Contemporary Indian Poetry – ek tinka (A Straw) by Ayodhya Singh Upadhyay “Hariodh”

Contemporary Indian Poetry
Language: Hindi
Title: एक तिनका ek tinka (A straw)
Poet: Ayodhya Singh Upadhyay “Hariodh”
Translation: Christina Arora

घमंडों में भरा ऐंठा हुआ,
Full of pride I became arrogant,

एक दिन जब था मुंडेर पर खड़ा ।
One day, while I was standing on a small wall,

अचानक दूर से उड़ता हुआ,
suddenly flying from afar,

एक तिनका आँख में मेरी पड़ा ।
a straw fell on my eye.


मैं झिझक उठा, हुआ बेचैन-सा,
I got up hesitantly and a little worried,

लाल होकर आँख भी दुखने लगी ।
Τhe eye turned red and also started to hurt.

मूँठ देने लोग कपड़े की लगे ।
People turned a piece of cloth and placed it (on my eye).

ऐंठ बेचारी दबे पाँव भगी
The unfortunate pride left silently.


जब किसी ढब से निकल तिनका गया,
When somehow the straw came out of the eye

तब समझ ने यों मुझे ताने दिए ।
Then the understanding mocked me in this way;

ऐंठता तू किसलिए इतना रहा,
Why did you have this arrogance?

एक तिनका है बहुत तेरे लिए ।
For you, just a straw is enough.

अयोध्या सिंह उपाध्याय ‘हरिऔध’
Ayodhya Singh Upadhyay “Hariodh”

A few words about the poem

This is a poem taught to young children in India. Through this, children learn a useful lesson about the humility they should have. Arrogance does not benefit man as many unbalanced factors – such as straw in this case – can show him that he is weak. Our life depends on luck, nature and other things we do not control.

 A few words about the poet

Ayodhya Singh Upadhyay ‘Hari Oudh’, (15 April 1865 – 16 March 1947) was a writer of Hindi literature. Ayodhya Prasad was born at Nizamabad, Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. At the age of five he started learning Persian from his uncle. Later he moved to Kashi to study English at Queen’s College; however he had to leave college due to deteriorating health. He then studied Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian and English at home. He got a government job in 1889. He worked in Hindi Department of Banaras Hindu University for several years as a volunteer teacher. His literature-service earned him considerable fame. He had been conferred the title of Vidyavachaspati. He died in 1947 at Azamgarh.


Listen to the analysis of the poem in Hindi