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Monday, 29 October 2012

Anaȧḍy Haȧnz (Foolish Fisherman) – by Vishwas

Written by Vishwa Nath ‘Vishwas’ (1926-?). His literary influences were Dina Nath Nadim and the Russian authors. The metaphor and the political satire in this poem is powerful.

English transliteration:

Anaȧḍy Haȧnz


Ithakȧny chhuy ḍyaka phwolavun baasan
Traay vuṭhan hȧnz chhay asavu̇ny hish
Kathi tala chhus raavaan amaapȯz
Zaani khwodaa kam gul phȯlaraavakh

Vucch saa khabaru̇y chhay karanaavyaa
Yath kwoli tez bahaav chhu kath kun
Kath kun chhay karanaav tsė khaaru̇ny
Ath kotaah chhuy taakat laagun

Hȯl ganḍ cheera hyamath kar taamat
Phuchmȧtsi naavi chhu mȧnzilas vaatun
Zor kȧrith jabroothaa haȧvith
Zima chhay naav bȧru̇ts bȯṭh khaaru̇ny

Vwony ta kaḍu̇th luka naav tsė paanay
Nabzas nabzas chhuy hyas thaavun
Kala maa kaḍi kunyi ȯbra lȯngaah hyoo
Vaava lathaa hish maa kunyi traavyas

Khooris yuth na tsalee thaph neerith
Yuth na ḍalee khwor hamatul laȧgith
Yuth na sanyar ḍeeshith dil rave
Graayan yuth na yi naav tsu̇ laagakh

Gwoḍa chee ratsa phȧly atha khwor aȧvily
Vuchh kath kaaras paan tsė loguth
Ati shooban atha traṭa pholaadu̇ky
Khor gatshan pȧtharis vuzanaavu̇ny


Tsė nam naavi rȯṭuth nyabaru̇y kun
Vath hay baȧly ta yȯt kȯt laȧgith
Buthi maa laagakh asi vwonda manzaras
Dokhay maa aȧs tray vuṭhan hȧnz

Tsė zaalaah hyoo aabas trovuth
O ta tsu̇ maa chhukh gaaḍan draamut
Heela kȧrith luka naav tsė kȧḍthan
Manz dariyaavas loguth zaalaah

Haȧnzaa nazar thȧvu̇th gaaḍan kun
Khooris tshu̇n thaph vunyi chhuy aadan
Pȯt hyȯt naavi lamun gu̇thi suu̇tyan
Asi lȧjy gatshni dilan dubaraaray

Aalav saȧny gatshaan chee kȧny pȧty
Mula tala kal chhay ȧthy zaalas kun
Chaanyi diluk vara si maa ḍeshov
Nata kus lagihe yath sȧhlaabas

Ȧchh tul thȯd vu̇chh vaara nabas kun
Vaava mushak hyoo hargaah traavee
Hargaah kȧr maa naagakaȧny davaa hish
Vijavaavan zan koḍ vaashaa hyoo

Hosh tsė maa ḍalanay ku̇ṭa haȧnzaa
Zaal tsalee maa atha manza vyasarith
Zaal valee maa garzuk sodaa
Garza matsar maa kharee daaras

English translation:

Foolish Fisherman (Masquerading as a Ferryman)


Your countenance appears quite cheerful
Your lips break naturally into a smile
However, by your talk I feel a little doubtful
God knows what you will do in a while

Look, you know very well, O ferryman
In which direction does the stream fast flow
Where to pull the ferry, how save it you can
And how much strength it will take to do so

So gird your lions, show some resoluteness
To its destination this broken boat must reach
You are with sheer strength and prowess
Trusted to steer this filled ferry to the beach

Now that you have a boatful of people plowed
Be watchful of every small sign you must
Somewhere an ugly head may be reared by a cloud
Which the wind may kick and make it burst

So, get a grip and hold on to the oar firmly
Punting with the pole, your feet to slip don’t allow
Let not your heart sink when great depth you see
Towards billows the ferry you must never let go

But your hands are so small, feet so genteel
Look what a tough task for yourself you chose
For this job calls for hands of forged steel
And feet whose tread can the earth arouse


Outward bound why you have pointed the prow
The bank we had to follow, whither this way you go
Further ahead would us into deep trouble you throw
Was that smile on your beguiling lips just for show?

What is it that you just cast into the waters
O is it that all along fishing you were after
Tricking into the ferry unsuspecting passengers
Then casting your net amidst the river?

O fisherman, fixed on fish your eyes are, alack
Grab your oar now, for there still is a chance
The current now is forcing the boat to turn back
In our chests our hearts have started to dance

Our cries to your deaf ears don’t much mean
The net grabs all your attention and your sight
If only wickedness of your heart we had foreseen
We wouldn’t have landed in this watery plight

Up to the sky look hard and look long
Smells like the mushk wind may be on its way
Or the naagakon may just start to race along
Or yawn and stretch the vijavaav may *

O foolish fisherman, won’t you fall unconscious
Won’t then from your hands the net slip through
Around you a web weave won’t your selfish business
Won’t greedy obsession on the gallows hoist you?

Mushk, Naagakon: Directional winds, considered dangerous for boats, particularly in the Wular Lake, South-Asia’s largest freshwater lake, which is frequented by windstorms.

Vijavaav: A contrary and stormy wind opposing boats on a navigable river.

Translation © Sualeh Keen

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