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September 30, 2008

Hridoye chile jege

Hridoye chile jege
dekhi aaj shoroto meghe

Kaymone aaj ke bhore
galo go galo shore
tomar oyi aanchol khani
shishirer choan lege

Keeje gaan gahite chaay
bani mor khoonje na paay

Sheje oyi shivli dole
chodalo kanon tole
sheje oyi khonik dharay
ude jaay bayu bege

You were always alive in my heart but its only today that I see you clearly among the bright autumn clouds.
This autumn morning, by the touch of the dewdrops, I see you unveiled.
I want to sing to you about how I feel but I can't find the right words.
It is as if all my words are sprinkled in the garden like flowers and are whisked away by the breeze.

September 27, 2008


Janu and the monk

Janu and the monk

Janu, a 10 year old girl, lived with her parents and three brothers in an old house right across the beach. They had a huge garden, which with its trees, plants and open space was a playground for the children. Janu’s three brothers went to school but she did not. Her parents were growing old and they needed help with the household chores. So little Janu would help around the house, though she really wanted to study like her brothers. She would help cook, fetch water, wash the clothes and utensils, and take care of her sisters’ children who used to visit regularly.
One day a monk moved close to their house. He started Sunday classes for children. Janu and her brothers would go every Sunday. He would show them some short movies, sing songs with them, and give them books to read. There were many other children there too. It was so much fun. Janu loved the books in the monk’s library. Some of them had such lovely pictures. She would spend a lot of time looking at the pictures. The monk noticed how she loved books and he soon was puzzled. The girl just seemed to be looking at the pictures, not reading anything.
He asked her if she could read and she told him no. She did not go to school, though she did want to, and so she could not read. The monk was very sad and asked her brothers why only their sister did not go to school. They didn’t know why. This is how it had been. He then asked if they could help their sister read and write. One of them said he could and he started teaching her the alphabet.
Janu was thrilled! She was finally getting a chance to study. She would quickly finish the household chores and spend her time learning the alphabet. She was soon quite comfortable with it. Her brother was also happy that she was learning enthusiastically and well. And the monk was happy seeing the young girl learning what she wanted to.

Aaji Jhoder Rate Tomar Obhishaar

Aaji jhoder rate tomar obhishaar
poranshakha bondhu he aamar

Aakash kande hotash shamo
nayi je ghoom noyone momo
duvar khuli he priyotomo
chayi je barebar

Bahire kichu dekhite nahi paayi
tomar potho kothay bhabhi tay

Shudoor kon nadir pare
gohon kon boner dhare
gobheer kon ondhokare
hotecho tumi paar

On this stormy night, my beloved friend, you seem to be seeking company.

I await you, opening the door in expectation and looking out every now and then, unable to sleep. But I cannot see you. I wonder where you are...Even the skies are weeping at this hopeless situation.

Maybe you are far off - crossing a river, a dense forest, deep darkness. You are still on your way...

It was a pleasant surprise to hear this song at the end of the movie 'The Last Lear'. I felt it was fitting, this rendering at the end.

Tagore's translation in Gitanjali:

Art thou abroad on this stormy night
on thy journey of love, my friend?
The sky groans like one in despair.

I have no sleep tonight.
Ever and again I open my door and look out on
the darkness, my friend!

I can see nothing before me.
I wonder where lies thy path!

By what dim shore of the ink-black river,
by what far edge of the frowning forest,
through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading
thy course to come to me, my friend?