Of taverns and wine…

भावुकता अंगूर लता से खींच कल्पना की हाला,
कवि साकी बनकर आया है भरकर कविता का प्याला,
कभी न कण-भर खाली होगा लाख पिएँ, दो लाख पिएँ!
पाठकगण हैं पीनेवाले, पुस्तक मेरी मधुशाला।।४।

Bhavukta angoor lata se kheench kalpana ki hala
Kavi saaki bankar aaya hai bharkar kavita ka pyala
Kabhi na kan-bhar khali hoga, lakh piye do lakh piye
Pathak gan hain peene wale, pustak meri madhushala

Drawing the wine of imagination and emotions from a grapevine, the poet stands as a sommelier holding his poem as a wine-glass. This glass will never empty out, even if millions drink from it. My readers are my drinkers, and my book is my tavern.

मिट्टी का तन, मस्ती का मन, क्षण भर जीवन, मेरा परिचय

“Mitti ka tan, masti ka man, kshan-bhar jivan — mera parichay.”

A body of clay, a mind full of play, a moment’s life – that is me…

मधुशालाMadhushala – was written in 1935, and contains 135 verses of four lines each. Written by the superstar father of the greatest superstar India has known…Yes, the father of Amitabh Bachchan – Harivansh Rai Bachchan wrote this as part of his trilogy. that included Madhubala (मधुबाला) (1936) and Madhukalash मधुकलश) (1937).

The tavern and the wine are brilliant metaphors for everything that intoxicates us in life, as well as the pain and frustration that we encounter everyday. It symbolizes our yearning and the agony that comes along with it, the inevitability of death and fate, but yet a glimmer of hope and a look at the beauty that makes up life…

A poem that should be one of the ten that you read in life, and remember.

And so, I will attempt, in the coming few days and weeks, to bring this poem to you, stanza by stanza. Let’s read it together, and appreciate it together. And when we do, let’s pass it on, and teach it to our children, but literally, and through our own actions.

चलने ही चलने में कितना जीवन, हाय, बिता डाला!
‘दूर अभी है’, पर, कहता है हर पथ बतलानेवाला,
हिम्मत है न बढूँ आगे को साहस है न फिरुँ पीछे,
किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ मुझे कर दूर खड़ी है मधुशाला।

Chalne hi chalne me kitna jeevan, haaye, bita dala
‘Door abhi hai’, par, kehta hai har path batlanewala
Himmat hai na badhu aage ko sahas hai na phiru piche
Kinkartavyavimudh mujhe kar door khadi hai madhushala

Ah, how much time have I wasted away just walking aimlessly! Every person showing me the way tells me ‘it’s farther off yet’. I don’t have the strength to move forward, nor the courage to turn back. Making me bewildered like this, my tavern stands beckoning from far away!

See you tomorrow!