Saturday, 8 May 2010


On the brink of the river of youth, I sit,

Awash by the currents of an unknown flood,

By the fire of restlessness, I'm lit.

The lamp floats by,

In rhythm with the crests and the troughs,

O the unblossomed lotus bud!

What's this secret desire that fills me up?

In a burning red of shame and love?

Surrounded by its fragrance,

A drop of tear testifying the stance.

In pain, O the fluttering white dove!

O wind! Slow down, Slow ---

So real is your caress, it bends me low.


My conscience does fear,

The bonds of constraint might tear!

An unreasonable melancholy brings tears of apprehension,

On my eye-lids rest the waters of passion,

Shining as if the crests and the troughs

Of the youth river bringing my doom...

O the ardour in bloom!

On the occasion of Tagore's 150th birth anniversary, not a word to word translation, but the above effort draws its inspiration from the Rabindrasangeet:

"Joubonoshoroshineere milonoshotodolo
Kon choncholo bonyay tolomolo tolomol//
Shoromroktoraage taar gopon shwopno jaage,
Taari gondhokeshoro-majhe
Ek bindu noyonojolo//
Dheere bao Dheere bao, shomirono,
Shobedono poroshono/
Shonkito chitto mor paachhe bhange brintodor -
Taai okarono korunay mor aankhi kore chholochhol//"


Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri said...

An exceedingly difficult task reasonably well executed. Have you thought of translating other poems / songs of Rabindranath? I will be happy if you do.

Sudipto Basu said...

This is indeed remarkable. :)

The uncertainty and emotional upheaval of first love well captured.

Anonymous said...

@ Jethu: No, you could say this was almost my first attempt (other than broken bits here and there). Even though I regard Him as my "chiroshokha" in every sense, Tagore's songs and poems, I've always felt, are best expressed the way He left them. It's far beyond my capacity and reach to translate His other works in Bengali. I may try my hand at few of His songs now and then though. I'll leave that task to our dearest K-da, who, I know, can do it effortlessly, almost in a playful disposition...

Kaushik Chatterjee said...

Wonderful, dear ! It's so natural and uninhibited, it flows from the core of her feeling! I strongly second Santanu-da who has translated quite a few works, including those of noted litterateurs like Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Dibyendu Palit with great passion and felicity.
As for my dear little sister’s kind words, [her sisterly benevolence does get the better of her discretion, it seems :)]though many a time I’m greedy to eat more than I can chew, it’s a little bit of too much for my robust digestive tract this time!

T. Mukherjee said...

Translating, while maintaining rhyme, and rhythm. Great work!