What Rabindranath Tagore would have asked God

Translation of the poem “Proshno” by Rabindranath Tagore

(Wrote this translation following the Christchuch Terrorist attack on a mosque on 15th March, 2019, that killed 50 people, those who died included children). The original bengali rendition is shown first (in the form of an image, the translation follows):

The original bengali poem, source: http://www.sobujbangladesh.com/bangla-kobita/view-bangla-kobita.php?artist=Rabindranath%20Tagore&kobita=Prosno

Dear God,
You have sent your emissaries in every age in our merciless world,
They have told us, “Forgive everyone”,
they have told us, “Love and shed hatred from your heart”;
Unforgettable and adorable as they are,
In these days of crises,
I’d turn them away from my doorstep in pretentious salutation.

For I have seen how covert terror strikes the innocent
all through the dark, deceitful night.
For I have seen how irredeemable crimes of the mighty have
muted the voices of justice that weep in desperate desolation;
I have seen how young boys, running amok,
have killed themselves in vain smashing their heads against rocks;

Today, my voice is choked,
my flute has lost its music,
The prison of moonless nightmare
has snared my world in its depth.
So I implore you in tearful eyes,
those who are poisoning your air,
those, who are turning out your lights,
Have you forgiven them Lord?
Have you loved them?

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Also in: https://refind.com/arinbasu

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