Thursday, February 01, 2007

So this is why your joy has entered my heart

Tai tomar ananda amar par
Tumi tai esecho nicche
Amae noile tribhuvaneshwar
Tomar prem hoto je micche.

-- Rabindranath Tagore
An English translation: (the page linked has the full text of the poem as well, with its earthy imagery of divine love)
So this is why your joy has entered my heart,
My lord,
So this is why you have come down to my humble abode.
Without me your three worlds would be nothing -
For I, only I, can be the fulfillment of your love.
I first heard these beautiful words of Tagore also near another deathbed. It's a breathtakingly bold sentiment. Somewhat similar to the Psalmist's plaintive cry:
Dost thou work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to greet thee? Is thy steadfast love declared in the grave?
It's one that, I suspect, my father would have greatly appreciated.


assiniboine said...

Dear G,

Our mutual friends, I have always assumed, knew that you were the son of who you are the son of, and that you therefore have laboured all your life under the burden of being the son of a very very important man. ("Oh my God," is the invariable reaction when I mention my friendship with you to Indian friends. "Is he THAT [you know who]"?

My Indian friends -- none of whom are Hindu, curiously; all of whom are Christian and Muslim -- insist that when it is a Hindu death and we are Christian and Muslim mourners we must back off for some weeks and allow you your space for a time. I somewhat suspect that that is excessively deferential to proprieties that may not entirely pertain.

But I shall write at greater length privately in a context where you can of course zap it out.



Gashwin said...

Dear M ... that may be generally true, but it's not so in my case. I welcome all communications, especially from close friends.