Blogging 201, Day Five

Day Five: Make the Most of Your Archives.

Today’s assignment: Integrate a feature to draw traffic to your older content like a widget,related posts, or a “Best  of “Page.

From The Archives

English: Rabindranath Tagore Русский: Рабиндра...

English: Rabindranath Tagore Русский: Рабиндранат Тагор (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Rabindranath Tagore Русский: Тагор, Р...

English: Rabindranath Tagore Русский: Тагор, Рабиндранат (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his lifetime Tagore wrote in all sorts of literary forms. Despite that, the name of poet stuck to him. He was called viswa-kabi(the universal poet) by his own people. He was certainly one who wrote variety of poems.When one surveys his poems, one could exclaim as Dryden did about Chaucer,’Here is God’s plenty.’He began writing poems at a tender age. It is said that when he lay dying,poems kept coming to him. Although he was incapable of writing himself,he dictated the poems,he checked them to be sure they were formed perfectly.

I have read many poems of Tagore.I never thought of translating them.To me they were there to read and enjoy.The feeling that I should translate them to show the beauty of his work,came to me only lately.In English there are limited words one can use to translate Bengali prose,poetry or songs. I am aware,my translation will fail to catch the depth of Tagore’s poetry. I have finally found a poem,Tagore wrote,The title is “To Remember”.

“To Remember”

I do not have any recollection of my mother.

Only when I go out to play suddenly without any reason

A kind of tune keeps ringing in my ears,

as if the sound mixes with my mother’s words in the middle of my game.

Did my mother sing while rocking my swing–.

My mother has gone but, as she was going she left the song.

I do not have any recollection of my mother;

Only in September, early in the morning in the garden of the white flowers,

the wind spreads the smell of the flowers wet with dew;

Why then does my mothers words,echo in my mind;

perhaps when my mother carried the decorated basket of flowers—-

The smell of Pooja transformed into my mother’s smell and came to me.

I do not have any recollection of my mother;

Only when I sit in the corner of my bedroom;

I look far-away at the blue sky from my window—

All of a sudden I feel my mother is looking at me very intently;

She used to have me in her lap and look at me,

that is the look she left all over the sky as a reminder for me.

I have tried to translate the Bengali poem written by Tagore into English. I hope it is okay!


An example of handwritten Bengali script. Part...

An example of handwritten Bengali script. Part of a poem written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1926 in Hungary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for li...

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for literature. It is the first Nobel prize won by Asia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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9 thoughts on “Rabindranath Tagore”

  1. I cannot be a good judge since I do not know Bengali language, but I thoroughly enjoyed your English translation. To me the best part about it was that it gave that feeling of being overwhelmed, almost like being pulled into an ocean of emotions forcefully and suddenly – which I have understood to be a hallmark of Tagore’s poetry, and a kind of his “signature” (by which I mean, what makes him different from other poets and comes out even in translations, when translations are good).

    • Thank you Bhai,I was afraid to translate it,I felt I know the language,maybe I should give it a try.
      The exceptional comment coming from you,certainly made my day.Whichever way I say thank you isn’t enough.
      When Akhtar Bhai suggested to write about Tagore especially his poetry.I was a bit scared,I was not sure how to handle it.
      At the same time I did not want to admit I couldn’t do it.Many many thanks once again!

  2. Dear Ranu,

    This is an absolutely beautiful poem.

    I like that Tagore is referred to as the Universal Poet. It seems right that God would have His poets.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    All good wishes,


  3. Thank you very much for this, the poem has an enormous effect on heart and mind, and also creates a splendorous sensibility about the relationship that the poet describe so simply but that simplicity produces a river of opus that flows in imagination as musical notation.

    Your translation is so good that it brought out tears and I am so happy to be introduced to this beautiful piece of poetry. This is a brilliant beginning 🙂

My first year in Iqbal studies

I started the on-line Iqbal studies in November 2011. I have almost completed one year. The final date of one year completion will be next week. My interest to do the course was only based on a poem I had read. Being naturally curious I took this daring attempt.

I had no past experience . I knew nothing about the poet,philosopher. I took one course in the first semester. The first few assignments were challenging for me. I started to feel a bit more comfortable as I was going along. There were a wide range of topics introduced. I realized then I would have to train myself to start studying from the very beginning,there did not seem to be any room to procrastinate. This is what I did from school right through to college and university. Soon enough I realized if I want to know about Iqbal,I would have to leave my bad habits behind.

I must have really gotten rid of them.One day my daughter remarked,”Mom I never saw you working so hard.” I felt this is a positive comment from my kid. I felt good about myself and thought,no one forced me to do this. I was interested  I should therefore make sure I am up to the task.

I may not know as much as the others,they know a lot more because they have studied about him in school and college.I did not.

I am finding it very interesting. There are a variety of topics in this course,there is philosophy.psychology, religion,politics,poetry and many others.We are given assignments by email,we study the text,and answer the questions and write our comments.

The course provider is Mr. Khurram Ali Shafique. He is an authority on Iqbal the poet and philosopher.He has written several books which are already published.He is writing some more.I guess in order to excel in life,this is what one needs to do. He is a very dedicated person. We are lucky to have him as our course facilitator.

In a year I have gained quite a bit of knowledge about Iqbal. I am thankful to Iqbal Academy,Pakistan, for providing this course, also Mr.Shafique for his hard work and dedication.

It has also helped me to be a blogger.It is something I did not try before. I have picked up some very good habits.I love to read, write and I do not waste my time watching television,or watch movies on youtube .I watch some television shows that I like. I also watch movies that are good.

Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), a notab...

Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), a notable Muslim philosopher, poet and scholar from India (then British India) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have changed our itinerary

Cheragi Pahar Circle, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Chittagong, Bangladesh
Chittagong, Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Entrance to main Tomb of the Shrine o...

English: Entrance to main Tomb of the Shrine of Bayazid Bostami in Chittagong, Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zia Museum, Lalkhan Bazar, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Zia Museum, Lalkhan Bazar, Chittagong, Bangladesh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Partial tree of Indo-European languages. Branc...

Partial tree of Indo-European languages. Branches are in order of first attestation; those to the left are Centum, those to the right are Satem. Languages in red are extinct. White labels indicate categories / un-attested proto-languages. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maastricht dialect

English: Chittagong bypass connecting the Chit...
English: Chittagong bypass connecting the Chittagong port facilities with N1 through Patenga. বাংলা: চট্টগ্রাম বাইপাস চট্টগ্রাম বন্দরকে পতেঙ্গার মাধ্যমে এন-১ হাইওয়ের সাথে সংযুক্ত করেছে। (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Chittagong Shipbreaking

Chittagong Shipbreaking (Photo credit: AdamCohn)

shipbreaking in Bangladesh near Chittagong

shipbreaking in Bangladesh near Chittagong (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kaptai Lake, Bangladesh

Kaptai Lake, Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Star Mosque, locally known as Tara Ma...

English: Star Mosque, locally known as Tara Masjid (Bangla: তারা মসজিদ), is a mosque located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is situated at the Armanitola area of the old part of the city. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Karwan Bazar, one of the most important busine...

Karwan Bazar, one of the most important business centres in Dhaka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dhaka travelling by rickshaw

Dhaka travelling by rickshaw (Photo credit: eGuide Travel)

Bengal Tiger

Bengal Tiger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jamuna Bridge of Bangladesh is one of the most...

Jamuna Bridge of Bangladesh is one of the most notable in South Asia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Agriculture in Bangladesh

English: Agriculture in Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Boat Bangladesh

Boat Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A map of the languages spoken in Bangladesh, i...

A map of the languages spoken in Bangladesh, in English. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was able to convince Alphie that he should spend some  more time in Bengal.Since Bangladesh is so close to Kol kata,it would be unfair not to go to Bangladesh. Besides it is the country I am from. I didn’t have to say much to convince him.He thought about it.I only said it once and he was happy to change his booking.Gepetto however had a big smile on his face. He was at an age when missing school is a lot of fun.There will be no studies, no cranky teachers,no Principal’s office to visit as punishment.Ranu just made his day.  “I made the right choice by asking for a guide.Life is awesome he thought.”  Ranu thought he was exceptionally quiet,she inquired, “everything okay Gepetto,did I do anything wrong?”  ” Oh no he said,it is fine,I like your change of plans.”

We are going to Dhaka. I will show you my college,it is Holy Cross College,near Kawran Bazaar.After graduating I took admission in Dhaka university.My sister wanted me to take admission in the university after school.I was afraid of the male population.I had heard after the new year,the boys give names to the female students.As I did not want to face it.I decided to spend two years in the Girl’s college.I thought I would be two years older and might be able to deal with it. Dhaka university is the oldest in Bangladesh.There are a lot of universities now.After my education I taught in Residential Model School,Mohammadpur,Dhaka.I was unable to get a picture of my college,therefore I can only say,it was just an ordinary college.Most of our teachers were nuns from the united states.

From Dhaka we decided to visit Chittagong,the second largest city in Bangladesh.It is a port city in southern Bangladesh.It is built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River.It is the country’s busiest seaport.It has a population of over 5.5 million people.It is a trading post since the 9th century.It has a multicultural heritage of Islamic,Hindu and Buddhist traditions.A few parts of Chittagong were developed in the early  twentieth century under the British .The city also became a focal point for revolutionary activities against the British.

Chittagong has attracted people from around the world.The various waves of settlements left a lasting impact on the language and culture of the city.The origins of the people are diverse and multi-ethnic. The most significant contributors to the population are indigenous Tibeto-Burman people and traders and settlers of Arab,Afghan and Mughal origin.They travelled from the North-west many hundreds of years ago.

Lungi or Dhoti are the most common costume for men and Saree for women.Rice and fish are the staple food of the people.Because of its close proximity to the sea, sea food is very popular.vegetables commonly found are: egg plant,flat beans,okra,pumpkins,potatoes, gourds and several others are grown.The main fruits are Jack fruit,coconut,papaya,bananas and other varieties are grown.

The architectural features of Chittagong can be found in mosques,shrines,dargah and other masonry.The most revered shrine is the Bayazid Bostami.He was a Sufi,his birth place was Bostam in Iran. There are several conflicting stories about the saint.Some believe,he actually visited Chittagong. Some 18th century Bengali poets remembered a Shah Sultan of Nasirabad in their poems. Because Bayazid Bostami was also known as Sultan-ul- Arefin, therefore it is believed that the above two are the same man.

Chittagong is a major tourist attraction. Its green hills and forests, its broad sandy beaches and the cool climate always attract the tourists.The people of Chittagong speak Chittagonian,this is believed to be an Indo-European language of the Eastern Indic group.A large number of Arabic words are used in this dialect. Speakers of this dialect consider it a dialect  of standard Bengali,which is the official language of Bangladesh.

Personally speaking the words did not sound like standard Bengali.The first time I visited Chittagong,I could not understand what they were saying.My aunt and I stood in the station looking for a rickshaw driver whom we could understand.We did find one who was from my home town. I always was fascinated by different dialects and languages.I stayed with my mother’s uncle.He and all the members of his family spoke the dialect.I stayed with them for fifteen days and learned the dialect.Whenever they said something I didn’t understand,I would ask what does it mean.This curiosity of mine helped me to learn the dialect.I did not try to teach Gepetto the Chittagonian dialect.He was happy visiting all the places. Cleanliness was an issue,I reminded him he was in a different country to see all the unique things which he will not find in Canada.If he is uncomfortable because the place is not squeaky clean,he will not enjoy his trip.I told him to try to admire the beautiful architecture of the mosques and shrines.Susan seemed to find the two cities interesting.Alphie probably was thinking,when he would be able to go back and try outwitting some other naive fellow,then again I took him to so many religious places,would he try his trick again?Who knows! I thought of all the places I was able to go to,my job as a  guide made it possible.It’s a ‘COOL’ job.

Alphie family are ready to say, Allah Hafiz, May God Be With You!

Scenes of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Scenes of Dhaka, Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)