deep
I do not seek deliverance

I have succumbed, lost all my fear
Your victory is my own triumph
If I am caught, it is you then I can cling on

- 24 August 1914