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Translated Poem 1

Anupam, an English teacher, is extremely sensitive & expresses her emotions in poems. She is pursuing Masters in Psychology at present.

Diya

translated-poem-1

Harivansh Rai Bachhan

Harivansh Rai Bachhan was born on 27th Nov, 1907 and died on 18th Jan, 2003. He is popular as one of the greatest poet of India and as the pioneer of the Nayi Kavita (New Poems) literary movement of early 20th century Hindi literature.

His best-quoted poetry is 'Madhushala' (Wine bar) which is a great metaphor for life with so many metaphysical elements in that. The poetry has been recited on many occasions by his actor son Amitabh Bachan.

He received India's most prestigious award Padma Bhushan in 1976 for his service to Hindi literature.


When has it been prohibited to enlighten the dark night with diya bright?

The marvellous temple created by the hands of imagination,

The pillars of which were made up of the hands of emotion,

Which were enamoured by the dream’s love-filled decoration,

Which were soaked in the peerless colours and essence of heaven,

If that has shattered; gathering the bricks, pebbles and stones,

When has it been prohibited to make a small cottage of peace,

When has it been prohibited to enlighten the dark night with diya bright?


An adorable, enchanting sweet beaker was created

Of the Cloud tears washed by the tinsel turquoise Sky,

Within that was the red wine as the first ray of the dawn

Shining like an adventurous lady in dense backwoods;

If that has broken in between the two palms

When has it been prohibited to quench the thirst with a drink pious,

When has it been prohibited to enlighten the dark night with diya bright?


It was a brilliant moment, no worries could come near

Forget the darkness, even shadow was cast out of sight,

Playful eyes used to display humour, words represented fun,

The clouds too were jealous of the gleeful roar of laughter,

When she left, she took away the source of pleasure, that’s true,

But when has it been prohibited to smile in the sufferings of times,

When has it been prohibited to enlighten the dark night with diya bright?


Alas, the blow of the ecstasy in which romanticism arose,

Getting rid of the materialism pleaded for the blessed songs,

One heartfelt word echoed with the other on regular basis

Filling the ground and heaven with the hypnotizing hymns,

Just to change the mind if that too has stretched the deadline,

When has it been prohibited to sing a few incomplete lines?

When has it been prohibited to enlighten the dark night with diya bright?


Alas, those friends who were attracted as magnets to iron,

Attracted to that extent that they could drown in the heart’s core,

Days were passed as if the wires of Veena were making sound together,

Singing the sweet and lovely song of life,

If they have left without any hint of their return

When has it been prohibited to enlighten the heart with a new friend?

When has it been prohibited to enlighten the dark night with diya bright?


What kind was that wind which blew the loving residence,

Nothing was of any help, neither your shouts nor shrieks,

Whose strength can compete with that strength of destruction,

But dear God of construction, you will have to answer,

The ones who are established, as mortal rule is naturally destructed,

But when has it been prohibited to establish the one who is destructed,

When has it been prohibited to enlighten the dark night with diya bright?

History of this Poem

This poem was taught to us in grade tenth. I was mesmerised by the flow of the words of the poet, and the way our hindi teacher recited it, we all got goosebumps. That was the time I was really fascinated about poetry, especially hindi poems.

I wished to take hindi literature in my graduation but there were many reasons for abandoning the language closest to my heart and choosing the popular language.

I've tried to put my heart in this poem while translating it. I hope you will love reading it. Wherever it's required I am ready to do the explanation.

© 2020 Anupam Mitu

Comments

Anupam Mitu (author) from MUMBAI on October 14, 2020:

Thank yous so much, dear. Yes finally after about a week, I feel better.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 11, 2020:

Thank you for answering John’s questions — I had the same ones. I hope you feel better soon.

Anupam Mitu (author) from MUMBAI on October 11, 2020:

Thank you so much dear Ann.

Lots of love and blessings dear.

Anupam Mitu (author) from MUMBAI on October 11, 2020:

Thank you Iavana

Lots of love and blessings dear

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 11, 2020:

Thank you for explaining that for me. I hope your tongue is better soon.

Anupam Mitu (author) from MUMBAI on October 11, 2020:

Diya is the picture that I have used John. And Veena is a musical instrument, lute, the guitar is the westernised version of that.

Thank you for noticing it John.

This poem is very close to me. I wanted to recite and upload it on youtube in hindi but couldn't do because of my sore tongue 9too painful that is)

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on October 10, 2020:

You did a wonderful job Anupam. It is no easy task to translate poetry from one language to another and retain the flow. There are a couple of terms I don’t know. What is “diya” and “Veena”?

Vikas mishra on October 10, 2020:

Lovly

Ann Carr from SW England on October 10, 2020:

I see what you mean about the flow of the words. This is quite magical and your translation works well, as I feel you have captured the essence of the poet's words. That's not easy in another language. Well done indeed!

Ann

Ivana Divac from Serbia on October 10, 2020:

This is truly beautiful. Thank you so much for translating and sharing!