Swapna Ho Sakar (May Dreams Be Fulfilled – Working Title)

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स्वधिनो के खून से सिंची लता से खींची हाला (१.१)
साकी बिना भेदभाव बाटना अवसर का प्याला (१.२)
स्वप्ना जो देखा एक पादरी ने, ना हो जाये दुस्वार (१.३)
अधखुली है वो पूरी खुले साब के लिए मधुशाला (१.४)

हर आदमी का निर्माण समान, देश स्थपतिओ ने कहा (२.१)
वादे के विष से भरता रहा कर्ज का प्याला (२.२)
संकड़ो ने की कुच उस दिन पी के समता की हाला (२.३)
समानता के ओजारओ से साकी सुधार ले अपनी मधुशाला (२.४)

नव निर्माण जब जब हुआ तब तब कोई जीता कोई हारा (३.१)
कई वर्गो को मानाव नहीं संपति जो माना (३.२)
लौकिक नहीं, ‘कर नहीं, प्रतिनिधित्व के बिना’ का नारा (३.३)
उच्चे आदर्शो पे भले बनी हो, निष्कलंक नहीं मधुशाला (३.४)

कुलीनों ने मिलके पीली समाधान की हाला (४.१)
दासो को पूरा नहीं आधा गीन के प्याले में ढाला (४.२)
साकी किस का हुआ उद्धार, और किसकी फूटी किस्मत (४.३)
रोशनी का ये अंधेरा पहेलु से रची थी मधुशाला (४.४)

 

English Transliterated, with Loose Translation

Swadhino ke khoon se sinchi lata se kinchi haalaa (1.1)
Saaqi bina bhedbhaav baatna aavsar ka pyaala (1.2)
swapna jo dekha ek paadri ne, na ho jaye duusvaar (1.3)
Adhkhuli hai wo puri khule saab ke liye madhusala (1.4)

From the vine irrigated with patriots’ blood, the wine was drawn (1.1)
Barmaid without discrimination provide the glass of opportunity (1.2)
The dream a preacher saw shouldn’t go to waste (1.3)
Though it was half-opened, open fully the tavern for everyone (1.4)

Har aadmi ka nirmaan saman, desh sthapati-o ne kaha (2.1)
Vaade ke vish se bharta raha karz ka pyaala (2.2)
Sankado ne ki kuch us din pee ke samta ki haalaa (2.3)
Samaante ke ojaaro se saaqi marammat ker apni madhusala (2.4)

The founding fathers said ‘all men are created equal’ (2.1)
The poison of this promise kept filling the cup of debt (2.2)
That day, multitudes marched drunk on wine of equality (2.3)
Use the tools of equality, O barmaid, to repair our tavern (2.4)

Nav nirmaan jab jab hua tab tab koi jita koi haaraa (3.1)
Kai varg ko manav nahi sampati hi maana (3.2)
Laukik nahi, ‘kar nahi, pratinidhitva ke bina’ ka nara (3.3)
Ucche adarsho pe bhale baani ho nishkalank nahi madhusala (3.4)

Whenever a new foundation is laid, some win, some lose (3.1)
Many didn’t count as humans, but as property (3.2)
Not all were included in the war cry, ‘no taxation without representation’ (3.3)
On high ideals was built, but the tavern wasn’t unblemished (3.4)

Kulino ne milke piy li samaadhan ki haalaa (4.1)
Daaso ko pura nahi adhura geen ke pyale mein dhalaa (4.2)
saaqi kiss ka hua uddhaar, aur kiski phooti kismet (4.3)
Roshani ka ye andhera pahelu se rachi thi madhusala (4.4)

The elites met and drank the wine of compromise (4.1)
The slaves were cast not as whole but incomplete in the glass (4.2)
O barmaid who was liberated and whose dreams were shattered (4.3)
There was a dark side to the brightness when the tavern was created (4.4)

 

Notes:

August 28, 2013 was the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech (delivered first on August 28, 1963). I have, on and off, been reading Harivanshrai Bachchan’s Madhusala in last couple of months. In a flash, I mashed 2 ideas together and penned 2 quatrains on that day. Bachchan’s uses AABA, or AAAA, or ABAA rhyme patterns in his quatrains with repeated use of haala (wine), pyaala (glass), saaqi (barmaid) and each one ends in madhusala (tavern) as metaphors.

It felt little unoriginal perhaps and certainly a little sacrilegious to use this device from a much beloved poem in Hindi literature. But, then I read that Bachchan got his inspiration from Omar Khayyam’s Rubiayat. Bachchan called his translation Khayyam’s Madhusala. Bachchan was translating Fitzgerald’s English translation of Khayyam’s original. So it seems lot of things continue to get recycled and recast.

Since then I added 2 more quatrains. Using this poem to help me flex in using more Hindi vocabulary (as opposed to Urdu), and explore more political themes. There is a lot of source material to dig through and continue exploring these themes. So I hope to continue returning to this and keep adding to it.

Some Links:

Madhusala in Devnagari script

Amitabh Bachchan reciting couple of lines.

Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech text.

Video of the Dream speech.

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