Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursdays With Tagore - November 11


This week's Tagore poem is very different from the rest I've posted, because this reads like a story. So simple and seamless. 

I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of all kings!

   My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.

     The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say, "What hast thou to give to me?"

        Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly cook out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.

    But how great my surprise when at the day's end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least little grain of gold among the poor heap! I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.


This is such a beautiful parable of sorts! It has a nice little twist in the end and is of the type that I would like to read to children. Again, the sheer variety of Tagore's writing is amazing.

7 comments:

Vaishnavi said...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful! I have no other words...

JoAnn said...

Very different from the others...and very beautiful. Thank you for posting this.

Veens said...

It is so true. We beg and beg and never think of offering everything good we have to others, to get everything good in return. This is such a beautiful Parable.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

But Tagore touched upon this theme again and again, it was so dear to his heart, and such an important part of his philosophy of living! I am reminded, for example, of the poem about the madman who kept looking everywhere for the poroshpathor (Philosopher's Stone) until he found a sage who owned it and lightly gave it away to him. The man fell at the holy man's feet and begged to be given a share of that treasure whose ownership allowed the hermit to throw away with disdain what kings coveted - je dhoney hoiya dhoni/ monire na mano moni/ tahari khanik/ maagi ami notoshire/ ato boli nodi nire/ felilo manik.... If Tagore had lived today, he would have wryly commented that mankind was visibly destroying the planet in endless and insane pursuit of ever increasing material wealth which merely fans the flames of his greed and discontent, and just as he had said, there would be no redemption until men started looking for treasures of the spirit instead.

Kals said...

Vaishnavi, JoAnn, Veens - I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did :)

Suvro Chatterjee - When I said this poem was different, I was referring to the style and structure and not its content :)

". If Tagore had lived today, he would have wryly commented that mankind was visibly destroying the planet in endless and insane pursuit of ever increasing material wealth which merely fans the flames of his greed and discontent, and just as he had said, there would be no redemption until men started looking for treasures of the spirit instead."
Very true. This reminds me of Gandhiji's famous quote 'There is enough in the world for man's needs not greeds'

priyaiyer said...

lovely! :)

Amrita said...

A great truth in this parable/poem.

There is a verse in th e Bible which says ; the measure you mete out to others will be measured unto you.

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