Posts filed under ‘Rabindranath Tagore’

Verse XLI – The Gardener

Rabindranath Tagore

Listen (to Kosh read)

I long to speak the deepest words I have to say to you
but I dare not – for fear you should laugh
That is why I laugh at myself and shatter my secret in jest
I make light of my pain, afraid you should do so.

I long to tell you the truest words I have to say to you
but I dare not – being afraid that you should not believe them
That is why I disguise them in untruth, saying the contrary of what I mean
I make my pain appear absurd, afraid that you should do so.

I long to use the most precious words I have for you
but I dare not – fearing I should not be paid with like value
That is why I give you hard names and boast of my callous strength
I hurt you, for fear you should never know any pain.

I long to sit silent by you,
but I dare not – lest my heart come out at my lips
That is why I prattle and chatter lightly and hide my heart behind words
I rudely handle my pain, for fear you should do so.

I long to go away from your side
but I dare not – for fear my cowardice should become known to you
That is why I hold my head high and carelessly come into your presence
Constant thrusts from your eyes keep my pain fresh for ever.

Beautiful verse from Maali (The Gardener), sent in by Kosh, our newest contributor.

This poem struck a chord in me. I have great respect for the effortless humility Tagore achieves, not attempting to hide his wit and talent, but just being that way – serene and sublime, yet direct and honest. An expression of what it really is — the pain.

As the nobel committee puts it,

“because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”

An article on Tagore by Amartya Sen, on the nobel website.

And the introduction to the Gitanjali by W.B. Yeats – introducing Tagore to the western world.

Tagore has the rare distinction of being the only person to have penned national anthems for two countries.. The first 10 lines of Amar Shonar Bangla or My Bengal of Gold form the national anthem of Bangladesh and Jana Gana Mana, which we have featured before is the Indian national anthem.


March 19, 2007 at 6:45 am 4 comments


Rabindranath Tagore

(My first two lines of Bengali, ha ha ha!)


Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow
domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depths of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought
and action–
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

February 4, 2006 at 5:08 pm 3 comments

Jana Gana Mana

Rabindranath Tagore

Listen (to Tagore recite)

জনগণমন-অধিনায়ক জয় হে ভারতভাগ্যবিধাতা!
পঞ্জাব সিন্ধু গুজরাট মরাঠা দ্রাবিড় উত্‍‌কল বঙ্গ
বিন্ধ্য হিমাচল যমুনা গঙ্গা উচ্ছলজলধিতরঙ্গ
তব শুভ নামে জাগে, তব শুভ আশিস মাগে,
গাহে তব জয়গাথা।
জনগণমঙ্গলদায়ক জয় হে ভারতভাগ্যবিধাতা!
জয় হে, জয় হে, জয় হে, জয় জয় জয়, জয় হে॥


Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India’s destiny.
Thy name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat and Maratha, of the Dravida and the Orissa(Utkala) and Bengal;
It echoes in the hills of the Vindyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of Jamuna and Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea.
They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise. The saving of all people waits in thy hand, thou dispenser of India’s destiny.
Victory, victory, victory to thee.


(in devnagiri)

जन गण मन अधिनायक जय हे
भारत भाग्य विधाता !
पंजाब सिंधु गुजरात मराठा
द्राविड़ उत्कल बंग
विंध्य हिमाचल यमुना गंगा
उच्छल जलधि तरंग
तव शुभ नामे जागे,
तव शुभ आशिस मागे,
गाहे तव जय गाथा ।
जन गण मंगलदायक जय हे
भारत भाग्य विधाता !
जय हे, जय हे, जय हे
जय जय जय जय हे ॥

(in english)

Jana-Gana-Mana-Adhinayaka, Jaya He
Punjab-Sindhu-Gujarata-Maratha Dravida-Utkala-Banga
Uchchhala-Jaladhi Taranga
Tava Subha Name Jage
Tava Subha Ashisa Mage
Gahe Tava Jaya Gatha.
Jana-Gana-Mangala Dayaka, Jaya He
Jaya He, Jaya He, Jaya He,
Jaya Jaya Jaya, Jaya He

(all the above from wiki)

Happy Republic Day, folks!


January 26, 2006 at 7:31 pm 1 comment