സുഗത കുമാരി ടീച്ചറുടെ ചില കവിതകൾ…
സുഗത കുമാരി ടീച്ചറുടെ ചില കവിതകൾ…
“Minda-Praani” , a poem by Prof. Veeran Kutty
( This poem won the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award recently)
Translation from Malayalam:
It is very convenient-
That the Dead shall not rise again.
Treat them with utmost disregard,
They will not raise a whimper.
That guy in the mortuary,
Who cracks open the skull
With a hammer,
He gives a damn
That it was once a man.
The lad in the stone quarry,
Will display more care and compassion.
Inside the gaping stomach,
Brains, liver and the ilk are dumped
Before the sewing: a sight to watch!
School kids will stitch up a torn ball
Better than that.
Anyone, can commit any atrocity,
On those bereft of refuge, right?
The House of the Dead
Can be identified by the tent
In the front yard.
Someone will drag an old, greying tarpaulin,
Someone else will stretch it haphazardly:
The edges and corners all awry.
The effrontery is because
The one to take umbrage has left.
The play tents made by kids will have more finesse.
It was his last chance to lie
That was snuffed out with two white drapes.
How resplendent he was during his wedding!
Never would a guest feel unwelcome in his home,
A more generous host was hard to find.
What of it, anyway?
Those who came to see him for the last time
Were offered neither a seat
Nor a drop of water.
While digging the grave, why was there
No space left for him
To turn on his side at least?
Who knows how long he has to be in there?
The relief that he has finally departed
Shall be celebrated by serving payasam*,
During the Feast for the Dead.
Everyone is busy competing
In his name,
To do all that he abhorred.
No wonder then,
That the Dead never return.
Payasam: a special sweet gruel made of milk, jaggery or semolina, cashew nuts, raisins et al.
പണ്ട് കവി പാടിയത് പോലെ ചില സത്യങ്ങൾക്കു വയസ്സില്ല.
സുഗത കുമാരി ടീച്ചറുടെ ചില പഴയ കവിതകൾ കാലിക പ്രസക്തിയോടെ ഇന്നും വഴി കാട്ടുന്നു.
ഗാന്ധിജിയെ കുറിച്ച് ” മറക്കാതിരിക്കട്ടേ” (1969 ),
അധികാര ദുർമ്മോഹങ്ങളുടെ അധഃപതനം എന്നും പഠിപ്പിച്ച ഷെല്ലിയുടെ “Ozymandias” ഇന്റെ വിവർത്തനം (1964) ,
പെൺകുട്ടികൾ നേരിടുന്ന ചൂഷണത്തെ, അവർക്ക് പഠിക്കാൻ അവസരങ്ങൾ കൊടുക്കേണ്ടതിനെ പറ്റിയെഴുതിയ ‘സാരേ ജഹാൻ സെ അച്ഛാ’ (1986),
മരങ്ങളെ സ്നേഹിക്കുന്നതിനെ കുറിച്ചെഴുതിയ , പ്രകൃതി ക്ഷോഭത്തെ പറ്റി പണ്ടേ ധ്വനിപ്പിച്ച ” മരത്തിനു സ്തുതി” (1980).
കവിതയെ ബഹുമാനിക്കാൻ പഠിപ്പിച്ച എൻ്റെ പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട സ്കൂൾ/കോളേജ് അധ്യാപകർക്ക് നന്ദി. ജീവിതത്തിൽ പലപ്പോഴും ശക്തി നൽകിയ, ഒരു “survival tool” കൂടിയായി മാറിയ പാഠമാണത്.
Let us bow before our mother tongues in the International Year of Indigenous Languages….
മധുരമാമെൻ മാതൃഭാഷയ്ക്കു പ്രണാമം!
(Translation of ‘Bookkukal Bhayankara Majaya adhava Anthuchayante Kroora Krityam )
‘The Joy of Books’ Aka ‘The Cruel Deed of Abdullah’
By P.V. Shaji Kumar
After securing my bachelor’s degree, I was caught in a phase of purposelessness for a while. It was during such a juncture that I received a call from Mani (whom I called Maniyettan with due affection), who was the President of the District Students Union.
‘Eda, you need to take bail very quickly!’
The background can be succinctly stated thus: In front of the Nalanda Resort, there was a skirmish between the Kanjagadu Sub Inspector of Police and the students marching in a procession. I was in my final year of college studies then. I had not participated in the said hullabaloo, but my name was duly added in the list of the accused. The irony was that, the names of those who were involved in the scrimmage, were missing from the list. The police case was registered against eleven ‘known’ people. Since I was the University Union Councilor from the Kanjagadu Nehru College, my name was listed as the seventh accused.
With the exceptions of my friends and co-accused Sunil Kumar Kaiyoor and Mahesh Maniyara, the rest of them had secured their preemptive bails well in time. For some inexplicable reason, we had not been present in the Court and had failed to obtain the bail. The truth which Maniyettan was hinting at was : ‘ You idiot, if you wait any longer, there will be a warrant of arrest and you will have to eat the infamous wheat-ball served as jail meal.’
Accompanied by two well-wishers -duly clutching their income-tax receipts to give guarantees for our personal bonds- we went to the Court. ‘No need to worry… You guys are sure to get bail!’ Maniyettan was very optimistic about the outcome. Inside the trial-box which was dangerously loose and coming off the railings, we stood with our hands tied obsequiously behind our backs. ‘We’ implies yours truly: the seventh accused, Mahesh: the ninth accused, and Suni: the eleventh accused respectively. Browsing through the case file, the Honorable Judge donning thick soda-glass spectacles, cast his anger at us through a glance.
Although I cannot comprehend much English, I could make out the meaning of the word ‘bail.’ I lost heart. ‘God! I am going to jail!’ Mahesh, who has absolutely no clue of English, murmured gratefully, ‘Thank you sir!’ I muttered into his ears, ‘You fool! It means we are going to jail.’ A shudder passed through him too. Suni was shattered. He was a rather sentimental creature. He hurled himself into a whirlpool of misery and terror; and soon started sinking.
When we were climbing the police jeep to proceed to the Kasargode Jail, Maniyettan observed reassuringly, ‘Nothing to worry guys! You will get bail in two days’ time!’ When the first gear was pulled, Maniyettan consoled me. ‘ Shaji, you are a writer, aren’t you? You will get valuable experiences. Besides, you can always take pride that after Basheer, you are the second Malayali writer to have a stint in jail.’ Suffice it to say that it was Maniyettan’s good fortune that the jeep gathered speed before I could give him a befitting reply.
It was the fifth of December. One day before the bleak day when the Babri Masjid was destroyed. All the known criminals and goondas were jailed in preventive detention that day. We were sent to the same barracks where they were locked.
Mahesh was a veteran of sorts when it came to prisons. Due to his frequent activities like stone- pelting at the cops, burning effigies of ministers, forcefully stopping the public transport et al, he had been in and out of jails in the past. He was familiar with the ordeal. Before we entered the cell, he cautioned us,‘ Keep a grave face. If they perceive that you are a weakling, you are done for!’ On listening to those wise words, we were petrified.
We were cooped up with ten or twelve odd inmates. As soon as dusk arrived, Mahesh relieved himself at the exposed corner of the cell- which doubled as a urinal- and soon curled up to sleep. Suni unburdened his heart of his desolate script of woe: He started narrating it with great agony. After few bouts of crying and jabbering, jabbering and crying, he dozed off. I was however bereft of sleep.
I sat staring out of the bars, holding the three books that I had brought with me. (I tend to carry books wherever I go. Whether I read them or not, I find that they bolster me with some ineffable strength.) My mind was insisting that I break free from the wretched jail. I remembered our pet dog Appu, back home. I could hear his outraged howl of pain when I locked him up after his day long wanderings.
‘I shall never cage you again!’ I promised Appu in the insufferable suffocation induced by my incarceration.
When boredom crept in, I lazily flipped through my books. I had Vaikom Mohammad Basheer’s ‘Mathilukal’ (‘Walls’) with me. It is perfect for the jail, of course. It states that the whole world is surrounded by walls. I had Uroob’s ‘Shaniyazhchakal’ (‘Saturdays’), and also an anthology of Hunger-Stories. As I was browsing through them, I was hailed from somewhere.
It had come from the right corner of the cell. The person resembled the formidable ‘Ravuthar’ in the movie Vietnam Colony. He must have been nearly forty years old.
‘Yes, please!’ I retrieved my responding capacity with alacrity and great politeness.
‘Give me a book! Can’t even manage a blink since I haven’t had my daily booze!’
Even before he completed his explanation, I managed to stumble across and hand over one book. It was ‘Mathilukal’. Basheer’s iconic photograph was on the cover: where he sat looking at the world with an air of melancholy; his chin cupped in his hand. The man muttered, ‘Not that I am going to read it of course…Just look at it…’
Since it was an observation to himself, I did not dare to answer in the fear of an unexpected physical retaliation.
‘What’s your name?’
‘Where are you from?’
‘Where in Kanjangadu?’
‘Near Arayi, right?’
‘I had been to that place last year..’
‘Had to hack off someone’s legs and hands. I took his legs. When I thought of his wife doomed to clean him after he answers nature’s call…well, I spared his hands.’
‘What’s your name?’
‘Abdullah…I have 31 cases in my name.’
I could not even manage a croak. Abdullah opened ‘Mathilukal.’ I sat down in my old place. Staring alternately between my books and Abdullah, I slipped off to sleep.
In a dreadful night mare, Abdullah came to me and tore off my shirt and lungi before having his way with me. I could not even scream ‘Amma…Help!’ When I felt that I would die due to lack of air, I opened my eyes and struggled free from that horrible dream. Abdullah was not asleep. He was immersed in ‘Mathilukal.’ Seeing my pathetic state, he gazed at me solemnly.
‘What happened?’ He asked.
I shook my head to hint nothing was amiss. With a final look at Abdullah, I covered myself head to toe with my lungi, and curled up: all the while trying to strangle the remnants of that terrible nightmare.
The next day, when we were seated to be fed the wheat balls, Abdullah was my neighbor. On seeing the gross wheat ball -larger than a cricket ball- I started wondering how to eat it. Meanwhile, Abdullah, having finished eating his own share, asked me, ‘You don’t want it now, do you?’ Even before I answered, he started munching mine. While chewing it, he muttered in English, ‘Who wants freedom?’
In the next two days, he finished reading Mathilukal, Uroob’s Shaniyazhchakal and the anthology of Hunger-stories! It was an astounding sight! While the rest of us whiled away time by cracking lame jokes, he went on reading. On the third day, after obtaining bail, as I got ready to depart, Abdullah took away ‘Mathilukal’ from me. ‘I want this book!’
‘Oye! This is a book borrowed from the Keezhkangode village library! I cannot give you that!’ That was what I desired to say. Due to fear perhaps, I desisted. I did not say ‘ we shall meet again’ or ‘we will meet again.’ The thirst to see the outside world after three days of captivity, put a naught to all conversation.
Years passed in the way that only years pass. Every month we had to visit the Kasargode Court for the case. The date of hearing extended endlessly. I enrolled for a Master’s degree in Computer Applications in Kasargode LBS Engineering College. Suni went on to pursue Journalism course in the Kozhikode Press Club. Mahesh started his Coaching Centre and prospered well. It took four long years before the case could be finalized.
While doing my Masters degree, I used to occasionally visit my sister’s rented house at Kumbala. On one evening, as I was travelling to Kumbala from Kasargode in a bus, I slept very soundly and missed the destination.( If ever someone makes an association of those who sleep immediately as soon as they board a bus, I shall become a core committee member.) On waking up, I alighted at the next bus stop.
It was raining very heavily. I ran to the foyer of a nearby store. It turned out to be a book shop. Someone was reading, his head buried deep inside a book, at the far end. I watched as the rain painted the entire surroundings black. In his trance-like state, the man seemed to be unaware even of the pouring rain. I felt a stirring of envy at that deeply engrossed reading. Though I knew that there would be a bus to Kumbala, I asked him about the next bus.
He did not deign to raise his head. I repeated my question firmly.
‘Lots of buses.’ He raised his head and looked at me.
God! It was Abdullah!
My face must have displayed my wonder.
‘You are Shaji, aren’t you?’ He came out and caught my hands warmly.
I laughed happily. I could see the luster of erudition in his eyes.
‘I stopped all of it from that day…wielding the machete and chopping off limbs! Put a full stop on those chapters deluged with blood. I started reading…and now here I am, with my book shop!’ Abdullah smiled affectionately at me.
I stood there wordlessly while the rain made its presence known acutely.
‘Books are full of joy!’ Abdullah said.
I could see the bus to Kumbala approaching us, wheezing and panting from afar, in the rain.
What was I supposed to say to that man? Nothing at all.
‘I am leaving…the bus has come.’
Abdullah nodded. The smile remained on his face. ‘Just a second!’ He went inside and then soon returned with a book. It was ‘Mathilukal’ by Vaikom Mohammad Basheer. The same book which I had borrowed from the Keezhkangode village library, all those years ago.
‘The book I took forcefully from you that day…Do you want it?’ Even before I could answer him, Abdullah added, ‘Even if you say yes, I am not going to give it back.’
The rain smiled.
Vaikom Mohammad Basheer continued to sit with his chin cupped in his hand; looking at the world with melancholy.
Kahayi reechpati sunu Hanumana/ Ka chup saadhi rahehu balvana//
Pavan tanay bal pavan samana/ Buddhi bibek bigyan nidhana//
The king of bears Jambavan then spoke thus: ‘Listen, Hanuman! Why are you so silent?’
‘You are the son of the Wind God and equal to him in strength! You are the epitome of intelligence, wisdom and knowledge!’
Note: Due to a curse in his childhood (when he annoyed sages due to his great powers and naughtiness) Hanuman was supposed to be forgetful of his immense powers until he was reminded by somebody.
Kavan so kaaj kadin jag maahim/ Jo nahim hoyi taat tumh paahim//
Ram kaaj lagi tav avatara/ Sunatahim bhayavu parbatakara//
‘Is there any insurmountable task in this world, that you cannot accomplish with ease?’
‘In fact your birth purpose is to carry out the assignment of Lord Ram!’ Hearing these words, Hanuman grew into the size of a mountain!
Kanak baran tan tej biraaja/ Manahu apar girinh kar raja//
Simhanaad kari barahim baara/ Leelahim naghavu jalanidhi khaara//
His hue was golden; his body’s radiance was mind boggling; he looked like another Sumeru-the king of mountains!
Hanuman let out a series of lion- like roars! He said, ‘Even as child’s play, I can cross this ocean easily!’
Sahit sahay Ravanahi maari/ Aanavu iham trikut upaari//
Jambavant mai poochavu tohi/Uchit sikhavanu deejahu mohi//
‘I can kill Ravan and all his followers, uproot Trikuta Mountain and bring it back here!’
‘Hey Jambavan! Tell me what I am supposed to do!’ (Please guide me!)
Etana karahu taat tumh jaayi/ Sitahi dekhi kahahu sudhi aayi//
Tab nij bhuj bal Rajeevanaina//Kautuk laagi sangh kapi sena//
(Jambavan said) ‘Hey son! Just go and see Sitaji, and return with her news.’
The lotus eyed Lord shall kill Ravan with his own hands and reclaim Janakiji. He is taking the monkey army with him as a part of his Leela.
Kapi sen sangh sanghari nisichar Ramu seetahi aanihaim/
Trailok paavan sujasu sur muni naradaadi Bakhanihaim//
Jo sunat gaavat kahat samuchat param pad nar paavai/
Raghubeer pad padhoj madhukar das tulsi gaavai//
With his monkey army, Ram shall kill the asuras and bring back Sitaji. Then all the sages like Narad and the Gods shall glorify the Lord; an act which shall purify the three worlds. Hearing of which, singing of which, speaking of which, understanding of which, human kind shall attain the Lord’s abode. The honey bee buzzing around the lotus feet of Lord Ram, Tulsi Das sings the Lord’s praises.
Bhav bheshaj Raghunadh jasu sunahim je nar aru naari/
Tinh kar sakal manoradh siddh karahim Trisaraari//
Sri Ramji’s story is the single antidote to the disease of constant births and deaths.
Any man or woman hearing His story, shall have all their dreams fruitful by the blessings of the enemy of Khar (Lord Ram)
Nilolpal tan syam kam koti sobha adhik/
Suniya taasu gun gram jaasu naam agh khag badhik//
The divine Lord whose bluish hued body is as beautiful as a blue lotus, whose radiance is more than that of a thousand Kam Devas (The handsome God of Desire),
Whose Name is the predator of all the birds called mortal sins; one should hear about His glorious qualities.
Iti Sreemadramcharitmanase sakalkalikalushvidhwamsane chaturthah sopanah samaptah/
The Fourth Sopan of Sree Ramcharit Manas- which ends all the sins accrued in Kaliyug- ends here.
Jo naghayi sat jojan sagar/ Karayi so Ram kaaj mati aagar//
Mohi biloki dharahu mann dheera/ Ram kripa kas bhayavu sareera//
The one who can cross one hundred yojanans ( four hundred kos) and is a repository of wisdom, only he can fulfill Lord Ram’s task.
Do not get upset! Look at me and take courage! Due to Sri Ram’s blessings see how my body has regained its wings!
Papivu jaa kar naam sumirahim/ Athi apaar bhavsagar tarahim//
Taasu doot tumh taji kadarayi/ Ram hriday dhari karahu upayi//
‘Even a sinner can cross the formidable ocean of life (bhavsagar) easily on remembering His name!
And you are His messengers! Forget your trepidations; meditate on Lord Ram and think of a way!’
As kahi garud geedh jab gayavu/ Tinh kem mann athi bismay bhayavu//
Nij nij bal sab kahu bhasha/ Par jaayi kar samsay raakha//
(Kakabishundi says) : ‘Hey Garudji! When the vulture left after saying thus, the monkeys were left marveling!’
‘Each spoke of his strengths but expressed the lack of confidence in crossing the ocean.’
Jarad bhayavu ab kahayi richesa/ Nahim tan raha pradham bal lesa//
Jabahim tribikram bhaye kharari/ Tab mai tarun rahevu bal bhari//
(The king of bears Jambavan said ) ‘I have grown too old. The initial strength is no longer left in my body.
When the enemy of Khar (Lord Vishnu in Ram avatar) was in the Vaman incarnation, I was young and very strong!’
Note: (Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vaman, Parasu Ram, Sri Ram, Bal Ram, Krishna, Kalki: 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu)
Bali bandhat prabhu badevu so tanu barni na jaayi/
Ubhay khari mah deenhi saat pradacchin dhaayi//
(Jambavan said )‘When he vanquished King Maha Bali the Lord was gigantic in form: I cannot express in words;
Yet in two hours, I ran and completed seven pradakshinas (circumambulations) of that divine avatar!’
Note: In his fifth incarnation, Lord Vishnu as Vaman avatar measured one step on the earth, another step on the skies; and the great King Mahabali ( literally The Strongest of All) offered him his head for the third step.
Angad kahayi javu mai paara/ Jiyam samsay kachhu firthi baara//
Jamavant kah tumh sab layak/ Padayia kimi sabahi kar nayak//
Prince Angad said: ‘I can cross the ocean easily. But I am not confident about my return.’
Jambavan replied: ‘You are absolutely eligible in all ways. But you are the leader of the team and we cannot let you go.’
Note: Jambavan is wise in elucidating the art of leadership: leading from the front is not a choice when it comes to undertaking dangerous missives single-handed. The leader has to stay back to strategize and plan for contingencies often.
(From the Persian Ramayan. Ref: Raza Library, Rampur, U.P.)
Doori te taahi sabanhi sairu naava/ Puchem nij britanth sunaava//
Tehim tab kaha karahu jal paana/ Khahu suras sundar bhal nana//
Everybody paid respects to her from afar by bowing low. When the woman asked them, they narrated the story of their journey.
Then she asked them to drink water and to relish the delectable, attractive fruits.
Majjanu keenh madhur bhal khaye/ Taasu nikat puni sab chali aaye//
Tehim sab aapani kadha sunayi/ Mai ab jab jahan Raghurayi//
Getting the permission, all of them took a dip in the lake, drank water and enjoyed the fruits. Then they went near her.
The woman told them her story. Then she said, ‘Now I shall depart to meet Lord Ram.’
Note: Swayamprabha was the daughter of sage Mersavarni. She resided in the magical cave which used to belong to Hema an apsara and her consort the asura architect Maya. They were also Ravan’s wife Mandodari’s parents.
Mudahu nayan bibar taji jaahu/ Paihahu Sitahi jani pachitahu//
Nayan mudi puni dekhahim beera/ Tade sakal sindhu kem teera//
‘Close your eyes and move out of this cave. You will find Sitaji, so do not get frustrated.’
When they closed their eyes and moved out, they found that they were standing at the shores of the ocean.
So puni gayi jahan Raghunadha/ Jaayi kamal pad nayesi madha//
Nana bhaant binay tehim keenhi/ Anpaayani bhagati prabhu deenhi//
Swayamprabha went to Lord Ram. She bowed at the Lord’s lotus-feet and prayed for his blessings.
Lord Ram bestowed on her unflinching faith in Him.
Badariban kahu so gayi Prabhu aagya dhari sees/
Ur dhari Ram charan jug je bandath aj ees//
Swayamprabha proceeded to Badarik ashram (following the Lord’s guidance) carrying the image of the Lord’s divine feet in her heart.
Iham bicharahim kapi man mahim/ Beeti avadhi kaaj kachu naahim//
Sab mili kahahim paraspar baata/ Binu sudhi laye karab ka braata//
The monkey army was worried that time had elapsed but they had not fulfilled their assignment.
They discussed amongst themselves about the futility of returning without getting news of Sitaji.
Kah Angad lochan bhari baari/ Duhu prakar bhayi mrityu hamaari//
Iham na sudhi Sita kai paayi/ Uham gaye maarihi kapiraayi//
Angad said with moistened eyes that death had come in two ways.
‘There was no news of Janakiji as yet. On return, Sugreev was sure to kill him.’
Pita badhe par maarat mohi/ Raakha Ram nihor na ohi//
Puni puni Angad kah sab paahim/ Maran bhayavu kachu samsay naahim//
‘(Sugreev) He would have killed me at the time of my father’s death. It was no favour of Sugreev’s that I am alive. Lord Ram saved my life.’
Angad was repeating to everyone that he had no more doubts about his impending death.
Angad bachan sunat kapi beera/ Bolin a sakahim nayan bah neera//
Chan ek soch magan hoyi rahe/ Puni as bachan kahat sab bhaye//
The valiant monkeys listened to Angad with tear filled eyes but did not respond.
All of them became immersed in thought for a moment. Then they all started speaking…
Hum Sita kai sudhi leenhe bina/ Nahim jaihem jubraaj prabina//
As kahi lavan sindhu tat jaayi/ Baide kapi sab darbh dasaayi//
‘Eminent prince! We shall not return without finding Sitaji.’
They proceeded to the edge of the ocean and sat down after spreading darbha grass.
Jamavant Angad dukh dekhi/ Kahim kadha upades biseshi//
Taat Ram kahu nar jani maanahu/ Nirgun Brahma ajit aj jaanahu//
Seeing the sad, dispirited Angad, Jamavan started giving sagacious advice (in the form of stories).
(He said) ‘Hey son! Do not consider Ram as a mere human being. He is the incarnation of Nirgun Brahma: unconquerable and without beginning.’
Hum sab sevak athi bad bhaagi/ Santat sagun Brahma anuraagi//
We servants are so fortunate that we can adore (Lord Ram) the one who is sagun Brahma himself.
Nij ichham prabhu avatarayi sur mahi go dwij laagi/
Sagun upasak sang tah rahahim mocch sab tyaagi//
For the sake of Devas, earth, animals and evolved beings the Lord has donned his incarnation (Not due to any karma). The devotees let go of desires for all forms of salvation and subject themselves in His service.
Lobh paas jehi gar na bandhaya/ So nar tumh samaan Raghuraya//
Yeh gun sadhan tem nahim hoyi/ Tumhari kripa paav koyi koyi//
The mortal who has not donned the noose of greed- for worldy possessions- around his neck is akin to you, Sri Ram himself!
That quality is not acquired by striving or penance. Only by your blessings can a person acquire that sort of detachment.
Tab Raghupathy bole muskurayi/ Tumh priy mohi Bharat jimi bhayi//
Ab soyi jatanu karahu man laayi/ Jehi bidhi Sita kai sudhi payi//
Then Lord Ram smiled and said: ‘Brother! To me, you are beloved like Bharat himself!’
‘Now focus your mind to discover ways to get information about Sitaji.’
Ehi bidhi hoth bathkahi aaye banar joodh/
Nana baran sakal disi dekhia kees baroodh//
As the conversation continued, troops of monkeys of various colours could be seen arriving from different directions.
Banar katak Uma mai dekha/ So murukh jo karan chah lekha//
Aayi Ram pad navahim maadha/ Nirakhi badanu sab hohim sanadha//
(Lord Shiv says) ‘Hey Uma! I saw the monkey army assembling! Only a fool would have dared to start counting!’
‘They came and bowed at Sri Ramji’s feet one by one. On getting to catch a glimpse of the Lord- the epitome of beauty and sweet compassion- every one of them felt that Sri Ramji was theirs!’
As kapi ek na sena mahim/ Ram kusal jehi poochi nahim//
Yeh kachu nahim prabhu kahi adhikayi/ Biswaroop vyapak Raghurayi//
The Lord spoke warmly to each monkey and enquired after his welfare.
It is not anything extraordinary , since Lord Sri Ram is the incarnation of the omnipresent and omniscient divinity.
Note: We also learn the art of benevolent leadership from the Lord’s care for each member of his army!
Tade jah tah aayasu payi/ Kah Sugreev sabahi samuchayi//
Ram kaju aru mor nihora/ Banar joodh jahu chahu ora//
On hearing the orders, the monkey army froze to its position. Then Sugreev spoke thus:
‘This is the task given to us by Lord Ram and my request to you…Spread in all four directions…’
Janaksuta kahu khojahu jaayi/ Maas diwas mah aayehu bhayi//
Avadhi meti jo binu sudhi paye/ Aavai banihi so mohi maraye//
‘Go and search for Janakiji! Brothers, return in a month’s time!
If someone returns without any information, I will have no other option but to finish him off!’
Note: Ironically, the leadership style of Sugreev seems to be extensively in use in the world of ours, metaphorically speaking!
Jehi sayak maara mai Baali/ Tehi sar hatau mood kah kaali//
Jaasu kripa chutahi mad moha/ Ta kahu Uma ki sapnehu koha//
‘Using the same arrow with which I killed Bali, shall I finish off that foolish Sugreeva too?’
(Lord Shiv says) ‘Hey Uma! The One with whose grace, the mind evades the clutch of ego and desires, can He ever become angry even in his dreams?’ (This is mere Lila or the Divine Game)
Jaanahim yeh charitra muni gyaani/ Jinh Raghubeer charan rati maani//
Lacchiman krodhvanth Prabhu jaana/ Dhanush chadayi gahe kar baana//
Only learned sages whose hearts are surrendered at the Lord’s feet have fathomed the secrets of the divine Lila.
On seeing his furious brother, Laxman sprang up, battle ready with his bow and quiver of arrows.
Tan anujahi samuchava Raghupati karuna seenv/
Bhay dekhayi lai avahu tat sakha Sugreev//
The Lord of Compassion then made Laxman understand that to kill Sugreev was not his aim.
‘Bring Sugreev to me, after showing him the meaning of fear!’
Iham pavansut hridayam bichara/ Ram kaju Sugreevah bisara//
Nikat jaayi charanahi siru naava/ Chaarahi bidhi tehi kahi samuchaava//
In Kishkinda, Hanumanji was getting worried that Sugreeva had forgotten about the task assigned by Lord Ram.
He went to the King and bowed at his feet. By elaborating on the four ways of justice (Sam, daan, bhed, danda) he tried to bring Sugreev to his senses.
Suni Sugreev param bhay maana/ Bishaya mor hari leenhevu gyaana//
Ab marutsut doot samooha/ Padavahu jah tah banar jooha//
Hearing Hanumanji’s words, Sugreeva became terrified. (He said) ‘Sensual pleasures made me blind! (I forgot my duty). Please send our messengers to wherever our monkey allies reside!’
Kahahu paakh mahu aav na joyi/ Morem kar ta kar badh hoyi//
Tab Hanumant bolaye doota/ Sab kar kari sanman bahoota//
(Sugreeva said) ‘Warn the messengers that those who do not return within fifteen days shall meet their ends at my hands.’
Hanuman called the messengers to his side. He showed them a great deal of respect.
Bhay aru preeti neeti dekharayi/ Chale sakal charanahi sar nayi//
Ehi avasar Lacchiman pur aaye/ Krodh dekhi jah tah kapi dhaaye//
Hanuman ji told them about their task with a proper mix of the fearful consequences, with due benevolence and elucidated on the ways of duty!
Meanwhile Laxman had reached the city gates. Seeing his fury, the monkeys scattered hither and thither.
Dhanush chadayi kaha tab jaari karau pur tchar/
Byakul nagar dekhi tab aayavu Balikumar//
Laxman armed with his bow and arrow, spoke with belligerence: ” I will burn down the city into ashes!”
Then Prince Angad, son of Bali, came to his side, getting news of the panic stricken denizens.
Another book is born…Gratitude to Prof.Veerankutty for allowing me to translate some of his wonderful poems.