Kaan Pete Roi

I’m now enjoying looking back at my previous post in August, “What will we call it?”

We will call it “Kaan Pete Roi.”

For those of you who speak Bengali, you may recognize this from one of Rabindranath’s songs. This is the version my dad and I were listening to when it clicked as the perfect name. (My dad’s eyes suddenly got very round and he said “Kaan Pete Roi-” and I screamed, “Ohmigod ohmigod it’s PERFECT.”)

For those of you who are English-speakers, I assure you, it’s perfect!  “Kaan Pete Roi” roughly translated means “I have put my ear to listen.” Unfortunately this doesn’t quite capture the daintiness of the expression. In Bangladesh, Rabindranath Tagore‘s songs are playing in every house, and the phrase is recognizable and already familiar. The song itself is beautiful. (Bengali is a gorgeously rich language for poetry, and Rabindranath is known to be it’s master. Any attempt by me to translate the song would do it a disservice, so I won’t even go there.)

I am so proud to be able to tell you that we have a name, and I am so glad, as I have been countless times in my life, that Rabindranath created as much beauty as he did.


One thought on “Kaan Pete Roi

  1. Yeshim ,very moved by your piece . My Bengali is very scratchy , so I dare not try and improve on your translation — but the literal translation into English , I think , would be ” I lay may ear down ” . What strikes me about this is that the Red Indian tribes of North America , before their civilisation was destroyed during the last 300 years , literally used to lay their ears down to the ground to listen to the distant thunder of hooves ( stampeding buffaloes etc ) , to try and foresee an impending disaster . How very appropriate of you to choose this name for your noble venture . And all this quite apart from the enchanting beauty of Tagore’s original song . Good luck !

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