Musings of a Father (Pitaa) - Hindi poetry with English translation

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In the current collection of poems, written by my father towards the end of his teaching career, he captures his visions of fatherhood through metaphors in nature – the values of providing, protecting, sacrificing, yearning, wishing to have done more, and a feeling of continuity amidst the helpless feeling of imminent departure.

The poems, written during the 1990s, reflect not just a father, but also the entire process of creation, the agents of creation, the pangs of sustaining the creation.

Check it on Kindle as ebook - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0055PKBOU

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Musings of a Father (Pitaa) - Hindi poetry with English translation

  1. 1. Musings of a Father (Pitaa) by RAMESH JOSHIHindi poems (handwritten) with English Translations Translated from original Hindi by Shashikant Joshi Published by Thinking Hearts, India. All rights reserved. This is a sample PDF for the Kindle book.
  2. 2. ForewordContrary to general belief that men cannot feel or express, in the role of afather, men can feel and at times express, poignantly too!In the current collection of poems, written by my father towards the endof his teaching career, he captures his visions of fatherhood throughmetaphors in nature – the values of providing, protecting, sacrificing,yearning, wishing to have done more, and a feeling of continuity amidstthe helpless feeling of imminent departure.He is a prolific writer, writing for forty years, primarily satire in prose andpoetry. A senior Hindi teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya (a governmentschool) transferred to seven different locations. He had seen more thanhis share of hardships in life. After college, two of us went to the US, andone stayed back. When the children go out and settle on their own, theempty nest can make you ponder a lot, especially for a generation whennuclear families were not common. Wondering why children have to go sofar but still supporting their every wish and aspiration, in the days beforeinternet and cheap international phone calls, most of time was spenttalking to oneself, wondering how the children are doing in a foreign land.The regrets, of not being able to do more, come often.The poems, written during the 1990s, reflect not just a father, but also theentire process of creation, the agents of creation, the pangs of sustainingthe creation. While the mother indeed goes through a lot in bringing life inthis world, an often-overlooked aspect is the father’s perspective. Oftenconsidered unable to feel much deeply or express, men too, as fathers,have deep-seated emotions of sacrificing for the sake of the nextgeneration. The emotion of sacrificing may seem alien to manymainstream, modern, western societies, but in India, it has been thecommonplace social expectation of a father in his role of a provider, awell-wisher of the family.The poet uses many metaphors from nature, such as a bridge, a tree bythe swamp, a parrot; recollects through the simple wishes and dreams of
  3. 3. a man struggling with his own aspirations and wishing to provide the skyand the stars for the children as well.I have translated the poems in a very informal tone, as is the original, butsince some cultural and language aspects cannot be exacted translated, Ihave not tried to do literal translation. I have also add few more words atplaces to make the context clearer.What do material success and belongings matter, if you are not takingcare of your next and previous generations!On this Father’s Day and even afterwards, reflect back on what yourfather has done for you; what you are doing for him and your children,what the whole cycle of Life is. Remember, the Circle of Life in movieLion King?Thank you, father. I hope I can be as great a father to my children as youwere to yours.Shashikant JoshiAuthor, Attitude Shift – Sanskrit Maxims for Contemporary Life andLeadership10 June 2011
  4. 4. ContentsForewordTHE WEAVER BIRDTHE BRIDGETHE AQUARIUMTHE TREETHE PARROTTHE HOUSETHE SWINGTHE SWAMP TREETHE STORMTHE GAMCHHATHE UMBRELLATHE TROWELTHE SLAPTHE COURTYARDTHE RIVERTHE ROOF
  5. 5. THE WEAVER BIRDSo what,if I am not in your drawing (living) room.There are lots of thingsin your drawing room.That turtle shell -before being caughthow much it must have foughtto protect its eggs and babies,hiding them under this shelltill the last breath.Cracked at places,broken at othersthese antlers of the deer -how they must have ran,how they must have fought,to save the little ones.And this driftwood!How it must have struggledwith the floods, storms, sun, rocksdrifting forever.What today is mute, unblinkingpainteddecoratednear that broken statuein that corner.
  6. 6. And that bone of the sawfishadorning the wall like a royal sword!How much it must have foughtin its journey from the net to this wall.And these few rocksunearthedstuck to which are still seenpollens of some flower.This nest of the male weaverbirdeven though much smaller than your drawing roombut see how comfortable and tightly knitin whichupside down he slept,or was awake.People laughed thathe had the illusion ofholding the sky, in case the sky fell.*But why?So that the sky won’t fallon its eggs, chicks.
  7. 7. * It is common Indian folklore that a male weaverbird sleeps with his feetup, to hold the sky if it falls.
  8. 8. THE BRIDGEWith the four-pronged army ofhope, faith, joy and dreams,without fear or worrycross over across this bridgeto the other side of the river;where,sitting pretty among the starsa milky-white, golden-haired fairyawaits you.Don’t worry about the bridge trembling;it is not trembling.It is shaking with joy, deep withinbearing on its chestyour victorious marching footsteps.And then, for this day alone,it was stretched across,in Chakraasana (wheel) posture, holding its breathfrom this shore of the river to that.Don’t look at this bridgeturning back.Every river has such a bridgewhich stretches, trembles and then sags.On that shore of this river,on the other end of this bridge,one more bridge will come upand will stretch to that shore of the next river.Once again some fairy will call,once again a four-pronged army will march across it.
  9. 9. Cross over across this bridgewithout fear or worryto the other side of the river;where,sitting pretty among the starsmilky-white, golden-haired fairyawaits you.
  10. 10. THE AQUARIUMThere is an aquarium in your drawing (living) roomwherein are fish,looking through the glasswith helpless gaze,close to the glass wallpeering outside.Don’t know when they sleepor if they sleep at all,these fish.Though, when they breathe,bubbles arise.They eat whatever you give them,whenever you give them.Have you ever thought -maybe even the fishwant to come out of their box,and sit on your sofato play with your little angles,to take them awayon their boats of fancyto the colorful bright worldshidden deep under the waters?Where there are oysters, snails, shellscolorful clown fish, coral reefs
  11. 11. andthe very friendly dolphins.Open this box, the aquarium,let the fish come out.They will teach your children to swim,put golden earrings in their ears,and will become their eyes.They will set the pearly whiteson the pink gums of your angels.They will take them to the mermaidsand become their playmates, the golden fishie!Open the box.The fish have a lot to giveeven for you,for even you haven’t learnt yetto swim,fully,freely!
  12. 12. END OF SAMPLE

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