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Monday, 29 October 2012

Karanaavi Taarakh Naa Apor (Ferry Me Across) by Zinda Kaul


Zinda Kaul (1884-1965) was one of the most important literary figures of his age in Kashmir. Teacher, translator, and archaeologist, ‘Masterji’ wrote poems in Hindi, Urdu, Persian, and Kashmiri. Zinda Kaul was one of the few Kashmiri poets of his age who had mastered complex poetic forms, meter, and structure.

This ‘leftist’ Kashmiri poem Karanaavi Taarakh Naa Apor is politically relevant even today. The revolution resides in the change within, and the utopian Ram Rajya and Nizam-e-Mustafa are not reached by religiosity (or by irresponsible materialism, for that matter), but by becoming an active member that shares the collective responsibility of a just society that respects the poor, women, and children, and the environment. But above all, all these dreams are realized by love and kindness.



English transliteration:

Karanaavi Taarakh Naa!

Naakaara gomut nagar son
Basanas na Iaayakh roodmut
Loottas ta havsas baajybatth
Manzbaag miskeen moodmut
               Tsalahaa ta beyi yimahaa na yor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Zaalim zalar zan zaal hyath
Zaagaan gareeban zora vaaly
Khotsan na haakim maari maa
Prutshagaar maa kunyi aasi kaaly
               Chhukh peera phwokh tay dyaara zor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Maanav banyith mohnyuv mazoor
Chhon non malyun achh gaasha ros
Lari Iooka hanzay baadaraan
Nari losanaavaan baashi ros
               Saaraan khara sandy paatthy bor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Day zonmut chhukh jaabiraah
Poozaa tasunz bachanuk chhu tshal
Zevi kiny khwoshaamad chhis karaan
Aase ta anyi maa kenh vwodal
               Aslee chhu ddokh son peera zor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Pazyaary, rahbar, resh, valee
Kar taam asi nish moodymuty
Zuva rasy mary path kun tihundy
Maty, mary ta mandar roodymuty
               Vati raavaraan mulaa ta gor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Sedy saada swondar jaanavar
Asi nish yiman bachanuch chhi aash
Maarith muhith chhikh asy karaan
Tthoolav bachav saan aaly naash
               Chhuna khoona ros vwotalaan ttor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Yeti saarivuy day monmut
Kun daata maalik maajy mol
 Khwokabaaty, taarakh, viginyi, yachh
Traavith baraan tasy yot lol
               Pava nish na dalavuny or yor
               Zuv chhum bramaan gatshahaa bu tor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Yeti baazy, afsoon, shilpa vyaz
Khurynaava zaanith anyigott
Bakhtee, preyam, seevaa, dayaa
Shod darum maanan tshott ta mott
               Athy vati pyath thaavith chhi khor
               Zuv chhum bramaan gatshahaa bu tor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Yeti desh voth, zal thal veshaal
An, pan ta phal, mad gyav vophoor
Dyutmut dayan tim baagaraan
Khyath chhukh huraan, zaanan na tsoor
               Swombarun chhi ganzaraan vwolabor
               Zuv chhum bramaan gatshahaa bu tor
               Karanaavi taraakh naa apor!

Kenh kaansi nish yats tsor na kam
Beyi sund vuchhith alyfas na bam
Ada kyaazi traavan topa duh
Ada kyaazi pyan asmaana bam
               Dushman na kaanh, phojuk na bor
               Zuv chhum bramaan gatshahaa bu tor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Ary dary manush pashy chaava suuty
Yeti kaam kot saaree karan
Path chhakh syatthaa rozan mwokal
Gindan, gyavan, Iekhan, paran
               Asanuk ta vyasanuk dor dor
               Zuv chhum bramaan gatshahaa bu tor
               Karanaavi taraakh naa apor!

Yeti kaanh na vadanaavaan shuryan
Yeti deeviyay maanaan triyan
Yeti koor gobras khwota ttaatth
Yeti nwosh na kaanh karmas duyan
               Yeti baay sreh vuzanas tswopor
               Zuv chhum bramaan gatshahaa bu tor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Vani, vaari, aangan, jaayi saaph
Shrogy baana bartan, shrootsy shraany
Sedy saada vastur shoobavuny
Ary paan swondar nundabaany
               Kaanh maa kwokaarav kiny kwokor
               Zuv chhum bramaan gatshahaa bu tor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Kaanh maa hyatsarzad tay bichor
Kaanh maa chhu mot yaa phyor chor
Sworanay na naphsuny dorador
Pashanuk na vwosh, vadanuk na shor
               Santosh vrat chhakh lachh kworor
               Zuv chhum bramaan gatshahaa bu tor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!

Yeli saarinuy asi ttotthi day
Yeli pheri pay preymuk tswopor
Saaree banan pazykiny manush
Rozee na yeti kaanh hoon bror
Tee gav zi Raamun nagar khor
               Roozith yapaaree tary apor!
               Zuv chhum bramaan gatshahaa bu tor
               Karanaavi taarakh naa apor!


English translation:


Ferry Me Across!

1 – Yapor (Here)

Decadent has become our city
No longer fit for us to live in
Caught in a rut of lust and dacoity
The helpless are dying in between
            I want to run away never to return, alas!
            O ferryman, won’t you ferry me across!

The sadist their spider webs brandish
Stalk the poor those who have power
Unafraid that the Lord might punish
That they might be questioned ever
            From money and priest’s blessings power amass!
            O ferryman, won’t you ferry me across!

Human being turned into menial labourer
Bare and bereft, soiled and sightless
Building houses for others’ pleasure
Exhausting their arms and being joyless
            Bearing a burden like a dumb jackass!
            O ferryman, won’t you ferry me across!

God they take to be a cruel tyrant
Of escaping Him, His worship a ploy
Appease Him with the tongue of sycophant
That in case He exists, He might not destroy
            Our real saviours are the priestly class!
            O ferryman, won’t you ferry me across!

True leaders, guides, rishis, and sages
Left over are their lifeless relics
Dead and forgotten for us from ages
Leaving shrines, temples, and mad ascetics
            Misleading the masses the Gors and Mullahs!
            O ferryman, won’t you ferry me across!

Straight and simple, birds so beautiful
After killing them and after crushing them
Of our protection that are so hopeful
Nests, with eggs and fledglings, we destroy then
            Without blood, a feast does not muster pass!
            O ferryman, won’t you ferry me across!

2 – Apor (There)

Where everyone on one God agrees
The only giver, lord, father and mother
And scarecrows, stars, goblins and faeries
Are discarded to love Him and no other
            Deviate do not they hither thither where
            O ferryman, my heart yearns to go there!

Where charms, spells, and magical initiation
Are all notorious as patterns of darkness
Love and devotion, service and compassion
A faith is accepted in its pure plainness
            Foot firmly set on this path is where
            O ferryman, my heart yearns to go there!

An open country with gushing streams, free and fair
With food, fruit, milk and honey, of no bounty bereft
That the Lord has provided all they share
All get enough and spare, they know no theft
            Hoarding is a meaningless folly where
            O ferryman, my heart yearns to go there!

Nobody has more nor less, of inequality no room
And possessions of others evoke no evil eye
Why would they then let cannons boom?
Why would then bombs fall from the sky?
            Nobody is an enemy, no burden of arms where
            O ferryman, my heart yearns to go there!

Ah, what men and beasts of limbs strong!
Where each and everyone is hardworking
And they find of leisure happy hours long
For playing and singing, writing and reading
            Sounds of laughter and loving echo where
            O ferryman, my heart yearns to go there!

Where no one makes small children weep
Where a woman is worshipped as a goddess incarnate
Where daughters more loved than sons they keep
Where a daughter-in-law curses not her fate
            Love gushes forth from every spring where
            O ferryman, my heart yearns to go there!

Houses and gardens, all places are clean
Pots and pans shiny, though bought cheap
Simple elegant garments with graceful sheen
Health and beauty their whole bodies steep
            None is deformed by evil deeds where
            O ferryman, my heart yearns to go there!

Nobody is in the grip of depression and despair
Nobody is mad there, no one’s mind ails
And no pangs of hunger, of survival no care
No sighs of remorse and no sound of wails
            Contentment is counted in crore rupees where
            O ferryman, my heart yearns to go there!

3 – Kapor (Where)

When God is loved by everyone
When love will roam everywhere
Everyone will become truly human
Remains will no cats and no dogs here
            That’s how the city of Rama is built anywhere!
            While staying over here, we live over there
            O ferryman, my heart yearns to go there!


© Translation, Sualeh Keen

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