04 March 2016

Tomar Halo Shuru

This poem/song by Rabindranath Tagore is super famous (in India). It is notoriously difficult to translate although I think somebody named Samragi has done a good job below. This clip of an old recording is the best I could find on youtube. The original Bengali lyrics show what a simple and repetitive form this poem takes. It is about the beauty of eternal longing and the dance of life you could say. Even with the poor quality recording I hope you can get a sense of how sweet it is. I deeply admire Tagore's writing, but I won't sit here pointing at the moon.





Tomar holo shuru – For you it begins
Amar holo sara – For me it is to end
Tomar holo shuru – For you it begins
Amar holo sara – For me it is to end
Tomay amay mile – In me when you dissolve
Emni bahe dhara – That is how it flows
Tomar holo shuru – For you it begins
Amar holo sara – For me it is to end
Tomar jale bati – For you the lights sparkle
Tomar ghare sathi – For you friends abound at home
Amar tare rati – For me ’tis but the night
Amar tare tara – For me ’tis but the stars
Tomar holo shuru - For you it begins
Amar holo sara – For me it is to end
Tomar ache danga – You have the barge
Amar ache jal – I am left with the waters
Tomar bose thaka – You stay still
Amar chalachol – I am to wander ever
Tomar ache danga – You have the barge
Amar ache jal – I am left with the waters
Tomar bose thaka – You stay still
Amar chalachol – I am to wander ever
Tomar hate rong – Your hands adorned with colours
Amar hate kar – Mine adorned with emptiness
Tomar mone bhay – Your heart that fears
Amar bhayahara – My fears are no more
Tomar holo shuru – For you it begins
Amar holo sara – For me it is to end
Tomay amay mile – In me when you dissolve
Emni bahe dhara – That is how it flows
Tomar holo shuru – For you it begins
Amar holo sara – For me it is to end


I like to read Tagore every now and again. Luckily he translated some of his own work to English. Here is a pick from Stray Birds to finish:


I shall die again and again to know that life is inexhaustible.

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