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Songs of Lalon Phokir: 1

Translated from Bengali by

Carol Salomon

I have not seen her1 even once--
my neighbor
who lives in the city of mirrors
near my house.

Her village is surrounded
by deep boundless waters,
and I have no boat
to cross over.
I long to see her,
but how can I reach
her village?

What can I say
about my neighbor?
She has no hands, no feet,
no shoulders, no head.
Sometimes she floats high up in the sky,
sometimes in the water.

If my neighbor only touched me,
she would send the pain of death away.
She and Lalon are in the same place,
yet five hundred thousand miles apart.

1 Bauls hold women in high esteem. They are essential to the male practitioner's success in sadhana. This is one of Lalon's many songs that secretly refer to the sadhika (female practitioner) or to the sahaj manus (natural person) within her.

Published December 25, 2007

Translated by Carol Salomon. Carol Salomon, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of ... (more)

Illustrated by Nilanjana Basu. Nilanjana has been regularly illustrating for Parabaas. She is currently based in California.

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* To learn more about the ITRANS script for Bengali, click here .

©Parabaas, 2007