Genu Gayen, Bapi Bayen

Yes, now we will be subjected to the adventures of Genu Gayen and Bapi Bayen. It is a good thing  that Satyajit Ray was cremated.

A friend of mine said that once Rabindranath died, we started to live off of every hair from his beard that he shed. Every year at the Kolkata Book Fair there are hundreds of scholarly books still published on Rabindranath Tagore. When Satyajit Ray died, there was a mad scramble of every scrap of paper he ever wrote on, every unfinished story and every outline.

And now we have other writers making spin-offs of their immortal creations!

A translation of a Bangla song written by Fakir Lalon Shah


I’ve never ever seen him in all my days –
There’s a mystical village near my home
Where a certain neighbor lives

Beyond deep waters, lies this neighbor’s dwelling
There are no banks,
No boats for the crossing –
Tell me then, how am I supposed to go there?

What can I tell you about this neighbor?
He has no body, head, hands, or feet
One moment he soars through the air
The next he skims the water

If this neighbor even touched me once
I’d be able to shake off my mortal fears
Yet he and Lalon live in the same place
Still there is a gap of a thousand miles!

*No one has any business trying to translate any of Fakir Lalon Shah’s deceptively simple Bangla folks songs and especially “barir kache arshi nogor.” Go easy on me. Please.