repeating pen and ink drawings of Indian inkwell

Sunetra Gupta's father was an accomplished performer of the songs of Rabindranath Tagore. The great Bengali poet's work was sung in Sunetra's household every day. She has translated many of Tagore's poems into English and frequently weaves them into her own prose. The poem which is closest to Sunetra's heart is called Even So Remember Me.

The following translated verses appear in her novel, Memories of Rain.

In the dense obsession of this deep dark rain
You tread secret, silent, like the night, past all eyes.
The heavy eyelids of dawn are lowered to the futile wall of the winds
Clotted clouds shroud the impenitent sky
Birdless fields
Barred doors upon your desolate path.
Oh beloved wanderer, I have flung open my doors to the storm
Do not pass me by like the shadow of a dream.

My light has been quenched upon this dark and lonely path
For a storm is rising
A storm is rising to befriend me
Darkling disaster smiles at the edges of the sky
Catastrophe wreaks delighted havoc with my garments, with my
My lamp has blown out on this lonely road
Who knows where I must wander now, in this dense dark
But perhaps the thunder speaks of a new path
One that will take me to a different dawn.

on this last night of spring, I have come empty-handed, garlandless
a silent flute cries, the smile dies on your lips
in your eyes a wet indignation
when did this spring pass by, where is my song?

I lose you, my beloved, so that I may rediscover you
Though oft immersed in a tide of some other enchantment
You remain invisible, yet you are not of the shadows.
I seek you, my mind trembles with fear, waves terrify my passion
You conceal your boundlessness under a cloak of void
But my grief washes away the mirth of that deception.

Your eyes have pleaded with me for a song
Among flowers and stars, day and night, in the dusty light of dusk
You wonder why I do not sing
I lose my lyrics in my pain, I forget my tune
You have called to me in the fierce storm wind
From upon wild waters
In the thunder of mute clouds
In monsoon torrents, you have called me towards death
You wonder why I do not come
I cannot find my way to you across the seas.

The night wind has quenched my light
And you come without haste to bid farewell
Passing upon this path in darkness
The scent of night flower will drown you.

If you did not give me love
Why paint the dawn sky with such song
Why thread garlands of stars
Why make a field of flowers my bed
Why does the south wind whisper secrets in my ear?
If you did not give poetry to my soul
Why does the sky stare like that upon my face
And why do sudden fits of madness grip my heart?
I set sail upon seas whose shores I know not.

deliver me now from this darkness
give me sight
I will drink gladly of its pain
for this happiness sits heavy upon me
let my eyes be washed clean with tears, give me sight.
the magic of dark shadows beckon, my burden grows heavy with
let me look upon the light that hides on the edge of night
give me sight.

if the doors to my heart should someday close upon you
break them down and enter my soul, do not turn away
if on these violin strings your beloved name does not play
still, I beseech you, do not turn away
if someday, at your call, I remain encased within dead dream
wake me with the agony of thunder, do not turn away
and if someday, upon your throne, I seat someone else with care
remember, you are my only king, do not turn away.