9 Jan 2007

First Sorrow by Rabindranath Tagore

The path by the shadow of the forest is now covered with grass.

On that deserted road, someone called me from behind.

"Don't you recognise me?"

I turned back to look at him.

"I remember you, but do not recall your name."

He said, "I am the sorrow who came to you when you were twenty-five."

The corner of his eyes revealed a spark of ray, just like moonlight on a lake.

I stood there, surprised.

"Back then, you appeared like a dark monsoon cloud. Now, you look like a golden idol. Have you lost the tears of that day?" I asked.

He didn't say anything, just smiled. I realized everything was contained in that smile.



The clouds of the rainy day had learned to smile like bright sunny days of the summer.

I asked him, "Have you preserved my youth of twenty-five?"

"Yes, I made it my necklace. Not even a single petal of the spring's garland had fallen."

I said, "See, how I have shriveled with age. But my youth is still adorning your neck, as fresh as ever."

He slowly put that necklace around my neck and said, "Do you remember, that day you had said, you don't need consolation, you only want sorrow?"

I shrugged a little. "Yes, I did. But it has been so long; I had forgotten about it."

"But the one within you hadn't forgotten. Now, you must accept me," he said.

I held his hand and said, "How wonderful you look!"

He smiled and said, "That which was once sorrow, is now peace."

Translated by Bhaswati Ghosh

12 comments:

Jeff said...

Very nice! Thank you for posting this.

Bernita said...

Beautiful.

Lisa Jordan said...

What a beautiful piece of writing!

I love this line--"Yes, I made it my necklace. Not even a single petal of the spring's garland had fallen."

Thank you for sharing! Are the flowers from your garden? They remind me of dahlias we had growing along our back fence. Gorgeous!

alicia said...

Very beautiful, and thought-provoking:)

Susan Abraham said...

How wonderful & truly engaging, Bhas.

Bhaswati said...

Jeff, it's my pleasure. :)

Bernita, I agree. :)

Lisa, I am glad you enjoyed reading this. It's one of my all-time favourites. Yes, those are chrysanthemums we are growing this winter. :)

Alicia, Susan, I am glad you liked this. Thanks for reading. :)

Scott said...

Wow, that was really beautiful.

With Hammer And Tong...The LetterShaper said...

As a poet, and an avid reader, I have to say that I very much enjoyed my leisurely stroll through your blog...it was time well spent; entertaining and enlightening. I thank you...

Bhaswati said...

Many thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to read it, Lettershaper. I am glad you enjoyed the stroll. :)

Laura said...

What a beautiful story! You use just the right tone and words here to convey the message.

echoes said...

It's beautiful! coming home to that which once was sorrow.

Jayant Meghani said...

Just last night i came across the beautiful translation courtesy Sudhir Kakar who has quoted the text in his book 'Young Tagore' (2013). i could not help translating the poem into Gujarati, my tongue. Thank you, Bhaswatiji. i hope to publish in book form about forty Tagore poems translated into Gujarati, including this one. Will you kindly agree to give your translation parallel to mine in Gujarati?
i hope to explore further your blog.
jayant meghani
jayantmeghani@gmail.com

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