A year later

Yesterday was the वर्षश्राद्ध (i.e. the special first-year rites or memorial service) for my late mother. In Maharashtra, the calender we follow for any spiritual matters and festivals is one of the lunar ones, and so, for the first year, the anniversaries comes some 10-odd days earlier as compared to the modern (i.e. Gregorian) calender.

Last year, some time after my mother passed away, I had browsed Internet sites having Marathi poems and songs or so. I had saved a few pages. Today I browsed that folder and found this poem. It’s by the well-known Marathi poet: Kusumaagraj, i.e., V. V. Shirwadkar. He has penned some of my most favourite poems. Also, as a matter of trivia, he hailed from a village which was within some 30–40 km radius from my maternal grandfather’s place. You can find a few references to that region (i.e., Nasik, “Saptashringi gaD”etc.) slip in, a few rare times, in his poetry. That made him even more special than he even otherwise was, to my mother (who had a fine taste in Marathi poetry and songs), and for that matter, also to me.

So, let me share one of his poems—one of my most favorite poems, in fact. It, now, also is pretty well known poem because it comes as a recorded song (Singer: Shridhar Phadake, Music: Yashwant Deo). For my English readers, I will also jot down my attempt at a translation.

First, the original, Marathi version:

काही बोलायाचे आहे

काही बोलायाचे आहे, पण बोलणार नाही
देवळाच्या दारामध्ये, भक्‍ती तोलणार नाही

माझ्या अंतरात गंध कल्पकुसुमांचा दाटे
पण पाकळी तयाची, कधी फुलणार नाही

नक्षत्रांच्या गावातले मला गवसले गूज
परि अक्षरांचा संग त्याला मिळणार नाही

मेघ जांभळा एकला राहे नभाच्या कडेला
त्याचे रहस्य कोणाला कधी कळणार नाही

दूर बंदरात उभे एक गलबत रूपेरी
त्याचा कोष किनार्‍यास कधी लाभणार नाही

तुझ्या कृपाकटाक्षाने झालो वणव्याचा धनी
त्याच्या निखार्‍यात कधी तुला जाळणार नाही

–कुसुमाग्रज”


Now, my (as usual prosaic) attempt at the translation

Have something to say

[I] have something to say, but won’t say anything
At the doorway of the temple, won’t weigh with the scales [my] devotion

In my inner realm crowds the fragrance of the heavenly [or all-desires-fulfilling] flowers
But [even] a petal of it won’t flower, ever

I found [or ran into] the buzz from the town of the [unmoving] heavenly constellations
But it won’t get the company of the written [or the expressed] word

A deep purple-blue cloud lives alone [somewhere] at the edge of the sky
Its secret won’t be known, ever, by any one

In the distant port floats a silvery sailboat
Its hull wouldn’t be received, ever, by the shoreline

With one side-look [or a casual but sharp glance] of Your bliss-imparting eyes I became the owner of a wild-fire
In the coals left glowing, I won’t burn You down, ever”

—“Kusumaagraj”


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[PS: If I happen to think of some better ways to translate the poem, I may come back and improve this post a bit. … But, in any case, as indicated in my last post, this year, or at least in the near future, I would continue to blog only sparsely.]

[E&OE]

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