Tagore's poetry on Boishakh transports us to a realm beyond the mundane
(Translated by Fakrul Alam)
Namo Namo Hey Boiragi
I salute you O mendicant!
Light your flame till it blazes fiercely
Let its everlasting immaculate light
Glow in the depths of one’s being.
Oi Bujhi Kalboishakhi
There it comes—Boisakh’s seasonal thundershower
Enveloping the evening sky!
What or who do you fear? Open all doors everywhere
Listen to the sky rumble intensely and its loud insistent call.
Respond to its overture with song-lyrics and melodies
Let whatever shakable shake; let anything transient go!
Let everything fragile shatter; let only the permanent stay!
Fakrul Alam is a Bangladeshi academic, writer and translator. He is Professor of English at the University of Dhaka and has written widely on literary matters and postcolonial issues. Alam has earned widespread recognition for his works on South Asian and postcolonial writing. Among his publications are book-length studies of Daniel Defoe and Bharati Mukherjee. Alam is perhaps best known for his translation of Rabindranath Tagore and Jibanananda Das. His notable translations include Jibanananda Das: Selected Poems (University Press Limited), An Ocean of Sorrow (Bangla Academy) and The Unifinished Memoirs: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (UPL). He is also editor of The Essential Tagore (Harvard University Press), a voluminous book containing English translations of Tagore’s selected writings from different genres.