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when free to fly back home

Posted by littleindian on June 21, 2010. |

it was about eleven at night
on the last train from calcutta to shantipur,
a rare weekend off from work, going to visit my ma

a railway carriage not unlike like this.

wind free tunneling into the compartment,
increasing with speed through the windows and doors,
the metal and glass panels long vandalised leaving gaps on the outer shell

on one such doorway stood a boy, with windswept hair and ragged clothes
he was about ten or eleven.
on of many such children
who sang for money
hitching rides
on trains.

two pieces of broken slate
held between the fingers of his left hand and
cleverly struck with the thumb and fingers of his right
his own clickety clickety free percussion – easy to carry easy, easily replaced

leaning onto the vertical pole of the doorway, one leg wrapped around it for safety
he was singing a pitch perfect version of this song

Original song: Jaare – jaare ude jaare paakhi ( … go, go fly away bird … )
Sung by: Lata Mangeshkar | Music: Salil Choudhury]

Jaare – jare ude jare paakhi
go – go fly away bird

Furalo praner mela – shesh hoye elo bela
this life’s festival is finishing – the day is coming to an end
Ar kyano michey tore bendhay rakhi – jaare …
why then, for no reason, do I keep you tied – so go …

akashe akashe feeray – ja feeray apono neeray
go from sky to sky – go return to your own home
shymol mathir bonochaye
in the dark shades of the woods

shudhoo, monay monay tore daaki
only, just in my mind do I call you
chahina khelite khela, shesh hoye elo bela
I no longer wish to play any games – the day is coming to an end
Ar kyano michey tore bendhay rakhi – jaare …
why then, for no reason, do I keep you tied – so go …

aamari shopon hoye – kotoki je gyacho koye
becoming my own dream – you had said so many things
hridaye pinjoray boshiya
sitting within the cage of my heart

jaani – shobi roye gyalo baaki
I do know – everything will remain unfinished
ebaray bhashabo bhela – shesh hoye elo bela
now i’ll float out the raft – the day is coming to an end
Ar kyano michey tore bendhay rakhi – jaare …
why then, for no reason, do I keep you tied – so go …

(I have tried my best to keep the translation as close to the original words of the song)

with three more stations to go
it was just two of us left in the compartment,
he couldn’t have been singing for money, he was singing to himself
the end of maybe a long day, no longer at ‘work’, he was singing just for the love of it

just happy to be free, to be going home
perhaps to his ma?

like I was

Posted by littleindian on . |

7 Responses to “when free to fly back home”

  1. Two questions, a) Is that Bengali? b)Is that translation you have written ?
    I heard it three times, and couldnt make out anything.

  2. Hi Bach,
    yes its Bengali.
    There was a subsequent hindi version in a film called Maya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUcpKZ9ADuM

    I have only translated the title at the bottom. I intended to do a full translation; but as usual, I lost the intent.

    I was going through youtube when I found this song, brought back memories of that evening.
    some sublime minutes – unforgettable

  3. Hi bach,
    I have put up the lyrics of the song, and done a translation.
    I have tried my best to keep it close to the original, it’s difficult to get it absolute accurate.

  4. Thank you for sharing this exquisite piece of music; it’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. It’s been haunting me for weeks, but I couldn’t find anything appropriate to write about it. It defies description …

  5. Hi Janie,
    thanks for stopping by.

    You are so right. Its a beautiful song. One of my favourites, if not the most.

    Every time i hear this, I am so homesick that it hurts.
    And everytime it takes me back to that evening on the train, as if it was all yesterday.

  6. Superb piece of writing. I seem to remember a similar incident when a Baul( there were amny in the suburban trains those days) sat at the window and sang his heart out in the last Budge Budge local.

  7. Thanks for the nice song of lata mangeshkar.It was very soothing.

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