Sunday, June 22, 2014




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.                                                                                                   



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.



 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

                                                                   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

                                                    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


English Translation of  Tagore's original Bengali poem  "Pratham Diner Surya"  by DEBIDAS RAY

Upon arrival of the new entity,
the first day’s sun
asked the question,
“Who are you?”
There was no answer.

After many years elapsed,
the day’s last sun
at the western shore of the sea
-in quietness of the evening-
asked for the last time,
“Who are you?”
Didn’t get any reply.

English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem entitled “Pratham Diner Surya” from his collection of poems “Shesh Lekha” in SANCHAYITA, 11th ed.2010, p838.
Published in POETRY WORLD, vol.5(no1) April 2012, p14.


Sunday, March 17, 2013


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

The budding flower opened its eye and
                                           beheld this earth –
green, beautiful, pleasant and full of
                                           musical sounds.
Just then, calling the world at large it
                                            said, “My dear,
as long as I stay, you please stay here too.”

  English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem entitled “Moher Ashanka” in his collection  of poems  “Kanika” in SANCHAYITA, 4thed, 1943.p292.
 Published in POETRY WORLD,vol 4(no3), July 2011, p18-19.                   

Saturday, April 21, 2012


English Translation of  Tagore's original Bengali poem “Raj Byabastha”  by DEBIDAS RAY

The emperor - out of fear – stays put in the police station,

Whatever laws he promulgates, are never complied with.

His roving spies are always on the look out,

If by chance, any saintly person strays and is found alone

They have to inform the king at once -

For his safety, they keep the saint in prison.


English Translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem entitled “Raj Byabastha” in his collection of poems “Chharar Chhabi” in Sanchayita,4th ed.1943, p762.

Published in POETRY WORLD, vol 3(no9),January 2011,p29.


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

In the land of Gods during dance festivals,
if even for a moment, a tired Urvashi
by chance misses a single step,
the King of Gods does not pardon her.

In venues where human beings meet
there too, the same rules of heavens apply.

That is why, there is diffidence underlying
my literary work because I fear that
due to exhaustion at the end of a burning fevered day
there may occur – in such pursuit - laxity
and inadvertent faltering in steps.

English translation of the introduction to “Rogasajjaay” – a collection of poems written  in sick bed by Rabindranath Tagore in SANCHAYITA, 4th.ed, 1943, p876.
 Published in POETRY WORLD, vol 3(no 8), December 2010, p26.