04-shravan shikaar – jogeshwar naath betaab

For word meanings and explanatory discussion in English click on the tabs marked “Roman” or “Notes”.  The “Introduction” tab offers an overall background of the whole series of posts that constitute a patchy reconstruction of the ramayan.

 

The ramayan has fascinated minds in India and worldwide for millennia, for the beauty of its literary composition, for its fascinating story content as well as for faith and reverence.  It is not surprising then that the Ramayan has been translated not only into all major languages, but also into unexpected ones like Polish, Norwegian and Swedish.  What is surprising is that there are more than twice as many poetic translations/trans-compositions of the ramayan in urdu as there are of the qur’aan and that the ramayan was translated into urdu even before the qur’aan was.

 

A book “urdu meN hindu dharm” (Hindu Religion in Urdu), Ajai Malviya,  written in Urdu, catalogues in detail urdu translations of the vedas (66), ramayan (103), mahabharat (38), bhagwad gita (83), puranas (44), manu smriti (4), biography of vashisht (14) and miscellaneous other religious compositions (472) spanning about 200 years of publications.

 

Why has this significant piece of literature been relegated to a neglected and ignored heap of disdain?  This needs to be corrected.  The sheer number and the high poetic and linguistic quality of this literature surprised me as I worked to string together representative parts of urdu nazm/poems of ramayan by different poets, like pearls strung in a necklace, into a near complete story.

 

A close reading of urdu ramayan translations offers some fascinating lessons about mingling of cultures in India, the origins and “ownership” of Urdu language, the power of the pen across languages and cultures and the universality of basic human emotions.  One is struck deeply by the acceptance and seamless adoption of multiple religious traditions as indicated by the observation that many ramayan renderings (even some by hindu poets) start with “bismillah ir-rahman ir-rahim” and a “hamd” (an ode and/or expression of gratitude to god).  Since god, like language, has no religion, these odes/hamd/vandana are entirely secular/universal.

 

It is highly contentious to say that urdu is a muslim language (as if a language has religion) or even to say that urdu is a language of muslims.  There are large numbers of muslims (Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) who do not know/speak urdu.  One of the important reasons that East Pakistan separated and declared baNgladesh was that it did not want urdu to be imposed on it in preference to its own language, beNgali.

 

Of the 100 or so translations/re-compositions of the ramayan in urdu more than 80 were written/composed by hindu writers/poets.  In most, if not all cases the poets were orthodox, believing, practicing hindus.  Why were they writing the ramayan in urdu?  I speculate that there must have been a large section of literate hindu population who considered Urdu their primary language, not because of political favours but because it was naturally their language.  Some of the poets who re-composed tulsidas’ ramcharitmanas suggest that because it was written in “bhaaka or bhaasha” and not easily available to everyone.  Therefore, they translated/re-composed it in urdu, perhaps implying that this is more comprehensible than “bhaaka/bhaasha”.  Apparently by the 1800s neither avadhi nor braj bhaasha were considered a common language.  To show the role urdu played in devotional traditions of north Indian hindus, I paraphrase from a book by bishweshwar parshad munavvar, himself a poet and son of dwaarka parshad ufaq (another poet of renown, who composed a full urdu ramayan).  He writes that, because of the effort of munshi jagannath Khushtar (1809-1864) and munshi shankar dayal farhat (1843-1904) in translating hindu religious texts into urdu, the teachings of the ramayan saved the hindu religion from further decline.  Before we run away with the image of an alien force coming down to “save” hinduism, it might be useful put this quote in perspective.  We have to make an effort to understand that what he might have meant is that there was a substantial community of hindus to whom religious texts were not comprehensible because they were written either in sanskrit or avadhi while their primary language of learning was urdu.  Thus, these translations made religious texts available to them.

 

Surely these poets, most of whom were believing and observant hindus must have had an audience/readership of similarly devout believers, who revered the composition itself and must have had the linguistic finesse to enjoy its literary excellence.  It draws a picture of a large section of literate hindu population who considered urdu their primary language, not because of political favours but because it was naturally their language.  We do not have any data taken by ‘pollsters’ to show that this was the case.  But we can make some speculative estimates by numbers of publications and the content of those publications.  I am unable to compile a scholarly accounting of such magazines and the numerous contributions of urdu writers.  Suffice it to present to you names of some daily, weekly or monthly publications, “sanaatan dharm pracharak”, “tej”, “aarya veer”, “veer India”, “arya Gazette”, “bande maataram”, “jain sansaar”, “sher-e hind”, “raajput Gazette” and even “agarwal hiteshi” that were published in urdu, some as late as the 1940s.  All had editors and contributors who were hindu (at least by name).

 

The compositions and publications of urdu ramayan cover roughly 1825-1980.  These poets also wrote secular/romantic Ghazal, nazm as well as other devotional pieces to krishn, lakshmi and many others.  The question needs to be asked, but remains unanswered because of lack of documentary evidence, whether these poets, steeped in urdu poetic culture, also recited parts of the ramayan in the mushaa’era that they participated in.  What was the composition of the audience?  They also composed bhajans in urdu.  Were these bhajans sung in religious gatherings.  We know that bhajans composed by syed ibrahim ras Khan (1548-1628) in braj bhaasha, proto-urdu, are sung to this day in prayer meetings.  There is every reason to believe that urdu compositions of ramayan were also recited, heard and enjoyed in public gatherings whether they may be called mushaa’era or not.

 

Well over twenty samples from urdu ramayan composed by different poets over nearly two centuries have been selected in story sequence and strung together like the beads of a tasbiih/jap-mala.  This study of the urdu ramayan shows the versatility, beauty and power of urdu, its ownership by a wide range of communities of India, and the easy and seamless acceptance, adoption and cross pollination of one another’s traditions by all faith systems.  Alas, somewhere along the way, we have lost this unique syncretic tradition.  It is my fervent hope that such studies will contribute a little to its revival.

 

شرون کمار کی موت ۔ جوگیشور ناتھ بیتابؔ

شرون کمار اپنے بوڑھے اور اندھے ماں باپ کے لئے پانی لے رہا ہے اور دسرت شکار پہ ہیں

۱

جی سیر ہو چکا تھا غمِ روزگار سے

تھے بے نیاز گردشِ لیل و نہار سے

لگتی تھی تن میں آگ ہوائے بہار سے

ملتا تھا کچھ قرار تو سیر و شکار سے

آنکھیں سفید تھیں رُخِ فرزند کے لئے

لالے پڑے تھے جان کے دلبند کے لئے

۲

تنہا تھے ایک روز مہابن میں جلوہ گر

رنگنے کو ہاتھ خون میں، باندھے ہوئے کمر

عریاں ردائے آب میں موجیں تھیں سر بسر

یا جھاڑیوں کے جھنڈ تھے دریا کی گھاٹ پر

خلوت کی دِل میں چاہ تھی فکرِ شکار بھی

پانی کی جستجو میں تھا شرون کمار بھی

۳

خُم تھا میانِ آب کہ تھی کشتیِ شراب

موجوں میں کھلبلی تھی کہ اُترا ہے ماہتاب

چہرہ پہ تھا وہ نور کہ ہوتا تھا آب آب

خورشیدِ لالہ رنگ پسِ پردۂ سحاب

چھاگل سے منھ ملا کے ترنگیں نکل گئیں

قُل قُل کا راگ سُن کے اُمنگیں مچل گئیں

۴

فریادِ تشنگی پہ تھا تیرِ اجل رواں

لرزہ چڑھا زمین کو تھرّایا آسماں

آتے ہی رُت بہار کی بھڑکی رگِ خزاں

اندھوں کے قافلہ پہ گری برقِ خوں فشاں

صحرا میں گل کھِلا تھا جنونِ شکار کا

نقشہ کھنچا ہوا تھا دلِ بے قرار کا

۵

دل پر لگا جو تیر تو پتھرا گئی نظر

شرون تڑپ کے لوٹ گیا فرشِ خاک پر

لیکن مآلِ کار سے دشرتھ تھے بے خبر

پھینکا جدھر تھا تیر چلے آپ بھی اُدھر

کھولی سنبھل کے کُشتہ بیداد نے زباں

دانتوں سے داب داب لی سیّاد نے زباں

۶

ماتا پتا! قبول ہو شرون کی رام رام

پانی پلاؤں کیا کہ ہوا کام ہی تمام

چھاگل سے پہلے بھر دیا عمرِ رواں نے جام

قاتل کے ہاتھ بھیج رہا ہوں یہی پیام

محرومِ چشم و گوش ہیں بالیں پہ آئیں کیا

نورِ نظر کی لاش پہ آنسو بہائیں کیا

۷

مارے ہوئے ہیں پیاس کے پانی پِلائیے

اندھوں کی ڈوبتی ہوئی کشتی بچائیے

گھبرا نہ جائیں دشت میں تنہا ہیں جائیے

تکتے ہیں راہ دیر سے چھاگل اُٹھائیے

کہیئے گا فرطِ غم سے یہ بِنتی نہ ٹال دیں

چرنوں کی اپنے دھول مرے سر پہ ڈال دیں

۸

لرزاں برنگِ بید چلے بیکسوں کے پاس

بیٹھے تھے بد حواس مجسّم اُمید و یاس

آہٹ پہ دِل کے کان لگائے ہوئے اُداس

چاہا کے بڑھ کے ہاتھ میں پانی کا دیں گلاس

“شرون” ۔ ستی نے پیار سے آہٹ پہ دی صدا

“پانی” ۔ پھری جواب میں ڈوبی ہوئی صدا

۹

شرون قضا کے تیر کی ناگاہ زد پہ آئے

پتّھر کی تھی لکیر جو ہونی تھی ہائے ہائے

دشرتھ ہے بہرِ عفو یہ قدموں پہ سر چھکائے

سینہ پہ ہاتھ مار کے ناشاد بڑبڑائے

قاتل ہے نرپشاچ چٹورا ہے خون کا

پانی، نہیں نہیں یہ کٹورا ہے خون کا

۱۰

دل میں ہے تابِ ضبط نہ یارا اُمید کا

چھوٹا ہے زندگی سے سہارا امید کا

صحرا میں ٹوٹتا ہے ستارا اُمید کا

رشتہ ہوا تمام ہمارا اُمید کا

مرنا ہے پُتر شوک میں پیاسے مریں گے ہم

کل تُو بھرے گا آج کئے کو بھریں گے ہم

श्रवन कुमार की मौत – जोगेश्वर नाथ बेताब

श्रवन कुमार अपने बूढे और अंधे मां बाप के लिये पानी ले रहा था, दस्रत शिकार पर थे

जी सेर हो चुका था ग़म-ए रोज़गार से

थे बे-नियाज़ गर्दिश-ए लैल ओ नहार से

लगती थी तन में आग हवा-ए बहार से

मिलता था कुछ क़रार तो सैर ओ शिकार से

आंखें सफ़ेद थीं रुख़-ए फ़र्ज़न्द के लिये

लाले पढे थे जान के दिलबन्द के लिये

तन्हा थे एक रोज़ महाबन में जल्वा-गर

रंगने को हाथ ख़ून में बांधे हुए कमर

उर्यां रिदा-ए आब में मौजें थीं सर ब सर

या झाढियौं के झुंड थे दर्या के घाट पर

ख़ल्वत की दिल में चाह थी फ़िक्र-ए शिकार भी

पानी की जुस्तजू में था शरवन कुमार भी

ख़ुम था मियान-ए आब के थी किश्ती-ए शराब

मौजौं में खुल्बुली थी के उतरा है माहताब

चेहरे पे था वो नूर के होता था आब आब

ख़ुर्शीद-ए लाला-रंग पस-ए परदा-ए सहाब

छागल से मुंह मिला के तरंगें निकल गईं

क़ुल क़ुल का राग सुन के उमंगें मचल गईं

फ़र्याद-ए तिश्नगी पे था तीर-ए अजल रवां

लर्ज़ा चढ़ा ज़मीन को थर्राया आस्मां

आते हि रुत बहार कि भढकी रग-ए ख़िज़ां

अंधौं के क़ाफ़ले पे गिरी बर्क़-ए ख़ूं-फ़शां

सहरा में गुल खिला था जुनून-ए शिकार का

नक़्शा खिंचा हुआ था दिल-ए बेक़रार का

दिल पर लगा जो तीर तो पथ्रा गई नज़र

शरवन तढप के लोट गया फ़र्श-ए ख़ाक पर

लैकिन म’आल-ए कार से दश्रथ थे बेख़बर

फैंका जिधर था तीर चले आप भी उधर

खोली संभल के कुश्ता-ए बेदाद ने ज़बां

दांतौं से दाब दाब ली सय्याद ने ज़बां

माता पिता! क़ुबूल हो शरवन कि राम राम

पानी पिलाऊं क्या के हुआ काम ही तमाम

छागल से पहले भर दिया उम्र-ए रवां ने जाम

क़ातिल के हाथ भेज रहा हूं यही पयाम

महरूम-ए चश्म ओ गोश हैं बालीं पे आएं क्या

नूर-ए नज़र की लाश पे आंसू बहाएं क्या

मारे हुए हैं प्यास के पानी पिलाइये

अंधौं की डूब्ती हुई किश्ती बचाइये

घबरा न जाएं दश्त में तन्हा हैं जाइये

तक्ते हैं राह देर से छागल उठाइये

कहियेगा फ़र्त-ए ग़म से ये बिंती न टाल दें

चरनौं कि अपने धूल मेरे सर पे डाल दें

लर्ज़ां ब-रंग-ए बेद चले बेकसौं के पास

बैठे थे बदहवास मुजस्सम उमीद ओ यास

आहट पे दिल के कान लगाए हुए उदास

चाहा के बढ़ के हाथ में पानी का दें गिलास

‘शरवन’- सती ने प्यार से आहट पे दी सदा

‘पानी’ – फिरी जवाब में डूबी हुई सदा

शरवन क़ज़ा के तीर कि नागाह ज़द पे आए

पत्थर कि थी लकीर जो होनी थी हाए हाए

दश्रथ है बहर-ए उफ़्व ये क़द्मौं पे सर झुकाए

सीने पे हाथ मार के नाशाद बढबढाए

क़ातिल है नरपिशाच चटोरा है क़ून का

पानी, नहीं नहीं, ये कटोरा है ख़ून का

१०

दिल में है ताब-ए ज़ब्त न यारा उमीद का

छूटा है ज़िन्दगी से सहारा उमीद का

सहरा में टूटता है सितारा उमीद का

रिश्ता हुआ तमाम हमारा उमीद का

मरना हे पुत्र-शोक में प्यासे मरेंगे हम

कल तू भरेगा आज किये को भरेंगे हम

 

Click here for background and on any passage for word meanings and explanatory discussion. jogeshwar naath betaab barelavi, BA, LLB, composed ramayan in urdu and entitled it ‘amar kahaani’ as memorial to his young son amar who died when he was only 8 years old. The book was published in 1949. This segment is the story of how dasrath killed shravan by mistake and was cursed by his old, blind parents to similarly suffer the sorrow of separation from his son.

shravan kumar came to the river to fetch water, dasrath was hunting and mistakenly killed him.  His blind parents curse him that he would die of sorrow of separation from his son.

1
jii saer1 ho chuka tha Gham-e rozgaar2 se

the be-niyaaz3 gardish4-e lail5 o nehaar6 se

lagti thi tan meN aag havaa-e bahaar se

milta tha kuchh qaraar7 to sayr o shikaar se

aaNkheN safed thiiN ruKh8-e farzand9 ke liye

laale paRe the jaan ke dilband10 ke liye     1.fulfilled, satisfied 2.daily life 3.unconcerned, unmindful 4.movement, passing 5.night 6.day 7.comfort 8.face 9.son 10.progeny, son

His (dasrath’s) heart was tired of the concerns of daily life. He grew unmindful of the passing of nights and days. Even comfortable spring winds set his body of fire. If he could get any comfort, it was in adventure and hunting. His eyes had lost their lustre looking for the face of a son. His life was turned topsy turvy for a son.
2
tanha1 the ek roz mahaban2 meN jalva-gar3
raNgne ko haath Khoon meN baandhe hue kamar
uriyaaN4 rida-e-aab5 meN maujeN thiiN sar-ba-sar6
ya jhaaRiyoN ke jhunD7 the darya ke ghaaT par
Khalwat8 ki dil meN chaah thi, fikr-e-shikaar9 bhi
paani ki justaju10 meN that sharvan kumaar bhi   
1.alone 2.big forest 3.manifest, seen 4.naked 5.shawl/veil over water 6.head to head, one after the other 7.grove 8.seclusion, hiding 9.eagerness to hunt 10.search
dasrath was by himself in the big jungle in all his glory. Girding his loins (determined) to dip his hands in blood (hunt). The picture is of river/water with a veil over which. In spite of the veil the waves were ‘naked’ i.e. waves were so high, could be seen. Thick groves to trees on the shore. He wanted to remain hidden and was eager to hunt. shravan kumaar was out looking for water (to take to his parents).

3
Khum1 tha miyaan2-e aab3 ke thi kishti-e-sharaab4
maujoN meN khulbuli thi ke utra hai maahtaab5
chehre6 pe tha vo noor7 ke hota tha aab-aab8
Khursheed9-e laala-raNg10 pas11-e parda-e sahaab12
chhaagal13 se muNh mila ke taraNgeN nikal gaiiN
qul-qul14 ka raag sun ke umaNgeN machal gaiiN   
1.pot 2.middle 3.water 4.flask of wine 5.full moon 6.face 7.glow 8.ashamed 9.sun 10.tulip coloured, red 11.behind 12.cloud 13.water bag 14.gurgling sound
The pot of water was in the middle of the river like a boat/flask of wine. sharvan kumaar was handsome like the moon. His face glowed and waves were all eager when they thought that the moon had descended to the water. The red sun was shame-faced, hiding behind a cloud (because shravan kumaar was more glorious than him). When the mouth of the water bag reached water it burst into song. The sound of gurgling was a source of joy/pleasure.

4
faryaad-e-tishnagi1 pe tha tiir-e-ajal2 ravaaN3
larza4 chaRha zamin ko, thharraaya aasmaN
aate hi rut5 bahaar ki bhaRki rag-e-KhizaaN6
andhoN ke qaafile7 pe giri barq8-e KhooN-fashaaN9
sahra10 meN gul-khila11 tha junoon-e-shikaar12 ka
naqsha13 khincha hua tha dil-e be-qaraar14 ka    
1.cry of thirst 2.arrow of death 3.go/fly towards 4.shivering 5.season 6.vein of drought 7.traveling group 8.lightning 9.blood spattering 10.wilderness 11.expression meaning make mischief, cause trouble 12.madness of hunt 13.picture 14.restlessness
The arrow of death flew towards the cry of thirst (the gurgling sound). Because dasrath was hiding, there was a grove of trees and he could not see, he shot his arrow at the sound. The earth shivered and the sky trembled. Drought came to life (throbbing vein) as soon as spring arrived i.e. sharvan kumaar died as soon as he came of age. Blood spattering lightning struck the group of blind travelers (shravan kumaar’s parents were blind). He was the very picture of his restless/sorrowful heart (he had left his parents behind to fetch water).

5
dil par laga jo tiir to pathhra gaii nazar
sharvan taRap ke loT gaya farsh-e-Khaak1 par
laikin m’aal-e-kaar2 se dashrath the be-Khabar3
phaiNka jidhar tha tiir chale aap bhi udhar
kholi sambhal ke kushta4-e be-daad5 ne zabaaN
daaNtoN se daab daab li sayyaad6 ne zabaaN   
1.floor of dirt, bare earth 2.consequence of deed 3.unaware 4.killed, victim 5.cruelty 6.hunter
The arrow pierced the heart and his eyes lost their lustre. shravan rolled on earth in pain. But dasrath was unaware of the consequences of his deed. He went towards where the arrow was shot. The victim recovered enough to speak. The hunter bit his lip is distress.

6
maata, pita! qubool1 ho sharvan ki raam-raam2
pani pilaauN kya, ke hua kaam hi tamaam
chhaagal3 se pahle bhar diya umr-e-ravaaN4 ne jaam5
qaatil6 ke haath bhej raha huN yahi payaam7
mahroom8-e chashm9 o gosh10 haiN baaliiN11 pe aayeN kya
noor-e-nazar12 ki laash13 pe aaNsu bahaa’eN kya    
1.accept 2.good bye 3.water bag 4.passing life 5.cup 6.killer 7.message 8.deprived 9.eyes 10.ears 11.head/beside of a prone/dying person 12.light of eyes, beloved child 13.corpse
O, father, mother, accept the farewell message of shravan. How can I give you water, that I am dying. Even before I could fill the water bag, the cup of life was filled. I am sending you this message through the killer. You have now eyes, how can you come to my death bed. How can you attend to the corpse of your beloved child.

7
maare hue haiN pyaas ke paani pilaaiiye

andhoN ki Doobti hui kishti bachaaiiye

ghabra na jaayeN dasht1 meN tanha2 haiN jaaiiye

takte haiN raah der se chhaagal3 uThaaiiye

kahiyega fart4-e Gham se ye binti5 na Taal deN

charnoN6 ki apne dhool mere sar pe Daal deN    1.wilderness 2.alone 3.water bag 4.excess 5.appeal, request 6.feet

The dying shravan kumaar is concerned about his blind parents and asks dasrath to take water to them because they are very thirsty. Save the sinking boat of these blind people, he asks him. They are alone in this wilderness and might get scared. They have been looking intently at the path i.e. waiting eagerly (not literally looking – they are blind), take this water bag. Tell them not to ignore my appeal in the excess of grief. Ask them to sprinkle the dust of their feet on my head (as a blessing).
8
larzaN1 ba-raNg2-e bayd3 chale bekasauN4 ke paas

baiThe the bad’havaas5 mujassam6 umeed7 o yaas8

aahaT pe dil ke kaan lagaaye hue udaas

chaaha ke baRh ke haath meN paani ka deN gilaas

‘sharvan’ – sati9 ne pyaar se aahaT pe dii sada10

‘paani’ – phiri javaab meN Doobi11 hui sada     1.tremblind 2.similar to 3.slender cane/bamboo 4.helpless 5.confused, lost 6.embodiment 7.hope 8.yearning 9.used here to mean shravan kumaar’s mother, although her name was gyaneshwari 10.call 11.sinking, low

Trembling like a thin bamboo cane dasrath came near the helpless ones. They sat, lost in thought, the embodiment of hope and yearning. They looked sad, their ears, with all their heart, intent upon every sound. He wanted to offer them a glass of water. Upon hearing the sound of his footstep the mother called out lovingly, “sharvan”. “Water”, dasrath replied in a sinking voice.
9
sharvan qaza1 ke tiir ki naagaah2 zad3 pe aaye

patthar ki thi lakiir jo honi thi haye haye

dasrath hai bahr4-e ufv5 ye qadmoN6 pe sar jhukaaye

seene pe haath maar ke naashaad7 baRbaRaaye8

qaatil9 hai narpishaach10, chaTora11 hai Khoon ka

paani, nahiN nahiN, ye kaTora hai Khoon ka    1.death 2.suddenly, unintended 3.domain, target 4.for the sake of 5.forgiveness 6.feet 7.sorrowful 8.mumbled 9.killer 10.beastly 11.licking, thirsty

sharvan became the unintended target of the arrow of death. This fate was carved in stone and had to happen. dasrath comes to you asking for forgiveness, bowing at you feet, he beat his chest and mumbled. This killer is beastly, thirsty for blood. Water, no! no! this is a bowl of blood.
10
dil meN hai taab-e-zabt1 na yaara2 umeed3 ka
chhooTa hai zindagi se sahaara umeed ka
sahra4 meN TooTta hai sitaara umeed ka
marna hai putr-shok5 meN pyaase mareNge hum
kal tu bharega aaj kiye ko bhareNge hum   
1.ability to bear 2.friendship 3.hope 4.wilderness, jungle 5.sorrow for son
dasrath conveys the message. The blind parents refuse the offer of water … our hearts cannot bear this, we have no hope. We have lost the only support we had. In this jungle our shooting star (bad omen) has fallen. We have to die grieving for our son. We will die thirsty. We are bearing separation from a son today, tomorrow, you will suffer too.

jogeshwar naath betaab barelavi, BA, LLB, composed ramayan in urdu and entitled it ‘amar kahaani’ as memorial to his young son amar who died when he was only 8 years old.  The book was published in 1949.  This segment is the story of how dasrath killed shravan by mistake and was cursed by his old, blind parents to similarly suffer the sorrow of separation from his son.

1

jii saer1 ho chuka tha Gham-e rozgaar2 se

the be-niyaaz3 gardish4-e lail5 o nehaar6 se

lagti thi tan meN aag havaa-e bahaar se

milta tha kuchh qaraar7 to sayr o shikaar se

aaNkheN safed thiiN ruKh8-e farzand9 ke liye

laale paRe the jaan ke dilband10 ke liye

 

1.fulfilled, satisfied 2.daily life 3.unconcerned, unmindful 4.movement, passing 5.night 6.day 7.comfort 8.face 9.son 10.progeny, son

 

His (dasrath’s) heart was tired of the concerns of daily life.  He grew unmindful of the passing of nights and days.  Even comfortable spring winds set his body of fire.  If he could get any comfort, it was in adventure and hunting.  His eyes had lost their lustre looking for the face of a son.  His life was turned topsy turvy for a son.
2
tanha1 the ek roz mahaban2 meN jalva-gar3
raNgne ko haath Khoon meN baandhe hue kamar
uriyaaN4 rida-e-aab5 meN maujeN thiiN sar-ba-sar6
ya jhaaRiyoN ke jhunD7 the darya ke ghaaT par
Khalwat8 ki dil meN chaah thi, fikr-e-shikaar9 bhi
paani ki justaju10 meN that sharvan kumaar bhi

1.alone 2.big forest 3.manifest, seen 4.naked 5.shawl/veil over water 6.head to head, one after the other 7.grove 8.seclusion, hiding 9.eagerness to hunt 10.search

dasrath was by himself in the big jungle in all his glory.  Girding his loins (determined) to dip his hands in blood (hunt).  The picture is of river/water with a veil over which.  In spite of the veil the waves were ‘naked’ i.e. waves were so high, could be seen.  Thick groves to trees on the shore.  He wanted to remain hidden and was eager to hunt.  shravan kumaar was out looking for water (to take to his parents).
3
Khum1 tha miyaan2-e aab3 ke thi kishti-e-sharaab4
maujoN meN khulbuli thi ke utra hai maahtaab5
chehre6 pe tha vo noor7 ke hota tha aab-aab8
Khursheed9-e laala-raNg10 pas11-e parda-e sahaab12
chhaagal13 se muNh mila ke taraNgeN nikal gaiiN
qul-qul14 ka raag sun ke umaNgeN machal gaiiN

1.pot 2.middle 3.water 4.flask of wine 5.full moon 6.face 7.glow 8.ashamed 9.sun 10.tulip coloured, red 11.behind 12.cloud 13.water bag 14.gurgling sound

The pot of water was in the middle of the river like a boat/flask of wine.  sharvan kumaar was handsome like the moon.  His face glowed and waves were all eager when they thought that the moon had descended to the water.  The red sun was shame-faced, hiding behind a cloud (because shravan kumaar was more glorious than him).  When the mouth of the water bag reached water it burst into song.  The sound of gurgling was a source of joy/pleasure.
4
faryaad-e-tishnagi1 pe tha tiir-e-ajal2 ravaaN3
larza4 chaRha zamin ko, thharraaya aasmaN
aate hi rut5 bahaar ki bhaRki rag-e-KhizaaN6
andhoN ke qaafile7 pe giri barq8-e KhooN-fashaaN9
sahra10 meN gul-khila11 tha junoon-e-shikaar12 ka
naqsha13 khincha hua tha dil-e be-qaraar14 ka

1.cry of thirst 2.arrow of death 3.go/fly towards 4.shivering 5.season 6.vein of drought 7.traveling group 8.lightning 9.blood spattering 10.wilderness 11.expression meaning make mischief, cause trouble 12.madness of hunt 13.picture 14.restlessness

The arrow of death flew towards the cry of thirst (the gurgling sound).  Because dasrath was hiding, there was a grove of trees and he could not see, he shot his arrow at the sound.  The earth shivered and the sky trembled.  Drought came to life (throbbing vein) as soon as spring arrived i.e. sharvan kumaar died as soon as he came of age.  Blood spattering lightning struck the group of blind travelers (shravan kumaar’s parents were blind).  He was the very picture of his restless/sorrowful heart (he had left his parents behind to fetch water).
5
dil par laga jo tiir to pathhra gaii nazar
sharvan taRap ke loT gaya farsh-e-Khaak1 par
laikin m’aal-e-kaar2 se dashrath the be-Khabar3
phaiNka jidhar tha tiir chale aap bhi udhar
kholi sambhal ke kushta4-e be-daad5 ne zabaaN
daaNtoN se daab daab li sayyaad6 ne zabaaN

1.floor of dirt, bare earth 2.consequence of deed 3.unaware 4.killed, victim 5.cruelty 6.hunter

The arrow pierced the heart and his eyes lost their lustre. shravan rolled on earth in pain.  But dasrath was unaware of the consequences of his deed.  He went towards where the arrow was shot.  The victim recovered enough to speak.  The hunter bit his lip is distress.
6
maata, pita! qubool1 ho sharvan ki raam-raam2
pani pilaauN kya, ke hua kaam hi tamaam
chhaagal3 se pahle bhar diya umr-e-ravaaN4 ne jaam5
qaatil6 ke haath bhej raha huN yahi payaam7
mahroom8-e chashm9 o gosh10 haiN baaliiN11 pe aayeN kya
noor-e-nazar12 ki laash13 pe aaNsu bahaa’eN kya

1.accept 2.good bye 3.water bag 4.passing life 5.cup 6.killer 7.message 8.deprived 9.eyes 10.ears 11.head/beside of a prone/dying person 12.light of eyes, beloved child 13.corpse

O, father, mother, accept the farewell message of shravan.  How can I give you water, that I am dying.  Even before I could fill the water bag, the cup of life was filled.  I am sending you this message through the killer.  You have no eyes, how can you come to my death bed.  How can you attend to the corpse of your beloved child.
7

maare hue haiN pyaas ke paani pilaaiiye

andhoN ki Doobti hui kishti bachaaiiye

ghabra na jaayeN dasht1 meN tanha2 haiN jaaiiye

takte haiN raah der se chhaagal3 uThaaiiye

kahiyega fart4-e Gham se ye binti5 na Taal deN

charnoN6 ki apne dhool mere sar pe Daal deN

 

1.wilderness 2.alone 3.water bag 4.excess 5.appeal, request 6.feet

 

The dying shravan kumaar is concerned about his blind parents and asks dasrath to take water to them because they are very thirsty.  Save the sinking boat of these blind people, he asks him.  They are alone in this wilderness and might get scared.  They have been looking intently at the path i.e. waiting eagerly (not literally looking – they are blind), take this water bag.  Tell them not to ignore my appeal in the excess of grief.  Ask them to sprinkle the dust of their feet on my head (as a blessing).

8

larzaN1 ba-raNg2-e bayd3 chale bekasauN4 ke paas

baiThe the bad’havaas5 mujassam6 umeed7 o yaas8

aahaT pe dil ke kaan lagaaye hue udaas

chaaha ke baRh ke haath meN paani ka deN gilaas

‘sharvan’ – sati9 ne pyaar se aahaT pe dii sada10

‘paani’ – phiri javaab meN Doobi11 hui sada

 

1.tremblind 2.similar to 3.slender cane/bamboo 4.helpless 5.confused, lost 6.embodiment 7.hope 8.yearning 9.used here to mean shravan kumaar’s mother, although her name was gyaneshwari 10.call 11.sinking, low

 

Trembling like a thin bamboo cane dasrath came near the helpless ones.  They sat, lost in thought, the embodiment of hope and yearning.  They looked sad, their ears, with all their heart, intent upon every sound.  He wanted to offer them a glass of water.  Upon hearing the sound of his footstep the mother called out lovingly, “sharvan”.  “Water”, dasrath replied in a sinking voice.

9

sharvan qaza1 ke tiir ki naagaah2 zad3 pe aaye

patthar ki thi lakiir jo honi thi haye haye

dasrath hai bahr4-e ufv5 ye qadmoN6 pe sar jhukaaye

seene pe haath maar ke naashaad7 baRbaRaaye8

qaatil9 hai narpishaach10, chaTora11 hai Khoon ka

paani, nahiN nahiN, ye kaTora hai Khoon ka

 

1.death 2.suddenly, unintended 3.domain, target 4.for the sake of 5.forgiveness 6.feet 7.sorrowful 8.mumbled 9.killer 10.beastly 11.licking, thirsty

 

sharvan became the unintended target of the arrow of death.  This fate was carved in stone and had to happen.  dasrath comes to you asking for forgiveness, bowing at you feet, he beat his chest and mumbled.  This killer is beastly, thirsty for blood.  Water, no! no! this is a bowl of blood.

10
dil meN hai taab-e-zabt1 na yaara2 umeed3 ka
chhooTa hai zindagi se sahaara umeed ka
sahra4 meN TooTta hai sitaara umeed ka
marna hai putr-shok5 meN pyaase mareNge hum
kal tu bharega aaj kiye ko bhareNge hum

1.ability to bear 2.friendship 3.hope 4.wilderness, jungle 5.sorrow for son

dasrath conveys the message.  The blind parents refuse the offer of water … our hearts cannot bear this, we have no hope.  We have lost the only support we had.  In this jungle our shooting star (bad omen) has fallen.  We have to die grieving for our son.  We will die thirsty.  We are bearing separation from a son today, tomorrow, you will suffer too.

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