Concept: After being betrayed by her affluent boyfriend Naresh, An ordinary girl Malati requests poet Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, to write a story on an ordinary girl - about her suffering, insult, dream & heartbreak. An Ordinary Girl (English Translation of Tagore's 'Sadharon Meye')_ Recitation by Dipashri

Shadharan Meye – (An Ordinary Girl)- Translation from Rabindranath Tagore

I am a girl from the inner court, 
You don’t know me. 
Read your novel the one which came out last –
” The Garland of Withered Flowers”! 
Your heroine ” Elokeshi” fell in love at the age of thirty-five, 
She was competing with a twenty-five year old, 
I have to say – you were so generous, 
You had her win! 

Let me tell you my story.
I am young.
I touched someone’s heart, 
Probably with my youth.
I used to feel excited having known that, 
I had fogotten that I was a very ordinary girl, 
There are hundreds and hundreds of girls like me, 
They all possessed the charm of their youth.

My request to you, Saratbabu, 
Please write a story about an ordinary girl.
Her life is sad! 
If she has something really precious in her
How she is going to prove that – 
How many people realize that? 
They get captivated by the youthful beauty, 
They don’t look for the inner soul, 
We get sold at the price of a Mirage! 
Let me tell you why this came up.
Imagine, his name is Naresh.
He said, he hadn’t seen anyone like me.
Did I dare to believe that? 
Did I dare not to believe? 

One day he went to England. 
I got letters occasionally.
Kept thinking – Wow! There are so many girls in that country! 
They are all competing with each other, 
And, all of them are amazing –
So smart, so bright! 
And, they all have discovered the one Naresh Sen
Who was unknown in his own country! 

In his letter by the last mail, Naresh wrote –
He went to the sea for swimming with Lizzy, 
(He has quoted two lines from the Bengali poet –
where Urvashi is appearing from the sea) , 
Then they were sitting on the sand beside each other, 
Gazing at the dancing blue waves in front of them, 
Sky lit with bright sun.
Lizzy murmured in a very soft voice, 
” You are here only for a few days. You will leave soon.
Two parts of a shell, a droplet of tears covering the middle.”
What a beautiful way of expression! 
Naresh also added 
” Perhaps those words are made-up, but aren’t they stunning? 
A golden ring with a diamond is not real, 
But is it not? “

You can guess, he was pointing at me with a comparison, 
It  broke my heart, 
Telling me – I am nothing but an ordinary girl.
I don’t have the wealth to pay the price of someone valuable.
Okay, I accept it.
I will remain a borrower for the rest of my life.

I beg you, Saratbabu, write a story
A story about a very ordinary girl –
The unfortunate girl who has to compete from far with at least five to seven amazing women –
Fighting against seven chariot-women.

I know, I have lost.
I am defeated.
But make sure, your heroine wins –
The girl you are writing about.
Make sure she makes us proud
(God bless your pen) ! 

Name her ” Malati”, 
That’s my name.
You are not going to get caught, 
There are many many Malatis in Bengal.
They are all ordinary girls, 
They don’t speak French or German, 
They only know how to cry.

How will you make her win? 
Your thoughts are high, your pen is powerful.
May be you will take her along the path of sacrifice, 
Of greatest sorrow, like Sakuntala.
Please be kind to me, 
Bring yourself down to my level. 
In the darkness of night, in my bed, 
The impossible blessings which I ask for, from God, 
I will not get it, 
But your heroine will.
Make Naresh stay in London for seven years, 
Make him fail in his exam., 
Again and again, 
Stay pampered by his followers.

In the meantime, 
Let Malati pass M.A.
From University of Calcutta, 
Come first in Math by the magic of your pen.

But don’t stop there, you don’t want a blemish on your title of The King of Literature! 
I might be unfortunate, 
But don’t curb your imagination –
You are not a miser like The Almighty! 

Send the girl to Europe, 
The wise, the scholar, the brave, the poet, the artist, the rich – all will gather around her.
let them discover her like astronomers do –
Not only because she is a scholar, because she is a woman; 
The captivating magic she has
let them find her mystery, not in the country of foolishness –
In the countries of thoughtfulness, of kindness, 
Among British, German, French.

let there be a conference showing respect to Malati, 
With all the famous and the powerful, 
Imagine all the praises being thrown at her, 
She walks by with little care
Like a sailboat in the middle of waves.
They are whispering about her eyes –
The rain-clouds and sunlight of Indian sky blending in those eyes, 
(Here I have to admit, not being proud, God has really blessed me with beautiful eyes. Although, I haven’t met any European admirer yet!)
Naresh will come there and stand in a corner, 
And the group of amazing women! 

And then? 
That’s it. I have nothing else to say.
My dream is over, 
Oh, the silly girl! 
Oh, the waste of power of the Creator! 

An Ordinary Girl (English Translation of Tagore's 'Sadharon Meye')_ Recitation by Dipashri

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Author Profile

Rabindranath Tagore
Bengali polymath, a poet, musician and artist from the Indian subcontinent. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse" of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal".

A Pirali Brahmin from Calcutta with ancestral gentry roots in Jessore, Tagore wrote poetry as an eight-year-old. At the age of sixteen, he released his first substantial poems under the pseudonym Bhānusiṃha ("Sun Lion"), which were seized upon by literary authorities as long-lost classics. By 1877 he graduated to his first short stories and dramas, published under his real name. As a humanist, universalist, internationalist, and ardent anti-nationalist, he denounced the British Raj and advocated independence from Britain. As an exponent of the Bengal Renaissance, he advanced a vast canon that comprised paintings, sketches and doodles, hundreds of texts, and some two thousand songs; his legacy also endures in the institution he founded, Visva-Bharati University.

Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic strictures. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke to topics political and personal. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works, and his verse, short stories, and novels were acclaimed—or panned—for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and unnatural contemplation. His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India's Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla. The Sri Lankan national anthem was inspired by his work

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