Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A tribute to Kabir from God's own country

Would Kabir ever have thought that children all over India would learn his brilliant dohas in school, and recite them in every conceivable accent?

I discovered the beauty of Kabir through my ever-pregnant Rajamma miss in school in Kerala. This selection of my favourite dohas in my best accent, is my contribution to the great man, with compliments from malluland.

Thooguh meim zab sumiran gare, Suguh meein gare na goy
Suguh mein jyo sumiran gare, dhuguh kaahego hoy?

(Meaning: Venne sadeh evverybody remember Goade, you know. Venne haapi, if remember goadeh, then why you will be saade?)
दुःख में सब सुमिरन करे , सुख में करे न कोय
सुख में जो सुमिरन करे , दुःख काहे कोई होय?


Kal karnya dho aajuh gar, Aajuh gare so abuh
Palumeein barlaiy hovegee, Behuri garoge kabuh?

(Meaning: Aye Joji, staaandup boi. Tomoarrow vaat you do, today you can do, you know. Sometimes flood-eh vill come then vaat you will do?)
कल करना सो आज कर, आज करे सो अब
पल में परलय होवेगी, बहुरि करोगे कब?


Burya jo degan mime chela, Burya na deega goy
Jyo dil degha apunyaa, mujhusaa burya na goy

(Meaning: You going see baad-uh thing. Butt-eh naththting you can see. Then you looke oawn haeart-uh. Evverthing is baad inside oNly. )
बुरा जो देखन मैं चला, बुरा न दीखा कोय
जो दिल देखा अपना, मुझसा बुरा न कोय


Thinaga kabahum na nindiye, Jyo paayana thara hoy
Kabahum giri aanginu paraiiy, peeru ghaneru hoy

(Meaning: Don'd igginoarre Thinaga. Thinaga means eerkille - smaaLeh stickeh you know. SuddanLy TijoKutty ville be vaalking oan rod-eh and it will getteh inside eye and paining like anydhing.)
तिनका कबहूँ न निन्दिये, जो पायन तर होय
कबहूँ गिरी आँखिन परई, पीर घनेरू होय


Saanju berabar thaba nehim, Joottu berabar paab
Jaage hirdai saanja ho, thaage hirdhai aab

(Meaning: Aye boiys-eh, keep quietteh. Like trrootheh, there is no penance-eh. Like Lies-eh there is no sinn-eh. Aye Mahendralal, heard? This is foar you oNLy. Venn-eh heart is troothfuLL, in that-eh heartoNNLy Goad will come, you know.)
सांच बराबर तप नहीं, झूठ बराबर पाप
जाके हिरदय सांच हो, ताके हिरदय आप

Luckily, Rajamma miss was a lot better at explaining kabir dohas than pronouncing them, and thats why he is my favourite poet of all time.

PS: Pls forgive Hindi spellings. Combined effect of an ornery blogspot transliterator and 15 years of disuse.

11 comments:

RustyNeurons said...

:) reminded me of my own teachers in Gujarat! I had a host of mallu madams who were excellent in the subject (not Hindi thank god!), but most of the time it was 'lost in transmission'!!

Karthik said...

Didn't understand it fully. Sorta nice though. :)

Bikerdude said...

Heheh, long live mallu misses :)
For the sanity of those who didnt undertand the lyrics in the post, here's the original(ish)

Dukh mein sab sumiran karein, sukh mein kare na koi
Sukh mein jo sumiran karein, dukh kahe ko hoi?


(sumiran = remember)

Kal karna so aaj kar, aaj kare so ab
Pal mein parlai hovegi, bahuri karoge kab?


(parlai = flood, bahuri = again)

Tinka kabahun na nindiye, jo paayan tar hoi
Kabahun giri aankhin parai, peer ghaneru hoi


(tinka = tiny sliver of wood, kabahun = ever/sometimes, nindiye = neglect, peer= pain)

Bura jo dekhan main chala, bura na deekha koi
Jo dil dekha apna, mujhsa bura na koi.


Saanch barabar tap nahin, jhooth barabar paap
Jaake hirdai saanch ho, taake hirdai aap


(Saanch = truth, tap= penance,
jaake= whose, hirdai = heart, taake = their, aap= god)

nigel said...

I had no mallu miss, but the most interestingly accented miss was one miss violet machado who taught us craft for tree whole 'ears, men!

comment_raja said...

ugh, nothing i have understood. basically im blanking out when a regional language is written using the english alphabet.

so i will just say that, i have wasted childhood not absorbing the poetry taught in school - since they have tried to make us remember it word to word, and also due to disinterest. i wish i could turn back time and redo that bit.

mallu teachers with their "vonly"ies and "doant", have captured my geographic, mathematical and phyic(s)al self

i miss my childhood. come back!

big_sister said...

comment raja, if you want to rekindle your interest in poetry, i suggest you subscribe to this most delightful site

http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/

big_sister

Bikerdude said...

Never been a big poetry buff myself either, but thanks to quirky rajamma miss, these couplets stuck in my head.

I can however easily memorize poems as long as they rhyme and can be recited to a danka-taka beat. Tennyson, Wordsworth etc.

Modern poetry IMHO, is best written in a paragraph.

Preeti said...

My favourite Kabir doha:
Kasturi kundal basahi, mrig dhoode van maahi
Aise ghati ghati Raam hain duniya dekhe naahi

My Mysoor Kanbrahm teacher’s explanation (sure you will do muchhh better with accent)
Deer is saarrching for nice smell in the full foresht, little knowing that it is coming from its private parts vonly.
And here vonly in us is God, but peoples of the world sarrching yevrywhere. (tsk tsk)

AzUReLy *-*MySticoe said...

haha! Mallu accend eh bhayangara nicely imitayted eh!

I love Kabir ke dohas too! One man who really deserves every praise!

shanku said...

What a racist, narrow minded post !!!

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