Written in 1905, Banshi or flute, was published in Tagore’s collection called Kheya ( translates to boat, published in 1906).
FLUTE Your flute — For a short while, Pretend it's mine. The sarat* morning flowed by. The day grew tired nigh. If you are weary Of playing your flute, Then please let, For a short while, Your flute be mine. I will not do much with it. I will only play For part of the day. Raising it high, I will hold it to my lips I will express my happiness By playing many snatches — In this way losing myself I will only play For part of the day. Then as dusk descends, I will get flowers in a basket to make a necklace. Adorning a garland of juthi*, Filled with its heady perfume I will pray with an Offering of lamps. That is why in the gloaming, Fill a basket of flowers To make a garland of juthi. A half-moon will rise Amidst the stars To gaze at your path. Then I will come to you To return your flute. And you will play a tune Expressive of the depth of night — A half- moon will rise Amidst the stars To gaze at your path. *Sarat is early autumn. *Juthi is a kind of Jasmine
This poem has been translated by Mitali Chakravarty with editorial input from Sohana Manzoor & Anasuya Bhar
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