Keep at It

"It is not wanting to win that makes you a winner; it is refusing to fail."
        - Unknown

Let there be trees around,
Mighty, Dense, Shady.
Don't you dare beg for shade,
Not even a leaf's worth of it,
No, Never.
And continue treading your path,
The path of honesty,
The path of truth,
The path of fire.

Thou shall not tire,
Thou shall not halt,
Thou shall not regress,
Swear on thyself, O Warrior!
Swear that you will tread your path,
The path of fire.

There is none so colossal a spectacle
As, of the man treading his path,
Soaked in a sublime rain,
Of tears, sweat and blood.
And yet trudging,
Treading his path,
of truth, of honesty,
The path, of fire. 

This is the translation, or to put it more aptly, my interpretation of Agneepath by Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

The original, written in Hindi in the Devanagari script reads as follows:


वृक्ष हों भले खड़े,
हों घने, हों बड़े,
एक पत्र छाँह भी
मांग मत! मांग मत! मांग मत!
अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ!

तू न थकेगा कभी,
तू न थमेगा कभी,
तू न मुड़ेगा कभी,
कर शपथ! कर शपथ! कर शपथ!
अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ!

यह महान दृश्य है,
चल रहा मनुष्य है,
अश्रु, स्वेद, रक्त से
लथ-पथ, लथ-पथ, लथ-पथ,
अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ! अग्निपथ!

English transliteration: 


Vriksh hon bhale khade,
Hon ghane, hoh bade,
Ek patra chhah bhi
Maang mat! Maang mat! Maang mat!
Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

Tu na thakega kabhi,
Tu na thamega kabhi,
Tu na mudega kabhi,
Kar shapath! Kar shapath! Kar shapath!
Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

Yeh mahaan drishya hai,
Chal raha manushya hai
Ashru, swed, rakt se
Lath-path, lath-path, lath-path,
Agneepath! Agneepath! Agneepath!

Listening to: Don't Stop Believin', Glee Cast

Dedicated to: All wannabe poets, who ended up translating the greats.

Images Courtesy: This one is from my camera!

P.S.This is my second class assignment for XENX041 Creative Writing in English.  And the assignment is - Translate a poem from your mother tongue into English. Also write in English a summary of the poem and answer these questions: What message does the poem convey? What emotions does it engender? What mental images does it create (including sound, smell, taste, touch, sight)?

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3 reflected back...:

This poem is a little bit dark but in a good way. It makes you stop for a moment and thinking about life.
Message: I think the message is similar to Amelie´s poem. In my opinion it says that you should not stop continue following your dreams
Emotions: I feel a little bit depressed when I read it. It is no funny or romantical poem, but thats it what makes this poem so extraordinary.
Mental Things: I see a warrior in the rain who is fighting his way home and thinks about all the things he does

Fistly: wow again! Aseem, please ensure me that you don't study business or IT with this gift that you have of writing/creating/translating.

Now the homework part:

Message: accepting out "destiny"?, path, even if it is hard to walk on it and not asking for something that would make it easier just trying to make the best of it.

Feelings: very thouhtful, it evokes in me all the questions about my own Path. Very expressive, mainly the exclaming parts and all the words: never, no, fight, fire, rain, blood, sweat, tears.

Senses: reading the poem in the dark when it is raining is the perfect athmosphere so that I can hear the rain and its strenght. Those strong words at the end I can almost smell and feel - blood, sweat , tears...


Thank you Amelia and Kristina.

A lot of feelings and emotions in Hindi poetry are infused by the way it's recited. This is actually a very popular poem. There have been two Hindi movies made based on the poem, with the same name. So yeah, how I feel about it, what I feel on reading it, probably is a lot more biased because of the two movies that I have watched.

You are right Kristina. It's a little depressing if you are not comfortable really with the underlying theme. Struggle. And the part where you visualize the warrior in the rain? That is actually what the climax of one of the movies depicts! So I'll probably say I've translated it decently. :)

Feelings: It's one of those 3 lines I hear echoing through my ears when I'm down and out. Sometimes, even when I'm pedalling up a slope and thinking of getting off the bike. Yeah, I'm a little too dramatic, but so is the poem.

Senses: Listening to it recited actually gives me goosebumps. For once, I even thought of giving up on translating the poem itself! And then I read through it. It wanted me to - keep at it!

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