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Sakhi Bhaabona Kaahare Bole — English Translation of Tagore’s Song

May 7, 2024 | By

Sakhi bhaabona kaahare bole is one of the most loved songs written by Rabindranath Tagore, exploring love and the desire for it in all its hues. AK Nanda translates this everlasting song

Sakhi Bhaabona Kaahare Bole

Written by Rabindranath Tagore

Sakhi*, bhaabona kaahare bole
Sakhi, jaatona kaahare bole
Tomra je balo dibaso-rajanee
bhaalobasa bhaalobasa
Sakhi, bhaalobasa kaare koy
Se ki keboli jaatonamoy

My friend, what are emotions
What is known as pain
You keep saying day and night
That love and love abound
O my dear, what is love
Is it all laden with agony

Se ki keboli chokher jal
Se ki keboli dukher shwaas
Loke tobe kore ki sukheri tore
emon dukher aash

Is it all tears
Or a sigh of grief alone
Why do people, for what sort of joy
yearn for such sorrow

Aamar chokhe to sakoli shobhan,
Sakoli nabeen, sakoli bimal,
Suneel aakash, shyamol kanan,
Bishad jochona, kusum komol
sakoli aamari moto

To my eyes everything looks so graceful
All is new, all is pure
The azure sky, the green garden
Soft flowers washed by the cheerless moonlight
All are just like me

Taara keboli haase, keboli gaay
Haasiya kheliya morite chaay
Naa jaane bedan, na jaane rodan
na jaane saadher jaatona jato

They only laugh and sing
They wish to die laughing and playing
They know no woe, they know no tears
They don’t know this desired anguish

Phool se haasite haasite jhare
jochona haasiya milaye jaay
Haasite haasite aaloksaagore
aakasher taara teyage kay

The flowers fall off, smiling and laughing
The moonbeams laugh and fade away
Smiling and laughing in the ocean of light
The smiling stars twinkle in the sky

Aamar maton sukhee ke aachhe
Aaye Sakhi aaye, aamar kaachhe
Sukhee hridayer sukher gaan
Shuniya toder judabe praan

Who is happier than I
Come nearer me, come my friend
Listen to the joyful music of my ecstatic heart
Hearing it will calm your heart

Protidin jodi kaandibi kebol
ekdin noy haasibi tora
Ekdin noy bishad bhuliya sakole miliya gaahibo mora

If you only lament every day
Why not laugh at least one day
Just one day let’s forget the gloom
Let’s all sing in unison

(*Sakhi means a female friend)

Details about Sakhi Bhaabona Kaahare Bole song and its music:

Parjaay: Natya-geeti
Taal: Ektaal
Raag: Behaag-Khambaj
Written on: 1880
Published in: Bharati
Collection: Bhagna-hridoy
Swarabitan: 20

This evergreen song has been sung by various artists through the decades. Enjoy some of the popular renditions:

Sakhi bhaabona kaahare bole (Sriman Prithviraj, 1972) Lata Mangeshkar and Arati Mukherjee

Sakhi bhaabona kaahare bole Sumitra Sen

Sakhi bhaabona kaahare bole Debabrata Biswas

More Must Read in Translations in LnC

Bipade More Rakkha Karo: The Prayer to Be Fearless (Translation of Tagore Song)

Rabindranath Tagore’s Chitrangada: English Translation (Part I)

Rabindranath Tagore: The Poet Prophet

Rabindranath Tagore and India’s First Electrical Recording

A Fulbright Fellow, seasoned journalist and editor, A K Nanda had a long career in writing and editing, working in the areas of research and analysis in economic studies, population studies, corporate management and accountancy, to name a few. He lives in Delhi and spends his time now reading books on philosophy, spirituality and literature and answering the unending questions of his teenaged granddaughter.
All Posts of A K Nanda

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<div class=at-above-post addthis_tool data-url=></div>A part of us is aging, the body; however another part is still young, the mind. Learning wonderful new things is an ongoing and a never ending process.  The satisfaction that comes along with lifelong learning is immense.<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class=at-below-post addthis_tool data-url=></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->
A part of us is aging, the body; however another part is still young, the mind. Learning wonderful new things is an ongoing and a never ending process. The satisfaction that comes along with lifelong learning is immense.