To get a crude literal translation of the Bengali text into English or another language, see the note, "Literal Translation" at the bottom.
নতুন যুগের উপহার অন্তরে নিষ্ঠুর, বাইরে ভদ্র এরা৷ নম্র, কোমল কথার নিচে, লোকানো আছে বিষাক্ত, ধারাল ছুরি৷
বর্বরতা, সভ্যতা – দুই মিশে হয়েছে, দেখ, এদের মত মানুষ, যারা আজ সুট-টাই-জুতো পরে, অফিসে বসে, কম্পিউটারে লেখে, যাতে গোলামি বাড়ে৷
ন্যায়-অন্যায় ভুলেছে এরা৷ তবে, ভাল করে, পয়সা গুনতে জানে৷ শিক্ষার ঠোঙ্গাতে বেচে মূর্খতার ভেজাল মাল৷
পুরনো নবাব-দাসের বদলে, পেয়েছি আমরা নতুন যুগের এই উপহার৷
যীশু, বুদ্ধ – দেখ৷
বাত্লাও কবীর, এই সমস্যা থেকে কি ভাবে মুক্তি পাওয়া যায়৷ কানে কানে, যুক্তি দিয়ে, গাও গান৷ মঙ্গলবার, ৩০এ ডিসেম্বর,, ২০১৪ খৃ ব্রুক্লিন, নিউ য়র্ক ---------------------------------------------- For a "free translation" that is close to the original, seeThe Gifts of this New Age.
Literal Translation: First, select all of the Bengali text above and "copy" it. Both the selection and the copying can be done, on a Windows machine, by right-clicking anywhere in the text and then selecting the relevant menu-item in the list that appears as a "context menu".
At that site, you will see two blank, boxed areas. Click on the down-pointer tab above the left-hand (input) box, and select "Bengali" from the pull-down menu that appears. Next, click on the corresponding tab in the right-hand (output) box and select "English" -- or whatever language you want this translated into.
Then paste the text you had copied into the left-side (input) box.
If the translation does not appear in the right-side (output) box, then click the "Translate" tab above that box. You might have to scroll down in the right-hand box (by clicking in it and using your mouse-wheel) to see the full translation.
Note that the translation will often be very crude and ungrammatical -- and might be misleading, as Google's translation engines are still not too good for most non-European languages.
Note also that the blogsite itself (part of blogger.com, owned by Google) offers a translation facility via an icon positioned at the top left of the post's window. However, this works only, at least for my posts, if the original post language is English. So it will not work for this post, which is in Bengali.
For posts in English, you can use this "automatic" onsite translation. But do note that the same remarks, made earlier, about the poor quality of the translation, still apply, especially if you are translating from English into a non-European language.
Also, if you use the "automatic" translation at the blogsite, the original formatting, in particular the line-breaks needed to read poetry as it was intended to be read, will be lost in the translated text.
To get a very crude literal translation of this, see the note, "Translation", at the bottom of the post Notun Juger Upohar . (The original English piece, A Gray Christmas, of which this is a free and rather divergent translation, is at the link below, underneath the title.)
A transcription into Roman, using a scheme that represents the spoken sounds rather than the standard Bengali spellings, follows beneath the version in Bengali script. A brief summary of this transcription scheme can be found in the preface to Bharot Xadhin (India, Free).
বড়দিনের ছুটি এল
(“A Gray Christmas” -এর ভাবানুবাদ ) বড়দিনের ছুটি এল, কোথায় গেলে তুমি? ফিলিস্তিনে ফিরলে, পাবে রক্তমাখা ভুমি৷ প্রতি দেশে রক্ত বয়ে, নিষ্ঠুর খুনাখুনি৷ তারি মাঝে তোমার গলা অতীত থেকে শুনি৷ তোমার নামে কত খুন, কত অত্যাচার... জানলে পরে মরতে কি? আসতে কি আবার? কত আশা এনেছিলে, রয়েছে এখন কি? ছাইয়ের ঢিপির ভেতর থেকে বলছে মরা, "ছি!" পুর্ব দেশে বুদ্ধ এল, ফিলিস্তিনে তুমি৷ ভালবাসা, শান্তি কোথায়? পাইনি খুঁজে আমি৷ রয়েছি আমি শীতের দেশে, শীতের চটে কাঁপি৷ সাগর পারে, হেঁটে হেঁটে তোমার কথা ভাবি৷ ছাইয়ের রঙের মেঘের নিচে, ছাইয়ের রঙের ঢেউ... শীতের দেশে, মরন কালে, হাসছে কি আর, কেউ? সন্ধ্যে যখন আসবে ক্রমে, ফুটবে তখন বাতি৷ জমা হবে গির্জা-ঘরে, দুঃখে, মানুষ-জাতি৷ গাইবে তখন সবাই মিলে তোমার ভজন গীত৷ আস্তাবলে জন্মেছিলে, বাইরে যখন শীত৷ সুর্য এবার ফিরছে শেষে, দক্ষিন সীমা ছুয়ে৷ দিনের আলো বাড়বে এখন আস্তে, একে দুয়ে৷ কষ্টে বছর কাটল, যাদের দেশে যুদ্ধের বলি৷ বাচ্চাগুলো হাসবে আবার, এই আশাতেই চলি৷ নরক দেখে, মরন কালে তোমার খোঁজে যাই৷ অন্ধকারে, আলোর আশা রয়েছে তবু তাই৷ বড়দিনের ছুটি এল, গাইব তোমার গান৷ শ্মশান ঘাটের ছাইয়ের থেকে উঠবে জেগে প্রাণ৷ সোমবার, ২৯এ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১৪ খ্রি ব্রুক্লিন, নিউ ইয়র্ক
============================== Bor’odiner Chut’i Elo
You call for revolution – and I support your call.
Let’s set the wheel in motion – but let it turn for all.
What use is revolution – if peasants still must starve,
If workers still must labor – for less than they deserve?
What use is revolution, if not for each and all?
What use is revolution, if despots still are tall
And all the rest are crawling – if bosses still give orders
And soldiers still have stations at every nation’s borders?
When hierarchies are flattened – and newer ones not built,
Then all can claim we’re better – and this, without the guilt.
For if the price was bloody, and yet the value’s low,
What use was revolution, for those who’re still below?
What use are revolutions that do not free the soul,
That do not heal the body and make the fabric whole?
Let’s set the wheel in motion, but let it turn for all.
Let virtue rise, with justice. Let vice and evil fall.
We cannot make a heaven, upon this spinning Earth,
But still can make things better, for those of humble birth.
We need no more of leaders, but more, who are aware.
Of lies that are misleading, from those who lead, beware!
The sheep, domesticated, have herders, so their fleece
And flesh can yield the bounties – in England or in Greece.
So humans, too, were corralled, and those, resisting, slain.
So peasants, workers, toiling, gave "landlords", "owners" gain.
We're long domesticated – to beings tame and mild,
Who do as they are bidden, forgetting eons wild…
So those, who wait for leaders – they wait for them in vain.
For when they find their leaders – they’ll find they’re fooled again.
The slaughterhouse is waiting, for grazers on the meadow.
Be wary – and be humble, so none may cast a shadow
In which another’s hidden, deprived of rights and voice
Or stays content to follow – and so surrenders choice.
If leading is your habit, then lead us with the truth.
Perceive your branch of falsehood – and trace it back to root.
If more inclined to follow, then be of courage strong.
It's difficult to follow what's right, when all is wrong.
But revolutions happen – and seem to hold out hope.
The martyrs' blood then darkens, and people feed on dope.
It's still the same old story, and often even worse.
The people still have leaders, who soon will hit "reverse".
The pressures mount from bankers, the threats from powers grow.
The country is in crisis, with prices rising more.
There's fear and there's repression – and soon enough, there's war.
We sacrificed for nothing, for back to naught we are.
For still we had divisions, which still could be exploited.
We turned against each other, and all we gained was voided.
So it's the same old story that's one more time retold.
For those who bought the fictions could once again be sold.
There’s the marching in processions, there’s the shouting in the streets.
There’s the storming of the barracks. There’s the tasting of the sweets
That lasts for just a season. There's then the season sour,
When once again there’s "order", with leaders still in power.
And what has changed, in essence? The hierarchies remain –
Or even when they’re broken, are seen to rise again.
The only revolutions that humans can sustain
Are those that start within us, that seek to end the pain…
We cannot, by our thinking – or writings, prose or verse,
Replace the need for action – or currents strong, reverse.
We need the strength collective, we need the actions bold.
We need to break the choke-holds, reject the notions sold.
But this can only happen, when each of us has strength
That comes from inner practice that’s been of depth and length.
For each must dare to question. Together, mind and heart
Can give to us the answers. To reason, there’s an art…
But reason, in a vacuum – or feeding on what’s fed,
Produces false "solutions". Beware of being led!
There’s fact and there’s opinion. You’re only sure of that,
Which you yourself experience – by wrestling on the mat.
You might have gone to college and learned a lot. And if
You’ve kept yourself updated, unlike the working stiff,
You might have your opinions. But only they, who’ve labored,
Can truly speak of labor. Beware the circles favored!
The inside’s often different, from what the outside looks.
Do not believe the media or even what’s in books.
It’s only when you’re present, to do and see and hear –
It’s only when you’ve lived it, that vision starts to clear.
So who can be a leader, except to lead himself?
For only you have knowledge of what’s around yourself.
No presidents are needed, no bosses up on high –
Or even one that’s nearer. There’s truth – and there’s the lie.
The truth, indeed, is bitter – and yet, what else is there?
To taste of truth, unsweetened, who first will rise and dare?
And who of us will follow – and each with firm resolve,
So all the old deceptions, with newer ones, dissolve?
For that is revolution, when people clearly see –
And that’s what really matters, as all the rest will be
As warmth that follows daylight, as seed that senses rain…
From vision, there’ll be action to lift the yoke of pain…
Beware of those divisions – of race or speech or creed –
That leave the heart in darkness – and mills of evil feed.
Of ignorance, be fearful; in learning more, be bold.
Observe the new perspective – and yet respect the old.
Do not despise the wealthy – nor hold them in esteem.
Do not look down on paupers – or these, as snowflakes, deem.
For all of us are human, with virtue and with vice –
From all around, take counsel – but heed your own advice.
If free to follow conscience, if free to seek the truth,
You then can praise your freedom – and praising, speak the truth.
And that is revolution – when each one, speaking freely,
Can say that she has freedom – that's freedom, well and truly.
What freedom can the man have, who answers to a boss?
What freedom in a country, that’s ruled by gain and loss?
What freedom, when we're fearful of losing jobs or lives
For speaking truth to power? What freedom then survives?
What freedom, when, at Apple, they can pinpoint where you are?
What freedom, in a country that's torn apart by war?
There’s freedom that is waiting – there’s freedom for the slave.
But freedom needs its fighters – it asks you if you're brave.
How many wheels, in violence, have lifted up the low –
But then have kept on turning – until they’re back below?
Let’s call for revolution that frees the mind, the voice –
That clears the vision clouded, so each can then rejoice.
2014 December 20th, Sat. (Some stanzas added Dec. 28th.) Brooklyn, New York
In a country far away that yet is very near,
There lived a girl called Kiwi who had vision sharp and clear.
And once, when she was walking, she saw, upon a tree,
A little frog was sitting – and calling out in fear.
“Oh what is it you’re fearful of?” asked Kiwi of the frog.
“Is it Mew, the kit-cat? Or is it Woof, the dog?"
“Oh thank you! It is neither. I climbed upon the tree
To see how I could get back to my home that’s in the bog.
“But where that bog is hiding, I’m afraid I cannot see.
I’ve looked to west and eastward and south towards the sea.
And in the north there’s mountains. But nowhere is that bog.
And I’m afraid of falling from high upon this tree.”
“Oh don’t you worry, little frog, whose name I do not know.
I know just where that bog is – it’s where it was before.
It’s there, behind the trees there. I’ll climb up on this tree
And bring you down. And then, from here, your way to home, I’ll show.”
So Kiwi climbed upon the tree. She showed no trace of fear.
She brought that little froggie down, she’d seen with vision clear.
And then she showed the way for it to hop towards its home.
“I’m Kiwi. You?” “Oh thank you! I am Ngaak – and you’re a dear.”
So Kiwi helped that little frog called Ngaak and went her way.
And on the path she’d shown him, Ngaak then hopped and hopped away,
Until at last he neared the bog and heard the frogs there croaking.
“Oh there you are!” His sister said. “I’ve looked for you all day!”
I met with a yeti on a sunshiny day.
It could have been April, it could have been May.
“Good morning, dear Yeti!” I said to the hulk.
He gave me a grunt, for the sun made him sulk.
“Good morning!” I said, to the yeti, once more.
He grunted more loudly than he’d grunted before.
“Good sunshine to you, dear Yeti, my friend!”
And I saw that his patience was now at an end.
He grunted and snorted and came after me.
My smile, it was frozen. I started to flee.
With a leap and a bound, I jumped in a stream.
And I woke with a gasp from this weird little dream.
Now humans like sun, when the weather is cold.
But the yetis like shade, as we should have been told.
So on days when it’s sunny, be very discrete
‘Round Yetis, who’re sulking because of the heat.
And whether in waking, or what’s only a dream,
Do stand by a tree or be close to a stream,
For if yetis approach, who are madder than hell,
That tree or that stream could serve you right well.
For everyone knows that the yetis can’t swim –
And of those who climb trees, the numbers are slim.
If the yeti is grown and is heavy, then why –
You’ll be safe in a tree, if you climb up on high.
Do tell us, oh daughter, you'll try to be kind
To the ones who need kindness the most.
And tell us, oh son, that you'll dare to stand up
To the persons who bully and boast.
But no! Do not tell us or try to console
Your parents, who ask for these things.
But listen to conscience and do as it says.
Like angels, you then will have wings.
But know, on this Earth, there is evil and so
The path of the virtues is steep.
But stay on that path and you’ll find that it leads
To a place that is high and yet deep.
We’ll tell you, oh daughter, there's joy that you'll find,
But your woes, you will weather as well.
We’ll tell you, oh son, there are strengths that you'll have,
But your weakness, you’ll treasure as well.
For know that your sorrows will give you your depth,
So your joys will be deeper in turn.
And know that your failings will give you your heart,
So to handle your strengths, you will learn.
Be humble, oh children, for hubris has caused
All manner of ills on this Earth.
Your parents are glad they were given the chance
To give, to such children, their birth.
“But where is our daughter and where is our son?
Alas, for we never had any!”
Oh hush, my dear spouse! Of children, we’ve none.
And yet, you can see, we have many.
Is the universe a solid, if we add to space the time?
Then all’s predestination. Yes, my verses still have rhyme,
but more – because, in choosing, I really have no choice.
The word I use to rhyme with is chosen – and this voice
is saying what it’s saying, because the future’s known.
So none of us may claim to act with a will that is one’s own.
But if, beside the time, there is at least another thing
that varies, then each instant is a bird upon the wing.
The future of the universe can never be predicted,
for every tiny particle, even undetected,
can vary in the path it takes – and there’s no way to know.
The universe is fluid then, with myriad ways to flow.
And since, besides, each little flow can alter yet another,
and if, in probing how to flow, each flowing speaks to brother,
the universes that might rise affect then one another,
And so, of all complexities, we have, in this, the mother!
But since I play at poetry, and not in metaphysics,
it’s time to exit quietly and end these weird lyrics…
2014 December 21st, Sun. 11:08 am Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York
When the winter wind is blowing and the nights are freezing cold,
I will venture in the alley and I’ll look up at the sky.
And I’ll see, above the city, in the darkness, burning stars.
In the crystal air of winter, it will seem that they are near.
And though I cannot touch them, they will reach into my past –
A past I cannot speak of, a history unwritten,
That still is in awareness – that is distant, like the stars,
But is waiting for remembrance, like the shadow by my side.
For the self has not forgotten all the beings it has been.
And the mind has not forgotten all the visions it has seen.
Through the ages and the eons, they’ve been layered deep beneath…
So I’ll shiver in that alley, as I gaze up at the stars…
When this body-soul is vanished, and the traces of it lost,
Will another, from an abyss, in a cloudless season, see
The fires that burn in darkness, like the beacons that they are?
Will that being stare and shiver, in its wonder and its fear?
Through the eons and the ages, as the sun went up and down,
As it traveled north and southwards and as Luna waxed and waned,
The stars have crossed the heavens of this place we call the Earth.
How many eyes have seen them, from this planet of their birth?
How many more, on planets that are whirling 'round the stars,
Have gazed at them in wonder – from the distant, distant past
To the present – and in future will be gawking at them still?
How many eyes united, by their visions of the all?
When the winter wind is blowing and the water’s turned to ice,
I will see the star-fires burning, in the darkness of the night.
And in my recollection, there’ll be stirrings of the past,
And the part of me that’s speechless will be spellbound at the sight…
Be it chicken, pig or human, or a fish that swims the seas,
There’s an eye in every being, that’s recording what it sees.
And the record of the ages is a tale of endless woe,
And the promise of the future is of sorrows, even more.
And we glorify our species, and we name it “man the wise”,
But our history is bloody, though it’s hidden by our lies –
Horror heaped on horror, through the eons since the flood,
On us humans by us humans, in a world awash in blood…
Are we angels, are we devils, are we somewhere in between?
We are surely born of demons, for our actions are obscene.
But in babies as in puppies, and in grasses growing green,
For the eye that knows to see it, there’s the essence soft, serene.
There’s the pup that softly whimpers, there’s the little kitten’s mewl.
There’s the girl in class who’s ailing, but who follows still the rule.
There’s the leaf that’s sadly drooping and that soon will die of thirst.
There’s the gentle voice that’s calling, in a world with deafness cursed.
Should we go about our business, should we hurry even more?
Should we speed upon the highways, should we shun the byways slow?
There’s that softer voice that’s calling, there’s the silence of the stars.
We can choose to see and listen; we can choose to end the wars.
In the stillness of the sunset, in the quiet of the dawn,
In the trusting eyes of children, who were here but now are gone,
We can sense that there’s a heaven, in the midst of all the hells.
For there’s such a thing as healing – and there’s still the love that wells.
Forgive the ones who slaughter, forgive the ones who slay.
They know not what they’re doing, as their demons, they obey.
But don’t forget the slaughtered; have them ever in your mind.
As you go about your business, remember to be kind.
When I was young, I thought I'd make,
by devious means, a fortune.
And for advice, in doing this,
I did, a set'h, importune. \1
And this is what he told me then,
while twirling, slow, a whisker.
"The money to be made is there,
where businesses are brisker.
"As bees must go to flowers if
they wish to find their honey,
So travel west, where firangis, \2
with Frankish zeal, make money.
"There's comfort when you earn a pound,
a euro or a dollar.
But when it's rupaiyahs you earn, \3
for mercy, you might holler.
"For while the other three go up
or hold, at least, at steady,
A rupaiyah's value tends to fall.
For this, you're rarely ready.
"So go on down to London or
to Zurich, with a swindle.
And once you've stashed your pounds or francs, rupaiyahs, use, to kindle."
And so, I flew upon a plane
and landed in the West.
And there, to carry out my plan,
I tried my very best.
But then, alas, I found my luck
was not as I had wanted.
The dollar and the euro dropped,
that once were highly vaunted.
And so, dejected, I returned
with only debts grown bigger.
And in my native land, I found
I'd turned into a beggar.
On meeting once that selfsame set'h,
I told him, "Your advice
was either wrong by error or
on purpose, Mr. Nice."
He laughed and twirled a whisker and
he went upon his way.
The moral? This: No set'hs, believe.
And in your birthplace, stay.
2014 December 10, Wed. Brooklyn, New York
Hindustani (Urdu-Hindi) words 1. set'h: very rich person 2. firangi: westerner, European (possibly from "Frank") 3. rupaiyah: rupee, rupiah (from the word for silver), unit of currency in Pakistan, India, Malaysia
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The Song of the Hope of Dawn ভোরের আশার গান সরলতার গান কর আজ, যাতে ধুয়ে যায় সব ময়লা, সব পাপ৷ রাতের কুয়াশা জাগে, ভোরের ডাকে – গাও আজ সেই প্রভাতের সুন্দর সুরে৷ গাও আজ সেই প্রথম ভোরের গান, যাতে মনে পড়ে ছোটোবেলার কথা৷ শুনে, আসে সুখ, জেগে ওঠে প্রান – তাই তো দিলাম আশীর্বাদ৷ সেই পুরোনো দিনের গান, গাও গো আমায়, যাতে সেই পুরোনো পথে চলি – দেখি আবার তাদের, যারা গিয়েছে আগে – তাদের সঙ্গে হাসি কাঁদি৷ বইছে, শোনো, হাওয়া – মৃদু, জলের কল্কল৷ গাও গো আমায় সেই কোমল গীতি৷ রাতের স্বপ্ন মেশে ভোরের সাথে – গাও গো আমায় সেই সুখের আশার গান৷ শনিবার, ২৯এ নভেম্বর, ২০১৪ খৃঃ (অনুবাদ শনিবার, ৬ ডিসেম্বর) ব্রুক্লিন, নিউ য়র্ক Sing to Me(English original) http://thedailypoet.blogspot.com/2014/11/sing-to-me.html
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sing to Me kobitar onubad