Bhupen Hazarika lyrics sing for immigrants and harmony


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Bhupen Hazarika

Bhupen Hazarika was posthumously awarded the highest civilian honour in India this year, the Bharat Ratna. He was a man who dreamt, felt and sang international solidarity. An award for international solidarity was named after him in 2011 and was given out this year to Singapore film-maker, Eric Khoo.

Bhupen Hazarika was born in Assam, India, on 8th September 1926. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. His lyrics have crossed the borders of time and place and celebrate humanitarian concerns of mankind. Today we commemorate his 93rd birth anniversary with a recording of a Bengali rendition of his song, Aami ek Jajabar (I am a wanderer), by the maestro himself and a translation into English of the lyrics so that it can reach out to everyone with its large-heartedness and compassion…

Bhupen Hazarika’s rendition of Aami ek Jajabar (I am a wanderer)

I am a wanderer

(Translated by Mitali Chakravarty, edited by Nabina Das)

I am a wanderer.

The world has made me its own, 

I’ve forgotten my home.

I’m a wanderer.

I’ve seen the Ganga, the Mississippi

And the Volga in their exuberant forms,

I’ve been through Ottawa to Austria

And smeared myself with the dust of Paris.

I’ve poured the colours of Ellora

On the cityscape of Chicago,

I’ve heard Ghalib’s shers*

Sitting by the minars of Tashkent,

I’ve sat at the grave of Mark Twain

And spoken of Gorky —

Each time lured by different paths

I’ve made a home along each journey.

I am a wanderer.

Many wanderers are  aimless

But I’ve made a pledge —

Wherever I’ve seen colours,

I’ve drenched myself in them.

I’ve seen rows after rows 

Of tall skyscrapers

And in their shades I’ve seen

Homeless men and women.

I’ve seen roses and jasmines

Bloom in an array of bouquets,

And I’ve seen pristine buds

Wither for the lack of care.

Loveless bonds across countries

Have broken many happy homes,

Strangers have drawn close —

Your own have grown distant.

That’s why I’m a wanderer.

I am a wanderer.

 

*couplets

 

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