Captain Beware (Kandari hushiar)

Kazi Nazrul Islam

Translation: Shafi Khaled [January, 2005]

Inspiration: Kabir Chowdury


Impregnable mountains, horizonless desert
Murky fathomless ocean O
Crossing in the nights darkness
Travelers: At once take note!

The boat trembles, the water swells
The boatmans without a way
The sails in tatters, somebody to catch the rudder
Who has the courage, ho?
Are you that youth? Hurry forth!
You, the future beckons
Heavy is the storm, crossing it is the cause
The boat must land at the distant shore!

Peerless the darkness haunts
On guard! Leaders of the Motherland and soldiers, too!
Ancient grievances have raised their heads
The deprived souls heave with passion
To achieve a fair hearing
They, too, must come along!

The hapless nation drowns, for swim it cannot
O Captain! Today you shall be watched
For determination and love
Hindu or Muslim? Wait! Who asks?
Captain! Proclaim: My Mother's children are drowning Human all!

Perils abound the mountains; fear, the travelers, assails
Thunder sonorous rumbles
Turning back strikes as unsound
Captain! Forget not your way; abandon not your post
Through strife, heave ho
You've assumed a duty profound!

Captain! The fields of Palashi recall
With the blood of the Bangali Clive bloodied his sword
Into the Ganga plunged India's sun, snuffed out
That sun will rise yet again, blood red in our blood!

Those who sang away their lives on the hangman's gallows
At watch, they softly surround; your sacrifice, what shall it be?
While the nation stands tested, just one's race appease?
The boat trembles, the water swells, Captain: Beware!
Courtesy: Nazrul Rochonaboli (Dhaka: Bangla Academy, 1996), Vol. I, pp. 288-289