Our little stream winds along
In summer it shrinks
And becomes deep up to the knees.
Then carts and cattle cross it with ease.
Both its banks are high but sloping.
Its sands glitter in the sun
It is not muddy
With their white flowers
Tall grasses cover one bank
There the chirping black birds flock
At night howls the fox.
There are mango groves beyond
There are rows of palms
Under their shades
Stand the Brahmins’ homes.
Near the shores children bathe
Rubbing their bodies with towels.
Whenever they bathe
They catch small fishes with their clothes
With sand women clean their pots and pans
And washing their clothes they go back home.
In rainy days when it heavily rains
Our river swells
It runs like mad
And its current becomes sharp
Then it makes great noises
And its muddy water in circles swirls.
The trees and plants on its either banks
In the rains everybody wakes up
As if it is a festive season.
Translation of the poem – Chhoto nadi - from the collection Chitra by Rabindranath Tagore. It is a superbly rhymed children’s poem that gives a picturesque description of a small stream so common in lower Bengal.