Poets

Famous Hindi Poems #1

 
The 20th century saw Hindi literature move from regional dialects to standard Hindi as a result of path-breaking works by many well-known writers and poets. This series features some famous Hindi poems by the pioneers of this era. In this post – “Thukra Do Ya Pyaar Karo” by Subhadra Kumari Chauhan.

February 24, 1980 was my mother’s 51st birthday. I had brought her some books on Hindi poetry amongst which was a book called “Mukul”. It was an anthology of poems written by Subhadra Kumari Chauhan.

I had been introduced to Subhadra Kumari’s poems at an early age by my mother. Poems like “Jhansi ki Rani” and “Mera Naya Bachpan” were amongst my favorites, and I was able to recite them from memory. “Mukul” presented me with an opportunity to read many of her other poems, and I was soon in awe of the poetic genius of that lady.

“Thukra Do Ya Pyaar Karo” is one of the poems from “Mukul”. It invariably leaves me enthralled by both its simplicity and its idea of complete surrender.

Thukra Do Ya Pyaar Karo by Subhadra Kumari Chauhan

Lyrics:

देव! तुम्हारे कई उपासक कई ढंग से आते हैं
सेवा में बहुमूल्य भेंट वे कई रंग की लाते हैं

धूमधाम से साज-बाज से वे मंदिर में आते हैं
मुक्तामणि बहुमुल्य वस्तुऐं लाकर तुम्हें चढ़ाते हैं

मैं ही हूँ गरीबिनी ऐसी जो कुछ साथ नहीं लायी
फिर भी साहस कर मंदिर में पूजा करने चली आयी

धूप-दीप-नैवेद्य नहीं है झांकी का श्रृंगार नहीं
हाय! गले में पहनाने को फूलों का भी हार नहीं

कैसे करूँ कीर्तन, मेरे स्वर में है माधुर्य नहीं
मन का भाव प्रकट करने को वाणी में चातुर्य नहीं

नहीं दान है, नहीं दक्षिणा खाली हाथ चली आयी
पूजा की विधि नहीं जानती, फिर भी नाथ चली आयी

पूजा और पुजापा प्रभुवर इसी पुजारिन को समझो
दान-दक्षिणा और निछावर इसी भिखारिन को समझो

मैं उनमत्त प्रेम की प्यासी हृदय दिखाने आयी हूँ
जो कुछ है, वह यही पास है, इसे चढ़ाने आयी हूँ

चरणों पर अर्पित है, इसको चाहो तो स्वीकार करो
यह तो वस्तु तुम्हारी ही है ठुकरा दो या प्यार करो

Translation:

Lord! In many different ways your devotees come to worship
Carrying with them many kinds of valuable gifts

They come to the temple well adorned and full of gaiety and revelry
And make offerings of pearls and other valuables

Only I am such a destitute who is unable to bring any offerings
Yet, gathering my courage, I have come to worship at the temple

Neither have I incense, lamps and oblations, nor any ornaments
Alas! I haven’t even a garland of flowers with which to adorn you

How can I sing your prayers, neither has my voice the sweetness
Nor is my speech adept at conveying my feelings

Neither donations, nor honorarium, I have come empty handed
I know not even the rituals of worship, and yet, my lord, I have come

Consider me, your devotee, as both the worship and the offering
Consider me, this destitute, as the donation, honorarium and sacrifice

Crazed with thirst for your love, I have come to open my heart to you
I only have myself, and this is what I have come to offer you

I am the tribute I offer at your feet, accept it if you wish
Even the tribute I offer belongs to you, love it or reject it

About the Poet:

Subhadra Kumari ChauhanBorn in Allahabad in 1904, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was a Hindi poetess and writer. She is famous for her poems, especially the ones depicting Veer Rasa or heroism. She also wrote short stories based on life of the middle class.

“Mukul” was the first anthology of Subhadra Kumari’s poems, published in November 1930, and perhaps contains most of her well-known poems. In its preface she said that these poems were all written at an early age, and that she had no recollection of when she wrote them or when and where they were published.

Subhadra Kumari also mentions that she had all but stopped writing. It is so strange to hear that at the age of 26 she had already stopped writing, and that all her famous poems were written at what she called “the dawn of my life”.

One wonders what hidden talents she had, and what all masterpieces she could have written had she continued to write.

Subhadra Kumari died in a car accident in 1948.

Interested in more information on any of the above topics? Please comment on this post, and I will try to write about them soon.

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