Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NPM - Day 9

The motivation for the NPM series is to celebrate April 2015 -- the National poetry month (hence NPM in the title), by sharing a favorite poem of mine every day of this month, starting April 13, 2015.

Days 7 and 8 -- again slipped by amidst the frenzy of research. In a some what perverse way, defaulting on the NPM series is actually turning out to be an instructive way of gauging how tightly I am able to keep up with my daily schedule in general. Three defaults in 9 days!! -- not encouraging but I have not lost hope that things would get better from here (doing a PhD practically indoctrinates you with this mantra).

So, today continuing with native poets of Indian subcontinent, I am sharing one of the most well known patriotic pieces in Hindi. It is famous enough that almost 8 out of 10 years, this is solemnly recited by TV commentators covering the Independence day celebrations in New Delhi. A sign of the enduring quality of this verse!

Pushp ki Abhlasha

--- Makhanlal Chaturvedi

Chah Nahi Main SurBala Ke Gehano Mein Goontha Jaaun
Chaah Nahi Premi Mala Mein Bindh Pyaari Ko Lalchaaun.

Chaah Nahi Samraato Ke Shav Par He Hari Dala Jaaun
Chaah Nahi Dewon Ke Sar Par Chadhoon Bhagya Par Itraun.

Mujhe Tod Lena Banmali, Us Path Par Tum Dena Phaink
Matra Bhoomi Per Sheesh Chadhane,Jis Path Jaayen Veer Anek.

 I have included a translation below, but as is almost always the case, it is no where close to capturing the spirit of the original piece.

Desire of a Flower

I do not yearn to deck the tresses of a beautiful maiden
Nor to be in the garland binding two lovers

I do not desire to adorn the graves of great emperors
Or to take pride in honoring the gods themeselves

O beloved gardener, throw me on that path
Tread by the soldiers who renounce their lives for this motherland.

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