Miser

TRANSLATION OF RABINDRANATH TAGORE’S “KRIPON”

by Paramita Mukherjee Mullick


I was walking down the road after collecting alms.
You were riding your Golden Chariot.
It was such a wonderful sight!
You, in your unique dazzling self.
You, in your beautiful attire.
I was thinking, “Who is this king?”

I awoke from a restful sleep
And thought today would be a good day 
And I need not beg door to door.
And look! How I met you when I came out!
I was overwhelmed to think how while riding your golden chariot
You will throw gems and jewels all around
And I will collect them in fistfuls and fill up my sack.

Suddenly the chariot came towards me and stopped.
You looked at me and smiled
While getting down from the chariot.
The happiness on your face
Wiped away all my sorrows.
Suddenly without any preamble
You stretched out your hand and pleaded
“Please give me something”.

What! Oh king of kings!
You want alms from me?
Hearing this I remained silent with my head down for a while.
You have so much…what can you want from a beggar like me?
You are joking with me, Oh King!
I gave a tiny speck from my alms.

When I came home and poured the alms on the floor.
What! There was a gold coin in my alms.
What I gave to the beggar king
It came back as gold.
My eyes filled up with tears.
Why? Oh why? Why didn’t I give away everything to you?
***

Bio: Dr. Paramita Mukherjee Mullick lives in Mumbai, India. She is a scientist, a National Scholar transformed into an award-winning poet. She has published nine books and her poems have been widely published in national and international journals and anthologies. Some of her poems have been translated into 40 languages. Paramita promotes peace, multilingual, global and indigenous poetry. Apart from numerous awards from Indian organisations she has received the Gold Rose from MS Productions, Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2019 and the Panorama International Literary Award, in 2022. She is the President and Initiator of the Mumbai Chapter of Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library (IPPL) and the Cultural Convenor and Literary Coordinator of ISISAR (West India).
 

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