I usually choose Rabindranath Tagore's poems when I feel like translating Bengali poetry to English. However, today I felt like doing something different - I chose an all-time favourite poem by noted Bengali poet and author Sukumar Ray and translated it to English. The original can be read here. The illustration is by Sukumar Ray himself.
Fear me not!
Fear me not, fear me not, I'm not going to hit you;If you were to wrestle me, I could never beat you.
My heart is terribly tender, my bones devoid of anger,
I could never chomp you down even to sate my hunger.
Are the horns upon my head making you afraid?
Don't you know I don't head-butt, due to a diseased head?
Welcome, welcome to my den, stay for just four days,
I'll preserve you properly, with the greatest care always.
Are you not approaching because of the club I carry?
A clubbing wouldn't hurt you, my club is light and airy.
You're ignoring my assurance, eh? Should I grab your feet?
You'll be forced to listen, when your head becomes my seat!
There's me, there's my wife, and my nine sons -
Shed your baseless fears, or we'll bite you all at once.
(Translation by Sugata Banerji)