Somewhere around the dawn • केव्हा तरी पहाटे..

I’m not even ashamed to admit that I have a very limited patience for poetry. But some poems make me wonder why only a few people can create something as beautiful as a poem. Suresh Bhat is one of the notable Marathi poet, also a Marathi Ghazal writer, who has written many beautiful pieces that I find intriguing. ‘Kevha tari pahaate‘ is one of them, later turned into a beautiful composition by Pt. Hridaynath Mangeshkar and sung by the legendary & my favourite, Asha Bhosle. Again, I don’t know why, but here’s my attempt at translation :

केव्हा तरी पहाटे उलटून रात गेली
मिटले चुकून डोळे हरवून रात गेली

Somewhere around the dawn,
night came to end,
I drifted off, though for a moment,
and the night was lost to me..

सांगू तरी कसे मी, वय कोवळे उन्हाचे
उसवून श्वास माझा फसवून रात गेली

I can think of no way to describe;
the dayspring was juvenile still,
the night escaped in stealth,
undoing the seam of my breath..

कळले मला न केव्हा सुटली मिठी जराशी
कळले मला न केव्हा निसटून रात गेली

How did I not see the loosening embrace?
How did I not see the night slipping away..?

उरले उरात काही आवाज चांदण्यांचे
आकाश तारकांचे उचलून रात गेली

A few whispers of a few stars,
that’s all that is left in my heart;
the rest, the whole universe,
the night took it all..

स्मरल्या मला न तेव्हा माझ्याच गीतपंक्ती
मग ओळ शेवटाची सुचवून रात गेली

Couldn’t recall the verses
of my own poem, silly me;
but the night, before leaving,
hinted at the last line for me..

Tiny flower in the grass • मी फूल तृणातील इवले..

A small flower bravely confronts ‘The Sun’ to tell him that it will bloom on terms of its own and no one else. The flower demands that the sun has to leave his ego aside & puts its own conditions for him to comply with, if he wishes to befriend it.

The original Marathi poem is written by veteran poet Mr. Mangesh Padgaonkar. I know I’m nowhere near Mr. Padgaonkar or any of the existing poets; but just making a humble attempt at translation because I want everyone to see the beauty of it..!


जरी तुझिया सामर्थ्याने ढळतील दिशाही दाही
मी फूल तृणातील इवले, उमलणार तरीही नाही

So what if your might could rise and set down the whole world?
So what if I am but a tiny flower in the grass?
I still refuse to abide and bloom..

शक्तीने तुझिया दिपुनी तुज करतील सारे मुजरे
पण सांग कसे उमलावे ओठातील गाणे हसरे?

Though everyone bows down to your immensity and power;
tell me, oh mighty sun, how would it make the beaming song bloom within the lips?

जिंकील मला दवबिंदू, जिंकील तृणाचे पाते
अन स्वत:स विसरून वारा जोडील रेशमी नाते

The dewdrops and leaflets shall win my heart,
the breeze shall abandon the boundaries of remembrance,
and forge a bond soft as silk..

कुरवाळीत येतील मजला श्रावणातल्या जलधारा
सळसळून भिजली पाने मज करतील सजल इशारा

The last rains of monsoon shall caress me upon arrival,
the leaves bathed in them would talk to me in signs..

रे तुझिया सामर्थ्याने मी कसे मला विसरावे?
अन रंगांचे गंधांचे मी गीत कसे गुंफावे?

How and why should I forget my individual in front of your might?
And of what use is that machismo of yours
for me to knit the song of colors and fragrances?

येशील का संग पहाटे किरणांच्या छेडीत तारा;
उधळीत स्वरातुनी भवती हळू सोनेरी अभिसारा?

Will you, the fulgent gold,
come plucking the strings of your rays,
sprinkling music early by the dawn?

शोधीत धुक्यातुनी मजला दवबिंदू होउनी ये तू
कधी भिजलेल्या मातीचा मृदु सजल सुगंधित हेतू!

Become a dewdrop and come searching for me through the fog,
or turn into the soft, wet smell of the soil..

तू तुलाच विसरुनी यावे, मी तुझ्यात मज विसरावे
तू हसत मला फुलवावे, मी नकळत आणि फुलावे

Forget yourself while coming,
and I’ll do the same for you..
Smile and make me bloom,
unbeknownst to me..

पण तुझिया सामर्थ्याने ढळतील दिशा जरी दाही
मी फूल तृणातील इवले उमलणार तरीही नाही

But, do not be mistaken,
for, though your strength may rise
and set the whole world down,
I shall not bloom.

Review of books by Girish Kuber

Recently finished reading अधर्मयुद्ध (Adharma Yuddha-war of religious fanaticism) by Girish Kuber.

The first book by him that I read was ‘युद्ध जिवांचे’ (Yuddha Jivanche- bio-war, or ‘war of the living’, or ‘war of people’?) It talks about science and technology’s darker side that prevailed in the power-privileged countries like America, Germany, Japan, Russia, etc and how it created an endless network of exploitation that the third world can’t even notice or imagine. Everyone should read it, especially those in science, technology and pharmaceuticals.

Reading it in school is a bad decision for those who already have their own existentialism. Seriously. It makes one wonder, whether we, the Homo sapiens, actually deserve the title of the most evolved species on the planet. Makes one question how humans can be so sickeningly creative in violence, how the largest share of money from every country’s GDP, people’s hard-damn-earned money, ends up in various violence projects, may it be in the name of national security, or exerting dominance, or simply fear-mongering.. Do common citizens consent to all this? Do they even know what goes on in their name?

When we read these details as science enthusiasts, we are humbled by the immensity of responsibility that’s on our shoulders. More than that, we are disgusted by our ancestors in the field. Depressed, even. We start asking, do we really want to end up like this? Any sane being’s answer would be, no. It also initiates another line of thought-importance of humanities. We take great pride in counting every scientific achievement of our respective nations or individuals, a common sentiment everywhere in the world. But we don’t really care to know why the study of humanities is important. In all these years of human history full of violence, we are yet to learn our lesson and create a system to utilise the resources in trying to learn about the diversity in the world and how to deal with it sustainably.

Because the prime emotion behind every project mentioned in the book is hate and greed. Greed, or a general sense of superiority that makes one ignorant of others existence and gives them a ‘license’ to exploit them however they please. ‘Lisence’ with which they escaped any questions on the sweet coincidence of the sudden rise of the company manufacturing Tamiflu from total bankruptcy and the sudden emergence of swine flu all over the third world.

Or a general sense of hate, that helps them legitimise and defend their actions. Hitler’s gas chambers are the least of such horrors, purely motivated by hatred.

Whatever it is, it’s far away from where we all should’ve been. The current situation is worse, these tools have reached in the hands of terrorists even. But looking at the rising communalism and racism in politics (but hey it was always the same!), along with the peaked greed, it’s very hard to differentiate between the right and wrong. We live in a world where the terms ‘killing’, ‘murder’, ‘massacre’, have different meanings for different socioeconomic-political dynamics of the victims and the perpetrators. Which brings us to three of other books by Girish Kuber- एका तेलियाने, हा तेल नावाचा इतिहास आहे & अधर्मयुद्ध.

एका तेलियाने (Eka Teliyane) gives a brilliant historical account of how Ahmed Zaki Yamani almost dictated the oil strategy for international markets during the period of the 60′ to 80s. हा तेल नावाचा इतिहास आहे (Ha tel navacha itihas aahe-This is the history of oil), as the name suggests, it gives an insight into the history and politics of the journey of oil, from nothing to everything. These two books, along with the third (which is not based on oil, but on terrorism and opportunism that revolves around oil) अधर्मयुध्द, create a master package to understand what’s going on in the world and which all factors are responsible for it.

अधर्मयुध्द makes us furious at the west, mainly America and England. It explains how the greedy capitalists chose Islamist terrorism over Russian communism-a heavily messed up decision and how they kept making the same mistake of fueling and utilising terrorism to spite&fight Russia again and again, how insolently they overlooked the bigger horrors that were being set up parallelly, proving their complicity again and again. Now along with them, the whole world is paying for their mistakes, and the powerful, are still busy filling their own pockets.

Thanks to Girish Kuber, who narrates this like an everyday conversation in Marathi and makes the complex history and politics of the world easier to understand for everyone.

PS: The list is incomplete without his another Marathi book on Putin (पुतीन: महासत्तेच्या इतिहासाचे अस्वस्थ वर्तमान- Putin: The turbulent present of the history of the superpower), with an interesting subtitle, but I am yet to get my hands on it. Hope to get it soon..