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There is a looker-on who sits behind my eyes. I seems he has seen
things in ages and worlds beyond memory's shore, and those
forgotten sights glisten on the grass and shiver on the leaves. He
has seen under new veils the face of the one beloved, in twilight
hours of many a nameless star. Therefore his sky seems to ache with
the pain of countless meetings and partings, and a longing pervades
this spring breeze, -the longing that is full of the whisper of
ages without beginning.
I dreamt that she sat by my head, tenderly ruffling my hair with
her fingers, playing the melody of her touch. I looked at her face
and struggled with my tears, till the agony of unspoken words burst
my sleep like a bubble.
I sat up and saw the glow of the Milky Way above my window,
like a world of silence on fire, and I wondered if at this moment
she had a dream that rhymed with mine.
I shall gladly suffer the pride of culture to die out in my house,
if only in some happy future I am born a herd-boy in the Brinda
The herd-boy who grazes his cattle sitting under the banyan
tree, and idly weaves gunja flowers into garlands, who loves to
splash and plunge in the Jamuna's cool deep stream.
He calls his companions to wake up when morning dawns, and all
the houses in the lane hum with the sound of the churn, clouds of
dust are raised by the cattle, the maidens come out in the
courtyard to milk the king.
As the shadows deepen under the tomal trees, and the dusk
gathers on the river-banks; when the milkmaids, while crossing the
turbulent water, tremble with fear; and loud peacocks, with tails
outspread, dance in the forest, he watchers the summer clouds.
When the April night is sweet as a fresh-blown flower, he
disappears in the forest with a peacock's plume in his hair; the
swing ropes are twined with flowers on the branches; the south wind
throbs with music, and the merry shepherd boys crowd on the banks
of the blue river.
No, I will never be the leader, brothers, of this new age of
new Bengal; I shall not trouble to light the lamp of culture for
the benighted. If only I could be born, under the shady asoka
groves, in some village of Brinda, where milk is churned by the
Your days will be full of cares, if you must give me your heart.
My house by the cross-roads has its doors open and my mind is
absent, -for I sing.
I shall never be made to answer for it, if you must give me
your heart. If I pledge my word to you in tunes now, and am too
much in earnest to keep it when music is silent, you must forgive
me; for the law laid down in May is best broken in December.
Do not always keep remembering it, if you must give me your
heart. When your eyes sing with love, and your voice ripples with
laughter, my answers to your questions will be wild, and not
miserly accurate in facts, -they are to be believed for ever and
then forgotten for good.
She dwelt here by the pool with its landing-stairs in ruins. Many
an evening she had watched the moon made dizzy by the shaking of
bamboo leaves, and on many a rainy day the smell of the wet earth
had come to her over the young shoots of rice.
Her pet name is known here among those date-palm groves and
in the courtyards where girls sit and talk while stitching their
winter quilts. The water in this pool keeps in its depth the memory
of her swimming limbs, and her wet feet had left their marks, day
after day, on the footpath leading to the village.
The women who come to-day with their vessels to the water have
all seen her smile over simple jests, and the old peasant, taking
his bullocks to their bath, used to stop at her door every day to
Many a sailing-boat passes by this village; many a traveller
takes rest beneath that banyan tree; the ferry-boat crosses to
yonder ford carrying crowds to the market; but they never notice
this spot by the village road, near the pool with its ruined
landing-stairs,-where dwelt she whom I love.
I travelled the old road every day, I took my fruits to the market,
my cattle to the meadows, I ferried my boat across the stream and
all the ways were well known to me.
One morning my basket was heavy with wares. Men were busy in
the fields, the pastures crowded with cattle; the breast of earth
heaved with the mirth of ripening rice.
Suddenly there was a tremor in the air, and the sky seemed to
kiss me on my forehead. My mind started up like the morning out of
I forgot to follow the track. I stepped a few paces from the
path, and my familiar world appeared strange to me, like a flower
I had only known in bud.
My everyday wisdom was ashamed. I went astray in the fairyland
of things. It was the best luck of my life that I lost my path that
morning, and found my eternal childhood.
The road is my wedded companion. She speaks to me under my feet all
day, she sings to my dreams all night.
My meeting with her had no beginning, it begins endlessly at
each daybreak, renewing its summer in fresh flowers and songs, and
her every new kiss is the first kiss to me.
The road and I are lovers. I change my dress for her night
after night, leaving the tattered cumber of the old in the wayside
inns when the day dawns.
Where is heaven? you ask me, my child,-the sages tell us it is
beyond the limits of birth and death, unswayed by the rhythm of day
and night; it is not of the earth.
But your poet knows that its eternal hunger is for time and
space, and it strives evermore to be born in the fruitful dust.
Heaven is fulfilled in your sweet body, my child, in your
The sea is beating its drums in joy, the flowers are a-tiptoe
to kiss you. For heaven is born in you, in the arms of the mother-
Dying, you have left behind you the great sadness of the Eternal
in my life. You have painted my thought's horizon with the sunset
colours of your departure, leaving a track of tears across the
earth to love's heaven. Clasped in your dear arms, life and death
united in me in a marriage bond.
I think I can see you watching there in the balcony with your
lamp lighted, where the end and the beginning of all things meet.
My world went hence through the doors that you opened-you holding
the cup of death to my lips, filling it with life from your own.
Are you a mere picture, and not as true as those stars, true as
this dust? They throb with the pulse of things, but you are
immensely aloof in your stillness, painted form.
The day was when you walked with me, your breath warm, your
limbs singing of life. My world found its speech in your voice, and
touched my heart with your face. You suddenly stopped in your walk,
in the shadow-side of the Forever, and I went on alone.
Life, like a child, laughs, shaking its rattle of death as it
runs; it beckons me on, I follow the unseen; but you stand there,
where you stopped behind that dust and those stars; and you are a
No, it cannot be. Had the life-flood utterly stopped in you,
it would stop the river in its flow, and the foot-fall of dawn in
her cadence of colours. Had the glimmering dusk of your hair
vanished in the hopeless dark, the woodland shade of summer would
die with its dreams.
Can it be true that I forgot you? We haste on without heed,
forgetting the flowers on the roadside hedge. Yet they breathe
unaware into our forgetfulness, filling it with music. You have
moved from my world, to take seat at the root of my life, and
therefore is this forgetting-remembrance lost in its own depth.
You are no longer before my songs, but one with them. You came
to me with the first ray of dawn. I lost you with the last gold of
evening. Ever since I am always finding you through the dark. No,
you are no mere picture.
A message came from my youth of vanished days, saying, " I wait for
you among the quivering of unborn May, where smiles ripen for tears
and hours ache with songs unsung."
It says, "Come to me across the worn-out track of age, through
the gates of death. For dreams fade, hopes fail, the fathered
fruits of the year decay, but I am the eternal truth, and you shall
meet me again and again in your voyage of life from shore to
It is written in the book that Man, when fifty, must leave the
noisy world, to go to the forest seclusion. But the poet proclaims
that the forest hermitage is only for the young. For it is the
birthplace of flowers and the haunt of birds and bees; and hidden
hooks are waiting there for the thrill of lovers' whispers. There
the moon-light, that is all one kiss for the malati flowers, has
its deep message, but those who understand it are far below fifty.
And alas, youth is inexperienced and wilful, therefore it is
but meet that the old should take charge of the household, and the
young take to the seclusion of forest shades and the severe
discipline of courting.
What do people do?
Various events are organized to increase the understanding of issues around cultural diversity and development among governments, non-governmental organizations and the public. Many of these include presentations on the progress of implementing the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.
* Seminars for professionals.
* Educational programs for children and young adolescents.
* The launch of collaborations between official agencies and ethnic groups.
* Exhibitions to help people understand the history of various cultural groups and the influence on their own identities.
* Celebrations to create greater awareness of cultural values and the need to preserve them.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development tends to be marked in countries that embraced their varied cultural history and acknowledged the importance of embracing it.
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an observance and not a public holiday.
The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in Paris, France, on November 2, 2001. It was the 249th resolution adopted at the 57th session of the United Nations General Conference. Although the declaration was the culmination of years of work, it was adopted in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This reaffirmed the need for intercultural dialogue to prevent segregation and fundamentalism.
The year 2002 was the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage. At the end of that year, on December 20, 2002, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The General Assembly emphasized links between the protection of cultural diversity and the importance of dialogue between civilizations in the modern world. The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development was first observed in 2003.
UN Article :
"Cultural rights are an integral part of human rights, which are universal, indivisible and interdependent. The flourishing of creative diversity requires the full implementation of cultural rights as defined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in Articles 13 and 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. All persons have therefore the right to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue; all persons are entitled to quality education and training that fully respect their cultural identity; and all persons have the right to participate in the cultural life of their choice and conduct their own cultural practices, subject to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."
The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn to “live together” better.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed 21 May the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue in its resolution 57/249 and welcomed the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its thirty-first session on 2 November 2001 and also welcomed the main lines of the Action Plan for the implementation of the Declaration.
A grassroots campaign ‘Do One Thing For Diversity and Inclusion’, celebrating the annual World Day for Cultural Diversity was launched by UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
Tag: Special Day