First published in Shishu (Children) in 1909, Lucko Churi (Hide and Seek) is also a part of Tagore’s collection called Sanchayita. It captures the endearing, playful relationship between a mother and her son as well as the innocence of the child.
HIDE AND SEEK In a playful mood, if I were to Bloom as a champa flower on a tree, At dawn, O mother, I would frolic Amidst the branches of young leaves. I would win in this game of hide-and-seek. Would you have recognised me? You would call out, “Khoka, where are you? “ I would only laugh silently. When you do your household chores I would watch from high above. After a bath, with your wet hair spread on your shoulder, When you would walk under the tree To go to the prayer room While inhaling the perfume of the blooms — You would wonder how Your Khoka’s scent mingles with the breeze! In the afternoon, after everyone has lunched When you relax with a Mahabharat, The shade of the tree by the windowsill Would fall on your back and lap. My tiny shadow would sway On the words of your book. But you would not know the shadow Of your darling wafts before your eyes. In the evening, after lighting a lamp, When you go to the cowshed, I would finish my game And drop down from the tree. Again, I would be your Khoka. I would say,”Tell me a story.” And you would ask,”Naughty! Where were you?” I would reply, “I will not tell you my secret.”
(This poem has been translated for Borderless Journal by Mitali Chakravarty with editorial comments from Sohana Manzoor and Anasuya Bhar.)
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