I have translated Tagore’s poem on mother.I am aiming to translate some more of his poems into English.The following is about the faithful servant.
“My Faithful servant”
His unattractive face and lack of consciousness– makes my wife believe that,
Whatever is lost in the house, she says,Keshto is the thief.
At every step of the way standing or sitting,he hears but pretends not to–
He gets more abuse than his wages, still he doesn’t learn.
I need him so much,I scream , “Keshta”—
However much I hurry,I cannot hear him,I look for him everywhere.
When he is given three things he keeps one,and is unaware where the rest are—-
If he is given one thing he brings three in seconds and doesn’t know where they came from.
He takes a nap in the morning and afternoon—
In the middle of all the noise I call him ” stupid,naughty, idiot”
My anger gets worse when I see him standing by the door laughing;
Even then I find it hard to get rid of him ,he is with me for such a long time.
My spouse with a very angry face tells me,’I cannot bear this any more—
I am leaving all your possessions, you can stay with your Keshta;’
He doesn’t know how to take care of the things, my things have disappeared.
where are they gone—I am continuously spending money to replace them.
When he goes for shopping it is hard to trace him all day;( I think in my mind)
how hard, can it be to get a servant to replace Keshta!
with this thought in my mind I run and hold his hair and bring him—;’
I tell him,You scoundrel you leave today,I am getting rid of you;’
He leaves slowly, I think my responsibility is over; next day I wake up and see
he is standing with the ‘Hukka’ that silly man;
With a quiet face and devoid of sadness, a picture of a Simpleton
I try to let him go but I cannot,what can I do,he is my faithful servant.
That year I made some money from brokerage.
I decided to go to Brindabon for pilgrimage;
My wife wanted to go, I tried to make her understand—
A husbands good deed is considered a wife’s good deed also,otherwise it increases the expenditure.
I kept the expenses low, I collected my things and put them in a bag
My wife got everything ready,she cried and said,
‘in a strange land with Keshta you will suffer a lot.’
I said ,’Oh God Nibaron will go with us.’
We reached Burdwan by train, after getting off,
a very calm Krishnakanto brought my Hukka,where is Keshta?
Such audacity of his ,how much can I tolerate daily?
No matter how much I blame him I find him happy, my faithful servant.
I got off at Sridham; and found on the south,left,back and front all
the ruffians,within seconds caught my throat. They wanted to go with me,
Six or seven of us joined together like very good friends we
stayed in a home; It felt that with hope and comfort our days will be spent happily,then came the disease small pox,
where is Brojobala,Bonomala, Bonomali ,Hori I asked?
They all left when they heard small pox. I am dying of this disease.
I am alone in a room, the small pox has covered all of my body.
I call every day in my pathetic voice, Keshto come closer to me,
After all these days in a strange land,I am going to die.’
I look at his face my heart is filled with love,he is such a close friend—
Everyday he stood by me,my faithful servant Keshto,
He gave me water,asked me how I was,he put my hand on his forehead,
He stood quietly,without any sleep or food.
He told me repeatedly,master,do not worry,listen—
you will go back home,you will be able to see my,’Ma Mistress again.’
After I got better,he caught fever;
He took my terrible disease on his body.
He was unconscious for two days,his digestive system failed—
All the times I wanted to get rid of him,he wouldn’t go; and when I realized I wanted him to stay,he was gone.
I completed pilgrimage and came home after several days.
Today I no longer have my faithful servant —my loyal friend Keshta.