This is the second part of the translation of Rabindranath Tagore's Poem
This poem is a translation from the original in Bengali, by Nobel-Prize Winner, Poet-laureate of India, Rabindranath Tagore. This is a long narrative, full of humour - I posted it in two parts. Thank you.
The Invention Of Shoes - Part 2
After consulting, in the end, with all,
Brooms were brought – seventeen and a half lakhs,
The force of brooming brought the dust
To cover the king’s chest and face.
Nobody could open their eyes
Sun got covered by the cloud of dust,
People started coughing,
The city, in the midst of dust, was redundant.
The King declared “to get rid of the dust,
The Earth got covered with the dust”.
Then dashed fast, the teams of
people with hoses to spray water,
There were only the mud left in the ponds and lakes,
Dearth of water in the rivers!
The animals in the water perished with no water,
The land-animals made efforts to swim,
All the sales and transactions were ruined,
The whole country, with fever and cough, was down.
The King announced, “They are all fools like donkeys,
To get rid of the dust, they created mud!”
Again they all got together for a meeting,
Gathered again, all the talented people –
Feeling dizzy, ……….
There is no end to the dust!
Some said, “Cover the earth with mats,
We will stop the dust by carpeting the ground”,
Some others said, “keep the king inside,
There shouldn’t be any holes!
If, on the dust, he doesn’t step,
Dusty his feet are not going to get!”
The king agreed, “That sounds right –
But I am getting a bit suspicious,
My kingdom will be ruined in fear of dust,
If, day and night, I stay inside!”
Everyone said, “call the cobbler,
Get the earth covered with leather.
Sealing the dust-filled earth in a bag,
A great achievement by the Emperor for ever will be remembered!”
Everyone said, “that can be done with ease,
If the right cobbler is found”.
The messengers of the King rushed here and there,
dashed all of them, leaving their work,
Not available such a perfect cobbler,
Or so much of right kind of leather.
Then slowly approached the head of the cobbler-clan,
An old man with a grin on his face,
“I can suggest, if you give me permission,
The simplest way to fulfill the desire.
Cover both your feet, then,
You don’t need to cover the land”.
Said the King, “is it so simple!
The whole country couldn’t find a solution.”
The Minister said,
"Put him in prison and get him locked.”
Covered King’s feet with leather
The old man sitting at his feet,
The Minister said, ”I knew this all along,
Somehow this guy has managed to find!”
From that day, there were shoes on the feet,
Gobu was saved, The Earth relieved!
Translated by , Malabika Ray Choudhury
August 26, 2020
Copyright © Malabika Ray Choudhury | Year Posted 2020