Written in 1910, Amar Sonar Horin Chai ( I want the Golden Deer) is a popular Rabindra Sangeet that is often performed on stage. Seemingly simple, it explores the poet’s yearning for the intangible and ends with the sense of euphoria generated by his quest for the impalpable.
The Golden Deer Regardless of what you say,I want the golden deer. Enchanting,nimble footed,I want that golden deer. He runs startled,eludes our gaze,and cannot be tied. If he comes within our reach,he escapes puzzling our vision. Chasing the elusive one who continues to evade capture Through fields and forests,I lose myself. Things that you can buy in bazaars are stored in homes. Why do I look for that which cannot be bought? I lost what I had while yearning for the intangible. Do you think I am grieving for my lost treasures? I am content to live with a smile devoid of sorrow, Disappearing in my mind amidst meadows and woods.
There is a reference to Sita’s yearning for the golden deer during her exile in the poem, an episode which led to her kidnapping by Ravana in Ramayana.
This poem has been translated by Mitali Chakravarty and edited by Sohana Manzoor on behalf of Borderless.