Bal Kavita

Bal-Kavita: Hindi Poems for Children #3

This series features poems written for children by famous Hindi poets. In this post – “Kala Kauva” by Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

Writing poems for children is no mean task. Not only must the ideas be kept simple, but they must also be conveyed using equally simple words, rhymes and meters. These four elements have to be chosen keeping in mind age group of the children at whom the poem is aimed. Eight year olds will probably not like something written with five year olds in mind. This makes writing children’s poetry very difficult, especially for poets who are more used to addressing adult audiences.

This series features Hindi poems for children, written by poets who are well known for their poems aimed at mature audiences.

Kala Kauva by Harivansh Rai Bachchan


उजला-उजला हंस एक दिन उड़ते-उड़ते आया,
हंस देखकर काला कौआ मन ही मन शरमाया।

लगा सोचने उजला-उजला मैं कैसे हो पाऊँ
उजला हो सकता हूँ साबुन से मैं अगर नहाऊँ।

यही सोचता मेरे घर पर आया काला कागा,
और गुसलखाने से मेरा साबुन लेकर भागा।

फिर जाकर गड़ही पर उसने साबुन खूब लगाया,
खूब नहाया, मगर न अपना कालापन धो पाया।

मिटा न उसका कालापन तो मन ही मन पछताया,
पास हंस के कभी न फिर वह काला कौआ आया।


उजला – white, bright
हंस – swan
गुसलखाने – washroom
गड़ही – puddle

About the Poet:

02. Bachhan 6Born in Allahabad in 1907, Harivansh Rai Bachchan was one of the most famous Hindi poets. His poetry was full of spontaneity and sensitivity.

He is best known for his poem Madhushala. He would often be invited to poetry conferences only to discover that he was the only invitee. He would be requested to recite Madhushala in full, a task which would take him hours. Later in life he refused to recite that poem as he felt that his other, better poems were being overshadowed by the popularity of Madhushala. A musical version of this poem was also released as an LP record, perhaps the only poem to have such a distinction.

Other than Madhushala, his notable works include Nisha Nimantran, Pranay Patrika, Ekant Sangeet, etc. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1968, and the Padma Bhushan in 1976. He passed away in 2003.

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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