Bestowal by R.Tagore translated by Ranu


sword (Photo credit: Guitarwarlord)

Bestowal   By Rabindranath Tagore

I thought I will ask you, I didn’t have the courage_

the garland you had around your neck in the evening

I did not have the courage to ask you for it.

Maybe I presumed when you leave your bed next morning

the severed garland would lie scattered on your bed.

Like a beggar I came early morning,

I still did not dare to ask for it.

This is not a garland my dear, this is your sword!

It seems to light up like a flame,  it is as heavy as thunderbolt,

this is your sword.

The early morning light came through the window     it spread all over on your bed,

the early morning bird asked in her song      ‘what did you get woman,’

it is not a garland,nor a dish, it is a perfumed water-can_

this is so— heavy.

This is why I sit and wonder,    is this your award____

where can I hide this,  I don’t have such a place.

Oh my dear ,  what kind of an award is this!

I feel weak with embarrassment,  can this ornament suit me,

I have a queer feeling in my chest  if I try to keep it  my heart aches my dear.

I will still carry it on my chest     to honour this pain__

I will take your award.

I will get rid of fear from my heart from this day,

from today all my work will sing your praise____

I will get rid of fear altogether.

You have left death in my house as my companion,

I will accept it happily and save it in my heart.

Your sword will gradually decrease my union__

I will release myself from fear.

I will not dress up for you .

It is okay if you do not come back anymore my dear,

I will not sit on the floor and weep for you     in this lonely house,

later in this house   I will not feel ashamed  of myself.

Your sword  has dressed me up today___

I will not dress up anymore.

5 thoughts on “Bestowal by R.Tagore translated by Ranu

  1. This is the only poem you’ve translated from Tagore that leaves me utterly perplexed.

    Perhaps I need to give this one more time? I can feel the importance…Is it about a young wife who died or a woman in his life with whom a relationship was very heavy? Or entirely metaphorical about a certain part of himself or spirit who visited him? I am sorry to be so dumb-founded…but I really want to know. Is it fair to ask for a clue? 🙂

      • This one is about a woman.She wanted the garland the man had around his neck.She was too shy to ask for it.
        She decided to come back the next morning,when she was sure the garland will be torn apart and she will be able to pick up the pieces.
        She did come back,but still wasn’t brave enough to ask for it.
        What she received was not the garland,but a sword,it was heavy.She noticed it when she came back,but it was a sword.She felt the morning bird was asking her,
        what did you get woman?It is not a garland,nor a dish but a perfumed water can.
        After receiving it she asked the question,’Is this your award? It was too large to hide it.
        She thought being so weak how is she going to use it.
        She decided to keep it with her.She realizes she got this award to get rid of her fear.
        The sword is her protector,this was left by her dead husband.His gift was something she could use
        to protect herself,since she was alone.
        In the end she becomes brave,understands the husband will not come back,she therefore doesn’t have to dress up any more.
        The sword has taken the place of her colourful dress and jewellery,she is happy because she no longer is afraid to be alone.

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