A song by Rajanikanta Sen, translated

This is a very modest attempt in translating a devotional song written by Rajanikanta Sen. If interested, you may listen to the song sung by Krishna Chatterjee by clicking here

Bengali

কবে তৃষিত এ মরু ছাড়িয়া যাইব
তোমারি রসালো নন্দনে
কবে তাপীত এ চিত করিব শীতল
তোমারি করুনা চন্দনে।
কবে তোমাতে হয়ে যাব
আমার আমি হারা
তোমারি নাম নিতে
নয়নে ববে ধারা
ভেবে ও শিহরিবে, ব্যাকুল হবে প্রাণ
বিপুল পুলক স্পন্দনে।
কবে ভবের সুখদুঃখ চরণে দলিয়া
যাত্রা করিব গো শ্রী হরি বলিয়া,
চরণ টলিবে না, হৃদয় গলিবে না
কাহার আকুল ক্রন্দনে।

Translated into English

When will I traverse
This thirsty desert
To reach your luscious abode,
When will this frenzied heart
Heal in your magical ode
That soothes like a chandan* balm.
When will my pride immerse,
When will I lose myself in you,
When will tears stream from my eyes
As soon as I take your name?
I will shiver in my thoughts
My soul will yearn
My heart will beat
Without guilt or shame!
When will I trample
All earthly joy and woes
When will I embark
By calling out Srihari*
When will my
Feet not tremble,
Heart not melt
Despite anyone’s
Wailing, lament.

chandan* – it is a paste made out of sandalwood; traditionally it is applied on deities and also on the face of disciples, gurus, sadhus to physically cleanse one’s face from sins.

Srihari* – Srihari is the name of a Hindu God Vishnu, also known as the Supreme friend

Translated into French

C’est un essai très modeste de traduire une chanson spirituelle écrite par Rajanikanta Sen. Si vous voulez, vous pouvez écouter la chanson chantée par la chanteuse Krishna Chatterjee en cliquant ici

Quand vais-je traverser ce désert assoiffé
Pour atteindre votre somptueuse demeure,
Quand est-ce que ce cœur frénétique
Va guérir à l’aide de votre ode magique
Tout comme un baume chandan*.
Quand ma fierté plongera-t-elle,
Quand vais-je me perdre en vous,
Quand couleront-elles les larmes de mes yeux
Dès que je prends votre nom?
Je vais trembler dans mes pensées
Mon âme aspirera, mon cœur battra
Sans culpabilité ni honte!
Quand vais-je piétiner
Toute joie et tous les malheurs terrestres,
Quand vais-je embarquer
En criant votre nom de Srihari*
Quand les pieds ne tremblent plus,
Le cœur ne fond plus
Malgré le gémissement
De n’importe qui, de n’importe où.

chandan* – c’est une pâte faite de bois de santal; il est traditionnellement appliqué sur les divinités et également sur le visage des disciples, des gourous, ou des sadhus pour nettoyer physiquement son visage des péchés.

Srihari* – Srihari est le nom d’un dieu hindou Vishnu, également connu comme l’ami suprème.

© supratik 2020
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critique and comments welcome.
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Gothicman
5 months ago

Thanks for this rich diversity of culture through three languages, Supratik. It reveals perhaps how you have developed your literary, particularly poetical, style? One would expect too that all with this rich classical background would be influenced in the same way, regarding style that is, even if the content matter may well be very different and varied according to education and life experiences, how much travelled, etc.? Most think that romantic love, as opposed to love of a deity, arrived with lazy aristocracy with plenty of time on their hands, whereas before that the struggle for survival for the masses… Read more »

Ionicus
5 months ago
Reply to  Gothicman

A very romantic poem skilfully translated into two languages which shows your versatility.

Shoam
5 months ago

This is such a lovely song yearning for the Supreme Love. Bengali Literature is rich in devotional songs where divine love is described with passion, akin to romantic love, and renunciation is an important ingredient of reaching that goal. You have done a commendable, almost literal translation, without losing any of the inferred meanings. Kudos to you! Thanks for bringing this song to my notice.

Shoam
5 months ago
Reply to  supratik

Thank you, Supratik, for your thoughtful advice. I will post some of my poems, and then extracts from my book.

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