Nostalgic Bengali songs and poetry

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#16 Jul 1st, 2011, 18:55
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#16
If I got an eternal life − and then alone go on
walking the paths of the world: I shall see green grasses
spring up and yellow leaves drop off − watch the sky
clearing as it dawns − and at the dusk, a streak of
blood from a slain Munia clinging to its bosom− and sessions with the stars, time and again that too. I shall see
how an unknown woman makes her way
her loose bun falling apart − ah, her face lacks
twilight’s comely touch.

If I really got an endless life − and for eternity
roamed about the world − past a lot of
Trams, buses and dusts − bunch of slums and bazaars – across
swampy lanes, pieces of broken chillum and urn –
a fight here, a quarrel there, squint eyes, rotten shrimps −
Caught sight of so many things all on the way
Except a glimpse of you for once ever in this life.
(Jibananda)
Courtsey: Faizul Latif Chowdhury who translated this poem.
#17 Jul 1st, 2011, 21:02
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#17

Thumbs up

Wow, Jyoti. Mesmerizing.
#18 Jul 1st, 2011, 23:08
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#18
Further to the deletion of posts earlier today:

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Kindly note that posts in languages other than English are not acceptable, even though this thread is about poetry in Bengali language.

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#19 Jul 2nd, 2011, 00:42
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#19
TD: Thanks for that youtube link on Bauls.

If anyone wants to post translations of Baul songs and/or Lalon's dohas, please.

Jyotirmoy: Thanks for that translation. A request: could you please add the title of the poem?

Julia: Thanks for editing the thread title. Why just read along?

Dipyaman: By all means, go for it.

-----------------------------------------------

Now here's what I think about Banalata Sen. If you are aware of Jibonananda's life and his struggles, you might agree with me. And if you don't, that would be ok too :-)

For a weary traveler, for whom even a moment's peace is at a premium, possibly the only source of succor comes from his remembrances of his childhood, including his parents and the village he was raised in. I think Banalata Sen is the embodiment of all that once was peaceful and blissful.

For a long time, I had convinced myself in the above interpretation. These days, I am veering around to something different. When life's trials and tribulations have exacted more than their pound of flesh, eternal bliss can probably only be found in the Great Beyond. And Banalata Sen is the face of the sentry standing at that gate, reassuring him that life on the other side of the divide is beautiful and liberating.
Last edited by arindamdas; Jul 2nd, 2011 at 10:30..
#20 Jul 2nd, 2011, 01:08
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#20
We have had a couple of poems, time for a song. I listened to this one a few times recently (thanks to the Antakshari thread), but it has been playing incessantly. You can listen to this song here ... written and composed by Salil Chowdhury, sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Dates back to 1977.

Note: Chandan is sandalwood. Before any auspicious event/journey, Bengali mothers (and wives, in the past) are known to apply a mark ('tilak') of sandalwood paste on their children's (husbands) forehead. Prodip is earthen lamp, still used in some villages to light up homes after dark.

---------------------------------------

Aaj noy gungun gunjan premer, ... No more humming of love tunes today,
Chand phul jochonar gaan aar noy, ... No more songs of the moon, flowers, or (full)moonlight,
Ogo priyo mor, kholo bahudor, ... O my beloved, open your arms,
Prithibi tomare je chay, ... The world wants you.

Aar noy nishphol krandan, shudhu nijer sharther bandhan, ... No more fruitless shedding of tears, break free from the shackles of selfish interests,
Khule dao janala, ashuk shara bishwer bedonar spondon, ... Open your windows, let the sobs of the whole world come through,

Dharanir dhuli hok chandan, ... Let the soil of this earth be your 'chandan',
Tika tar mathe aaj pore nao pore nao pore nao, ... Apply it as 'tilak' on your forehead,
Aaj noy gungun gunjan premer. ... No more humming of love tunes today.

Kar gharey prodip joleni, kar bachar onno meleni, ... Those houses which haven't lit their 'prodip' tonight, those children who have gone hungry today,
Kar nei asroy boroshar, dinkate bhagger bhorshay, ... Those who have found no shelter from the rains, banking on fate,
Tumi ho-w ekjon taderi, ... You, be one of them today,
Knadhe aaj tar bhor tule nao, tule nao, tule nao, ... Lift their weight on your shoulders, lift, lift.

P.S: Speaking of the full moon (check the second line of the song), here's a line from a famous poem by Sukanto Bhattacharyya, " ... purnima'r chand jeno jholshano ruti ...', which translates as "the full moon is like a charred roti". Anyone has a translation of this poem?
Last edited by arindamdas; Jul 2nd, 2011 at 04:18..
#21 Jul 2nd, 2011, 01:55
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#21
Aah, found it. The poem is "Hey Mahajibon" (O Great Life), by Sukanto Bhattacharjee. The translation here is from http://anshumannandiblog.blogspot.co...te-quotes.html ... slightly modified by me.

If you notice, the Bengali version of this poem carefully avoids ending successive lines with rhyming words, which is itself a break from traditional poetry.

----------------------------

O great soul, enough with this poetry, (hey maha manob, aar ay kabyo noy)
Bring on the hard, harsh prose instead. (ebar kothin kothor goddo ano)
Let the jingle of verses disappear, (podyo-lalito-jhonkar muche jaak)
And the strong hammer of prose strike. (godyer kora haturi-ke aaj haano)
No need for the serenity of a poem, (proyojon nei kobitar snigdhota)
Poetry, I give you a break today. (kobita tomay dilam aajke chuti)
In the world of abject hunger, the earth is nothing but prose, (khudhar rajye prithibi godyomoy)
The full moon is but a charred roti (purnima'r chand jeno jholshano ruti).

-------------------------------------

Another translation, courtesy Barnali Saha http://www.washingtonbanglaradio.com...n-barnali-saha

O great life, no more poetry should you knit
Bring on rigid, rigid prose
Let rhyme, rhythm and rhetoric obliterate
Pound the hard hammer of prose
No one needs the soft bower of poetic pleonasm
Poetry, I now bid you adieu
The hungry world is decked with prosaic fiction
The full moon is but scalded flat bread !!

--------------

P.S: Having seen the copyright violations notices, I am not sure if these are ok. Mods, if I am flouting forum rules here, I would much prefer a gentle message than a harsh infraction :-)
Last edited by arindamdas; Jul 2nd, 2011 at 07:50.. Reason: fixed links
#22 Jul 2nd, 2011, 09:53
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#22
One more, by Jibonananda. The poem is 'Abar Ashibo Phire' (I will be back). It is adapted from Zunaid Kazi's translation available here.

Notes: Dhanshiri and Rupsha are rivers in Bangladesh, Jalangi is a river flowing through Murshidabad in West Bengal, Shimul is a tree, Shonkhocheel is a bird which literally translates as “white eagle” (extinct??), ‘Ghungoor’ (ghungroo or payel in Hindi) is an anklet. Young girls in the Bengal countryside usually walk around with a ghungroo. Shalik is a bird (a common myna, according to this website).

If you are not sure about 'crimson tinged feet' (line 5), read this.

---------------------------------

I will be back one day, to the banks of the Dhanshiri, to this Bengal,
May not be as a human, probably in the guise of a white hawk or a 'shalik',
May be as a raven at dawn, to this land of autumnal rice harvests,
Riding the morning fog, I will be back one day to seek out the shade of a jackfruit tree,
May be as a duck - like a young lass, ‘ghungoor’ wrapped around her crimson tinged feet,
I will spend the day merrily floating on duckweed scented waters,
I will return – to these rivers, meadows and farms,
To this land of green, nurtured by the waves of the Jalangi.

Perhaps you will see buzzards soaring in the twilight draft (draught),
Perhaps you will hear the screech of a barn owl on a Shimul branch,
Perhaps a child scattering puffed rice in the courtyard,
Or a youth rowing his dinghy - with torn white sails - on the murky waters of the Rupsha,
Gliding through iridescent clouds, white herons returning to their nests in the twilight,
That is where you will find me - amongst them all.

P.S: Here's the Bengali poem, sung by Lopamudra Mitra.
Last edited by arindamdas; Jul 2nd, 2011 at 15:46..
#23 Jul 2nd, 2011, 10:07
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#23
Yes, that's beautiful.

You're welcome to know I've often considered to put an end to it all (very natural and human feeling, isn't it. No, I'm unlikely to do it, I'm far too rational, and you'd be very likely to end up a cripple for the rest of your life & so not exactly more happy, and what about all those you leave behind, and their sorrow), and this is where you would find me -- everywhere.

I mean my imaginary farewell-note would be very much like that.

(In fact I don't believe in the supernatural or reincarnation or anything. But there are ghosts around us, yes, or shall we say we leave "traces." Of course we do.

Although rationally speaking again, of course they may be only there if, or as long as, we're aware of them. Or imagine that presence to be there. But a certain presence, yes, who hasn't felt it. Just history bearing down on us, there's nothing much spiritist about it, right.

But these places where we go, and the people we meet, they're just full of, well, life. And history, indeed.)
#24 Jul 2nd, 2011, 10:12
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#24
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#25 Jul 2nd, 2011, 10:20
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#25
To your #22. Wasn't that clear? It's really beautiful.

(I'll normally be quite precise in quoting, but will skip it if there doesn't seem to be a need to. But I can see how it might lead to confusion, yes.)
#26 Jul 2nd, 2011, 10:23
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#26
Sorry Mach, you probably modified it later, and I was reading an earlier version. It's apparent now (well-written too, I may add, specially the last two paras). Glad you agree with my interpretations.
#27 Jul 2nd, 2011, 13:05
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#27
In the 70's we had those little/mini magazines. What happened to those? Are they still being published in Kolkata?
#28 Jul 2nd, 2011, 14:13
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#28
Jyotida, those little Bengali magazines still exist (just about) in the boi para near College Street. Our friend Brishti had posted a Youtube about them. Here it is:

http://english.aljazeera.net/program...739848930.html

(clip originally posted in the Kolkata in 3D thread)

I am intrigued by them also!
"Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to row the boat."
(Jean-Paul Sartre)
#29 Jul 2nd, 2011, 15:10
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#29
Jyotirmoy,

You will also find them at the Kolkata Book Fair. I was there last year, bought a few. Unfortunately, these *little magazines* are somewhat passe these days ... in the whole book fair, I probably found 4-5 stalls selling them. Get your hands on those as long as they are still around.
#30 Jul 2nd, 2011, 15:18
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#30
Since this thread is as much about Bengali music as poetry, I leave you with Manna Dey's top 5 non-film songs (according to me, of course).

1. Coffee House-er shei addata
2. Shey aamar choto bon
3. Ma, ma go ma, aami elam tomar koley
4. Eki opurbo prem dile bidhata aamay
5. Aamar bhalobashar rajprashade, nishuti raat gumre more

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find youtube links for the last two. If anyone can dig them up, I would appreciate if you post those. Enjoy! I'll be back in a few days.
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