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Nazrul Translations

The Quest for Home

Professor Fakrul Alam translates Kazi Nazrul Islam’s Kon Kule Aaj Bhirlo Tori, a song which explores homecoming from a spiritual perspective

Kazi Nazrul Islam. Courtesy: Creative Commons

Born in united Bengal, long before the Partition, Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976) was known as the  Bidrohi Kobi, or “rebel poet”. Nazrul is now regarded as the national poet of Bangladesh though he continues a revered name in the Indian subcontinent. In addition to his prose and poetry, Nazrul wrote about 4000 songs.

In Which Shore


In which shore has my boat moored today?
What golden village lies ahead? 
Why does my boat, on a downstream-drift, 
Yearn to move upstream again?

Making Sorrow my helmsman
I had set adrift my broken boat.
Who are you, nymph of my dreams,
Beckoning me on with your eyes?

Snuffing out my room’s lamp
You called me out that stormy night.
Who could you be, my tune’s companion,
Waiting at the gateway of my song?

Oh golden girl of a golden land
Will you be my boat’s pilot?
Row my broken boat onwards
To the Promised Land! 

Nazrul’s songs are sung by artistes of renown across the subcontinent. Here we celebrate his lyrics, with a rendition by a well-known Indian singer, Manabendra Mukhopadhyay (1929-1992).

Fakrul Alam is an academic, translator and writer from Bangladesh. He has translated works of Jibonananda Das and Rabindranath Tagore into English and is the recipient of Bangla Academy Literary Award (2012) for translation and SAARC Literary Award (2012).

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

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