Vaidya Nath Mishra ‘Nagarjun’: Translated by Sunil Sharma

Nagarjun

BIO

Sahitya Akademy Award winning poet Vaidya Nath Mishra ‘Nagarjun’ (11 June, 1911 – 5 November, 1998) is one of the most respected names in contemporary Hindi Literature. He is known as the poet of the people. He wrote in Maithli, Hindi, Sanskrit and Bangla also. Prose, poetry, translations and children’s literature were successfully attempted by this great writer, who was influenced by Buddhism and Marxism. He wrote extensively on social and political themes, that are still relevant. Nagarjun’s style and idiom are simple and direct, and his works speak directly to the reader’s heart keen to read quality writings.

 

Sunil Sharma

 

BIO

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor, and author with 18 published books. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA.
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(Translated from the original Hindi into English)

 

Pink Bangles

He is a private bus driver, so what?
He is also the father of a seven-year-old girl!
In front of the gearbox, dangling from a hook above
Four glass-bangles of pink colour are swaying
with every roll of the bus…
Bending down I ask,
That gives a big jolt to
The middle-aged, mustachioed,
And the striking face replies softly: Yes, Saab,
I told her a millions times, but Muniya
Does not budge at all.
She wants them to display here only,
Her possession,
Before the eyes of her Abu,
I also think, what harm could the bangles do?
And what excuse do I have to remove them from here?
We exchanged a glance.
And I saw, his pure eyes
Brimming with fatherly love,
And a fluid tenderness in his simple question.
Those eyes, then went back on the road again.
And leaning forward I said to him,
Yes brother, I am also a father,
I asked casually.
Who wouldn’t like,
Those pink bangles of tiny hands?
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गुलाबी चूड़ियाँ

प्राइवेट बस का ड्राइवर है तो क्या हुआ,
सात साल की बच्ची का पिता तो है!
सामने गियर से उपर
हुक से लटका रक्खी हैं
काँच की चार चूड़ियाँ गुलाबी
बस की रफ़्तार के मुताबिक
हिलती रहती हैं…
झुक कर मैंने पूछ लिया
खा गया मानो झटका
अधेड़ उम्र का मुच्छड़ रोबीला चेहरा
आहिस्ते से बोला: हाँसा’ब
लाख कहता हूँ नहीं मानती मुनिया
टाँगे हुए है कई दिनों से
अपनी अमानत
यहाँ अब्बा की नज़रों के सामने
मैं भी सोचता हूँ
क्या बिगाड़ती हैं चूड़ियाँ
किस ज़ुर्म पे हटा दूँ इनको यहाँ से?
और ड्राइवर ने एक नज़र मुझे देखा
और मैंने एक नज़र उसे देखा
छलक रहा था दूधिया वात्सल्य बड़ी-बड़ी आँखों में
तरलता हावी थी सीधे-साधे प्रश्नपर
और अब वे निगाहें फिर से हो गईं सड़क की ओर
और मैंने झुक कर कहा –
हाँ भाई, मैं भी पिता हूँ
वो तो बस यूँ ही पूछ लिया आपसे
वरना किसे नहीं भाँएगी?
नन्हीं कलाइयों की गुलाबी चूड़ियाँ!
*

Famine and After

For days the chullha* cried, flour mill remained sad
For days the one-eyed bitch, slept near to them.
For days the lizards roamed, all over the wall
For days the rats also, lived in a poor state.

The grains arrived home, after a long time,
The courtyard belowed smoke, after a long time.
All eyes at home, sparkled, after a long time
The crow scratched its wings, after a long time.

Chullha* – An Earthen Stove

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अकाल और उसके बाद

कई दिनों तक चूल्हा रोया, चक्की रही उदास
कई दिनों तक कानी कुतिया सोई उनके पास
कई दिनों तक लगी भीत पर छिपकलियों की गश्त
कई दिनों तक चूहों की भी हालत रही शिकस्त।

दाने आए घर के अंदर कई दिनों के बाद
धुआँ उठा आँगन से ऊपर कई दिनों के बाद
चमक उठी घर भर की आँखें कई दिनों के बाद
कौए ने खुजलाई पाँखें कई दिनों के बाद।

*****

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