Friday, April 11, 2014

Bengali - Sweetest of the sweet language

Those who have stayed in Bengal, AND, also learnt Bengali in its pure form, would completely agree with me when I say that Bengali is the sweetest language. It is not a disrespect to other languages. All languages have their own charm - else how would have we relished the writings of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Mirza Ghalib, Munshi Premchand, William Sakespeare and so many others who have created magic with their own languages. But read Rabindranath Tagore, listen to Hemant Kumar or Manna Dey, watch Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, and you would know why I consider Bengali as the sweetest language. I am lucky, that despite belonging to a hard-core North Indian family, I grew up in a small town in Bengal, where I had the priviledge to witness Bengal and Bengali in their unadulterated form. I used to hang around with Bengali friends, enjoy watching Bengali movies, relish the writing of Tagore, Nazrul Islam, Michael Madhusudan, and above all, loved talking in Bengali. I was as Bengali at heart as the Benaglis. What distinguishes Bengali from other languages, is that it contains the grace and poetic effulgence of Urdu, yet it also has the earthiness of classical Hindi. It is flowery, but one can still connect to it as his own.

There is a beautiful bhajan in Bengali which I was looking for a long time. Luckily, found it today. The lyrics are very simple,  but written with a  graceful rustic flavour (which is famous as Baul sangeet). The song encapsulates how Lord Krishna was called by different names by different devotees - Balaram called him Krishna, the cow-herds called him Rakhal, Yashoda maa called him Yadulal, Vashista called him Manohar and so on. This way, the Lord, who is One for all, got 108 different names, depending on how the devotee treated Him - a friend, a son, a Beloved, or a Guru. The mellifluous voice in this bhajan is of Sandhya Mukhhopadhaya, and the combination of the words and the singer weaves magic. I had tears in my eyes when I heard it.I am sure you would love it too. I am also posting the lyrics for you to read and understand better.

Hare krishna naam dilo priyo bolaram
Rakhal raja naam rakhe bhokto Shri dhaam,
Joshoda jononi bole jadu bacha dhor..
Aosto taro shotto naam pelo narayon..||

Deb jadugor naame dake Judhistir
Dorpohari naam rakhe Arjun shubir
Brojo banshi bole tume brojer jibon
Aosto taro shotto naam pelo narayon..||

Nonder nondololon raakhilo shri Nondo
Brinda duti Dilo naam Brinda bono Chondro
Doyanidhi naam raakhe Aotur shujoon
Aosto taro shotto naam pelo narayon..||

Moni monohor naame Boshishto je daake
Shongshaarero Shaar naam Bishamitro raakhe
Nonichora naam rakhe Gopobalagar
Aosto taro shotto naam pelo narayon...||


  1. ” tanSEN was bengali my dear friend, so were a lot of other people! want to see the entire list as it stands today? so was subash chandra bose and sri aurobindo :)

    and i can name a million others and i am proud to say our greateness can be exerted beyond our national borders.
we are the fifth largest speakers!

    we bengalis have won pretty much every award in the world stage
you name it we have it and we are damn proud of what we have :)
its the only country in the world which took rebellion because it couldn’t speak its mother tongue and it won! and won so hard that the UN had to adopt that day as the international language day, which celebrates languages from all over the world. ”

    MBA (2013), IMT Ghaziabad
    Bengaluru, Karnataka
    hometown: Kolkata, WB

    1. What saddens me is that this great legacy is getting destroyed slowly..specially with because of the dismal political situation in the state.

    2. "here are two lists to shut your mouth

      these guys are not just making India proud but half the world knows about these guys dude :)

      did you know that the FAMOUS SEARS TOWER is architectured by another bengali?"

      (MBA, Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad)
      Vertical Head - Mobile Internet Products & Data Services at Airtel
      Bengaluru, Karnataka

  2. thanku for sharing the lyrics. Was looking for it for a long time..

    Do you have the lyrics of "Kusum o Dolay Dole shyam rai" by pratima banerjee. The video is on youtube but cant find the lyrics anywhere

  3. Hello friend,
    Hare Krishna!

    Greetings from Kolkata!

    Congratulations for the sweet creation. Thank you for capturing the true essence of the Bengali culture through your words.

    It seems you are Krishna-conscious, and I can relate to it, as I am also a devotee of Lord Krishna!

    And, was going through some of your blogs, really interesting. Wish you all the very best for your spiritual advancement. And looking forward to interacting with you, if you like, of course (I'm always eager to associate with spiritual people. It helps me grow)

    Take care, God bless you.
    Waiting to read more from your end! :)

    1. Thanku.. Was out of touch from blogging for a while.. Have resumed of late. Let me know how you like them. I am not a writer, but have the heart of one :)