By Bhudeb Chakrabarti
The Coromandel Fishers
Rise brothers rise; the waking skies pray to the morning light.
The wind lies asleep in the arms of the dawn like a child that has cried all night.
Come, let us gather our nets from the shore and set our catamarans free,
To capture the leaping wealth of the tide for we are the Kings of the sea
No longer delay, let us hasten our way in the track of the sea gull’s call,
The sea is our mother, the cloud is our brother, the waves are our comrades all.
What though we toss at the fall of the sea where the hand of the sea-god dares
He who holds the storm by the hair, will hide in his breast our lives.
Sweet is the shade of the coconut glade, and the scent of the mango grove,
And sweet are the sands at the full of the moon with the sound of the voices we love;
But sweeter, O brothers, the kiss of the spray and the dance of the wild foam’s glee;
Row brothers row to the edge of the verge, where the sky mates with the sea.
Many of you, who have studied in different parts of India may recall having read this poem in school. This poem was included in my English syllabus too. The poetess is none other than Sarojini Naidu, one of the greatest poets of India, whose 138th birth anniversary is being celebrated today as the National Women’s Day.