Posted by: Monideepa Tarafdar | May 9, 2011

Beloved Bard

This year, today actually, is the 150th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in literature. I of course, do not know as much I would like to, about all of the different forms in which he expressed himself. But whatever I do know, mainly through his songs and poems, I find very personal in a rather comforting sort of way. I suppose that is the hallmark of all enduring literature – that it should hold up a mirror for us to experience our familiar joys and doubts over and over. But with Tagore, whether you are searching for your beloved or playing with your child or remembering your parents or just taking in a star-filled sky in wonder, some song or poem invariably comes to mind, and you hum it and you think of the words, and you say “How did he know what I am feeling?” Follows below a translation I did some time ago, of the song “Daanriye Accho”.  It reminds me of musical instruments, meandering rivers, distant echoes, deep longings and ancient quests.

The Other Shore of My Song

( A version of Daanriye Accho Tumi Aamar Ganer Opare)

You stand on the other shore of my song

My notes have found their words- they call out to You

Yet, You remain far away

Softly blows the breeze

Do not keep Your boat tied to the shore

Set it free, cross the river

Come into my heart for evermore

Making music with You

Is like playing to a place far away

My flute sings in distant longing

Every night and every day

When will You hear its voice?

When will You come and play?

Come in joy

Come in the silence of the dark

Come in the peace of the night

You stand on the other shore of my song

My notes have found their words- they call out to You

Yet, You remain far away

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