Sunday, May 26, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

New translations of Tagore's song lyrics

Update : 05 May 2017, 10:37 PM
(Translated by Fakrul Alam) Sokhi Bohe Gelo BelaFriends, time flies; can mere smiles and games any more suffice? Why doesn’t love’s pangs and ardent desire again possess the heart? When in this life will eyes merge with eyes in heady union? When will I burn again in sweet remorse and love’s sweet flames? Let teardrops moisten eyelids and from these eyes part And from my cheeks let this flickering smile finally depart, Till ardent sighs signal hope returning to a smashed up heart And a light from my soul flushes my cheeks and makes them blush!  Aaji Jhorer RaateThis is the stormy night of your assignation, My soul’s inmate, my friend! In disquiet, the sky sheds tears; sleep won’t come to me— Opening the door, beloved, I look out repeatedly. Outside, I can see nothing I keep thinking--where could you be? Are you far away—crossing a river or beside a dense forest? Are you traversing some thick dark stretch of land?  Shokhi Bhabona Kahare BolaeMy soul mates, what bothers you all so? Why in agony all day? Day in and day out “love” “love” is all you seem to say! But what is this “love” that bothers you so? Is it only agonizing? Is it all about shedding tears? Is it all about nonstop sighing? Why would people think such sad stuff can make anyone happy? In my eyes everything is as beautiful as can be; Everything seems new and serene—the sky azure; earth full of greenery Moonlight seems silvery, flowers lovely—all appear to be like me! Everything keeps smiling and singing happily until dying, None seems to hurt or be in tears; everyone is so unaware of agony! Flowers shed joyfully; moonlight beams on until disappearing Stars too seem to smile in an ocean of light till they are ready to part! Who could be as happy as I am? Come mates; join hands with me, Listen to me sing songs of bliss and let them soothe your heart. Why must you agonise so every day? You too must be able to smile! No doubt one day we’ll all stop agonising and be happy all the while!
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.
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