Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Guchhi गुच्छी (The Morel ) A poem

Here is a Hindi poem titled गुच्छी (Guchhi) by  Dr Satyanaren Snehi who teaches Hindi at Govt College Sanjoli, Shimla Hills in Himachal Pradesh. This very interesting poem has been extracted from his collection इंटरनैट पर मेरा गाँव  ( My Village on  the Internet) published in 2020 by Prakashan Sansthaan New Delhi, It was sent to me by Dr Suresh  who teaches English at a college in Theog , Shimla Hills. I have translated this poem into English.

A brief introduction to the subject of this poem won't be out of place. 

Guchhi (Morchella), or the morel, is a rare mushroom, which in India is collected in the wild mainly in Kashmir and Himachal hills. It is a delicacy, excellent and delicious in taste, and has tremendous nutritional  and medicinal value It can be used both in fresh and dried state but it must be cooked before eating. Eating it raw is harmful. And because it is rare and so valuable as food and health booster it is very expensive. One kilogram of dried morels may cost between Rupees 20,000/ to 40,000/, depending on the quality! 

Enjoy reading  the poem and imagine the taste of a dish prepared using morels. And read more about morels. 





जिन्नहें नहीं मिलता

भर पेट अन्न

वे पोटली में बाँदकर सूखी रोटी

सुबह से शाम

ढूँढते हैं गुच्छी

घनघोर जंगल में


गरीब की रोज़ी

अमीर की रोटी

 हर साल खास मौसम में

उगती है एक बार

बीहबान जंगलों में


वे नहीं जानते

गुच्छी का स्वाद

गुच्छी के असली दाम

झोले से प्लेट में

पहुंचते ही गुच्छी

भूख नहीं मिटाती

ताकत बढ़ाती है


गुचछी प्रतिफल है

जमीनी और मौसमी

हरकतों का

जिस के नहीं  होते बीज

नहीं होती काशतकारी



आदमी पहुंच गया है

मंगल पर

समेट ली है सारी धरती

मुट्ठ्टी में

खोज लिये हैं

सृष्टि के कण-कण

गुच्छी एक पहेली है

उगा नहीं सका आदमी

अभी तक

इस का एक बीज


'इंटरनैट पर मेरा गाँव' से



         My translation

          Guchchi (The Morel)

             They who cannot get

                                                           enough to eat

                                                           bundle up dry bread in a small bag

                                                            and go into dense forests

                                                           in search of morels

                                                            morning to evening.


                                                           Livelihood for the poor

                                                             a delicacy for the rich;

                                                           the morel grows   

                                                            in a particular season

                                                            only once a year

                                                            in forbidding forests.


                                                           The poor don’t know

                                                            the taste of morels

                                                            their real value.

                                                      The morel goes

                                                            from the bag to the plate

                                                           not to alleviate hunger;

                                                            but to act as a body booster.


                                                             The morel is the product

                                                              of interaction between the soil and environment;

                                                             it has no seed

                                                               it can’t be sown.


                                                            Although man has reached the Mars 

                                                            enclosed the whole earth

                                                            in his fist

                                                              and explored every particle of the Creation

                                                               the morel is still an unsolved riddle:

                                                                humans haven’t been able to grow

                                                               till now

                                                               even a single morel seed.


From: Internet Par Mera Gaon (My Village on the Internet)


Satyanaren Snehi



Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Bhagt Singh's Martyrdom Day


Here is the momentous news from The Tribune of 25 March 1931 on the three revolutionaries who were executed on 23 March 1931.This priceless cutting has been sent to me by Dr (Prof) Ramakant Agnihotri. I thankfully reproduce it here. With one addition after it.

Very interestingly, Pash  (Avatar Singh Sandhu) (1950-88) a revolutionary poet emerging out of the Naxalite movement in Punjab in the seventies of the last century, a great admirer of Bhagat Singh, was shot dead along with his friend Hans Raj by Khalistani militants on 23 March1988, the day of Bhagat Singh's martyrdom. Here is my translation of a Punjabi poem by Pash which appeared in his first collection of poetry Loh Katha (1970).


 Bharat –

So deserving of my highest reverence!

Whenever this name is uttered

all other names become meaningless.

This name owes its essence

to those who toil in the fields,

and still measure time

by the length of shadows.

They have no other concerns

except their bellies,

and when they are hungry

they can chew their own limbs.

For them life is an empty ritual

and death a release.

Whenever someone talks

of the oneness of India

I feel like tossing up his cap,

and telling him:

The spirit of Bharat resides

not in some Dushyant

but in the fields

where peasants grow food

and robbers break in…



 T C Ghai

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Faiz Ahmed Faiz: three poems

 Friends, Here are three poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) translated by me. One of these was written in Punjabi and addressed to Punjabi farmers. The other two have been translated from Urdu, and are among his best known poems. The poems are presented in Devanagri script followed by my English translations. The poem addressed to the Punjabi farmer has also been presented in Gurmukhi script.

The poem Tanhaai seems to have some similarities with or reflection of Walter de la Mare's two poems presented after the three poems. Is the similarity incidental? Remember Faiz was a student and then teacher of English literature in the pre-partition India. Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) belonged to a group of poets named Georgian poets majority of whom flourished in the first two decades of the twentieth century. I imagine Faiz must have read Walter de la Mare. But his great poem has a cultural, metaphorical and contextual originality and scintillating rhythm all its own.

The other two poems, 'Today, Come to the Marketplace in Fetters and 'A Song for the Punjabi Farmer' are revolutionary in intent. 



फिर कोई आया दिल--ज़ार नहीं कोई नहीं
राहरौ होगा, कहीं और चला जायेगा
ढल चुकी रात, बिखरने लगा तारों का ग़ुबार
लड़खड़ाने लगे ऐवानों में ख़्वाबीदः चिराग़
सो गई रस्तः तक-तक के हरइक राहगुज़ार
अजनबी ख़ाक ने धुँदला दिये क़दमों के सुराग़
गुल करो शम्‍एँ, बढ़ा दो मय--मीना--अयाग़
अपने बे-ख़्वाब किवाड़ों को मुक़फ़्फ़ल कर लो
अब यहाँ कोई नहीं, कोई नहीं आयेगा





Did someone come, sad heart? No, no one

Must be a traveler, bound for somewhere

The night has melted, the stardust is fading

In the mansions the sleepy lamps are wearing out

Pathways have gone to sleep ‒ waiting, waiting…

The unwitting dust has buried the stamp of footsteps

Blow out the lamps, put away the wine, the cup, the goblet

Lock the doors of your sleepless eyes

No one, no one will come here now



आज बाज़ार में पा--जौलाँ चलो

चश्मे-नम जाने-शोरीदा काफ़ी नहीं
तोहमते-इश्क़ पोशीदा काफ़ी नहीं
आज बाज़ार में पा-ब-जौलाँ चलो
दस्त-अफ्शाँ चलो, मस्तो-रक़्साँ चलो
ख़ाक़-बर-सर चलो, ख़ूँ-ब-दामाँ चलो
राह तकता है सब शहरे-जानाँ चलो
हाकिमे-शहर भी, मजम'ए-आम भी
तीरे-इल्ज़ाम भी, संगे-दुश्नाम भी
सुबहे-नाशाद भी, रोज़े-नाकाम भी
इनका दमसाज़ अपने सिवा कौन है
शहरे-जानाँ में अब बा-सफ़ा कौन है
दस्त-ए-क़ातिल के शायाँ रहा कौन है
रख़्ते-दिल बाँध लो दिलफ़िगारो चलो
फिर हमीं क़त्ल हो आएँ यारो चलो
आज बाज़ार में पा-ब-जौलाँ चलो



 Today, Come to the Marketplace in Fetters


Not enough the wet eyes, the angst-ridden life

Not enough the accusations of secret love

Today, come to the marketplace in fetters


Come waving your hands, in a drunken dance

Come with dust-laden heads, blood-stained clothes

Come, the beloved city is watching:


The city’s hakim, the crowds of people too

The arrows of accusation, the stones of abuse too

The disconsolate morn, the failed day too


Who besides us is there to befriend them?

Who now is trustworthy in this beloved city?

Who now is beyond the assassin’s reach?


Firm up your heavy hearts, o wounded hearts, come

Come, friends, to let ourselves be murdered

Today, come to the marketplace in fetters





ਇਕ ਤਰਾਨਾ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਕਿਸਾਨ ਦੇ ਲਈ

ਉੱਠ ਉਤਾਂਹ ਨੂੰ ਜੱਟਾ
ਮਰਦਾ ਕਿਉਂ ਜਾਨੈਂ
ਭੁਲਿਆ, ਤੂੰ ਜਗ ਦਾ ਅੰਨਦਾਤਾ
ਤੇਰੀ ਬਾਂਦੀ ਧਰਤੀ ਮਾਤਾ
ਤੂੰ ਜਗ ਦਾ ਪਾਲਣ ਹਾਰਾ
ਤੇ ਮਰਦਾ ਕਿਉਂ ਜਾਨੈਂ
ਉੱਠ ਉਤਾਂਹ ਨੂੰ ਜੱਟਾ
ਮਰਦਾ ਕਿਉਂ ਜਾਨੈਂ

ਜਰਨਲ, ਕਰਨਲ, ਸੂਬੇਦਾਰ
ਡਿਪਟੀ, ਡੀ ਸੀ, ਥਾਨੇਦਾਰ
ਸਾਰੇ ਤੇਰਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਖਾਵਣ
ਤੂੰ ਜੇ ਨਾ ਬੀਜੇਂ, ਤੂੰ ਜੇ ਨਾ ਗਾਹਵੇਂ
ਭੁੱਖੇ, ਭਾਣੇ ਸਭ ਮਰ ਜਾਵਣ
ਇਹ ਚਾਕਰ, ਤੂੰ ਸਰਕਾਰ
ਮਰਦਾ ਕਿਉਂ ਜਾਨੈਂ
ਉੱਠ ਉਤਾਂਹ ਨੂੰ ਜੱਟਾ
ਮਰਦਾ ਕਿਉਂ ਜਾਨੈਂ

ਵਿਚ ਕਚਹਰੀ, ਚੁੰਗੀ, ਥਾਣੇ
ਕੀਹ ਅਨਭੋਲ ਤੇ ਕੀਹ ਸਿਆਣੇ
ਕੀਹ ਅਸਰਾਫ਼ ਤੇ ਕੀਹ ਨਿਮਾਣੇ
ਸਾਰੇ ਖੱਜਲ ਖ਼ਵਾਰ
ਮਰਦਾ ਕਿਉਂ ਜਾਨੈਂ
ਉੱਠ ਉਤਾਂਹ ਨੂੰ ਜੱਟਾ

ਏਕਾ ਕਰ ਲੋ ਹੋ ਜੋ ਕੱਠੇ
ਭੁੱਲ ਜੋ ਰੰਘੜ, ਚੀਮੇ, ਚੱਠੇ
ਸੱਭੇ ਦਾ ਇਕ ਪਰਵਾਰ
ਮਰਦਾ ਕਿਉਂ ਜਾਨੈਂ

ਜੇ ਚੜ੍ਹ ਆਵਣ ਫ਼ੌਜਾਂ ਵਾਲੇ
ਤੂੰ ਵੀ ਛਵੀਆਂ ਲੰਬ ਕਰਾ ਲੈ
ਤੇਰਾ ਹਕ ਤੇਰੀ ਤਲਵਾਰ
ਮਰਦਾ ਕਿਉਂ ਜਾਨੈਂ

ਦੇ 'ਅੱਲ੍ਹਾ ਹੂ' ਦੀ ਮਾਰ
ਤੂੰ ਮਰਦਾ ਕਿਉਂ ਜਾਨੈਂ
ਉੱਠ ਉਤਾਂਹ ਨੂੰ ਜੱਟਾ

A Song for the Punjabi Farmer


By Faiz Ahmed Faiz


(Translated from Punjabi by TC Ghai)


Stand straight up, O Jatta

Why this listlessness?

Forgetting you’re the food giver to the world!

Mother Earth is your bondsmaiden

You are the world’s life sustainer

Why do you lie listless?

Stand straight up, O Jatta

Generals, colonels, subedars

Deputies, DCs, Thanedars –

All eat what you grow

If you didn’t sow, if you didn’t harvest

They all would die of starvation

Why this listlessness?

Stand straight up, O Jatta

In the court, at the octroi post, at the police station

Whether ignorant or wise

Whether high or low

All suffer alike

Why this listlessness?

Stand straight up, O Jatta

Unite and come together

Forget who is a Rangad, Cheema, or Chatha

All are one family

If they send armies after you

Sharpen your choppers

Your right, your sword

Why this listlessness?

Strike fear of Allah in them

Why do you lie listless?

Stand straight up, O Jatta


Two poems by Walter de la Mare


Walter de la Mare


The abode of the nightingale is bare,
Flowered frost congeals in the gelid air,
The fox howls from his frozen lair:
Alas, my loved one is gone,
I am alone:
It is winter.

Once the pink cast a winy smell,
The wild bee hung in the hyacinth bell,
Light in effulgence of beauty fell:
I am alone:
It is winter.

My candle a silent fire doth shed,
Starry Orion hunts o'erhead;
Come moth, come shadow, the world is dead:
Alas, my loved one is gone,
I am alone;
It is winter.



Some One


Walter de la Mare


Some one came knocking
At my wee, small door;
Someone came knocking;
I'm sure-sure-sure;
I listened, I opened,
I looked to left and right,
But nought there was a stirring
In the still dark night;
Only the busy beetle
Tap-tapping in the wall,
Only from the forest
The screech-owl's call,
Only the cricket whistling
While the dewdrops fall,
So I know not who came knocking,
At all, at all, at all.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

STREET DOG (GALI KA KUTTA) - A poem, and the Anarchist Tradition



This poem by me both in English and Hindi might interest you.


                                 STREET DOG

                                       A Poem


 He lies sprawling on the footpath

under the December noon sun

soaked in Nature’s bounty

immobile, eyes shut, as if in deep sleep


Untroubled by

the fear of losing his possessions

dictatorial parents

rebellious offspring

a quarrelsome spouse

treacherous friends

backstabbing and betrayals

bouts of loneliness

a god’s wrath

police lawyers taxmen ED CBI 

He lies sprawling on the footpath

at peace with the universe


Here is the Hindi version.

गली का कुत्ता

वह चारों टांगे पसार

फुटपाथ पर लेटा है

दिसम्बर की दोपहरी धूप के नीचे

प्रकृति के वरदान में विभोर

निश्चल, आंखें मूंदे, मानो गहरी नींद में


एकदम बेफ़िक्र

घरबार लुटे जाने के डर से

मां-बाप के आदेशों से

पति-पत्नी के लड़ाई-झगड़ों से

संतान की उपेक्षाओं से

मित्रों के विश्वासघात से

देवी-देताओं के प्रकोप से

पोलीस, वकीलों, आयकर अधिकारियों  ईडी सीबीआई के डर से

सभी संसारी चिंताओं से विमुक्त

वह चारों टांगे पसार

फुटपाथ पर लेटा है


The Anarchist Tradition

Here is Noam Chomsky's view of the anarchist tradition.

The case of anarchist tradition  as I understand it, is that power is always illegitimate unless it proves itself to be legitimate. So the burden of proof is always on those who claim that some authoritarian hierarchic relation is legitimate.