7/17/12

Save me, Your Voice I am - Vidrohi



'विद्रोही' की तरह की कविता रच पाना हममें से किसी का भी सपना हो सकता है. वह एक ऐसा अद्भुत कवि है, जो जब हाथ पसारता है तो इतिहास और वर्तमान की दोनों दिशाएँ हस्तामलकवत लगती हैं. कहते हैं, कविता वही बड़ी होती है जो सभ्यता के मूल सवालों तक पहुँच जाए. इस कवि के उठाये सवाल 'सभ्यता की समीक्षा' करते हैं. जिस अन्तर्राष्ट्रीयतावाद की समाप्ति की दुन्दुभी बड़े जोर-शोर से ग्लोबल गाँव के देवता मना रहे हैं, वह विद्रोही के यहाँ अपनी पूरी ताकत से मौजूद है. न सिर्फ साम्राज्यवाद, बल्कि सामंतवाद की गहरी पड़ताल और तीखा प्रतिरोध इन कविताओं के केन्द्र में है. मिथकों का अद्भुत इस्तेमाल उनकी कविता को एक खास परम्परा बोध से जोड़ता है. विद्रोही इसके सहारे प्रतिरोध की परम्परा का नया आख्यान करते हैं. विद्रोही कविता पढ़ते नहीं, बतियाते हैं. उनसे कविता सुनना एक बेचैन कर देने वाला अनुभव होता रहा है. यह कविता दूसरी भाषा में पढ़ते हुए उस लय की याद आती रही.
मित्र आलोक ने विद्रोही जी की इस कविता का अंगरेजी तर्जुमा किया है. इलाहाबाद में छात्र-आंदोलन के दिनों की गहमागहमी के बाद अब जन संस्कृति मंच से संबद्ध हैं. बंबई में नौकरी करते हैं.

1.

O Nature! And men!
This is Simon here,
Standing in the witness box
Calling you
To come and defend me.

I speak from
The last step of the pool of Mohenjodaro,
Lying where 
The burnt corpse of a woman
and human bones
scattered in the pool.
Such burnt corpses of women
and scattered human bones
you may find in Bebelonia
as also in Mesopotamia .

I think, and think very often
Why the burnt corpse of a woman
And scattered human bones
Are always found
On the threshold of every ancient civilization,
from the rocky civilization of Sythia
to the plains of Bengal
and from the woods of Sawana
To the forests of Kanha.


2.

My foremothers are crying
in the sky,
and I’m in great anger,
as not only a woman
but my mother, my sister
my wife, my daughter is killed every-time .
I would have sacrificed my life
Near the burnt corpse of the woman,
But for the sake of my daughter
Who says, ‘Papa!Why are you so emotional for girls,
We, the girls,
are like wood-sticks
used in the furnace
to maintain fire
when grown up.’
Human bones
scattered here
could be that of Roman slaves
or of the wavers of Bengal
or of the children
of modern Vietnam, Palestine or Iraq.

An empire is, an empire after all
What mattersif it is Roman, British or American?
The only thing that it does is
Scattering human bones
On plains and mountains
To the banks of rivers
Near sea-shores, and over plateaus
And yet it claims
To have completed History
With mere three sentences -
That It flamed the earth onfire
That it filled the earth with fire
That it scattered
Human bones on earth.

But
We, the scion of Spartacus,
live with the pledges of Spartacus
Go, and tell the Senate
That we’ll mobilize
Slaves of the whole world
And come to Rome someday,
certainly.

And simultaneously
while I recite this poem for you,
a Latin American labourer
is digging the grave
of the great empire,
and an Indian labourer
is putting water into the wholes
of its pet mice.
The fire of disgust,
Spread from Asia to Africa
Cannot be put off, dear friend!
As this is the fire
Of the corpse of a burnt woman,
fire of the scattered human bones.

3.

For the first time
In history
A woman was killed
By her son,
The son carried it out
On the command of his father,
When Jamdagni ordered Parashuram
to kill her mother
and following his father
Parashuram oblized.

He welcomed patriarchy.
Then, father killed his sons.
Jahnavi requested her husband
to drown her progeny in herself
and Shantanu did so
But he never appeased Jahnavi ,
because
The King appeases nobody
The money appeases no one
religion is not kind to anyone,
But they all placate
And work for the King,
Be it the cow, the Ganges, the Gita
Or Gayatri.

However, the God
Continued serving the King’s horse,
It was a virtuous God,
Faithful to the King,
But sorryI’m to say
He is no more.
He died, many years ago.

When God died,
King did not give him even a coffin
Nor even two yards for burial.
Nobody knows about the place
Where the God is lying buried.
But after all
He died,
Andhis death ?
a historical incidentit was,
said the historians.
Adding something more to it,
historians also opined
that king, his queen and his son
remained no more.
The king died in a battle
The queen in the kitchen
And the son in his studies.
But the wealth of the king
Remained, and expanded increasingly.

But alas!
The only thing again...
That burnt corpse of a woman
and scattered human bones
on the threshold of each civilization.


4.

This body did not burn itself
But was made to burn,
These bones did not scatter
on their own
but were scattered
The fire did not spread itself
but was blown up
the battle did not start itself
It was conspired
But remember
This poem toohas not been written
Ithas made me to write it,
And you know very well
When a revolutionary poem
Writes itself,
It sets everything on fire.

Save me, o my people
Rescue me from this fire!
O my people of the east!
Your beautiful fields
Were ploughed by swords
Your crops were crushed
Under the wheels of chariots.
O my people of the west
Save me from this fire
your women were sold
in markets
and children were fuelled in chimneys.
O people of the north
Escape me from this fire
(remember that)
your forefathers were used
for cracking mountains on their back.
O people of the far south
escape me from this fire

Your colonies were burnt into ashes
Your boats were drowned into deep waters.
I call you all,
Save me –
O my people
The slurry of your blood
Was used to build
Pyramids, buildings and palaces
To save me
Would be to save the woman
Whose corpse is lying
on the last step of the pond
at Mohenjodaro.
To save me
Would be to save the men
Whose bones
Lay scattered in the pond.
To save me
Would be to save your forefathers.
To save me
Would be to save your children.
You save me!
Your voice I am. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is a great piece of translation. Alok ji has reached the depths of poetry. I have read many english translations of south Asian poets including Faiz, but most of them are either hurriedly done to supply the demand of the poetry of an already accomplished poet worldwide or else to assure oneself of one's prowess. Still Alok ji can work it better. All the best to his efforts.

Anonymous said...

It would have been difficult to do. But excellently done by Alok ji. As you stated, the poem makes us restless while reading. Enlish version has succeeded in its aim. Thank you.