The Golden Boat

Paramita Mukherjee Mullick
Translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, “Sonar Tori”

By Paramita Mukherjee Mullick

The clouds are roaring in the sky and there is incessant rain.
I am sitting on the river bank with no hope.
I have stacked up the rice grain.
The flooded river is rough.
When I was cutting the paddy crop, 
            heavy rain came down in sheets.

I am all alone in this tiny paddy field.
I see the dance of rain all around.
On the opposite bank, I see the trees through the mist.
Clouds have covered the whole village in the morning.
And in this bank, my tiny paddy field and I am all alone in it.

Who comes singing and rowing a boat?
It seems I know him well.
The sails of his boat is pushed by the wind.
He goes away without looking at anything.
The boat moves on and the waves break on both sides.
It seems I know him well.

Oh boatman! Where are you going…which foreign land?
Please bring your boat and anchor it in this bank.
Go wherever you want to go, give whomever you want to give.
But please smile a little and take my bundles of paddy from this bank.

Take as many bundles as you want in your boat.
Is there more? No I have given you all.
For so long I have guarded the crops forgetting everything else.
I gave you all in bundles and bundles.
Now, please take me with you.

There is no more space, no more space, the boat is small.
Since it is filled with my golden paddy crops.
The monsoon clouds are looming over.
I am left all alone in this bank.
Whatever I had was taken away by the golden boat.

Bio: Dr. Paramita Mukherjee Mullick is an award-winning poet, a scientist and a literary curator. Her poems have not only been published widely but also translated into more than 45 global languages. She has published 11 books. She is passionate about painting and photography. She promotes peace, multilingual, global and indigenous poetry. Her poems also make others aware about conservation and climate change. Paramita heads two poetry and performance forums in Mumbai, India.

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