2 May 2015

When my footfalls will be no more in this world.

Growing up in a family immersed in music in Bengal, Rabindrasangeet (songs by Tagore) was as much a staple diet for me as was rice and potatoes. And yet, unlike most Bengalis, I never took to Rabindrasangeet. (I liked more classical based songs like Nazrulgeeti). If you are not from Bengal, you probably have very little idea how blasphemous that statement is in Bengal. That is like saying I don’t like “rosogollas” (a local sweet). Which, I don’t by the way.

If you ask my dad what are his biggest disappointments about me he would cite – not necessarily in that order (i) I live in a rural setting (he thinks I have regressed in the financial progress he made when he moved from a village to a town in Bengal) (ii) I run (he thinks if I ever prosper, I will have people running around for me – I do not have to run) and (iii) I don’t like Rabindrasangeet (he thinks Rabindranath was the greatest poet ever in the world – although when I asked him to name a few more poets of the world that he had read the poems of, he admitted – “none”).

Many years later, a close friend of mine, who is also a singer, had once told me that as I grew older, she thought I would start liking Rabindrasangeet more and more. I have indeed grown to realize that she was right. I still don’t listen to Rabindrasangeet much, but when I do, I do spend the whole evening enjoying them. Today was such an evening.

The song of the evening was –
“Jokhon porbe na mor paayer chinho ei batey,
Ami baibo na – ami baibo na mor kheya-tori ei ghaatey, go.
Jokhon porbe na mor paayer chinho ei batey…
Chukiye debo becha-kena,
Mitiye debo go, mitiye debo lena-dena,
Bondho hobey anagona ei hatey –
Tokhon amay naiba money raakhley,
Taarar paane chheye-chheye naiba aamay daakley.
Jokhon porbe na mor paayer chinho ei batey”

This is my mother tongue but translating is more difficult for me. (Perhaps I can understand the deeper meaning even better or perhaps because I am simply not that good in English. Perhaps both.)
But here is an attempt:

When there will be no more signs of my footfalls on this ground
When I will not be mooring my boat anymore into this dock
When there will be no more signs of my footfalls on this ground
(When) I would have concluded all my business here
(When) I would have wrapped up all my trades here
(When) All my treks to this marketplace would come to a finish
(Then) What is the harm if I did not come to your mind any more
(Then) What is the harm if you did not long at the stars at night and whispered out my name softly
When there will be no more signs of my footfalls on this ground

Posted May 2, 2015 by Rajib Roy in category "Music/Poetry


  1. By Indrani Solomon on

    How ironical, I had rabindrasangeet playing in the car today after a long while and found it very pleasing to the ears.. now I am not a fan of RS at all and didn’t grow up listening to it either but as an adult, I have enjoyed the flow of it and tend to enjoy it once in a while 🙂
    So, your dad will be happy to know that –
    1) you are not alone
    2) I am not much of a Bengali
    Moral of the story – fathers always make sense so stop your runs and get out of the boonies

  2. By Anand Iyer on

    For some reason, I like RS (love that abbreviation) in the background even though my Bengali is now coated in a thick layer of rust. There are a couple of songs I listen to only when I am stretching. Blasphemy or not, RS is not good for any cardiovascular activity

  3. By Sandip Kundu on

    Instead of ‘mooring my boat into this dock’, it could be ‘rowing my small boat across this pier’ #justsaying 🙂

  4. By Pinky Vergis on

    Bhalo likhecho. Sathi majhe m a dhe uf you do take the time to just read thru the Geetobitan ba Geetanjali it does make you realize that Rabindra sangeet ebong Rabindranath dujone khub ki darkar on a daily basis to live and feel good or sad and go with the flow of life.

  5. By Pinky Vergis on

    You can actually relate with him and his songs constantly. These are just my feelings and thoughts of Rabindranath

  6. By Madhumolli Sarkar on

    I think Rabindranath and his songs are thrown at us so much that we profane them. You need to read them with time to appreciate that he truly covered the whole gamut of human emotions.

  7. By Debasish Chakraborty on

    Rajib,Ami ar amar wife dujonei khub besi RS like korina. Baishali r songe prothom dekha jhokhon hoye chilo o ekta ragprodhan geyechilo. oke life partner choose karar eto ekta karon. 🙂

  8. By Piyali Chatterjee on

    This song gives a sense of parting…maybe as we age , we start experiencing break ups in different relations….the emotions then find an expression through Rabindranath

  9. By Rajib Roy on

    Madhumolli, you might have a point about the too much of thrusting of RS on us part. BTW, what I was not a big fan of was the songs – not the poems. I should have clarified – it was the tunes.

  10. By Rajib Roy on

    Rituparna, (R)asogolla aar (S)andesh-er modhye birodh eta-i je dutotey miley RS – orthat kina Rabindrasangeet hoye jay. 🙂


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