My small homage to the bard of my soul, Gurudeb Rabindranath Tagore on his birth anniversary, my English translation of his divine love song 'Jokhon Eshechhile Ondhokare' from his treasure trove Gitabitan. Like many other songs written and composed by Tagore belonging to the 'prem' parjaay (love songs section) of Gitabitan, this song too (composed in 1924) blurs the thin line between love and devotion with a sense of sublimity that characterises it. The lover, the elusive presence depicted here, to me, is the Divine essence of God, and the bard is under his magic spell, when he bows to his divine will in a sweet surrender. An irresistible concoction of human desire and divine design is at play here.
When I felt you lurking in the dark,
I stood, transfixed, by the moonless ocean.
Oh, my unknown lover, I had felt your presence that night
As your music played on the strings of my soul.
When you left alone, the moonlight rose, embracing the night.
I found a garland that lay, while I returned.
I knew, then, whom you had left the token for, as you went away."
The original Bengali lyrics of the song:
যখন এসেছিলে অন্ধকারে
চাঁদ ওঠে নি সিন্ধুপারে॥
হে অজানা, তোমায় তবে জেনেছিলেম অনুভবে--
গানে তোমার পরশখানি বেজেছিল প্রাণের তারে॥
তুমি গেলে যখন একলা চলে
চাঁদ উঠেছে রাতের কোলে।
তখন দেখি, পথের কাছে মালা তোমার পড়ে আছে--
বুঝেছিলেম অনুমানে এ কণ্ঠহার দিলে কারে॥
Facts about the song:
Parjaay : Prem
Taal : Teyora
Raag : Pilu-Barwan