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! (This poem was first published in Daily Star)
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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