The rains’ turn it was — to usher in the morn,
As the sky stood lost — in the embrace of the dark,
The showers it seemed — had vowed today to pay off
The gruelling summer– all the debts they’d owed.
The music of the blindly streaming rain,
Seemed descending in torrents — besides itself,
Deserted both by night and day was earth,
Spellbound time was trapped in the magic of clouds.
The water bounced from roadside stones in a haze,
All the trees — with lowered heads — were quiet,
It was best to lose — whatever one’s ever owned,
On the all dissolving — melting, rainy day.
Yet the clock struck nine — yet, umbrella in hand,
For the wench of an office to woo — I boarded a tramcar,
Overflowing with clerks — through this pore filled cage,
A soft and moistened touch — kept visiting every while.
Even on a lost — secluded — divine day as this,
A great city bustled and noisily laboured on,
The prison house — packed with rats, as much as men,
Its ravenous hunger expressed open mouthed.
Unable — its mighty pull to ignore,
The streets — a myriad umbrellas — painted black,
The wealthy too — couldn’t express their free will,
With tireless faces in vehicles they went forth.
Adorned with neither a title nor name,
Blended thoroughly with the crowds I carried on,
Sucked quite clean of marrow were my bones,
Moaned in shame — my pair of worn out shoes,
My failures — had assumed the concrete form
Of a barber untouched stubble — two days old.
When life submerging rains begin to fall
On a dream-embracing — time effacing day,
Driven by the showers — by lightening harshly lit,
In a sealed room — soiled by countless breathings stale,
Today is caught in the world of tomorrow’s debt.
The day’s over — the last remains of rain
Wait on workless clouds — drunk and in a daze
Mixed for a while in yellow, gold and green,
An unreal evening — yet more showers plead.
How enchanting is this world — and this life,
Rewards priceless bestowed free of charge,
The shameful want of material well-being,
Physical pain however much it inflicts,
In fathomless depths, un-bonded — I surge.
Whenever livelihood’s grindstone gives respite,
Torrential rains arrive and bedeck my chest,
With garlands stringed in gorgeous gold and green.
Lucky indeed — to be living — still living, I’ve been!
Tired and free yet wounded and curious
Towards my hovel of a castle I return
A day that never again I’ll live
Has its memory — still painted in the sky.
A hideous — winding — narrow — slippery lane,
Unwary feet are pierced by rough stones,
Like arguments — keep on coiling up the smoke,
From ovens of coal — their fires doused by rain.
Like an addiction — a benumbing melancholy,
Snatches away the breath from all my being
And erases every trace of the world out of my mind.
— But sense returns as I am about to step back home.
Partly holding the door — in a gentle pose,
Stands she attired in a colourful saree,
Her head half covered — by a veil that hides
Her face that’s turned half away from me.
The day’s deceit didn’t steal all that ever was,
The night’s still left — something still survives,
Inside the sleepy chasm of a vacant mind,
Fulfilment arrives sketched as though by dreams,
With the evening star shining in anticipation
On a slender arm — bereft of ornaments of gold.
It seems that I know her — yet I know her not,
I search in vain for words or rhythms to choose,
Through my penury — ridden with a million holes,
Unbridled — endless — vast the rains reveal,
A vale of spring bedecking a blind — obscure lane.
The heart speaks out allegories unaided,
Without jasmines and tuberoses or any flower else,
Simply speechless — her face — I keep staring at,
Her dark eyes alone — my own eyes manage to touch.
The lovers’ tryst — eternal and imperceptible,
Crosses over all fraud and irrelevance,
And whispers in my ears, “My promises I shall heed,
I won’t forget them — forget them I never will.”
Original Bengali version by Buddhadev Bose published in August, 1944. The above translation (eleventh revision) was completed on April 4, 2011.