Share this!

Share |

April 08, 2008

Singing along

Addition: See the comments for this post.

For the last twenty-four hours, I have been trying to hush the humming in my head. My head has been playing the Tagore song, Sakhi, Bhavna Kahare Bole again and again. I have been trying to distract it by screaming, listening to other songs, singing bad songs myself, but it refuses to go away. This song featured in Sriman Prithviraj, one of my childhood favourites.

I have roughly translated the first few lines for you. Of course, I cannot bring Tagore's feelings into it.
Dear, what is worry? My dear, what is pain?
You all talk about love all day and night.
Is it all pain?
Is it all tears?
Is it all grief?
Hoping for what bliss do people then long for this pain?
If you see through my eyes, everything is lucky, everything is novel, everything is good. The blue sky, the dark forests, the flowers – everything is like me. They laugh; they sing. They want to keep smiling and singing. They know not any ache nor tears nor any pain.


It is strange that I would like this song so much. I never learnt Bangla. Our family was a hybrid of Bihari-Bengali culture and that's how I discovered the similarities between the apparently diverse cultures. However, Bengali literature was something I thought I was missing on discovering. My mother was thus pleasantly surprised when she realized I had picked up reading Bengali from my friends. She was glad she no longer needed to read out Sanchaita to me.

I think my mother is a global person in the truest sense of its term. She has an amazing acceptance of things previously alien to her or different from her. My father too had adapted himself so well to my mother's ethnicity. At home, I was proud to be both a Bihari and a Bengali. It was never a 50-50 situation for me. I prided myself in saying that I was a 100% Bihari as well as a 100% Bengali. I never felt the tug between Bengalis and non-Bengalis until I landed in Kolkata. A somewhat parochial attitude of some made me stubborn and I disguised my Bong connection. However, I still enjoyed the Bengali literature and music of Tagore in my room with my Bengali roommates.

I don't know if I love Ray or Tagore as much as other Bengalis do. But I know that my friend who knows not a word in Bangla appreciates Satyajit Ray's cinema or Tagore's meaning of life in his songs as much as any average Bengali does.

Coming back to today, I have been trying to get rid of this song lest I start disliking it. It won't go away. Unfortunately, I do not have a singer's or even a hummer's voice to relish the song in its entirety and let it go thereafter.

Even as I type this, I am opening the song file. I have decided to sing along, yes, sing along with Lata and relish it anyways. There is no one else in the house. And I don't care about what the neighbours may think.

23 comments:

Anuradha Sinha said...

I received a message from my friend this morning (the one mentioned in the post) that read: I like the song...dunno if you did justice to the translation though. May be if I ever make my mind up, I'll give Tagore a try (in English, of course). I know you told me it was 'orrible 'orrible in English but at least I'll be initiated into his ideas.
Sometimes, words don't matter as much as the theme, :D but most times they do. ;)

So, directly or indirectly, my friend has mentioned that words do matter and I am pretty aware that my shot at the English translation was poor. I looked for a better translation on the Net, but alas! So, here are the Romanized original lyrics of the song for a better understanding and for anyone who would like to give a shot at translating it. (God, let me do it someday!)
Sakhi, bhabona kahare bole?
Sakhi, jatona kahare bole?
Tomra je bolo diboso-rajoni,
Bhalobasha, bhalobasha.
sakhi, bhalobasha kare koye?
Seki keboli jatona-moye?
Seki keboli chokher jal?
Seki keboli dukher saas?
Loke tobe kore ki sukheri tore,
Aemon dukhero aas?
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 gaan
Suniya toder judaabe pran
Protidin jodi kandibi keno,
Ek din noye hanshibi tora,
Ek din noye bishado bhuliya,
Shokole miliya gahibo gaan.

megha said...

After reading your post I realised how much there is to read...listen...see...explore in worlds apart from our own!!

Anuradha Sinha said...

yup, Megha, isn't it strange that we haven't seen even our own worlds completely? someday, someday... or may be, today. the clock is ticking away.

Anonymous said...

One who has not felt the depths of Rabi Thakur's gaan, is missing a part of his life. Know his songs and poem to know your existance...tomar ASTITVA.

relate2life said...

explain worry, explain pain my friend...
all day and night you cherish something...
explain the meaning of that love my friend...
is that love just another form of suffering?

isn't love nothing but tears? isn't it misery in disguise?
explain how one finds joy from this reason for pain...

after all for me all is nice... all is new and all is clean...
the sky is blue and the garden is green...
the moon shines bright and the flowers so soft...
all is so much like me...

they live to laugh, they love to sing...
they want to laugh and play till the end...
never heard of pain, no knowledge of tears...
no idea of blissful suffering...

the flower drops off with a smile...
the moonlight smiles away into the night...
the stars of night full of joy, fades away into morning sun...
who else can be as happy as me...
i'll share this joy with you my friend,
happy songs from my happy heart...
offering bliss to your suffering soul...

if everyday is a day of sorrow...
why not be happy for a single day...
why not forget all sufferings for once...
and sing and dance in joy and fun?

what is worry.. what is worry then my friend...
the love that you speak of day and night...
that love is nothing but pain...


Not word by word translation, but what the poet might have meant...

Anuradha Sinha said...

Thanks, relate2life! That was really great. Your translation helps gets the gist of the poem. Thanks. :)

R Hasan said...

I have to say we are lucky enough, cause we got Bengali as our mother tongue.
We can actually feel & enjoy Tagore's writing. I can't separate my existance from his songs.

আমি গর্বিত, যে আমি একজন বাঙালি; অন্যথায় আমি জীবনের প্রকৃত স্বাদ গ্রহণ থেকে বঞ্চিত থাকতাম৷

Anonymous said...

i loved it...thanx

bluelark said...

Excellent post Ms Sinha.Meandering, I chanced upon this song and then to your post. My case is a little similar to yours, a bong connection which I am yet to explore in its entirety. And yes parochial attitudes do exist but so do beautiful people and their beautiful creations like the one discussed above. Art for me is universal. Its mine as much as it is yours and everyone else's. And now the song's gotten into my head :) keep humming...

Anuradha Sinha said...

R Hasan, I think we are lucky to be able to appreciate art. As far as learning is concerned, every segment of humanity has something to offer.

Anuradha Sinha said...

Thanks, Anon. :)

Anuradha Sinha said...

Bluelark, I agree. Glad that you liked the post.

Chandrabindu said...

I am a Bengali but have been out of bengal and bengali culture for 12 years now. Even when I was at home I was not that deeply cultural. But I have the same problem now. I am stuck with this song for years now and every time I listen to it I just can's stop being amazed at the beauty of the lyrics and the melody of the song. My wife is a non-Bengali. I was looking for an english translation for her. Anuradha, I think you did a good job of translating the first part also relate2life's translation is quite accurate. Thank you both for this post...

Sutanu said...

I realize exactly how you felt when you wrote your blog. It happened to me today. Nay, its still on---this melody inside my head. It refuses to fade away, and perhaps at a deeper level, I don't want it to go away.

I went through the words many times and then I thought of searching for an English translation. The Net didn't yield anything of consequence except your blog.

But what I realized was that Rabindranath was a person very close to God. It is simply not possible to pen such lyrics and then set it to music on demand. It has come straight out of the heart that was in touch with the Divine.

Your account is well-written. Thank You.

Warm regards and best wishes,
Sutanu

Madhuresh said...

Bahut achhi lyrics hai, aur aapne explain bhi achche se kiya... Thanks!! :)

Anonymous said...

Dear, what do you call thought
Dear, what do you name pain
All of you talk day and night
So much about 'love' –
Dear, what do you call ‘love’!
Is it only filled with hurt?
Is it only the teardrops?
Is it only the sad sighs?
Why then do they
Seeking what pleasure
Hope for such gloom?
To my eye, all seems beautiful
All young, all chaste,
The deep blue sky, the green groves,
The profound moonlight, and tender bloom –
They all are like me.
They just laugh away, and sing aloud,
Laughing and playing, they wish to die –
They know not pain, they know not tear,
They know not the aches of affection.
The flower cheerfully wilts away,
The moonlight gaily fades off,
Laughing in a sea of light
The stars slowly lose their form.
Who is more content than me.
Come dear, o come to me –
The blissful song of this content heart
Shall fill your mind, and balm your soul.
If you will merely cry each day
Just this one day then laugh aloud –
Just this one day, forgetting your grief
Let's all sing in unison
Dear, what do you call thought
Dear, what do you name pain
All of you talk day and night
So much about 'love' –
Dear, what do you call ‘love’!

Anonymous said...

This is the most accurate translation that i found...

Anonymous said...

Superb..thanks a lot

Shankha said...

Whatever you have written is happening to me right now :)

Abhinandita said...

A really nice post Anuradha!!i am a bengali but not from bengal....always lived in mumbai,but be it Rabindranath Tagore's poems or rabindrasangeet,they are always close to my heart....the more i listen to them...the more i want to know them...learn from them and live with them...

abinash said...

love is more than love.....every words dont have only the meaning...there is some thing more.....i really dont understand this song....it is beyond my mind but close my ................i dont have word.............

Aparajita Palai said...

i am just writing with help of my brother blog.abinash...
really....sometime we cant feel...just die....and searching the meaning of apple....just now i am searching the meaning of sakhi...

Tazin said...

Can anybody tell me when poet wright this music, Shokhi bhabona kahare bole??

Post a Comment