There is always a light

There is always a light
Don't be afraid if you are alone or surrounded by darkness. In some part of the world, the day has just begun. There is a always a light waiting for you to find your way to touch its radiance.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tagore in Full Moon

By Partha Banerjee
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Rabindranath Tagore creates a mood, and then in his characteristic way, takes us slowly through the song's subtle message. A poor, incomplete translation does not do justice to its melody and nuance; I also believe translated songs are truly inadequate to understand and cherish the ocean-deep Tagore treasures largely unknown to the world outside Bengal or India.

User Warning: my translation stole most of the intoxication of the songs, and the out-of-the-world tunes too. What's left here is practically harmless. (For me, I'm in deep trouble: in a trance, and can't get over with it. I need help.)

Cheers to us -- the cheerleaders. Homage to the poet of all poets on his 150th birth anniversary.


naiba ele jodi samoy nai
khanek ese bolo na, bolo na go
"jai jai jai"
na, na
naiba ele jodi samoy nai

You might as well not come
If you don't have the time -- at least some
But please, don't come only for brief
And then say you must leave, must leave
No, no, no
You might as well not show

amar prane achhe jani
seema-biheen gabhir bani
tomay chiradiner kathakhani
bolbo, bolte jeno pai

I have deep down inside, I know
Limitless abyss of words that grow
Eternal are those conversations
With you I wish to share -- back and fro'
Back and fro'

jakhan dakhin hawa kanan ghire
ek katha koy phire phire
purnima chand tare cheye
ek taane daye akash chheye

When the southerly breeze blows 'round the reed
Utters the same words in an ever-repeating deed
The full glowing moon stares down at him
And paintbrushes the sky with one long-drawn hymn

jeno samoy-hara sei-samoy
ekti se gaan gai

As if in a time-frame of precious frozen time
He sings the only song he can ever chime

[You might as well not at all come
If you don't have the time -- at least some
But please, don't come only for brief
And then say you must leave, must leave

No, no, no
You might as well not show]


tomra ja bolo tai bolo
amar lage na mone
amar jaye bela, boye jaye bela
kemon bina karone

Whatever you say, you say
It doesn't affect me, no way
I choose to live life 'most without a reason
My days and nights keep flying away

ei pagol hawa ki gaan gawa
chhoriye diye gelo
aaji suneel gagane

Only this crazy wind, this crazy song
Blow over my mind, blow it all along
Today, this moment, this life with no clue
Scatter over the sky the beautiful blue

se-gaan amar laglo je go
laglo mone
ami kiser madhu
khuje berai bhramar-gunjane

My song then does it: it plays the right keys
It does it, it does it deep down inside
I look 'round and over the ever-buzzing bees
I search for the nectar in a relentless stride

oi akash chhawa kahar chawa
emon kore laage
aji amar nayane

Whose vision is way out and up above there
Whose vision's wide across the serendipitous blue
Surely it reaches up my own mortal eyes
Finally it finds way, and lights them up too

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