Jan 012012

The song by Rabindranath Tagore in this film clip (Purano shei diner katha sung by Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay) is based on the tune for Auld Lang Syne. I thought I would celebrate the New Year by translating it. As you will see, Tagore’s tune and lyrics differ subtly from those of the traditional Scottish song sung at midnight on Hogmanay/New Year’s Eve with your arms crossed in front of you, holding your neighbours’ hands. Happy New Year!

Bengali original (via Rabindra Rachanabali)

পুরানো সেই দিনের কথা ভুলবি কি রে হায়।  
      ও সেই      চোখের দেখা, প্রাণের কথা, সে কি ভোলা যায়।
        আয়       আর-একটিবার আয় রে সখা, প্রাণের মাঝে আয়।
       মোরা       সুখের দুখের কথা কব, প্রাণ জুড়াবে তায়।
       মোরা       ভোরের বেলা ফুল তুলেছি, দুলেছি দোলায়–
                   বাজিয়ে বাঁশি গান গেয়েছি বকুলের তলায়।
        হায়       মাঝে হল ছাড়াছাড়ি, গেলেম কে কোথায়–
      আবার      দেখা যদি হল, সখা, প্রাণের মাঝে আয়॥

Phonetic Bengali (via Shreelesh Kumar):

Purano shei diner kotha bhulbi kii re hai.
O shei chokher dekha, praaner kotha, she ki bhola jaaye.

Aaye aar-ektibar aayre shokha, praaner majhe aaye.
Mora shukher dukher kotha kobo, praan jurabe tai.

Mora bhorer bela phuul tulechi, dulechi dolaaye –
Bajiye baanshi gaan geyechi bokuler tolai.

Hai majhe holo chharachhari, gelem ke kothaye –
Abaar dekha jodi holo, shokha, praaner majhe aai.

My English translation:

Will you forget the tales from those old days, alas?
Oh those tales of the soul, seen with our own eyes, can never be forgotten.

Come just one more time, come my friend, within my soul,
We will talk about tales of happiness and sadness, which will soothe the soul.

We have picked flowers at dawn, swung on a swing,
We have sung songs playing a flute under the Bokul tree.

Alas, in between, we split up, we went who knows where.
If ever we meet again, my friend, come within my soul.

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