1.Translated By Clinton B. Seely.
For thousands of years I roamed the paths of this earth,
From waters round Ceylon in dead of night to Malayan seas.
Much have I wandered. I was there in the grey world of Asoka
And Bimbisara, pressed on through darkness to the city of Vidarbha.
I am a weary heart surrounded by life’s frothy ocean.
To me she gave a moment’s peace — Banalata Sen from Natore.
Her hair was like an ancient darkling night in Vidisa,
Her face, the craftsmanship of Sravasti. As the helmsman,
His rudder broken, far out upon the sea adrift,
Sees the grass-green land of a cinnamon isle, just so
Through darkness I saw her. Said she, “Where have you been so long?”
And raised her bird’s nest-like eyes — Banalata Sen from Natore.
At day’s end, like hush of dew
Comes evening. A hawk wipes the scent of sunlight fom its wings.
When earth’s colors fade and some pale design is sketched,
Then glimmering fireflies paint in the story.
All birds come home, all rivers, all of this life’s tasks finished.
Only darkness remains, as I sit there face to face with Banalata Sen.
2.Translated by Amitabha Mukerjee
A thousand years I have walked these paths,
From the harbour at Malacca in the dark of night
To the straits of Ceylon at glimmer of dawn.
Much have I travelled –
The grey world of Ashoka-Bimbisara,
The dark city of Vidharbha;
Around me life foams its stormy breath.
Weary of soul,
I found a moment’s respite in her presence –
She: Banalata Sen of Natore.
Her hair the ancient darkness of Vidisha,
Face a sculpture from Sravasthi.
A sailor in distant oceans, rudderless, lost,
When hoves into view
Island of grass through fronds of cinnamon,
A green relief
So she felt to me.
In the darkness she spoke –
“All these years, where had you been?”
Her eyebrows arched like the soaring wings of a bird –
She: Banalata Sen of Natore.
With the sound of dewdrops,
The sunset fringe of gold on the eagle’s wing
Melts into the night
And the glow of fireflies.
Birds return to nest –
The shop of life
Shuttered for the day.
Left behind in the darkness
Face to face –
Only she: Banalata Sen of Natore.
3.Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury
It has been a thousand years since I started trekking the earth
A huge travel in night’s darkness from the Ceylonese waters
to the Malayan sea
I have been there too: the fading world of Vimbisara and Asoka
Even further—the forgotten city of Vidarva,
Today I am a weary soul although the ocean of life around continues to foam,
Except for a few soothing moments with Natore’s Banalata Sen.
Her hair as if the dark night of long lost Vidisha,
Her face reminiscent of the fine works of Sravasti,
When I saw her in the shadow it seemed
as if a ship-wrecked mariner in a far away sea
has spotted a cinnamon island lined with greenish grass.
“Where had you been lost all these days? ”
yes, she demanded of me, Natore’s Banalata Sen
raising her eyes of profound refuge.
At the day’s end evening crawls in like the sound of dews,
The kite flaps off the smell of sun from its wings.
When all colours take leave from the world
except for the flicker of the hovering fireflies
The manuscript is ready with tales to be told
All birds come home, rivers too,
All transactions of the day being over
Nothing remains but darkness
to sit face to face with Banalata Sen.
4.Translated By Sofiul Azam
Thousands of years, I’ve been knocking around the world’s ways,
from the Ceylon waters in night’s gloom to far-off Malaya sea
much have I hiked; in Vimbisar and Ashok’s grayed kingdoms
had I been there; faring further down to dark, distant Vidarbha city;
I’m a weary spirit, around me life’s oceanic spumes galore,
was given a moment’s calm or two by Banalata Sen of Natore.
Her hair was darkling as a long-distant night at Vidisha,
her face Sravasti’s delicate designs; as on a faraway sea
the sailor with the smashed helm and far from sailing further
spots with curious eyes a land of green grass in a cinnamon isle,
thus did I stare at her in the dark; said she, “So long, where were you?”
raising her eyes as if bird’s nests, Banalata Sen of Natore.
At the end of a long day, like the drone of dew’s dripping
evening slinks in; kites shake the sun’s smells off their wings;
once the world’s colors clear out, the manuscript’s set
for stories, in the thick of fireflies’ endless glittering;
all birds reel back home – all rivers too – all of this life’s deals end;
only the dark tarries, for me to sit across from Banalata Sen.
Collected by AHS Mohammad