Kazi Nazrul Islam

(24 May 1899 - 29 August 1976 / Bardhaman / India)

Where Was I - Poem by Kazi Nazrul Islam

O Mother,
Can you tell me mother, where was I?
From which unknown land did I come to your lap?
Before I became yours, did you stare at the moon and ask
Is that my child who left home?
Did you tell the evening star
Come down to me,
You will look even prettier on my lap?

When you went bathing in the Lotus pond
Did you see my reflection on the flower?
Did you burst into tears?
When tide came and filled the river
Did I jump to your bosom without anyone knowing?
Did I come as splashing wave bringing love?
During the storm, did you think there goes my restless boy?
But he sure will be a good boy when he becomes mine.

As you would carry the lamp to the 'Tulshi' alter
It would be flickering to blow off
You would try to protect the flame with your sari
Would the goddess tell you by playing flute
The smile of your boy will light up your life?
Would the god tell you that in return to your devotion
I will come to you as your baby boy
And will be yours forever?

I don't understand, mother
Why do I feel so restless!
As if the sky, the wind, the world around
They all call upon me and tell me
Just the other day you were mine, you were on my lap
The cloud, the lightning and thunder, they all call my name

The sky says, I bow down just to touch you
Just the other day you were a bird
Flying high in the blue sky
The wind gently caresses my cheek and tells me
You are mine, come to my bosom
I search for you in scattered flower
As I turn off the lamp and see you
I wonder, is this my restless boy?
The flame tells me I look for you from room to room, becoming a lantern
Wherever I see a little boy, I think that is my boy

As the river calls me I jump into the river
The waves cuddle me with gentle caresses and talks to me
The sky, the open field, the entire world
Call upon me to jump into their bosom from beyond the sky
As if the entire world is my mother's lap
The entire world sways me on its lap with love

O mother, as the bird flies high into the blue sky
The next moment it wants to return to its nest
Just like that I wonder around the world in my dream
Then I realize, mother, I love you the most
Your love surrounds the entire world
You make me dance, you make me play on your lap

Tell me mother; tell me that my dream is true
O mother, why are you then crying?

Poet's Notes about The Poem

[Original: Kothay Chhilam Ami; Translation: Gulshan Ara]

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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