Here is a piece of poetry, straight from the soul of the fiery Indian nationalist poet, Subramania Bharati, translated from Tamil. I am attempting the impossible; there is not a word in Bharati’s songs that can even be replaced or rearranged, without losing the original fire and flavour, let alone be translated.
Will one discard in the dust, a veena, delicately crafted?
Solladi Sivashakthi, you have borne me, sparkling
with brilliance! Will you not Vest me with valour,
Arming me to make this world worthy of living!
Solladi Sivashakthi, will you let me rot in stagnation
Turning me into a burden for this nation?
Like a ball in acceleration, I seek from you, a body,
Agile, and obeying what the mind commands.
From you, I demand, a heart devoid of desire
And a life glowing anew with eternity.
If my body be roasted on fire, even then, I beseech you,
Sivashakthi, to bestow me with a soul that will sing of you.
From you, unwavering determination I demand,
Solladi Sivashakthi, what barrier do you see
For granting me, what I wish from thee?
* Veena – an Indian string instrument
Solladi – Can be loosely translated as ‘Tell me’ , however in doing so, it will lose the original tone of affectionate admonition.
Sivashakthi –The Hindu Goddess, Bharati’s embodiment of a friend and mother.