Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Miscellaneous Translations | 0 comments

I have anchored my boat in a secluded corner far away from the Kachhari
(office). In this land there is no disturbance anywhere, you won’t get it
even if you wish to hear it. You can only feel it in the weekly markets
along with all the other commodities. Moreover, where I am at present, you
can’t even see the face of people. Everywhere around me, there are open fields with nothing on them. The crop is harvested and the whole
field is covered with the stems of the rice plants. After the whole day
yesterday, I went to the field to take a stroll. The sun gradually took a
more crimson hue before disappearing beyond the last line of the earth.
How shall I describe the beauty around me then! Far away near the end of
the horizon the trees marked the boundary, and that place became so
magical — the blue and the red mixed in such an unearthly indistinctness
— that I felt I was looking at the house of the evening. There she
reclines and slackens the end of her cloth, kindles her evening star with
tender care, waits for someone in the tranquil depths of her own silence.
There she spreads her legs and makes a garland of the stars and hums a
tune while creating her dream.

pen and wash drawingGlimpses of Bengal: selected from the letters of Sir Rabindranath Tagore, 1885 to 1895

The shadows lengthened over the wide, endless fields — almost like a
sadness that was tender — not exactly the tears but like those moist
eyelids of the evening’s large eyes in their steadfast gaze. I thought as
if it was a mother who lives in the busy household of the earth’s
habitations with her children — but where there is a little empty space,
a little tranquility, a little open sky — there blossoms the inherent
spirit of renunciation and sadness. There one can listen to its deep
breaths. The boundless clear sky that we have here, the wide expanse of
the open fields are seen nowhere in Europe. Is it because of this that
our race has discovered the endless stoicism of the wide universe? Our
Purabis and our Toris express the desolation of the world’s soul and does
not contain the mundane dross of the human life. That part of the world
that is efficient, affectionate and limited — those moods or states of
mind have not spread in the same measure in our minds. The tranquil, the
rare and endless moods of the universe have held us in a stoic
indifference. Thus when the Bhairabi resonates in the string of the
sitar, it pulls our hearts. On my left a rivulet went on its zigzag
course and disappeared beyond my vision soon enough. There was not even a
ripple in the water, only a mild tinge of the evening touched its face
like a dying smile. The breadth of the field reflected the depth of
silence all around me.

[Lines randomly selected and translated from Rabindranath Tagore’s ছিন্নপত্র (Torn Letters)]