When you look at me

I faintly remember having met Hindi poet and litterateur Ramanand Doshi at a private ceremony way back in very early 70s; the fact remains that the great man expired in 1972 at a young age of 51. He recited his poetry and one of his lyrical poems, reproduced below in original, was composed into a lilting melody by my mother’s singing guru and was often sung by my mother, a professional singer. Little did I understand the literary and artistic beauty of the work, but the opening lines of the poem have stayed with me through my youth and an early old age that I am currently into.

The reason for this blog was my accidental encounter while searching this classic piece into a blog about this poem by a fellow blogger, Shri Krishna Sharma, for whom I have lot of respect and who encourages my work a great deal, who wrote a beautiful blog but refrained from translating the poem, a risk I am taking now.

मन होता है पारा
ऐसे देखा नहीं करो !

जाने क्या कर डाला तुमने, उलट-पुलट मौसम
कभी घाव ज़्यादा दुखता है और कभी मरहम
जहाँ-जहाँ ज़्यादा दुखता है
छूकर वहीं दुबारा
ऐसे देखा नहीं करो !
मन होता है पारा !
ऐसे देखा नहीं करो !

कौन बचाकर आँख सुबह की नींद उघार गया
बूढ़े सूरज पर पीछे से सीटी मार गया
हम पर शक पहले से है
तुम करके और इशारा
ऐसे देखा नहीं करो !
मन होता है पारा !

होना-जाना क्या है, जैसा कल था, वैसा कल
मेरे सन्नाटे में बस ख़ामोशी की हलचल
अँधियारे की नेमप्लेट पर
लिख-लिखकर उजियारा
ऐसे देखा नहीं करो !
मन होता है पारा !
ऐसे देखा नहीं करो!

My heart misses a beat

When you look at me

I am so bewitched that seasons don’t matter

Your absence affects me as much as your presence

And you reignite my pain

When you look at me

Early morning sleep is no longer the deepest

Sun is yet not risen but you play a trick

I had doubt but now I am sure – it all happens

When you look at me

Will my tomorrow be different from yesterday

The quietude of my life will hear a whisper

Will darkness of my life pave way to happiness

All such emotions get evoked

When you look at me

It’s no mean job translating a classic and I am no master of languages, Hindi and English, to do justice to this poetic masterpiece. I neither risked transliteration nor made too much efforts trying for rhyming end, but I have tried to capture the essence of the poem with sensitivity it merited. Paara in Hindi is mercury, which is a highly unstable element. So instead of translating paara into mercury, I have tried to capture instability of heart with “ missing of beat”.

I hope readers, including Shri Sharma like my effort.

8 thoughts on “When you look at me

  1. Commendable blog , Did great justice in translating celebrated poet master piece . Keep pouring your impeccable jewels . We love and admire.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I rejoice poetry whenever mind is moved towards philosophical thoughts ,and here Hindi Poets fabulously recite our thoughts. Whenever Yourself write I thank from inside as this enlive works of those who are Good in Poetry. Sir Your own poems are also masterpiece.


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