Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Birthday, Tagore!

Today I celebrate the birthday of a man  who had the talent, passion intellect and heart to live life in the best manner possible. He sung, he wrote, he drew and he spoke. People remember him for his love for nature, for expression and for his love for this nation.
I being a Bengali, take extreme pride in coming from the same land he was born in. This is my tribute to you, Sir. You are an immortal being. If I were a true atheist, you would be my God. You would.

Happy Birthday Gurudeb.

Life had dragged me along
the pavements with stones and thorns
With little steps I carried on,
I carried on.

You became the ray of hope
when nothing else managed me to hold on
In your presence, I learned to grow,
I learned to grow.

The one who believes not in God
as much as in you, the trust she holds
You never let me down Gurudeb,
Never let me down.

Steer me along, make me yours
I'll be your shadow, your season, your halo
Feel me around, and I find you with me
I find you with me.

I am no artist, but still I had this urge to sketch him. So here it is.

Also, to make this day special and to make my dear readers well-versed with this poetic genius, I request you to take this opportunity to know a little more about Tagore-his life, his mission and his achievements. You never know how transforming it might be.
Let's start with the basics?
Here is the Wikipedia link. WIKIPEDIA-TAGORE
Here is a link where you can find most of the translated works (English)- PoemHunter

I have tried singing the song, Shokhi Bhalobasha Kahare Koye which was written and composed by the great Tagore himself. I also tried sketching a portrait of him. I hope he is watching me. I pray he keeps looking over me. Guiding me, loving me.

The Lyrics

In Bengali

সখী, ভাবনা কাহারে বলে। সখী, যাতনা কাহারে বলে ।
তোমরা যে বলো দিবস-রজনী ‘ভালোবাসা’ ‘ভালোবাসা’—
সখী, ভালোবাসা কারে কয় ! সে কি কেবলই যাতনাময় ।
সে কি কেবলই চোখের জল ? সে কি কেবলই দুখের শ্বাস ?
লোকে তবে করে কী সুখেরই তরে এমন দুখের আশ ।
আমার চোখে তো সকলই শোভন,
সকলই নবীন, সকলই বিমল, সুনীল আকাশ, শ্যামল কানন,
বিশদ জোছনা, কুসুম কোমল— সকলই আমার মতো ।
তারা কেবলই হাসে, কেবলই গায়, হাসিয়া খেলিয়া মরিতে চায়—
না জানে বেদন, না জানে রোদন, না জানে সাধের যাতনা যত ।
ফুল সে হাসিতে হাসিতে ঝরে, জোছনা হাসিয়া মিলায়ে যায়,
হাসিতে হাসিতে আলোকসাগরে আকাশের তারা তেয়াগে কায় ।
আমার মতন সুখী কে আছে। আয় সখী, আয় আমার কাছে—
সুখী হৃদয়ের সুখের গান শুনিয়া তোদের জুড়াবে প্রাণ ।
প্রতিদিন যদি কাঁদিবি কেবল একদিন নয় হাসিবি তোরা—
একিদন নয় বিষাদ ভুলিয়া সকলে মিলিয়া গাহিব মোরা ।।

In English

Sakhi, bhabona kahare bole?Sakhi, jatona kahare bole?
Tomra je bolo dibosho-rajoni,Bhalobasha, bhalobasha.
sakhi, bhalobasha kare koye?Seki keboli jatona-moye?
Seki keboli chokher jal?Seki keboli dukher saash?
Loke tobe kore ki sukheri tore,Aemon dukhero aash?
Aamar chokhe to shokoli sobhon, Shokoli nobeen, shokoli bimol.
Suneel akash, shyamolo kanon. Bishodo jochona, kusumo komol.
Shokol amari moton.Tara keboli hanshe, keboli gaye,

Hanshiya, kheliya morite chaye.Najane bedon, najane radon.
Najane shader jatona joton.Phool se hanshite hanshite jhore,
Jochona hanshiya milaye jaye,Hanshite hanshite alok sagore,

Akashero taara ke aage paye.
Aamar moton sukhi ke aache?Aaye sakhi aaye, aamar kaache

Sukhi hridoyer sukher gaanSuniya toder judaabe pran
Protidin jodi kandibi kebol,Ek din noye hanshibi tora,
Ek din noye bishado bhuliya,Shokole miliya gahibo mora..

Bhabona kahare bole?Sakhi, jatona kahare bole?
Tomra je bolo dibosho-rajoni,Bhalobasha, bhalobasha.


  1. Dear Priyanka,
    Wonderful tribute to your idol. I think you did a marvelous job with the sketch and I'm very impressed with your singing! Very nice post. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks also for linking up to Blog Hop Saturday! I intend on holding a hop every first Saturday of the month, so the next one will be on June 2nd. To better allow for friends from afar, the Linky will open from 8:00pm Fri 1st June - 11:59pm Sat 2nd June (all times are EST). Hope to see you again soon! Take care.

  2. First of all Gurudeb - Yesterday I read Taslima Nasreen's tweet that said "you should be a Bengali to understand Rabindranath Tagore". I laughed it out. Does one really need to be a Bengali? Partly yes, as it helps. Why partly? Because He spoke the language of heart. My dad used to sing me Devi Bhuvana Mana Mohini to put me to sleep; of course it is in sanskrit. Dad used to narrate us stories by Tagore. His favourite was Naukadubi. (Right?) Though he read the translations, he had a bengali friend who read it out and explained. Then he developed an interest to learn the script. Now, yes, one must be a Bengali, because if you are an Indian and didn't read Gurudeb, your life is useless.
    Show me another human being who is or was a poet, painter, musician, dancer, dramatist, story-writer and a dramatist. Genius (huh what a silly word for a man of such great stature) !!!

    Now about you Priyanka - Who are you? what are you? where do you come from? I have answers to all these questions. You are Priyanka Dey. You are a Bengali. You come from Bengal (oops Delhi).

    - You are a Poet who writes beautiful and soul stirring poetry
    - You are a Painter who hasn't discovered herself
    - You are a Singer par excellence with a beautiful voice and a great music sense who has to take 
       singing seriously. Go to a guru and start learning seriously.
    - You are an activist full of empathy, a great soul

    Who says there can't be another Tagore? Priyanka, with great admiration I put these words : "Your birth is the real tribute to Gurudeb Rabindranath Tagore". Persue yourself and become him, completely.
    (I have already started learning the Bengali alphabet)

  3. I had never been swayed by Tagore's words. But now you made me rethink. May be there is hope for me yet. 

    Your try was certainly a lovely one. 

  4. BTW the song is beautifully sung by you. Kudos !!!

  5. Oh!!
    Chris thank you so much!!
    But I fear such encouragement might just land me into doing all this again n again..

  6. Glad you liked the effort! Thanks for visiting!!

  7. I haven't yet, heard of a Man without Flaws. But there are some people who have a really Good side to them. I prefer choosing to see that side.. Tagore, thus appeals to me.

    The is one of my favorites. So I couldn't help but give it a try!!

  8. Ah! Thank you Brian!.I hope so too!!

  9. Not an artist? Your drawing is wonderful! A fine hommage to Gurudeb. Lovely.

  10. A wonderful tribute.

  11. I just loved the piece. I am not a Tagore fan. Never been. Except for couple of songs. But you made me rethink. If he can so influence you, I may have to go back to him. I may yet discover something that I may have missed till now. Thank You for that.
    The poem was incisive. The relationship of a poet with the Master is so precisely drawn.
    But the real gem was the song. I am not bothered whether you are a singer or not. For me it was a perfect rendition of the song, sung from heart and touching heart.  

  12. really nice use of repetition in this ..and you def capture the enchantment of this person to you as well....would love a poem like this on my have given him a gift...smiles...i hope he has a great one...


Would love to have your comments!