After many translations of Tagore’s songs and poems, I finally realize, it’s not enough that I am a Bengali, and can claim I understand his poems and his songs. There’s something missing in my translation. The fact that I’m not a Philosopher, therefore I am unable to create the philosophic angle of his song lyrics. Today I’ll make an attempt, hoping I truly comprehend what Tagore is telling us.
This song is in the form of a dialogue between nature and our feelings.
When I read the prompt Sting, somehow my attention was directed to Tagore’s song : Ei monihar amai nahe shaje
Monihar means a collection of Tagore’s songs. There is a story why Tagore wrote the lyrics of this song. According to another singer, Tagore did not get any recognition for his writings, no one paid attention to him. when he received the Nobel prize for literature, a group of famous authors went to his Shantiniketon school to congratulate him.
Tagore was offended by this sudden recognition from the famous Bengalis who had no time for him, who came with garlands to congratulate him, after he got the Nobel Prize.
This is when he wrote the lyrics of this song.
This garland does not suit me,
It hurts when I try to wear it,
It pains when I try to tear it.
It restrains my voice,
I’m unable to speak.
It disturbs me so I cannot pay attention to my work.
This is why I wait to put this
Garland around your neck,
Only then I will breathe a sigh of relief.
Receive me with the string of the garland,
This sudden recognition embarrasses me,
And I’m ashamed to show my face!
He wrote the lyrics and showed it to his favorite sister-in-law.
What is symphony? it’s a pleasing arrangement of colors, and shapes.
Translation by Ranu:
For the prompt, “Symphony,” I used Tagore’s song and translated it in English. In my mind it has music, and portrays thoughts of the poet. There is rhythm in it and Hemant Kumar’s unusual voice is sweet and pleasing to one’s ears.
Your words alone are not enough, my friend and beloved,
from time to time, I’d like to feel your touch as well,
I have no idea how to quench my day’s thirst and relief of exhaustion from the day’s walk.
I’m trying to convey to you how it’s fulfilled by your presence,
My heart wants to give, it’s not satisfied with receiving alone.
Extend your hand, put it in mine,
I want to hold it, fill it and keep it with me.
It will help my loneliness, o my friend and beloved!
We all love the word ‘HOPE’, it is so wonderful to think about it and believe as long as we hope we will be successful in life.
Tagore was a very optimistic poet, he believed in ‘Hope,’ he wrote songs about it, here is one of his songs I have translated. In Bengali, hope means ‘Asha,’ it is always used for a female. I’ve never met any male who was named, ‘Hope.’
Tagore has written many songs and poems titled, ‘Mother.’ It doesn’t always mean his own mother, sometimes he means his country, earth or even God.
The following is the translation of this song:
I have come with a lot of hope, dear mother, please don’t turn me away.
No one wants a destitute, I know you will give me shelter.
I do not want anything else, I only want to sit beside your feet.
I do not want anything I only want to call you, my ‘Mother.’
If you do not give me shelter where will I roam around crying?
There in the distance I see terrible dense cloud this night.
Oh Mom I hope you will save me from the perilous storm.
I write because I enjoy writing. It helps me write about things that is not always possible to carry on in a conversation.
I am not sure my friends or relatives would like me to talk in length what my thoughts are, some may show interest only half-heartedly ;others may tune me out; thinking what I’m saying is not interesting enough for them.
When I write I please myself, I do not have to think about anyone; it’s just my world and I get the luxury of putting my thoughts in print. Some may read it , others may not. I write because it helps me to express myself.
I like to write about myself, who I am, why I’m writing, why do I have a blog. I have made friends through my writing.
Blogging has helped me write about things I would not otherwise write.
I’m glad I decided to translate some of Tagore’s poems and his songs. I feel it is interesting for people who’ve heard about him, but are unable to know about his writings because of the language barrier. In a very small way I’ve tried to post some of his writing by translating them.
What’s the better idea you’ve ever had? Regale us every detail of the idea_ the idea itself,where it came to you, and the problem it solved.
The best idea I ever had was when my friend Robert started blogging, and I wanted to find out what blogging was and could I try it as well. I asked my good friend, he encouraged me and said, he was thinking of telling me to pick up the craft of blogging.
In the beginning there were a few roadblocks I had to deal with. For instance what can I write about, another friend stepped in and suggested it would be a neat idea if I translated Tagore’s poems. I was thrilled but had to tread cautiously. Yes I knew the language as it happened to be my mother tongue, there was a ‘but’ factor lingering in my brain.
Was I capable of taking a risk like that. I did not admit I was scared, at heart I was. This task was not easy, I had no experience translating.
I started with a short one and slowly I was feeling confident. I translated several poems and my friend encouraged me all along.
From time to time I found other things to do. I discovered the every day daily post. I read the prompts and began to write.
From prompts I went to five sentence fiction writing. Each week we were given a one word prompt, we were expected to write a story based on the prompt.I wrote stories for a while. It was discontinued.
I looked for other things to do. I joined the 101 writing course offered by WordPress. It lasted for four weeks. I loved it, I was able to keep myself busy.
The recent poetry course offered by WordPress was one I loved the most. I loved to read, recite memorize poetry, I did not have the experience of writing it.
I’m glad I joined blogging , I’m gaining experience writing things I haven’t done before.
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