30 August 2012

For Mother (Bou)


I happened to read this beautiful poem in Odia (Oriya) by Shri Dillip Balabantaray. I attempt to translate it in English. Your suggestions to refine it would be appreciated. The translation is as follows.


For Mother (Bou*)
by Dillip Balabantaray
(translated by Srijit Mishra)

After I left your lap I saw
That world of truth and deceit.
After I left your hand I realized
That life of laughter and tears.

After I heard your voice I understood
That no voice is sweeter than thee.
After I felt your touch I sensed
That feeling of all pervasiveness.

After I tugged your dress# I realized
That relevance of your bosom.
After I touched your feet I knew
That you are my living GOD!

After you, life and death is the same
That life moves into nothingness.
After writing about you I wonder
That  there are no words to express.

(* A general word for mother in India is Maa and its variants like Amma, Aai and like that and globally you will have variants like Mom, Meter, Mother, but it is perhaps in Odia (Oriya) that many people use Bou - the term is very Odisha (Orissa) specific. Of course many people do use Maa also. But the poet has used the typical Odia term Bou in this poem.
# Kanhi in Odia, equivalent in Hindi is perhaps pallu.)

Corrections/thoughts on 31 August 2012
Para 2, line 2, deleted 'other' from 'no other voice'.
Para 3, line 2, replaced 'the bosom' with 'your bosom'.
Last line: at one time I was thinking of replacing the last line with '... the world is devoid of words', but left it as it is from my first attempt.



Those of you interested in some other Odia poems may see my earlier blogposts on:

Mashusudhan Rao's He ananadamaya koti bhubana palaka and

Ramakrushna Nanda's Ahe Dayama

Also see another translation of mine

Kalasi Kakhei Rupasi (Damsel with a Pitcher) by Sabita Pradhan

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