Sunday, June 22, 2014

TAGORE POEMS TRANSLATED IN ENGLISH

THE MONSOON MONTH OF ASAARH

DEBIDAS RAY

The entire Asaarh-sky is filled with fresh blue clouds –
not even an inch is left.
Please do not step out of the house today.
It is pouring with incessant rain – the field growing the autumn paddy
is filled to the brim with water,
the bank on the other side appears dark with black clouds.
Please do not go out of the house today.

The cows are repeatedly lowing – bring Dhabali to the cowshed now.
As soon as the day draws to a close, it will be dark at once.
Please stand at the door and see whether those who went
to the field have returned.
I have no idea where the cowboy spent the whole day.
As soon as the day comes to an end, it will become dark.

Listen, someone wanting to cross the river is shouting for the boatman.
Ferrying has stopped today.
The eastern wind is blowing; there is no one near the river
The waves are rolling over both the banks.
Continuous rain falling rapidly over water is making
a rippling noise.
Ferrying has stopped for the day.
Please stay indoors, do not go out of the house today.

The sky is dark, not much of the day is left.
The cloth covering her body will be soaked by the pouring rain.
The steps to the ghat are slippery now,
Look, how the reeds of thin bamboos are swinging wildly
by the side of the path.
Please do not go out of the house today.


English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
entitled “Asaarh” in his collection of poems “Khanika”
                                        in SANCHAYITA,11th ed.2010, p421.    

                            Original Bengali poem first line – nil nabaghane aasarh gagane 


                         Published in The Visva-Bharati Quarterly
                    Volume -22 Numbers 3 & 4   October-2013 – March-2014. p1.                                                                                                   


FEARLESS

 DEBIDAS RAY

We are not going to make playthings of heaven on earth
being captivated by beautiful songs evoking tears.          
We are not going to fill our bridal night with pleasantness
of the sting by five arrows of passion.
We will avoid begging with timid heart at the feet of destiny.
We have nothing to fear as we know for sure that we are
here to stay together both you and me.

We will fly high the banner of love while crossing inaccessible path
with unstoppable speed and performing uphill task.
Even if we have to face the misery of rough days,
we will still not call for truce nor ask for consolation.
If the oar breaks while crossing the river and the sail is torn apart,
faced with death we will know that where you are I am there too.             ,

We have seen the world through each other’s eyes,
we have looked at each other too -
we both endured the heat of desert sand on path.
We never ran after any alluring mirage nor deceived ourselves
by turning truth into falsehood –
                      With this pride, we will carry on in this world as long as we live.
Let the message be glorified my love that you are here and
I am here too.



English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
entitled “Nirbhay” in his collection of poems “Mahua”
in SANCHAYITA, 11th ed. 2010 ,p627.

Original Bengali poem first line
aamra dujona sargakhelna garibo na dharanite

Published in TheVisva–Bharati Quarterly
Volume – 22 Numbers 3 & 4 October–2013 – March-2014.p2.


PIYARI

 DEBIDAS RAY

 Holding a lamp in hand, arrives in the courtyard,
the maiden daughter of the King, her name is Piyari.
When I asked her what she has come for,
she whispered to say, “I ask for nothing.
All I want is that you have a good look at me,
let the light of my lamp fill your mind in full.
Because I come and go across your door,
that’s what makes the wind blow in bakul trees.
When the Jasmines bloom all over the forest,
I bring them in the expanse of my sari to show
them round.
Whatever flowers blossom anywhere in the forest,
they all get thrilled the moment I touch them.
When the morning star appears at dawn and you are alone,
it’s me who goes and greets it properly.
As soon as my anklets start to tinkle,
the blades of the grasses start to shiver.
The flower-beds in your garden all dress themselves up
and whisper amongst themselves, ‘Piyari has come.’
As the sun shines over morning clouds,
the forest wakes up to say, ‘Piyari has come.’
When festival of spring arrives on phalgun full moon night,
there is tumult all round with cries of ‘Piyari, Piyari.’
As the breeze revels in village amidst the mango blossoms,
the flutes everywhere start singing the tune of Piyari’s name.
When water overflows in the Yamuna in autumn,
it keeps chanting, ‘Piyari, Piyari,’ across its banks.”


English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem entitled
“Piyari” in his collection of poems “Galpo salpo”
                                                     in SANCHAYITA, 11th ed.2010, pp836-37.  
                                      Original Bengali poem first line – aasilo dewari haate rajar  jhiari

Published in The Visva-Bharati Quarterly
Volume 22 Numbers 3& 4 October-2013 – March-2014 p3.  
       

Saturday, January 4, 2014

COTTAGE DWELLER

                                                             COTTAGE DWELLER

                                                                   DEBIDAS RAY

You have set up your cottage with unbolted door
by the side of the path under the shade of the banyan tree
When I pass in front of it, I think to myself
that I too had a claim over your home.
Caught in a whirlwind, I lost that right –
being busy with too much work and responsibilities galore.

The passerby who walks this way
quite unmindfully comes and sits down here.
The manner he sits is the same as he walks –
he comes and goes in his own laid back style.
His seat is light and very little luggage he carries -
straight in he comes and straight out he goes.

I, on my part, construct a house foregoing any rest,
build floor upon floor keeping an eye on the sky.
In the complex web of thoughts I try to entrap distant time,
in the process, I myself get enmeshed in the same web.
Eventually I end up forfeiting my right over the path.


In the beginning of the poem Kutirbasi these three stanzas were
                                  found in the original hand written draft which was yet to be finalized.
Sanchayita,11thed. 2010. p872-73.

                                             Published in POETRY WORLD, vol.5(no2) June, 2012,p17



.                                                                   
SUNDAY

DEBIDAS RAY

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday –
                        they all come in such a rush,
Have they got – in their house – huge aeroplanes?
Sunday – oh mother – why it comes so late?
Slowly she arrives after all the other days
Is her house beyond the sky further away
                                                   than others?
Does she - oh mother - come from a poor family
                                                           like yours?


Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday –
they all intend to stay put,
they have no interest whatsoever
of going back home.
Who is it that hurries up Sunday so much -
the hourly bell seems to strike every half an hour.
In her house beyond the sky
her chores  seem to be that much more .
Does she - oh mother -come from a poor family
                                                     like yours?

Monday Tuesday and Wednesday –
they all seem to have sullen faces
and apparently  have great rivalry with
little children
But at the end of Saturday- night
as soon as I wake up,
what I see on Sunday’s face
is a permanent smile.
When she is ready to depart
she looks at our face with tears in her eyes.
Does she - oh mother- come from a poor family
                                                    like yours?

English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
entitled  “Robibar” from his collection of poems
“Sishu Bholanath” in RABINDRA –RACHANABALI
pp.579-80.

Published in POETRY WORLD, vol. 5 (no 12),
April2013, pp.35-36



HIGHEST PRICE

                      DEBIDAS RAY                       

‘Who will buy me up,
who will buy everything I have?’
Shouting and declaring my wares
I roam night and day
Alas, that is the way
my day passes away –
The load on my head has become
a great burden.
Some people just come, some just laugh
and some pitifully look.

In the middle of afternoon, I was walking
on King’s cobbled path,
With crown on his head, weapon in his hand,
on chariot came the King.
He got hold of my hand and said
‘I will procure you by force’ –
Whatever strength was there, got exhausted
in tugging and pulling.
With crown on his head, away went the King
on his golden chariot.

I was crossing through the lane
in front of a closed door.
The door opened, and out came an old man
with a purse in his hand.
He pondered and then said
‘I will buy it all with gold.’
He emptied his purse and walked up and down.
Without paying attention, with load on my head,
I walked away somewhere else.

In the evening, as the moon shines on a tree
full of buds
A beautiful woman came out near the bakul tree
She came near and said,
‘I will buy you with my smile.’
Eventually, her smile turned into tears
and slowly she went back to the shadowed
forest land.

The sun is shining on the sea-shore,
there are waves in the sea.
A child is playing with shells on the beach.
Like someone who is familiar to me,
he said, ‘I will buy you up for free’- 
I was at once relieved of my load on that day.  
Playfully, he bought me up without paying any price.

English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
entitled ‘Charam Mulya’ in his collection of poems
‘Gitimalya’ in SANCHAYITA,11th ed. 2010, pp514-515

Published in Poetry World, vol. 6(no2), June 2013.pp58-59.



BIRTH

DEBIDAS RAY

At what point of time,
I entered through the portal of life
to the abode of this wonderful world,
that particular moment was not known to me.
I did not know what was the power that
-like the buds in a large forest at dead of night-
made me blossom on the lap of this great mystery.

Yet in the morning, holding the head high,
the moment I opened my eyes and surveyed this world,
dressed in a sky-blue apparel stringed with golden rays
and came across this earthly life
- embedded with joy and sorrow -
then at once, it seemed to me that
like my mother’s bosom this unknown mystery
was extremely familiar and exclusively mine.

Apparently, shapeless and beyond comprehension-
that awesome power that has assumed the shape
of my mother and appeared  in front of me.              

English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
entitled “Janma” in his collection of poems “ Naivedya”
in SANCHAYITA,11th ed. 2010,pp443-444.

Published in POETRY WORLD, vol.6 (no.3), July 2013, p59.











ALONE

DEBIDAS RAY

Today you sleep – I will keep vigil at the door
and keep the lamp burning
On your part you have loved me, today it’s me alone
who have to love you.
You don’t have to dress up for me any more –
from now on for you
I will keep my heart decorated with flowers
throughout day and night.

Your hands for so long, ignoring any fatigue
have gone on serving me,
Today after withdrawing them from all work
I will bear them on my head.
After finishing your acts of devotion now you are going away
surrendering heart and soul,
From this time onwards you accept my worship with tears
and my songs of praise.

English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
entitled ‘Ekaki’  from his collection of poems
‘Smaran’ in Sanchayita 4thed, 1943.pp 448-449

Published in POETRY WORLD, vol. 6(no4)
August 2013, p50-51.



JOURNEY

DEBIDAS RAY

The King is going to war
amidst beating of drums and sounds of cymbals;
The whole earth is shaking.
The minister casts his net –of intrigues – wide
to pit one state against another so as to
tie them down in intricate knots.
The flow of commerce encircles the world
during the high and low tides alike.
Merchant ship rushes across
the shores of the sea.
The monument to commemorate glory
of the heroes is erected over the heap
of thousands of human skeletons –
Lifting its head high its summit looks
at the sky and roars with laughter.
The scholars repeatedly invade the impenetrable
castle of knowledge which is encircled by
the wall of books -
Their fame spreads widely from one country
to another.

Here near the outer limits of the village
the river flows slowly to the end of the
vast arid land with its current visibly decelerated.
The boat carrying the newly- wed bride
sails away to a distant village.
The sun sets and silence descends over the banks.
Palpitation grips the newly-wed’s heart.
Slowly in the darkness, the evening star
becomes visible near the horizon.

English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
entitled “Yatra” in his collection of poems “Bichitra”
in SANCHAYITA, 11th ed.2010,pp642-43.

Published in POETRY WORLD, vol.6(no4), August 2013, p51-53.





MIRAGE

DEBIDAS RAY

Frenzied by my own smell,
I roam through the forest
like a musk - deer.
On a phalgun - night in southern breeze –
I can’t find my way.
What I want was wished mistakenly,
what I get I don’t want.

Getting out of my chest,
my inner desire
eludes like a mirage does.
When I try to embrace it with open arms,
I can’t get it back on to my chest.
What I want was wished mistakenly,
what I get I don’t want.

My flute seems to prefer
to hold on to its songs
like a restless madman.
For the one that I manage to retain –
I can’t find the tune.
What I want was wished mistakenly,
what I get I don’t want.


English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
Entitled “Marichika” in his collection of poems “Utsarga”
in SANCHAYITA, 11th ed. 2010, p463.

Published in POETRY WORLD, vol 6(no4),
August 2013, p52.







DECEPTION

DEBIDAS RAY

Lest I understand you easily,
Is it that why you are so playful?
When you burst out into laughter
You may have tears locked inside.
I follow your deceptive ways fully,
The things you want to say
You never ever come out with.

Lest, I catch up with you easily
May be that’s why you are wayward.
In case I treat you at par with others,
You became hostile and awkward.
I understand your deceptive ways clearly
The path you want to follow
You never walk that way.

Because you want more than others
Is it that why you leave the scene?
Casually and with contempt
You toss aside the gift package.
I can now see through you thoroughly,
What is satisfactory for others
Never satisfies you.
                                                             
English Translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
‘Chhalana’ from his collection of poems
‘Utsarga’ in Sanchayita 4th.ed, 1943.p462

Published in THE VISVA-BHARATI QUARTERLY
Volumes:19-20 October-2010-September-2011
p.109










SCEPTRE OF JUSTICE

DEBIDAS RAY

Your sceptre of Justice - you yourself
have handed over to everyone’s hand
and to each one of us -Oh Emperor-
you have given the responsibility to rule.
This great honour, this onerous task –
I hope I am able to accept humbly
to bear on my head with reverence,
I should be able to discharge the duty
you assigned, without fearing anyone.

Where pardon means feeble weakness,
Oh ferocious Lord - as per your diktat-
I should be able to be ruthless in such cases.
The stark truth – at your instance - should 
blurt out of my tongue like a sharp sword.
By taking my place in your seat of Judgement
I should be able to uphold your honour.

The one who commits injustice and the one
                                       who tolerates the same
Let your hatred burn them alike like a bundle of straw.

                                                                 
English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
entitled ‘Nyay Dando’ from his collection of poems
‘Naibedya’ in Sanchayita 4thed, 1943.p441-442 

Published in THE VISVA-BHARATI QUARTERLY,
Volumes: 19-20, October-2010-September -2011,p1.

               .                                                                   
                                                    FATIGUE

                                                    DEBIDAS RAY

                         Pardon me if I feel tired – pardon me my Lord
                         Pardon me if ever I lag behind on the road.
                         If my heart trembles like this, as it does today
                         Ignore that pang and pardon me Lord.

                         Forgive that meanness, Oh Lord,
                         Forgive if ever I look back.
                         If due to day’s heat under the burning sun,
                         the garland offered in the puja-plate dries up 
                         Ignore that dullness and pardon me Lord.
                                            

             English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem
             entitled ‘Klanti’ from his collection of poems
             Geetali’ in Sanchayita 4thed, 1943.p525.

      Published in The Visva-Bharati Quarterly
      Volume:-19-20 October-2010-September-2011 pp.109-110.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

RECEPTION


English Translation of  Tagore's original Bengali poem  "Janmadine"  by DEBIDAS RAY



The blue colour of the mountain
and the blueness of the horizon
tune up words of prayer –
in sky and on earth.
The golden sunshine of the autumn
bathes the forest.
Amidst the bunch of yellow flowers,
the violet-hued bee searches for honey.
I happen to be there in the middle.
That is why the sky around is clapping
without making noise.
In my moment of joy today,
sound and music have fused into one -
Does Kalimpong* know of this?

The mountain accumulates and stores
endless era and ages.
One special day of mine receives it
with a garland like a bride.
To convey this auspicious news -
far and further away in the sky -
in a tune not heard before,
the golden bell rings in the morning
making a resonating sound -
Is Kalimpong listening to this?


*Kalimpong, a picturesque hill station in Eastern Himalayas.

English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem entitled “Baran” in his collection of poems “Janmadine”
in Sanchayita, 11th ed.2010. p818.
Published in POETRY WORLD,vol.5(no.11), March 2013,p24.

GRACE


English Translation of  Tagore's original Bengali poem  "Prasad"  by DEBIDAS RAY



Alas, who else other than the sky
 can accommodate you!
Oh Sun, I only dream of you,
I am not able to serve you.”
The dew lamented saying,
“That I will tie you down – oh Sun -
 I don’t have such strength.
That’s why, without you, my short life
is nothing but a drop of tear.”

“With vast sunshine I light up the whole world,
still, I can surrender to the drop of dew
and give it my love too.”
Then coming onto the bosom of the dew,
the Sun smiled to say –
“I will become smaller in size and fill you up to the full,
I will shape your short life in such a way
that it transforms into a smile.”

                    
English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem entitled “Prasad” in his collection of poems “Utsarga” in SANCHAYITA,11thd 2010,p464-5.
Published in POETRY WORLD,vol.5(no 10), February 2013 pp59-60.




T

ROTATION


English Translation of  Tagore's original Bengali poem  "Aabartan"  by DEBIDAS RAY


The incense wants to mingle with its scent,
scent wants to cling on to the incense.
The melody wants to surrender to the verse,
verse itself wants to rush back to melody.
Idea wants to manifest itself in shape
while shape wants to be set free in idea.
Limitless wants close company of the limit,
limit wants to get lost in what is limitless.
Between destruction and creation –no one knows- 
who agreed to this non-stop coming and going
                                    between idea and shape –
The one who is attached is searching for own freedom
while freedom wants to reside in midst of attachment.

                           

English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem Entitled “Aabartan” from his collection of poems
“Utsarga” in SANCHAYITA,11thed,2010, p467-8.
 Published in Poetry World, vol 5 (no9) January 2013, p39.

DAY’S LAST SHADOW OF MINE


English Translation of  Tagore's original Bengali poem  " Amaar Diner Sesh Chhaya Tuku"  by DEBIDAS RAY



When the day’s last shadow of mine
will merge with the basic melodious note
                                                of the day -
its humming tone will linger for ever
though the exact meaning of it will be forgotten.

Tired with work, when the passer-by 
                       will sit by the side of the road,
a faint trace of sadness of that tune
                                       will touch his heart,
with head down, he will listen to it.

What he will get is only a mere hint and nothing more
other than this he will perceive that -
in days gone by - in a rare moment of history,
may be , there used to live someone who found
that something special which we all have been
                                      searching for in vain.

                             
English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem entitled “Amaar Diner Sesh Chhaya Tuku” in his collection of poems
“Ragasajjay’ in SANCHAYITA,11th ed.2010, p819.

Published in POETRY WORLD, vol.5(no8),December 2012,pp26-27.



ABODE AND SKY


English Translation of  Tagore's original Bengali poem  "Naivedya"  by DEBIDAS RAY


You yourself are the sky, yourself the abode –
you are one and the same.
Oh beautiful you, in your earthly abode
love runs deep.
At each moment, in many colours
in many aroma and music,
the enchanted life has enclosed it
from all sides.
Here, the dawn, holding a golden plate
in right hand,
brings a garland that is elegant
to place it silently over the forehead of earth.
With its face down the evening comes
in open fields after the cows have gone
and by treading the unbeaten path brings in
the golden pitcher after filling it with sacred water
from the western seas.

Wherever you happen to be the sky of our soul,
the boundless area of transition – what prevails
there is incandescent glow –
there exists no day, no night, not a single
person or creature,
there is no trace of colour or smell,
let alone any voice.


English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem entitled “Neerh O Aakash” from  his collection of poems “Naivedya” in SANCHAYITA, 11th ed.2010, p443.
Published in POETRY WORLD, vol.5(no7), November 2012,pp28-29.