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Classics in Translations

Translations bridge borders — borders drawn by languages. We have showcased translations in multiple languages. Paying a tribute to all the greats, we invite you to savour a small selection of our translations.

Tagore Translations

Translations from Tagore & Us

Click here to check out our collection of Tagore’s writings translated to English. With translations by Aruna Chakravarty, Fakrul Alam, Radha Chakravarty, Somdatta Mandal and many more.

Nazrul Translations

Temples and Mosques

Kazi Nazrul Islam’s fiery essay translated by Sohana Manzoor. Click here to read.

Purify My Life

Kazi Nazrul Islam’s poem, Purify my Life, translated by Shahriyer Hossain Shetu. Click here to read.

Shammobadi

Kazi Nazrul Islam’s poem translated by Shahriyer Hossain Shetu. Click here to read.

Sarat Chandra

Abhagi’s Heaven

A poignant story by Saratchandra Chattopadhyaytranslated by Sahitya Akademi winner, Aruna Chakravarti. Click here to read.

Bijan Najdi

Our Children

A poem by well-known Iranian poet, Bijan Najdi. Translated from Persian by Davood Jalili. Click hereto read.

Persian Perspectives: The Third Perception of Man

This essay by Bijan Najdi, translated from Persian to English by  Davood Jalili, talks of Najdi’s concept of poetry. Click here to read.

Tarashankar

The Witch

The witch is Aruna Chakravarti’s translation of a short story by renowned writer, Tarasankar Bandopadhyay . The original story titled, Daini, was first published in 1940 in Probashi magazine in Bengali. Click here to read.

Akbar Barakzai

Songs of Freedom

Poems translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Syad Zahoor Hashmi

The Lost Coin

A story by Syad Zahoor Shah Hashmi, translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Nabendu Ghosh

The Saviour

A translation from Bengali to English by Dipankar Ghosh of Nabendu Ghosh’s Traankarta, a story set during the Partition riots. Click here to read.

Nadir Ali

Bundu, Consoler of the Rich 

A story based on memories of Partition by Nadir Ali, translated from Punjabi by Amna Ali. Click here to read.

Louis Couperous

Of Days and Seasons

A parable by the eminent Dutch writer, Louis Couperus (1863-1923), translated by Chaitali Sengupta. Click here to read.

Categories
Tagore Translations

Songs of Seasons by Fakrul Alam

Rabindranth Tagore’s Art. Courtesy: Creative Commons

Tagore wrote on almost all aspects of life. Here are Fakrul Alam’s translations of Tagore’s songs for Ashar, the third month in the Bengali Calendar around the months of June-July. It is the time the monsoons start to set in. The sky, the flora and the fauna are resplendent and fecund with the much-awaited showers. Alam, a renowned scholar and translator from Bangladesh, was kind enough to share these six songs of the season which will soon be a part of his forthcoming publication on translation from the Gitabitan, Tagore’s treasury of more than 2000 songs.

Garland of Lightening Gems
(Bajromanik Diye Gantha, written in 1925)
 
Ashar, how delicate is your garland of jewelled thunderbolts!
Your dark beauty is set off by lightning flashes
Your spells have the power to melt stones and sprout crops--
On your winged feet you bring from sandy wastes flower garlands
On withered leaves you come in torrential and triumphant showers
Your clouds resound like tom-toms in festive abandon
In your deluge of delicious green, parched earth revives
But keep your awful, life-threatening floods away!
 
In the Thunderous Clouds
(Oi Je Jhorer Meghe, written in 1922) 
 
There--in the lap of storm clouds--the rain comes
Its hair loosened, its sari’s borders flying!
Its song beats flutter mango, blackberry, sal and rain-trees
Making their leaves dance and murmur in excitement 
My eyes, moving in beat to its music
Wander in falling rain, losing themselves amidst sylvan shades
Whose familiar voice calls out to me in the wet wind endlessly
Stirring a storm of anguish in my soul on this lonely day?
 
The Tune of New Clouds
(Aaj Nobeen Megher Shoor Legeche, written in 1922)
 
Newly arrived clouds stir a tune in my mind today
And my thoughts become all aflutter causelessly
How these clouds lure me outdoors again and again,
Casting their shade on my eyes every now and then 
In the rain pouring from the sky tumultuously
What message of the path to pursue do they bear?
That path will take my mind’s tune into the unknown
And disperse it in the bower of one forever forlorn!
 
The Sky’s Musings
(Aaj Akashe Moner Kotha, written in 1922)
 
This day I hear the sky’s musings in thundershowers 
They’ve reverberated in my heart all day long.
On the dark lake water, clouds thicken
            The wind, bearing the pain of centuries,
                        Has murmured in my heart all day long
                                  By my window and in darkness
I commune with the sky, all alone 
Like rustling branches, hidden memories stir
                 Evoking a tear-soaked tune in my soul
  As crickets chirp on—all day long! 
  
Under the Kadmaba Trees
(Esho Nipo Bone,written in 1925)
 
Come and walk in the shade of the Kadamba tree rows
Come bathe in rain water streaming down incessantly
Let down your disheveled thick jet-black tresses
Drape around your bodies your sky-blue saris
With kohl-lined eyes and jasmine garlands
Come and walk in the shade of Kadamba tree rows!
Every now and then, my dear, dear soul mates,
Let smiles light up your lips and eyes wondrously
To the beat of pouring rain, let Raga Mallar tuned songs,
Sung in your sweet voices, sound in forests sonorously
Come and walk in the shade of Kadamba tree rows!
 
Tear-filled Sorrow
(Ashrubhara Bedona, written in 1925)
 
Tear-filled emotions stir everywhere!
Whose desire sounds in dark in the clouds this day?
They speed across tempestuously,
Whose lament echoes in the rumbling?
Who could be focused on such fruitless worship?

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

Categories
Poetry

Translations of three Malayalam Poets

Three Poems translated by Ra Sh


By Ammu Deepa

Raven

A raven
who was keenly waiting for sundown
flapped open its black wings
and scooping up the earth in its claws
soared up towards the sky.

.

The clouds slide aside in its wing beats.
The stars grow cold,
The moon extinguishes.
The sun is left far behind.

.

In the clutches of the raven are
the multiplication tables of kids,
yawns of women and
kitchen pots rolling on the slab
fed up with waiting for the father.

.

As the raven flies along the galaxies
the kids slip into dreams.
The women stagger towards the bedroom
postponing for the next day
the washing of the utensils
heaped up near the cistern.

.

The silk cotton trees from which
the clouds scatter around
are beyond the Milky Way.
The raven settles on one of
their branches,
wets its wings and shakes off
the moisture.

.

Feeling the cold, the women
shut the windows.
The kids look for sheets to
cover themselves.

.

After its bath, the raven
shivering in the bitter cold
flies back towards the sun.

Ever slowly, the day breaks.

.

Ammu Deepa is from Pattambi, Palakkad. Has been publishing poems in various periodicals in Malayalam for a decade. She has published a collection of poems titled ‘Karimkutti’ which has received much critical acclaim. She is a painter too. She is a teacher by profession.

***

By Jaqueline Mary Mathew

The windows of nice girls


The windows of nice girls are

open to November.

They dream of the window magic

of the paramour that makes the snow

fall on their soles.

With salt crystals they catalyze

the possibilities of the wound

that can heal quickly.

They swim across rivers of wine and

sail out in ships on oceans of vodka.
.

Nice girls don’t write poems or

Cry over their beloveds.

They shake off love

from the wrinkles on their skirts.

They fold sorrow in many ways and

make origami flowers.
.

The four walls around nice girls

are their own construction where

they stick the souls of flowers

banished from the spring.

They loop life through a yellow thread

and their minds pained by the slavery

of their inner wear, get ready

to commit suicide.
.

They tattoo themselves.

They sing.

They chant prayers to the god of the nose stud.

Nice girls are never nice girls.

Planting mahogany in their minds frequently,

and installing the scent of the forest there

to be canonized by the poetry of

one and only one person.

.

Jacquiline Mary Mathew is from Alappuzha, Kerala and currently works in Toronto, Canada. She writes poems exclusively on the social media.

***

By Stalina S

The sea gaze

As the feet pirouette

around the songs that bore

into ears,

in the brine

coagulating on

the tongue,

in the scalding gaze

of the sea,

the storms that lay

concealed in the feet

get the urge to

tear asunder the sails

and become the moon

shattered anchorless

in dreamy whirlpools.

.

If the red mesh of the liver

of the invisible rivers

in the eddies of the eyes

desire to bloom again,

it has to meditate with shut eyes

inside the coral shells.

.

the roots that creep upon

the body gone dry

of the sea smell

become scales where the

greenness crawls.

.

as the steps develop cramps

slipping on the white roads

of the land,

rubbing off the mould

on memories,

abandoning the meltings of

the body on the rocks,

spreading like awakening songs

of the sun,

falling on the bosom of the sea

that sleeps not,

to kiss the inner eye

of the sky

fins are sprouting on the feet.

Stalina is from Muvattupuzha, Ernakulam. Her poems have been published in various magazines like The Economic and Political Weekly, Bhashaposhini, Samakalika Malayalam and Madhyamam etc. She is currently working on her first collection of poems. Stalina is a teacher by profession.

***

Note on Translator: Ra Sh has published three collections of poetry – Architecture of Flesh (Poetrywala), Bullet Train and other loaded poems (Hawakal) and Kintsugi by Hadni (RLFPA).  Forthcoming books are The Ichi Tree Monkey and other stories (translation of Tamil Dalit writer Bama’s short stories, Speaking Tiger) and Blind Men Write (a play) (Rubric).Rash’s English translations include Mother Forest (Women Unlimited, from Malayalam), Waking is another dream (Navayana, Srilankan Tamil poems translated with Meena Kandasmy), Don’t want caste (Navayana, collection of Malayalam short stories by Dalit writers) and Kochiites (Greenex, a book on different communities in Kochi.)

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