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 आहेकाही बोलायाचे आहे, पण बोलणार नाहीदेवळाच्या दारामध्ये, भक्ती तोलणार नाहीमाझ्या अंतरात गंध कल्पकुसुमांचा दाटेपण पाकळी तयाची, कधी फुलणार नाहीनक्षत्रांच्या गावातले मला गवसले गूजपरि अक्षरांचा संग त्याला मिळणार नाहीमेघ जांभळा एकला राहे नभाच्या कडेलात्याचे रहस्य कोणाला कधी कळणार नाहीदूर बंदरात उभे एक गलबत रूपेरीत्याचा कोष किनार्यास कधी लाभणार नाहीतुझ्या कृपाकटाक्षाने झालो वणव्याचा धनीत्याच्या 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 anythingAt the doorway of the temple, won’t weigh with the scales [my] devotionIn my inner realm crowds the fragrance of the heavenly [or all-desires-fulfilling] flowersBut [even] a petal of it won’t flower, everI found [or ran into] the buzz from the town of the [unmoving] heavenly constellationsBut it won’t get the company of the written [or the expressed] wordA deep purple-blue cloud lives alone [somewhere] at the edge of the skyIts secret won’t be known, ever, by any oneIn the distant port floats a silvery sailboatIts hull wouldn’t be received, ever, by the shorelineWith one side-look [or a casual but sharp glance] of Your bliss-imparting eyes I became the owner of a wild-fireIn 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.]