The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mother: A Poem to Translate

Gourishankar Kar is a poet to watch. He writes in his mother tongue Oriya and all his poems are so very readable. They are complete poems written with overpowering muse, with right stress at right places! They have the power, the force that transports the reader to the world of poetic tranquility and sustains him there until he is rewarded with his share of inspiration. I've once attempted to translate a few poems and posted them in my old blog and it was a creative pleasure to do so. One of these days I'll repost them here. As of now, I'm presenting a new poem that I picked for translation from Shri Kar's second book "Chandra Chalan". It's about his mother, old and mellowed, and the feeling she has brought to the poet is one of gratitude and adoration.

She's my first sustenance,
The spark that stoked the fire of my life,
The teacher that instilled words in me
To arrange themselves in expression of a feeling
That's me, my mother's child.

Ageing gracefully she is now
dangling from the dried stalk of life,
Now gravity has got the better of her
With sight enfeebled and skin sagging
And bones, the two hundred and six of them
Rattle and hold her onto the illusion of life
Adorning her like a garland of twigs--
And she is my mother, the mother of mine.

But she was once strong in all her limbs
Strong enough to leave me strengthened,
Her stroke has made my legs
nimble and sturdy for the race of life,
And my hands have grown long enough
to heave morsel to mouth quite effortlessly.
It's a feverish world of anger and venom
But I'm ready to endure them all
With her invigorating massage of my tummy
And with all those pats on my back, truly assuring.

Now she's a candle
flickering inside a dilapidated castle,
Now she's a solitary harvester
winnowing her memory-grains
in her moments of ripe existence,
All of them are now left behind
Her eighty long years of worldly experience.

The sun and wind outside
Contaminated to the core,
As dirty as the rags of a demented could be
Redolent of an evil desire or a barbaric horror
Of an unrequited love or a blind lie.
But thanks to my mother--
I'm so very decently dressed
In the apparel of affection, and adorned
With the jewels of trust.
Eternal stream she is, she flows on and on
Endowing life of fearlessness and pure benediction.

Aha! My ageing mind melts
Into the depth of her motherliness,
She still preserves in her
The beats of my uncomplicated existence,
They still remain intact in her
Like the key bunch tied to her sari end--
My idyllic childhood and my blissful adolescence
My stressful present of a worrisome existence.

A Poem by
Shri Gourishankar Kar

Taken from his poetry collection
"Chandra Chalan", First Ed. 2000

Translated by me
A. N. Nanda



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