Her mind is like a river in a flash flood
That takes sudden turns in unexpected directions
It may cause devastations
But it is her natural flow.
If you want to force her along a fixed channel
Breaking your illusions
Again and again she will break her banks.
You must know
She is neither a doll nor a pet pussy cat
You don’t know
When her furious current will flow in a frenzy
Loading with your dear possessions
If you sail your dinghy along that wild current
In a playful mood
She will toss it against the stony banks
And cause your ruin.
You can avoid the pain
If you take it as a game
And with her play that game
Otherwise to paddle against the tide of a wild stream
Is to embrace disaster.
You are mistaken when you call her free
She is wild like the burst of a meteor
In the boundless sky
Thought as a nightmare that forebodes misfortune
You must forgive her as you must forget the meteor.
If you want to play with the flood
To profit and loss give no thought
Before engaging in the madness of speculation
Keep in a safe place all your valuable things.
Swim if you can but don’t get caught up in the eddies.
If you don’t know how to keep afloat
Better you prefer to be on the bank
It may be dry but it is safe.
Don’t become a butt of ridicule
Calling her like a sentimental fool
‘She is mine.’
In a free love-game
There is no give and take, there is no bond
From a distance there is only coming and going
And knowing the mysteries of the human mind.
Translation of the poem Bimukhata (Aversion) from the collection Sanai by Rabindranath Tagore. This humourous poem was written at Kalimpong in June, 1940, about a year before the poet’s death in 1941. The rhymes used here is to add to the humourous effect. The original poem is at http://www.rabindra-rachanabali.nltr.org/node/12571