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Apr 27, 2006

by Rabindranath Tagore
An English translation of Bandadir written by Rabindranath Tagore. This poem was originally written in Bengali.

In the prominent royal Mogul court of Delhi​

King's sleep will break-up hundred times daily​

There was such a dreadful fright in his heart​

In his consciousness painful sighs were brought

What fire scorched his heart no one knows​

All of a sudden he was jumping in fiery blows​

It appeared like red hot sky from the Delhi court​

King's heart shaking, seeking Godly support​

Rivers of blood were flowing on the five rivers' land

Sikhs were facing persecutions for some ideal ground​

Smeared in blood, they were saying thanks in gratitude​

Patiently, regardless of comforts, they were in solitude​

They crossed their way with the Moguls might

With faithful heart they remembered God in sight​

Maiden decorated with mark of blood, their foreheads​

What sort of people are Sikhs, with such eagerness​

They move like moth, looking at burning all around

Without delay they line up ready to fight duty bound​

They play jokes with death, and like lions they roar​

Wherever they stare and rebuke, enemy is no more​

Brave warriors jumped in fray with hand to hand attack

They quickly hawk assaulting caught the deadly foe​

Like flying hawk assaulting a deadly poisonous snake​

Squeezing them in his claws from tip to toe​

Innumerable was the enemy army, Sikhs were very few

They were surrounded in chains and were put in queue​

Clothes soaked in blood, bodies full of wounds and bruises​

Intestines fall in tummy but they had faith and confidence​

The enemy was battered by the dashing Banda Singh sage

Moguls fought back and tied him like brave lion in cage​

Surrounded him from all the sides and imprisoned the hero chum​

Then they moved towards Delhi, on the beat of kettle-drum​

The Mogul army departed towards the Capital of Delhi city

They moved like hurricane, without stopping or any pity​

Seven hundred Sikhs were imprisoned and curled-up in chains​

It was a disgusting sight, an extraordinary incident, full of pains​

On every pointed spear, the head of Sikh was hanging

Streams of blood dripping, the sight will give a panging​

Sikh prisoners shackled in chains, shouted this voice of cry​

O! our true saviour preserve thy honour, don't let panth shy​

Spectators gathered in the heart of Delhi's Chandni Chowk

This caravan of Sikhs was quite out of strength and in shock​

Outside they were dull and defeated, inside enjoying thrill​

Greeting loudly the victory of Guru and obedient to His will​

The onlookers revealed an extraordinary and peculiar tale

The prisoners started argument as no body wanted to fail​

Everybody wanted to be first in their turn to meet the fate​

All wanted to meet the Beloved, Gobind through life's gate​

The wheel of death started, the murderers were on assault

An applause was echoed, whenever the sword was at fault​

The Sikhs were being butchered, going forward for sacrifice​

It was game of seven days for seven hundred heroes nice​

Chief Banda Singh was in the clutches of destiny or fate

Next they brought forward to kill his little son ever so great​

The Kazi passed on to banda Singh the killer sword grand​

He ordered to cut his son's head as it was royal command​

Sons are symbols of worldliness for formality in social affairs

If someone rebukes them one feels like to pull his hairs​

What sort of test in life, to kill one's own son, was shaping​

The thing one can't even imagine, the same was happening​

Banda first picked his son and loved and caressed him

Then he tried to explain the role and character of Sikhism​

Prince Fateh and Jujhar Singh were also children like you​

Now in the test time and what they achieved you can also do​

Greeting the victory loudly, the little son was revitalized

If life goes, the custom of Sikhism is, let it be sacrificed​

For holder of righteousness definite victory will be at last​

His love won't be wasted, he meets the Beleoved very fast​

The Kazi became angry as he could not bear the splendour

The executioner attacked the child and he started to flutter​

Even then this strange trick of destiny could not succeed​

Plump intestines jumping softly, the earth was red indeed​

It is written in the history that Banda remaned unmoved

In his mouth soft plump heart of slayed child was forced​

In this hard probation Banda remained unshaken, steady​

The history will cry when going through its own study​

It was such a dreadful scene that onlookers could not spy

Snatching with pincers first they took out his both eyes​

Iron bars were made red hot to burn his body limbs ready​

The Sikh greeted the victory loudly and soul left the body​

The Sky echoed with kettle-drum beat, banner flying like kite

Once a hero takes a battlefield, he is eager to show his might​

A true warrior is one, who fights for sake of humble and meek​

He might cut into the pieces, but to leave battlefield will never seek​

Oct 15, 2006
Taranbir ji,

Thanks for sharing this poem.

Can you please also point me to the original poem in Begnali, I'm curious to read that as well.

Thanks once again for sharing this information,

Sat Shri Akaal,

❤️ Tap / Click or Scan


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