Culture & Society

Poem: Spring And The Artisan

Dr Huzaifa Pandit translates a poem by Abdur Rehman Rahi, one of the foremost exponents of Kashmiri literature who died earlier this week at the age of 98.

Advertisement

Spring and the Artisan, a poem by Abdur Rehman Rahi, has been translated into English by Dr Huzaifa Pandit.
info_icon

Abdur Rehman Rahi was a Kashmir poet, translator, and critic. As one of the foremost exponents of Kashmiri literature, he authored a dozen books and translations. He was also awarded with the prestigious Jnanpith Award and the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship. 

Rahi died on Monday at the age of 98. For a long time, he was an influential figure in Kashmir’s literary scene. 

Dr Huzaifa Pandit has translated a poem by Rahi below, titled Spring and the Artisan.

(i)

Spring has dawned, the mountains resplendent in delight, and flowers all abloom 
The sky is a clear mirror, the merry spring breeze sprinkles fragrance in the world 
In the willow grove, the cuckoo serenades, and the pigeons coo.
The sun bares its comely face, while the daffodils fill their goblets to the brim. 
A flight of swallows has flown in a merry din 
that the surrounding stand to attention. 
Spring has set in like last year 
raking half-forgotten deep desires. 
The gates of Nishat will be thrown open again today
while the waterfalls of Shalimar will glide again. 
The embroider begins work on a new motif
And the coachman has harnessed his carriage. 
If only the Friday yesterday were today. 
Alas! What intricate motifs have to be traced
to be embroidered on cloth today! How detailed,
each spilling over into long hours!
Alack! the thread is all a tight knit jumble today. 
The dazed needle lies lost, all addresses forgotten, 
draping pierced fingers in blood. 

Advertisement

(ii)

In the distance, a child sobs 
Perchance, 
someone has teased my Qadir
by tempting his naïve heart,
some richling strode past him in new fancy shoes,
some man in his mirth thrust
an instrument to a passerby to play,
some boatman pestered a tourist with a silken carpet,
some cook strode out with his motley pans
and cauldrons to the shore. 

(iii)

Bulbul, what are you gazing at from afar?
Sing a sweet song or two sitting on this window. 
Render in detail again the hues of flowers.
Has dew slaked the thirst of every flower yet?
Leaving already? What is the hurry?
Stay a moment or two, it is barely time yet!
You will soar soon in the azure sky.
Alack! If I were a bulbul and could take flight!  
If only I too had some leisure to savour!
If only debt had not cordoned me!
Who would have consented
To shackle desire in sorrow in the workshop?

Advertisement

(Dr Huzaifa Pandit is an Assistant Professor at Government Degree College, Pampore.)

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement