Tagore & Us

The first Non-Westerner to win a Nobel Prize is an understatement to describe the genius of Rabindranath Tagore. An unparallelled poet, writer, philosopher, artist — a polymath — these are mere ecomiums. He was a person who visualised a world beyond his times, a humanitarian who wanted to bring out the best in mankind with his writings and Santiniketan. What we see of his writings in the virtual world is an insignificant bit. What we are attempting to do here is to translate his prose and translate or transcreate his poetry, for a literal translation sometimes does not do adequate justice to his poetry, and to bring his thoughts, his ideas closer to readers in the virtual world. Across all borders, let us unite in thoughts.

In an attempt to imbibe the perfection of his poetry, we have tried our best to use precise words. We invite you to give us feedback for our efforts at editor@borderlessjournal.com. We are happy to entertain your comments too in the comments section.

Presenting our selection of & on Tagore:

Songs and Poems

Songs translated by Aruna Chakravarti

We launch our Tagore section with the translation of seven of his songs by the gifted Sahitya Akademi winning translator and author, Aruna Chakravarti. Click here to read.

  • Tomar eyi Madhuri Chaapiye ( This Loveliness of Yours…)
  • Jibon Moroner Shimana Charay ( Beyond the Horizons of Life and Death..)
  • Esho Shyamalo Shundoro ( Come, Dark, Beauteous One)
  • Asha Jaaoar Pother Dhare (By the Path)
  • Shopney Amar Money Holo ( I Thought in my Dream)
  • Amra Notoon Jibonyeri Doot (We are the New Youth)
  • Amar Bela Jey Jaay (My Day Wanes)

Songs of Seasons: Translated by Fakrul Alam

Bangla Academy literary award winning translator, Dr Fakrul Alam, translates seven seasonal songs of Tagore. Click here to read.

  • Garland of Lightening Gems (Bajromanik Diye Gantha)
  • In The Thunderous Clouds (Oi Je Jhorer Meghe)
  • The Tune of the New Clouds (Aaj Nobeen Megher Shoor Legeche)
  • The Sky’s Musings (Aaj Akashe Moner Kotha)
  • Under the Kadamba Trees (Esho Nipo Bone)
  • Tear-filled Sorrow (Ashrubhara Bedona)

Songs from Bhanusingher Padabali: Translated by Radha Chakravarty

Two songs by Tagore written originally in Brajabuli, a literary language developed essentially for poetry, has been translated by Radha Chakravarty. Click here to read.

  • Gahana Kusuma Kunja Majhe (Amidst the Densely Flowering Bower)
  • Shaongagane Ghora Ghanaghata ( The Dark Monsoon Skies)

On behalf of Borderless Journal 

Esho, He Baisakh, Esho Esho (Come Baisakh: A song to welcome the Bengali New Year) Click here to read.

Tagore Songs in Translation. Click here to read the next five.

  • Kothao Amar Hariye Jawa Nei Mana ( Losing myself)
  • Akash Bhora Shurjo Tara (The Star-studded Sky)
  • Krishnokoli ( Inspired by a girl who lives in a village)
  • Phoole Phoole Dhole Dhole (The Swaying Flowers)
  • Shaongagane Ghora Ghanaghata (Against the Monsoon Skies)

Tagore’s Diner Sheshe Ghoomer Deshe (At the close of the day, in the land of sleep).Click here to read.

Tagore’s Amar Shonar Horin Chai (I want the Golden Deer). Click here to read.

Tagore’s long poem, Dushomoy (translated as Journey of Hope though literally the poem means bad times). Click here to read the poem in English and listen to Tagore’s voice recite his poem in Bengali. We also have a sample of the page of his diary where he first wrote the poem as ‘Swarga Pathhe'(On the Path to Heaven).

Deliverance by Tagore: ‘Tran’ by Tagore, a prayer for awakening of the subjugated. Click here to read.

Abhisar by Tagore: A story poem about a Buddhist monk by Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali. Click here to read.

Amaar Nayano Bhulano Ele describes early autumn when the festival of Durga Puja is celebrated. Click here to read. 

Morichika or Mirage by Tagore  — an early poem of the maestro that asks the elites to infringe class divides and mingle. Click here to read.

Tagore Prose in Translation

  1. One Small Ancient Tale

Rabindranath Tagore’s Ekti Khudro Puraton Golpo (One Small Ancient Tale) from his collection Golpo Guchcho ( literally, a bunch of stories) has been translated by Nishat Atiya. Click here to read.

2. Bolai

Story of nature and a child translated by Chaitali Sengupta. Click here to read.

3. The Parrot’s Tale

Excerpted from Rabindranth Tagore. The Land of Cards: Stories, Poems and Plays for Children, translated by Radha Chakravarty, with a foreword from Mahasweta Devi. Click here to read

4. Library

A part of Bichitro Probondho (Strange Essays) by Rabindranath Tagore, this essay was written in 1885, translated by Chaitali Sengupta. Click here to read.

5. Letters from Tagore

An excerpt from Kobi’ and ‘Rani’: Memoirs and Correspondences of Nirmalkumari Mahalanobis and Rabindranath Tagore, translated by Somdatta Mandal, showcasing Tagore’s introduction and letters. Click here to read.

6. Travels & Holidays: Humour from Rabindranath

Translated from the original Bengali by Somdatta Mandal, these are Tagore’s essays and letters laced with humour. Click here to read.

7. Letters from Japan, Europe & America

An excerpt from letters written by Tagore from Kobi & Rani, translated by Somdatta Mandal. Click hereto read.

Reactions on Tagore

Discussion

Rabindranath Tagore: A Universal Bard.

This conversation between Aruna Chakravarti and Sunil Gangopadhyay that took place at a Tagore Conference organised by the Sahitya Akademi in Kochy in 2011. Click here to read.

Essays

The Idea of India: Bharata Bhagya Bidhata – The Making of a Motherland

Anasuya Bhar explores the history of the National Anthem of India, composed by Tagore in Bengali and translated only by the poet himself and by Aruna Chakravarti. Click here to read.

Tagore & Odisha

Bhaskar Parichha explores Tagore’s interactions with Odisha, his impact on their culture and the impact of their culture on him. Click here to read.

Tagore and Guru Nanak’s Vision

Parneet Jaggi talks of the influence Guru Nanak on Tagore, his ideology and poetry. Click here to read.

Rabindranath and the Etchings of His Mind

Anasuya Bhar explores the various lives given to a publication through the different edited versions, translations and films, using Tagore as a case study and the work done to provide these online. Click here to read.

A Tale of Devotion and Sacrifice as Opposed to Jealousy and Tyranny

Sohana Manzoor explores the social relevance of a dance drama by Tagore, Natir puja. We carry this to commemorate Tagore’s birth anniversary. Click here to read

At Home in the World: Tagore, Gandhi and the Quest for Alternative Masculinities

Meenakshi Malhotra explores the role of masculinity in Nationalism prescribed by Tagore, his niece Sarala Debi, Gandhi and Colonials. Click here to read.

When West meets East, Greatness Blooms

Debraj Mookerjee reflects on how syncretism impacts greats like Tagore,Tolstoy, Emerson, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi and many more. Click here to read.

Book reviews

Somdatta Mandal’s Kobi’ and ‘Rani’: Memoirs and Correspondences of Nirmalkumari Mahalanobis and Rabindranath Tagore reviewed by Himadri Lahiri. Click here to read.

Somdatta Mandal’s The Last Days of Rabindranath Tagore in Memoirs, a translation from a conglomeration of writings from all the Maestro’s caregivers and the poet himself, reviewed by Meenakshi Malhotra. Click here to read.

Bidyut Chakrabarty’s Socio-political Thought of Rabindranath Tagore, published by Sage India, reviewed by Bhaskar Parichha. Click here to read.

Bashabi Frasers’ Critical Lives: Rabindranath Tagore, published by Speaking Tiger, reviewed by Bhaskar Parichcha. Click here to read. Click here to read.

Poetry Inspired by Tagore

United Kingdom

Mike Smith wrote a poem on Tagore’s ideology in paying a Tribute To Tagore. Click here to read

Korea

Ihlwha Choi spent some time in Santiniketan and here is a poem he wrote in reaction to his observations near the ‘home of R.Tagore’, as he names Santiniketan and the Kobiguru.

Click here to read Nandini.

Click here to read Universal Language

India

Himadri Lahiri wrote the historic descent of the country from Tagore and Maharishi Debendranath’s time in verse, Then Came the King’s Men. Click here to read.

Sunil Sharma pays tribute to Tagore in Mystical reconnections: Reading Tagore. Click here to read.