In the morning I don’t find my servant.
The door stands open
The water for my bath hasn’t been drawn
Last night the idiot was absent.
Where are my washed clothes
Where is my breakfast?
Everything is getting late
I am waiting extremely annoyed
When he comes back
I shall teach him a lesson I thought.
When it was already too late
He came and stood before me
Paid his obeisance with folded hands.
Greatly enraged I told him, 'Be off,
I don’t want to see you any more.’
He stood stupefied hearing this
And blankly looked at my face
For a few moments he had no words
Then he told me in a trembling voice,
‘Last night my little daughter died.’
Saying this with his duster he promptly left
And began dusting everything as usual
As he always does.
Translation of the poem Karma from the collection Chaitali (The Summer Harvest) by Rabindranath Tagore.The original in Bengali script may be viewed at http://www.rabindra-rachanabali.nltr.org/node/10441