Kedarnath Singh: Translations by Kalpna Singh-Chitnis.

Kedarnath SinghBIO

Born in Balia district of Uttar Pradesh, India, on July 7th, Kedarnath Singh is one of the most prominent Hindi poets of our time. He is also an eminent critic and essayist. He received India’s highest literary honor Jananpith Award in 2014, and Sahitya Academy Award in 1989 for his poetry collection, Akaal Mein Saras (Cranes in a Drought). Kedarnath Singh obtained his Masters and Ph.D degree from Kashi Hindu Vishwa Vidyalaya, and taught Hindi at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. His poetry is characterized by simple, everyday language and the images in his poems string together to convey complex themes. His anthologies include, Abhi Bilkul Abhi, Zameen Pak Rahi Hai, Yahan se Dekho, Akaal Mein Saaras, Baagh,Tolstoy aur Cycle, and many other stories and essays. Kedarnath Singh is also honored with Kumaran Aashan and Vyas Awards. His latest poetry collection  “Srishti Par Pahra” (Defending the Universe) published in 2014 is one of the greatest contributions ever made by any poet to the Hindi literature.

 

Kalpna CU for The Enchanting VersesBIO

Kalpna Singh-Chitnis is a bilingual, Indo-American poet, writer and filmmaker based in California, USA. Author of the “Bare Soul” (a poetry collection in English) and three poetry collections in Hindi, she won the prestigious “Bihar Rajbhasha Award” (1986-87) given by the government of Bihar, India, for her first poetry collection “Chand Ka Paivand” (Patch of Moon) before age 21, and the title of ‘Bihar Shri’ (Jewel of Bihar) in 1988. She also received “Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award” in 2014 in New Delhi, for her contributions to literature and film at national and international levels. Kalpna’s poetry collections “Chand Ka Paivand,” (Patch of Moon) “Tafteesh Jari Hai” (The Investigation Continues) and “Nishant” (The Dawn) have received praise from eminent writers, scholars and critics such as Nobel prize nominees Dr. Wazir Agha, Naseer Ahmad Nasir, Vaptsarov Award and Ordre des Arts et des Lettres winner poet Amrita Pritam, Academy Award winning lyricist, poet and filmmaker Gulzar and others. Kalpna’s literary works have been widely published in the Indian Subcontinent, Europe and North America. She is the creator and editor of “Life and Legends”, a multilingual literary magazine . In 2014, she was nominated for “HONOR OF YEAST LITTERAIRE” by Levure litteraire magazine in Paris, France. Known for her feature film “Goodbye My Friend” and “Girl With An Accent” she is currently working on her next film “Dancing in the Rain” (based on a true story), to raise awareness about the issue of honor killing in Indian sub-continent and Mid-East. More about Kalpna Singh-Chitnis at – www.kalpnasinghchitnis.com

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सृष्टि पर पहरा

जड़ों की डगमग खड़ाऊं पहने
वह सामने खड़ा था
सिवान का प्रहरी
जैसे मुक्तिबोध का ब्रह्मराक्षस-
एक सूखता हुआ लंबा झरनाठ वृक्ष
जिसके शीर्ष पर हिल रहे
तीन-चार पत्ते

कितना भव्य था
एक सूखते हुए वृक्ष की फुनगी पर
महज तीन-चार पत्तों का हिलना

उस विकट सुखाड़ में
सृष्टि पर पहरा दे रहे थे
तीन-चार पत्ते


DEFENDING THE UNIVERSE

Wearing the wobbly wooden sandals of its roots
it was standing before me,
the guard of the border,
like the *Brahmarakshas of Muktibodh;
a tall, huge desiccating tree,
with only a few leaves
waving on the top.

How magnificent it was to see,
at the very top of a dwindling tree,
the leaves swaying.

In a severe drought,
they were there,
defending the universe.

 

हिन्‍दी

बिना कहे भी जानती है मेरी जिह्वा
कि उसकी पीठ पर भूली हुई चोटों के
कितने निशान हैं
कि आती नहीं नींद उसकी कई क्रियाओं को
रात-रात भर
दुखते हैं अक्सर कई विशेषण।

कि राज नहीं-भाषा
भाषा-भाषा सिर्फ भाषा रहने दो मेरी भाषा को
अरबी-तुर्की बांग्‍ला तेलुगू
यहां तक कि एक पत्‍ती के हिलने की आवाज भी
मैं सब बोलता हूं जरा-जरा
जब बोलता हूं हिन्‍दी.

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*HINDI

Even without saying my tongue knows,
how many scars it has on its back
from the assaults now long forgotten;
that many of its verbs still can’t sleep,
and an adjective often hurts at night.

A language can not be a state-language
let a language be a language only,
Arabic, Turkish, Bangla, Telugu,
even the sound of a swaying leaf,

and I speak a little bit of everything,
when I speak Hindi.
.

भोजपुरी

लोकतन्‍त्र के जन्‍म से बहुत पहले का
एक जिन्‍दा ध्‍वनि-लोकतन्‍त्र है यह
जिसके एक छोटे से ‘हम ’ में
तुम सुन सकते हो करोडों
‘मैं ’ की घडकनें
किताबें .
जरा देर से आईं..
इसलिए खो भी जाएं
तो डर नहीं इसे
क्‍योंकि जबान –
इसकी सबसे बडी लाइब्रेरी है आज भी

कभी आना मेरे घर
तुम्हें सुनाऊंगा
मेरे झरोखे पर रखा शंख है यह
जिसमें धीमे-धीमे बजते हैं
सातों समुद्र.


*BHOJPURI

Even before the birth of democracy,
this has been a democracy of the living voices;
in a part of which is ‘us’ –
you can hear the heartbeats of millions of ‘I’.

The books came later,
so even if they are lost,
no worries;

because the biggest library
is still a tongue.

Someday, come to my house,
and I’ll make you hear a seashell,
that sits at my window

and the seven seas
gently sing in it.


देश और घर

हिंदी मेरा देश है
भोजपुरी मेरा घर
….मैं दोनों को प्यार करता हूं
और देखिए न मेरी मुश्किल
पिछले साठ बरसों से
दोनों को दोनों में
खोज रहा हूं।

.

HOME AND COUNTRY

Hindi is my country,
Bhojpuri is my home,
…. I love both of them;
but look at my difficulty,
I have been looking for both
at both the places,
for the past sixty years.

.
कपास के फूल

वह जो आपकी कमीज है
किसी खेत में खिला
एक कपास का फूल है.

.
COTTON FLOWERS

The one, that is your shirt
is a cotton flower
blooming in a field.

 

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NOTES

* Hindi – India’s national language.

* Bhojpuri – One of the official languages in India, spoken widely in Nepal, Mauritius and some other parts of the world also.

*Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh (1917-1964), a poet, essayist, fiction writer, literary and political critic of the 20th century is considered as a pioneer of modern poetry in India. *Brahmarakshas (ब्रह्मराक्षस) is considered as his most influential work in experimental poetry.

Hindi poems of Kedarnath Singh translated here by Kalpna Singh-Chitnis are taken from his latest poetry collection in Hindi “Srishti Par Pahra” (Defending the Universe), that won the highest literary award in India.

 

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4 Comments:

  1. Kalpana ji main kedarnath ki kavitaon per shodh ker Rajiv hoon.please,inki air bhi kavitaon ka anuvaad kariye

  2. कल्पना जी आपने बेहतरीन अनुवाद किया है…खासतौर से आपने हिन्दी के मरम को बहुत अच्छे से अंग्रेजी के शब्दों में तब्दील किया है जो की काफी मुश्किल कार्य है। इस बेहतरीन कार्य के लिए बधाई…..रजनीश गर्ग सहारा न्यूज़, 09911848883

  3. आपने अनुवाद किया है और मैने इसकी समीक्षा लिख रखी है

  4. बहुत बढिया अनुवाद किया है कल्पना जी

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