Kedarnath Singh: Translations by Kalpna Singh-Chitnis

Kedarnath SinghBIO

Kedarnath Singh is a prominent Hindi poet, critic and essayist. He was born in Balia district of Uttar Pradesh, India, on July 7th, 1934. He obtained Masters and Ph.D degree from Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya and taught Hindi at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He received India’s highest literary honor Jananpith Award in 2014 for his poetry collection Srishti Par Pahra (Defending the Universe), and Sahitya Academy Award in 1989 for his poetry collection, Akaal Mein Saras (Cranes in the Drought). 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 the recipient of Kumaran Aashan and Vyas Awards.



Kalpna CU for The Enchanting VersesBIO

Kalpna Singh-Chitnis is a bilingual American poet of Indian descent. Author of the “Bare Soul” (winner of the 2017 Naji Naaman Literary Award) 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), and the title of ‘Bihar Shri’ (Jewel of Bihar) in 1988. In 2014, she was nominated for “Honor of Yeast Litteraire” by Levure litteraire magazine in Paris, France. She also received “Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award” in 2014 in New Delhi, for her contributions to literature and cinema. Kalpna’s literary work has been widely published and translated into many languages. She is the creator and editor of “Life and Legends” literary journal . More about Kalpna Singh-Chitnis at –



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


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

How magnificent it was to view
on the very top of a dwindling tree
the swaying of the leaves.

In a severe drought
they were there
defending the universe.



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.



Even without admitting 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 cannot 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.


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.


Even before the birth of democracy
there has been a democracy of living voices,
in which a part of it is ‘us’ –
where 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।



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.


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




* Hindi – One of the official languages of India, spoken at the national level.

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

*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 by Kalpna Singh-Chitnis are taken from his latest poetry collection “Srishti Par Pahra” (Defending the Universe) that won the highest literary award in India.



Be Sociable, Share!


  1. बेहतरीन अनुवाद। बधाई

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

  3. 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

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

  5. बहुत बढिया अनुवाद किया है कल्पना जी

Leave a Reply to Pragyatrivedi Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook