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.

Ancestors • पूर्वज

Location: Kanheri caves

मेरे पुरखों की विरासत का भरम रहने दे
तू हवेली को खुला देख के अंदर मत जा
.
A verse from the Ghazal by Qaisar-Ul Zafri (Book: Agar Darya Mila Hota). Read the whole ghazal here.
.

Translation:

Let the legacy of ancestors stay in illusions at least,
Don’t invade their mansion seeing the open doors
.

This verse is apt for the relationship between humans and other creatures. Nature does not discriminate against any species, whatever it has, is there for everyone. Yet, humans have exploited and hoarded Nature since the very beginning..

I interpret this verse as following –

Nature and all of its inter-dependent elements are dying fast; their legacy is now almost as good as an illusion because of us Humans. So the poet says ‘पुरखों की विरासत का भरम रहने दे’ – let it exist in illusions at least.

Just because nature is there for all, just because nature’s doors are always open to all, ‘तू हवेली को खुला देख के अंदर मत जा’ – don’t take it as an open invitation to exploit it.

Location: Kanheri caves

Sea • समुंदर

Location: Vashi bridge

एक दिन मैं तुम्हें बताऊँगा
समुंदर वहाँ से शुरू होता है
जहाँ से ख़ुश्की नज़र आनी ख़त्म हो जाए
फिर हम जब चाहेंगे
नज़्मों की किताब से
एक वरक़ फाड़ कर कश्ती बना लेंगे
और
दूसरा वरक़ फाड़ कर
समुंदर
.
ख़ुश्की – ज़मीन – Dryland
वरक़ – पन्ना – Page
कश्ती – नाव – Boat
नज़्म – मुक्त छंद कविता – Unrhymed poem
.
(अफ़ज़ल अहमद सय्यद की नज़्म ‘हम किसी से पूछे बग़ैर ज़िंदा रहते हैं‘)

.

Translation:

One day, I’ll tell you,
The ocean begins
where the sight of parched land ends
Then, whenever we please,
From the book of poems
We can tear one page
to make a boat
and
Another page
to draw an ocean..