Avtar Singh Pash


About The Author

Avtar Singh Pash

Avtar Singh Sandhu, popularly known by his nom de plume, Pash, was arguably the most influential political Punjabi poet of the 20th century. His works include Loh-Katha (Iron Tale, 1970), Uddian Bazan Magar (Following the Flying Hawks, 1973), Saade Samiyan Vich (In Our Times, 1978), and the posthumously published collection Khilre Hoye...

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यह कदंब का पेड़

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan

यह कदंब का पेड़ अगर माँ होता यमुना तीरे
मैं भी उस पर बैठ कन्हैया बनता धीरे-धीरे             
ले देतीं यदि मुझे बांसुरी तुम दो पैसे वाली
किसी तरह नीची हो जाती यह कदंब की डाली
 तुम्हें नहीं कुछ कहता पर मैं चुपके-चुपके आता
उस नीची डाली से अम्मा ऊँचे पर चढ़ जाता
वहीं बैठ फिर बड़े मजे से मैं बांसुरी बजाता
अम्मा-अम्मा कह वंशी के स्वर में तुम्हे बुलाता
बहुत बुलाने पर भी माँ जब नहीं उतर कर आता
माँ, तब माँ का हृदय तुम्हारा बहुत विकल हो जाता
तुम आँचल फैला कर अम्मां वहीं पेड़ के नीचे
ईश्वर से कुछ विनती करतीं बैठी आँखें मीचे
तुम्हें ध्यान में लगी देख मैं धीरे-धीरे आता
और तुम्हारे फैले आँचल के नीचे छिप जाता
तुम घबरा कर आँख खोलतीं, पर माँ खुश हो जाती
जब अपने मुन्ना राजा को गोदी में ही पातीं
इसी तरह कुछ खेला करते हम-तुम धीरे-धीरे
यह कदंब का पेड़ अगर माँ होता यमुना तीरे

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Prof Makarand Paranjape

I dreamed of bumping into you suddenly,
say, at Teen Murti house,
or at the Times of India building,
and imagined what I'd do then:
give you a big hug and a kiss,
unable to restrain my happiness
on seeing you after twelve years?
Your long, straight, glossy hair
would have done a shampoo commercial proud.
The hooked nose
only added character.
You had a grandmother's benign smile,
but such petulant eyes.
Though terribly insecure,
you always seemed so sure of yourself.
I still remember some of your famous lines:
“Are you asking me out on a date?
Then say so, don’t say ‘Do you see movies?’”
“Incidentally, I don’t go out on dates.”
"I know I'm attractive, though not beautiful...”
“Just because I'm liberated doesn't mean I'm available...”
All your admirers had them by heart—
we rehearsed them and laughed.
At last, you held my hand on the abandoned stairway
leading to the roof of your college.
Before I could begin to appreciate the sensation
we were surprised by a puritanical lecturer
on the prowl, who threatened to report us.
You told him off with characteristic confidence:
"We know what we are doing,
we don't need you to guard our morals."
The poor man was too taken aback to answer.
Yes, the Hauz Khas poem actually
belongs to you, though it occurs in her book.
Remember how we visited the village
before any of the boutiques had come up.
There were reams upon reams of dyed cloth,
in myriad bright colours,
stretched to dry in the sun,
like swathes of a rainbow, descended on earth.
We also visited Mulk Raj Anand's famous house,
but found that he was in Bombay.
Then to Feroze Shah's tomb and madarsa
which was our favourite haunt.
How proud you were when I took a taxi
from the University all the way to your place
just to wish you happy birthday.
I picked up the flowers at C.P.
and called to ask if I could visit at 6:00 p.m.
You told your dad, "You can set your watch
by him. It has to be six o'clock now"
as I was announced and introduced.
You were the happiest that day.
How intensely as we talked, dreaming
of great things: “We’ll change the world,”
you boasted: “you'll be like Sartre,
and I, Simone de Beauvoir."
Of course, I proposed to you.
Then why did you not accept me?
"I’m not sure I love you--" you often said,
"don’t you know how badly Sartre treated de Beauvoir…?"
You went off to the U.S. with someone else
but that broke up too, I heard.
Finally, it was clear
that you'd never really be able
to let go of yourself. You were too
scared of losing control, of heartbreak,
of needing somebody else.
I once wrote to you
just after I'd married her
that I loved you and only you.
I showed her the letter and hurt all three of us.
But time passes and with it
what once was so precious
is hardly worth preserving now:
“I’m just an aging spinster,”
you say when we meet,
“do you still want to be my friend?”
You’re tone is light and ironic,
but why is there a wistful look in your eyes?

Excerpts from "Partial Disclosure"

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आ रही रवि की सवारी

Harivansh Rai Bachchan

नव-किरण का रथ सजा है,
कलि-कुसुम से पथ सजा है,
बादलों-से अनुचरों ने स्‍वर्ण की पोशाक धारी।
आ रही रवि की सवारी।
विहग, बंदी और चारण,
गा रही है कीर्ति-गायन,
छोड़कर मैदान भागी, तारकों की फ़ौज सारी।
आ रही रवि की सवारी।
चाहता, उछलूँ विजय कह,
पर ठिठकता देखकर यह-
रात का राजा खड़ा है, राह में बनकर भिखारी।
आ रही रवि की सवारी।

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The Infinitesimal Infinite

Sri Aurobindo Ghosh

Out of a still Immensity all came!
These million universes were to it
The poor light-bubbles of a trivial game,
A fragile glimmer in the Infinite.
It could not find its soul in all that vast:
It drew itself into a little speck
Infinitesimal, ignobly cast
Out of earth’s mud and slime strangely awake,-
A tiny plasm on a little globe,
In the small system of a dwarflike sun,
A little life wearing the flesh for robe,
A little mind winged through wide space to run!
It lived, it knew, it saw its self sublime,
Deathless, outmeasuring Space, outlasting Time.

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