Tagore – Through the eyes of Gulzar Part I

I have always been known to be a Robi Thakur loyalist. In fact, to me he is more of a friend I can talk to anytime (Yes, I do that pretty often, even though it might appear a little odd to the uninitiated!). To me he’s a friend, who thinks like me and knows exactly what I feel and when… yes I talk about him in “present tense” because I find him with me always!

I have grown up reading his works, reciting his verses, listening to, singing and dancing to his songs (a large part of the credit for that goes to my school which orients us to his ways from a rather young age and of course my Baba), and over the last few years, I have found it more interesting to read “about” him. My thirst to know Robi Babu as a living-breathing-walking entity who ate, slept, loved, longed and ached like any of us is way stronger than what the man churned out, which of course covers the whole gamut of the Universe. I could be wrong, but till now, I have not come across any human feeling or emotion that might not have been penned by the man! The way he looked beyond gender, caste, religion and time is not a very common trait and this according to me makes him relevant even after more than 150 years.

And I could go on writing on this forever, but this post is not about him. It is about how another man, who perhaps loves him as much as me but who is anther magician with words and has a mind close to Robi Babu’s… a man who thinks Rabindranath and pens lines that touches the deepest core of our hearts, effortlessly – Sampooran Singh Kalra, better known as Gulzar. A man who also manages to say the most difficult things in the most simple way.

In October 2016, SAREGAMA music launched an album – Gulzar in conversation with Tagore, that was probably part of a dream that Gulzaar Saab had kept mentioning for years. What was churned out was sheer brilliance composed by Shantanu Moitra with vocals rendered by another Shantanu (Shaan) and Shreya Ghoshal.


While you can listen to the whole album from the link above, today, I wanted to share my take on one of the songs from this album, by Shaan – Main Ghoomta Hoon


For those interested…this is inspired by this verse by Rabi Babu…

কবিতা – ৭, কাব্যগ্রন্থ – উৎসর্গ

পাগল হইয়া বনে বনে ফিরি আপন গন্ধে মম
ফাল্গুনরাতে দক্ষিণবায়ে কোথা দিশা খুঁজে পাই না।
যাহা চাই তাহা ভুল করে চাই, যাহা পাই তাহা চাই না।

বক্ষ হইতে বাহির হইয়া আপন বাসনা মম
ফিরে মরীচিকাসম।
বাহু মেলি তারে বক্ষে লইতে বক্ষে ফিরিয়া পাই না।
যাহা চাই তাহা ভুল করে চাই, যাহা পাই তাহা চাই না।

নিজের গানেরে বাঁধিয়া ধরিতে চাহে যেন বাঁশি মম
উতলা পাগলসম।
যারে বাঁধি ধরে তার মাঝে আর রাগিণী খুঁজিয়া পাই না।
যাহা চাই তাহা ভুল করে চাই, যাহা পাই তাহা চাই না।”

So, my humble effort to literally translate the lines for anybody who might be interested. I am no poet, so, please forgive my audacity!

“Like a musk dear, I roam around from one forest to another,
maddened by my own fragrance
Riding the wings of a southern breeze on a spring night, I fail to figure my way out…

What I want, I want by mistake… I want not what I get.

My longings break open through my heart in search of an oasis…
and when I wait with open arms to welcome them back, they elude me…

What I want, I want by mistake… I want not what I get.

My flute wants to tie the strings of my song, like an anxious madman
and yet I fail to find the music in the strains I end up tying.

What I want, I want by mistake… I want not what I get.”


4 thoughts on “Tagore – Through the eyes of Gulzar Part I

  1. You express your love and emotions with such simplicity and beauty. Isn’t the line the gist of life, ‘যাহা চাই তাহা ভুল করে চাই, যাহা পাই তাহা চাই না।”, and you have given it such a worthy context.


  2. Beautifully written. Good choice of vocabulary while describing Gurudev. I am not a Bengali, but I am fascinated by the writings of Tagore. Thanks to Stories by rabindranath tagore on epic channel, it again inspired me to know more about Gurudev. I am keen to read Chokerbali and Boyhood days. Again, Gulzar is one poet who is a true successor of tagore’s poetic legacy.


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