Unending Love and the Bunny's visit

A book I read when I was 10 , much much before the hype with filming children's classics started - The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe" - magic,adventure , total enchantment - a book which was thumbed through and read with total absorption for a week before it was returned to the school library.
Over a period of time it was remembered and thought about , maybe added to and fantasised about and then relegated to the farther recesses of the mind . Till demands for bedtime stories from the first little one brought it out - there was a struggle to remember the actual name of the book and then scouting around in the bookshops for a copy. Remember this was much much before the hype so it was pretty difficult to get a copy but get one I did in the Family Bookshop on Park Street and read it over again and gave it to Tupu to read . One reason I love her so so much is because she read , all my childhood favourites so willingly and trustingly, without complaining .( she is going to protest in her very "ornery"way when she reads this , I know )

Now of course children have the total package - a cellophane wrapped set of all the Narnia volumes and film versions too . No agonising over unattainable , and hunting for them in vain. I wonder when someone will start with the Wolves of Willoughby Chase and the follow up books ?

Today we went to see Prince Caspian . Children have it so easy these days . Read a book and watch a film - there's not much scope for imagining anything or even reading the book . Cut , dried and pasted - not much to think about except the sensory thrill of actually watching the film. However , it was not much of a film , anyway and vaguely reminiscent of the Lord of The Rings especially the landscape and the walking trees .

We went to see it because the bunny was visiting and wanted to watch a film in a multiplex.The bunny was happy .and I am looking for the dogeared copy of the book .

Lunch was at Mainland China ,AG and Srin went for the buffet and the rest of us being small eaters ordered a la carte and filched bits off the buffet eaters

the bunny and Tani were richer by a pair of shoes from Levis ( Tani) and toys for the bunny .The bunny also had a blue tongue from eating blue sky gelato

On another note ,I came across a translation of a Tagore poem . I quote from a review :-

"William Radice explains that Unending Love ‘is a lyric poem, not a song, but it takes us into the world of Tagore’s songs, in which love between human beings is a manifestation of divine love, and the play of lovers a counterpart to the khela (interplay between God and his creation) of the universe.'

Radice goes on to explain the intricacies of khela—‘khela has a dark side to it, since it separates us from God, and sometimes it stands for the vanity of life. But more often it implies creativity, for God can only express his joy through creating finite forms, just as the poet expresses his love through creating poems and songs. Because khela involves union and separation at the same time, the two feelings are much emphasized in Indian accounts of love. What I have translated as ‘meeting’ and ‘farewell’ are really the states of being together and apart…’ Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore"

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times,
In life after life, in age after age forever.
My spell-bound heart has made and re-made the necklace of songs
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms
In life after life, in age after age forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together,
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount
At the heart of time love of one for another.
We have played alongside millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love, but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you,
The love of all man's days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life,
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours-
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

It is beautiful,lyrical and haunting but unfortunately I cannot make out what the Bengali version is . I need to google it maybe , but I have a feeling I won't be lucky .


Spin said...

Those books are my favourite books, all of them. =)

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was my very most favorite of all books when I was little. I read the whole series. This reminds me that I really must sleuth down the copies for my own children, too!

Elendil said...

I disagree with your film hypothesis. It just adds to your mental images. The first time I watched the Lord of the Rings, was before the films. I had certain mental images then, and the films just added to them and made them richer. The three times I've re-read them have been more enjoyable because I could come up with my own version of things, at times differing, and at times agreeing with the films, but always better for having seen them.

However, it is true that there's more to a book than imagery. You can get a lot from a fantasy book which you can't get from a movie, but because fantasy is so image-based, it translates well into film. Besides, really good films, even fantasy ones, have more to them than breathtaking scenery. It's just that we've watched so many of them since the LOTR films made the genre big, that we've got kinda sick of the sweeping landscape and armies with swords.

I'm waiting to see a really different kinda fantasy movie. Maybe something dark and disturbing.

A Muser said...

Lovely, lovely poem. Thanks for sharing, EL. And I read the entire Chronicles of Narnia last year. Fantastic book. What a rich imagination Lewis had! I'm tempted to read some of his other works.

La delirante said...

I agree with "a muser", lovely poem.

The witch and the wardrobe...I had never heard of CS Lewis before :( so when I went to the cinema to watch the movie I was like: "what on earth is this? :)" I really didn't have a clue about the books or anything :) I enjoyed it though. The Prince Caspian looks cool too