My Tagore, My Spirituality

This is a departure from my normal blog routine. Here I write about Tagore music that is my inspiration, my spirituality, my healer. I hope you join me on this blissful journey.
"I look up to you as my life's North Star. No more am I lost in sea -- near or far." - Tagore

For those who appreciate Indian music, and particularly the Tagore school of music, I present a few of my recordings I did a few years ago (Name of CD: Preme, Praane, Gaane — In Love, Life and Song – Music2000, Kolkata, co-recorded with my sister Poorna). I present three of my recordings and one score sung by Poorna. I definitely know that if I post more of her songs, you’re not going to come back to hear mine. Therefore, I made a conscious, cunning choice to outnumber her.

Plus, she lives in Kolkata, is not nearly as Internet-savvy as I am, and it’s unlikely that she’s ever going to snoop to discover what her big brother is saying to her global, distinguished friends.

🙂

I plan to record a new CD later this year when I’m in India. I hope you have time to listen to my songs, put up with my humble effort, and let me know your thoughts. Don’t praise Poorna’s song too much; praise mine more. You don’t want to see your favorite blogmaster sad and depressed, do you?

Lightheartedness aside, Rabindranath Tagore’s songs give me my spirituality; they bring the Dr. Jekyll out of my mundane and troubling Mr. Hyde.

When I’m in deep pain, anguish and distress, Tagore songs hold my hand and walk me through the woods. For me, it is intense love and spirituality. I listen, I sing, I read, and I translate. I cry. I get in a trance. Honestly, it is quite incredible for an otherwise unremarkable and ordinary man like me.

For you, I’ve also translated these songs into English. Maybe, I take more pride in my Tagore translation than my inept, undereducated voice. (However, honestly, I take deep pride in Poorna’s music).

I’m going to post more translations soon. Promise.

http://soundcloud.com/partha-banerjee-nyc

http://soundcloud.com/partha-banerjee-nyc/chirasakha-poorna

Happy to report to you, new and old friends, worldwide.

__________

The poet of all poets already said it what I always wanted to say. And he said it a hundred years ago…so effortlessly. I translate Tagore songs in a unique way: I do a purposeful rhyme. Because I cannot ever translate his out-of-the-world tune, this is my forced alternative to his celestial magic. Weak and inadequate alternative, I know; but because his songs are always “old-fashioned”ly rhyming, and because I do not think a prose-form translation of his songs does justice to his heavenly sorcery with words, at least a rhyming translation would supplement for it to some extent. I leave it up to you to decide if my efforts are worthwhile or not.

_______

Song (1)

let me sit, please

would you, by your side

only for a little

and I shall will wait

to finish my chores

mundane, brittle.

true, if I miss

but lookin’ in your eyes

my heart won’t pause

in midst o’ my chores

will wander around

by oceans abound

bereft of cause.

spring’s arrived

at my flung-open bay

with fanfare, breeze

honeybees buzz

’bout ‘n around

lush garden and trees.

’tis time for us two

only me and you

I look in your eyes

you look in mine too

and ’tis time to sing a song

the submission song

from a heart to a heart

all quiet and long.
_______
Song (2)

Whatever you say, you say

It doesn’t affect me, no way

I choose to live life ‘most without a reason

My days and nights keep flying away.

Only this crazy wind, this crazy song

Blow over my mind, blow it all along

Today, this moment, this life with no clue

Scatter over the sky the beautiful blue.

My song then does it: it plays the right keys

It does it eventually deep down inside

I look ’round and among the ever-buzzing bees

And I search for the nectar in a relentless stride.

Whose vision is way out and up above there

Whose vision’s wide across the serendipitous blue

Surely it reaches up my own mortal eyes

Finally it finds its way, and lights them up too.
________

Song (3)

Blessed is my life, Mother, I am born in this land
Blessed is my life, Mother, I’ve loved you so grand

Never want to know your riches like a queen
It only matters you bring me solace serene

Where saw a garden where flowers bloom so fragrant
Where was a heaven where moonshine’s more radiant

Dawn opened my eyes the first time seeing you
Dusk will close them in the end seeing you.

_______
Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

Alak Roychaudhury, noted singer sitting on right, arranged our recordings.

2 thoughts on “My Tagore, My Spirituality

  1. Partha, I think your recordings are just wonderful! They are very relaxing.

    I use to love to sing. It was my outlet too. I would sing all the time. However, eight years ago, the MS that has taken so much from me, took my voice away (I can only whisper now). I miss it greatly!

  2. Neva, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to listen to my music. I am also very fearful that my voice will quit me sooner or later; I cannot imagine not being able to sing. I am sorry that you lost your voice. Yet, I’m happy to note that you haven’t lost your music. We never lose it. Write more. -Partha

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