15. Kishkindha Kanda…Ati Kripal Raghubeer Subhavu

SreeRam

Ram kaha anujahi samuchhayi/ Raj dehu Sugreevahi jaayi//

Raghupathy charan nayi kari maadha/ Chale sakal prerit Raghunaadha//

 

Then Lord SreeRam asked his younger brother Laxman to coronate Sugreev as the King. Following the Lord’s exhortation, everyone paid obeisance to Him and left the place.

*

Doha

Lacchiman turat bolaye purjan bipra samaj/

Raju deenh Sugreev kah Angad kah jubraj//

Laxmanji immediately convened a meeting of all citizens and the Brahmins. He coronated Sugreev as the King, and made Angad the crown prince (yuvraj).

*

Uma Ram sam hit jag maahim/ Guru pitu matu bandhu prabhu naahim//

Sur nar muni sab kai yeh reethy/ Swardh laagi karhi sab preethy//

Hey Uma! ( Says Lord Shiv) In the world, there is no one like SreeRam who always does good to everyone- no Guru, father, mother, relative or mentor will be as well wishing as Him. Whether it is Gods, Humans or Sages, typically everyone is selfishly motivated and acts pleasingly from his or her self-interest.

*

Baali thraas byakul din raathy/Tan bahu bran chintham jar chaathy//

Soyi Sugreev keenh kapiravu/ Athi kripal Raghubeer subhavu//

 

Sugreev, who used to be terribly afraid of Bali both night and day, whose body was full of grievous wounds, whose chest would burn due to anxiety always, The Lord made that very Sugreev the King of the Monkeys! SreeRamji is extremely compassionate in nature.

*

Jaanathu as Prabhu pariharahaim/Kahe na bipati jaal nar parahim//

Puni Sugreevahi leenh bolayi/Bahu prakaar nripneethi sikhayi//

Those who do not seek the protection of such a Lord (those who let go of such a Lord), it is but obvious that they will get trapped in the illusionary traps of this mortal world. Lord Ram called Sugreev to his side and taught him the various wise principles of Ruling (Art of ruling).

*

Kah Prabhu sunu Sugreev hareesa/ Pur na jaavu das chaari bareesa//

Gat greesham barsha ritu aayi/ Rahihavu nikat sail par chhaayi//

Then the Lord said-Hey King of the monkeys, Sugreev! I shall not be returning to my home for the next fourteen years. The summer has passed and the rains have begun. I shall reside in the mountain nearby.

*

Angad sahit karahu tumh raaju/ Santat hridayam dharehu mam kaaju//

Jab Sugreev bhavan phiri aaye/Ramu Prabhashan giri par chhaye//

You rule the kingdom along with Angad. Keep my work in your heart at all time. When Sugreevji returned to his abode, the Lord went to the mountain called Prabharshan and took up residence there.

*

Doha:

Pradhamahim  devanah giri guha rakhevu ruchir banaayi/

Ram kripanidhi kacchu din bas karahinge aayi//

The Gods had already made a cave  in that mountain  beautifully suitable for the Lord’s rest. They had known that SreeRamji would be staying for a few days therein.

 

*

Kishkindha Kanda-14 Ab Nadh Kari Karuna

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Ab nadh kari karuna bilokahu dehu jo bar magahu//

Jehim joni janmau karma bas tah Ram pad anuragavu//

Yeh tanay mam sam binay bal kalyanprad prabhu lijiye/

Gahi bah sur nar nah aapan das Angad kijiye//

Hey Lord! Take compassion on me and grant me a boon that I seek . In whichever womb that I shall be born again, grace me with eternal devotion to Your feet!  Hey Lord of plentiful grace! Here is my son Angad: equal to me in strength and character. Accept him as your own protege. Lord of men and gods!  Embrace him, and make him your devoted servant.

*

Doha:

Ram charan drid preeti kari Bali keenh tanu tyag/

Suman mal jimi kand te girat na jaanayi naag//

As effortlessly as a flower garland slips off the neck of an elephant, Bali’s life spirit became wholly attached to the Lord and he relinquished his mortal body.

*

Ram Bali nij dham padava/ Nagar log sab byakul dhava//

Nana bidhi bilaap kar Tara/ Choote kes na deh sambhaala//

Sriramji send Bali to Param Dham: The abode of Vishnu. All the citizens, hearing news of their Raja’s demise, raced towards the spot. Queen Tara, was wailing desperately; her hair was loose and her body was trembling…( She was not in control of her own senses due to her intense grief)

*

Tara bikal dekhi Raghuraya/ Deenh gyan hari leenhi maya//

Chiti jal paavak gagan sameera/ Panch rachit ati adham sareera//

Seeing the grief of Tara, Sriramji guided her with wise words and helped her to overcome her ignorance. ( The Lord pointed out the illusionary nature of the universe)

He said: This extremely vulnerable body has been made from five elements- earth,water,fire,sky and air.

*

Pragat so tanu tav aagem sova/ Jeev nitya kehi lagi tumh rova//

Upja gyan charan tab laagi/Leenhesi param bhagati bar maagi//

The body  (of Bali) is seemingly sleeping in front of you but his soul is eternal. So what are you wailing for? When Tara’s inner eyes opened, she cast herself onto the Lord’s feet and prayed for unending devotion to the Lord.

*

Uma daru joshit ki naayi/ Sabahi nachavat Ramu gosayi//

Tab Sugreevahi aayasu deenha/ Mritak karma bidhivat sab keenha//

Lord Shiv says: Hey Uma! See how the Lord makes everyone dance like a puppet!

Afterwards, SreeRamji ordered Sugreev to conduct all rites of death of his brother Bali.

*

 

Heralding The New Year With Light

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http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/books/books-highlights-of-2018

And yes! In the fiction list for 2018, you find K R Meera’s novel, published by Penguin.

‘The Unseeing Idol of Light’

Translated by Yours Truly.

I remember reading aloud the first paragraph in  translation to my brother in December 2015. It was  one of the toughest phases of my life.

He smiled and said that it was beautiful. He also said that I would overcome the challenges.

From my side, this translation is dedicated to my  beloved brother.

Thank you. Both your predictions came true. It turned into a beautiful book. And yes, the darkness went away.

May glorious, lovely light spread out in all our lives.

May words thrive and flourish.

May we constantly improve in character and outlook, generosity and perspective.

May we learn to look at life anew, this New Year.

****

A Garland of Anecdotes…

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‘When in doubt, follow your nose’. That was Gandalf speaking, not me.

Introducing a child to the marvellous world of Tolkien, C.S.Lewis, M.R.James  and their ilk is an adventure in itself.  One is amazed at how much joy is out there, if only one reaches out!

True to all children, my young daughter sniffed haughtily when I suggested that we watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.’ I have seen Legolas already. I also remember orcs and dwarfs,’ she said, remembering ‘The Hobbit’ series.  Besides, whatever Amma suggests, should be treated first with a sniff.

True to all mothers, I ignored her upturned nose royally, and played the movie. Fifteen minutes into it, she snuggled closer. When the bed time came, she protested that it was unfair: she had to go to bed when the Nazgul chief – The witch king of Angmar- had just stabbed Frodo with his evil blade. I grinned and extended the bed time allowance till Frodo reached Rivendell safe.

Suffice to say that by this week, she knows everything about everybody in the Tolkien trilogy. My next attempt is to get her read the original. Her sister has taken the tome with her to University, so little girl waits patiently for the Return of the Book.

Meanwhile I got her ‘ The Hobbit’.

**

I am charmed by the quality of authenticity in people. Human beings who remain grounded in spite of what this worldly life had showered them with- both good and bad and all in between.

So this brilliant editor offers to read through my translation of vernacular poetry and give his feedback. He is kind enough to appreciate the few lines that I quote to him. I reflect on the quality of humility that binds both him and the original writer of the poetry.

In a few months’  time, we will see a poetry book in English take shape: thanks to a Bengali editor who gave feedback to poems that were originally written in Malayalam. It shall be published in Hindi heart-land.

A garland made of languages. The bridge to accessing human thoughts and becoming better versions of ourselves.

**

 

A View From Within

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It started with a birthday gift. A book of poetry in my mother tongue. Today, I am part of another journey because of it.An anthology – a collection of selected writings that have been translated into English- is now taking form. I hope it gives joy and serenity to the readers when published.

Another wonderful translation project of a novel is taking off. The title and blurb are being discussed. The excitement of another intellectual adventure is giving me wings! The edits will begin soon. The searching for words : which will capture nuances, accommodate different reading sensibilities, transcend language barriers, convey scalpel sharp emotions, and yet remain unique!

Answering the intelligent questions of multiple editors, defending the choice of phrase or giving way gracefully, listening to the concerns of the author as her beloved child enters into a different world( Will she stumble? Will she float? Will she walk and run at ease into the readers’ heart?)….these are the challenges known only to a translator. Sometimes I reflect that being mother to two daughters- strong, self willed, opposite as chalk and cheese- has prepared me for this role. You should have no ego when it comes to this assignment. You just let the words flow through you, with a silent prayer.

My friends often ask me about how I find time to do my  translation assignments.  My answer is simple. It gives me joy, so I find the time. It energises me, so I often run to it. It is incredibly fulfilling, so it is worth the effort.

Actually, if you sit before a 200 paged novel and dream of translating it at one go, it will never happen. But if you decide to take one paragraph at a time, and one page at a time….then the mind becomes confident. It is all about our perception after all.

‘So, why don’t you write your own books?’  I grin and say that I translate better than I write! Believe me, I have tried both. The  reviews and the award long/shortlists came faster with the former!

Besides, have you ever tried to get inside another’s head? It is akin to a Psychologist’s job! And so, I translate! 😀

***

Poems of Pain : Prof VeeranKutty ( Translation from Malayalam)

  1.  Your Life

The plant that has grown

Over your burial site,

Is resplendent with flowers!

I cannot believe

That you went back

With so many love- secrets.

**

2. Forgetfulness

The Secret which I kept

For your ears

Was lifted away by the breeze.

Wonder on which branch

It has kept it dangling!

In what fire has it got scorched?

Where is the earth,

Which has buried it deep?

What was the secret

That I had kept for

Your ears?

Well, now it seems

You will have to remind me

Of it

Yourself.

**

3. Confrontation

I cannot bear to look

At that emptiness

That was left behind,

When you went away.

How am I supposed

To confront

The void

Which is growing

To your proportions

Over there?

**

4. Unspoken

I might die

In the contraction and dilation

Caused

By the word

That you left unspoken-

Even when  life

Was  being snuffed out of you.

**

5. Loveless

Without love,

The body becomes

The most unyielding tree

Ever.

Though the lips may struggle to sculpt,

It simply does not oblige:

Refuses to transform into an idol.

**

 

 

 

Poems of Sagacity : Prof Veerankutty,(Translation from Malayalam)

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1. For You

**

It is good,

That God  has kept

My mind

In an unseen place.

Even you  won’t be able to discern,

The love I have,

( For you, dearest)

Which is hidden inside it.

**

2. On Aging

**

On aging,

My words shall not

Regret painfully-

That they have to

Recline forever

Inside

A dictionary.

After all,

The memory of having spent

Their youth

Indulging in poems

( About you, dearest)

Is constantly with them.

**

3. Till The World Ends

**

Language was drawing

Its very last life- breath.

Then

Someone whispered,

‘ I love you.’

And  the heart beat

Started again.

The heels pulsed with

Energy,

To leap

Till the world’s end.

**

4. Dying

**

Dying

Is like the parting of ways

After a  lover’s tiff:

Shall never disclose

Where it is headed for.

**

5.  The Secret

**

What the Rain was shy to reveal,

Was written  down by the Lightning.

But Thunder turned out

To be a tactless confidante!

Blurted it all,

Noisily

To everyone.

**

6.  With God

No lightning flash,

Or any lit lamp,

Hereabouts.

Then from where

Has this light arisen?

Look-

When no one is around,

An infant in the cradle

Is gleefully playing

With God!

**

7. The Fence

**

Behold!

The thorny fence

Has sprouted flowers:

Much loftier

Than all the  hate-filled sounds

We made

Over that border!

**

8.  Love-Grape

How bitterly

You rued

The day when you

Got a pimple

On your face!

I longingly looked on,

As sweetness welled within,

At that

Love- grape

Ripened by God.

**

9. Visit

**

Like sunshine  falling on water

You entered my life.

Like the dew drop on a leaf

You left me behind too.

Yet I am grateful to you-

For those few moments of togetherness:

When you made our embrace,

Look like pure crystal.

**

10. Corrigendum

**

What I had perceived

While staring at the darkness

Turned to be all lies.

The light

Revealed the truth.

**