Τhe famine and after it – Nagarjun

अकाल और उसके बाद / नागार्जुन
akaal aur usake baad / naagaarjun

Poem by Nagarjun*

Translation: Dimitrios Vassiliadis


कई दिनों तक चूल्हा रोया, चक्की रही उदास
kaii dinon tak choolhaa royaa, chakkii rahii udaas 
For many days the oven was crying, the mill was sad


कई दिनों तक कानी कुतिया सोई उनके पास
kaii dinon tak kaanii kutiyaa soii unake paas
For many days the one-eyed dog slept beside him


कई दिनों तक लगी भीत पर छिपकलियों की गश्त
kaii dinon tak lagii bhiit par chhipakaliyon kii gasht
For many days the lizard’s patrol was stuck on the wall


कई दिनों तक चूहों की भी हालत रही शिकस्त।
kaii dinon tak choohon kii bhii haalat rahii shikast.
For many days the condition of the rats was desperate.

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दाने आए घर के अंदर कई दिनों के बाद 
daane aae ghar ke andar kaii dinon ke baad 
Grain came into the house after many days


धुआँ उठा आँगन से ऊपर कई दिनों के बाद 
dhuaan uThaa aangan se oopar kaii dinon ke baad 
Smoke rose up from the courtyard after many days


चमक उठी घर भर की आँखें कई दिनों के बाद 
chamak uThii ghar bhar kii aankhen kaii dinon ke baad 
The eyes of the whole house started to shine after many days


कौए ने खुजलाई पाँखें कई दिनों के बाद।
kaue ne khujalaaii paankhen kaii dinon ke baad.
The crow shook his wings after many days.

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Baba Nagarjun

*The legendary poet Vaidyanath Mishra (11 or 30 June 1911 – 5 November 1998), better known by his pen name Nagarjun, was born in the village Satlakha, Madhubani District, Bihar and is regarded as one of the most prominent poets in Maithili dialect and Hindi language. He has also authored a number of novels, short stories, and travelogues. Nagarjun was known for his anti-establishment and revolutionary ideas and unconventional lifestyle. His writings inspired generations and he became known as Janakavi (poet of people).

In this poem, Nagarjun was strongly influenced by the great famine of Bengal in 1943, in which more than 2 million people died of starvation.

This post is also available in: elΕλληνικα (Greek)