Mandarmani is on My Mind



Kh(m)antoburi. Artist: Rabindranath Tagore.
"A few days ago I wrote a letter to Narendra Singha intimating him
the condition of his house in Surul. After receiving my letter
if he concedes that would be good. Otherwise, we have to gladly
accept that broken property. There is no need to poison the blood
by piercing the heart with a loss. Whatever is gone, let it go.
Whatever has come, accept it. And whatever you can persuade him to give,
accept just that. The bitings of all these insignificant losses of life
are like stuck ants. They are very small. But if you let them
stick around, then they deplete the whole thing.
So dust them off. In life, the happiness of the inside
is far more important than a broken house in Surul.

This morning I suddenly felt like writing a poem.
I wrote it down fast (dh(n)a kare). After writing it down
I became aware that it was the story of my life.
The god of my life wrote it down with a smiling face.
He revealed to the practical people what sort of profitable business
I founded in my life. You all can see, after so much efforts
at the end how it was sold to penniless customers for free -
Ke nibi go kine aamai ke nibi go kine?
Pasra mor he(n)ke he(n)ke berai ra-te di-ne."


The eighth day of January, 1913.
508 West High Street, Urbana, Illinois, USA.
A part of a letter written to Santosh Chandra Majumdar.

Translated from Bengali.

"Ki gabhir dukh-khe magno samasto aakash,
samasto prithibi. Chalitechhe jatodur
shunitechhe ak-mat-ra marmantik sur
'Jete aami dibo na tomai.' Dharanir
Pranta ho-te nilabhra-er sarbopranto tir
Dhwanitechhe chirokal anadyanto ra-be,
'Jete nahi dibo. Jete nahi dibo.' Sabe
Kahe 'Jete nahi dibo.' Trino khudro ati
Ta-re-o ba(n)dhi-a bok-khe mata basumati
Kahichhen pran-pa-ne 'Jete nahi dibo.'
Aa-oo-kheen dipmukhe shikha nibo-nibo,
Aa(n)dharer gras ho-te ke tanichhe ta-re-
Kahitechhe shatobar 'Je te dibo na-re.'
A ananto cha-ra-cha-re swargo-marto chhe-a
Sab che-a puratan katha, sab che-a
Gabhir krondon - 'Jete nahi dibo.' Hai,
Ta-bu jete di-te hoi, ta-bu cho-le jai."
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