Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Root-less Tree by Santosh Shah ‘Nadan'. Tr. Aman Indra Kaul


A Root-less Tree 

by Santosh Shah ‘Nadan'

Tr. from Kashmiri by Aman Indra Kaul


Where have I left to, where have I come to
In all corners has home’s love sunk to
What do I tell thee, what have I been through

Pick up your pens, elegies should you write
Hiding our identity, left we our homes
Weeping us, abusing they, left we our homes

Exile is extirpating a chinar from its roots
When does a wasteland reap verdure
Sown to its own home, it springs furthermore

Ramayan’s end is now its start
Gone have Rishis from the valley too
Dashrath finally, but had to die
Waiting for final rites, parched, he died

I, from birth, built a home like an ant
Like a thief, I, a raazbaa’e left home too
Having lost its way, where do I head to

In front of home were Sangrishi, in front Rishimoal
When do I run to wash my Saptrishi’s feet
Why division of humans when we all were one

Ganeshbal, Tulmul, Shankaracharya, Silgam
Amarnath, on its head, sitting like a chief
Lokutpur, you know, was my all-time abode

Nund Rishi, Sadarmaej, Mangladevi sthaan
Uintpore astaan, with what feet do I go there
Who will take taher on chodish to Zaala

How do I start towards Nilnaag Omoh
And a far-off place where ‘Amir’ lives
How do I reach Mukdoom Sahib and to Sharika

Where’s my father’s home and my in-laws’
Where are neighbours and childhood buddies
Who’s gonna go to Vomaaye on gang’e atham

Where be our Koshur and its culture
Where do I breathe under Chinar’s shade
Where do I relax with kangri and chai from Samavaar

Don’t change colours, don’t you Kashmiri Pandits
Tread truth’s way and don’t you fall fake
Think what waste has exile turned us into

How do I forget the rishi’s abode—
the home of sufis and saints
Kashmir, I tell you,
the ‘Nadan’ of Chandigam is devoted to you.


Notes on Translation:

Translated from Kashmiri. In its original form and language, this poem is very lyrical at most junctures. While translating, with whatever little I could, I tried to keep the flow as much as possible however pressing harder on rhyme would have lead to loss of meaning.

I had Rushdie in mind while translating. I wanted the Koshur in it to remain. Maybe, for posterity, like ‘atham’ to be remembered not as ‘ashtami’. So I left some of it unturned.

Because I was born in Delhi post exile, I don’t have the total grasp on the language and its dynamics. It is very much possible for me to misunderstand a word, a line or a stanza. Hence and otherwise too, I’m all in for constructive criticism.

— Aman Indra Kaul


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Original by Santosh Shah ‘Nadan', written in 1993

Mool Ros Kul

Kyati Draay yor kot roznay aaye
Hyeni Hyeni saneymez me gharich maaey
Kyah wanai andri kyah me gudromut   
Hyeni Hyeni saneymez me gharich maaey

Tul kalam maanav lekh vyn khataey 
Ghar'e dramutey aesey nesif raatey
vyed vyed zyed karaan draay hamsaayey
Hyeni Hyeni saneymez me gharich maaey

Ghar nyerun chaey mool'e kadin booyn'ya
Dodryomut kyati pravi sabzaar
Teli febi yeli dil dimhon bey panin jaaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Phirith log ramayan, reshyev ti hyot tcholnuy
Dashrathas phirith marnuy pyov
Tresh haety naad booz trev lari jaaye 
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Zanmah derith sobrum daeray
gom kochey pheray kotu vate bo
raj raeni ghari draay zan tchor baiye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

buthi chum Sangresh bey chum Reshimol
satreshi gomut me hol pad chalhae
kyazi kuni zaat bagrin aay
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Ganeshbal Tulmul Shankrachaya Silgami
Amarnath bihit chum paane Padshah
Mukam loketpor cham bihinijaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Nundresh Sadarmej Mangladev Sathaan
Uintporas astaan kith vaate bo
kus neye tahar tchot Tchodash Zaayale
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Nilnag Womu kith kar prasthaan
Dooru Shahbaad Amir Rozaan
Kith Gatche Mokhdam Sehibun ti Sharikaaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Kyate Malyun Myon Kyate Vaeriv Myon
Kyate chum Hamsaay ti chatboj myon
Kusu gatche Gangashtame Womaaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Kyate bane Koshur ti Koshur Samtchar
Kyate chav yati bihit boni Sahjaar
Kyate bani Kangir ti samavaar chaay
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Kashmir Pandito ma kar dalbadli
Saandto satich vath ma ban nakli
souchtav ghar nirith gai zaaye
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

Kyate trav Reshiwaer aalamas yiwaan vaer
Sufiyan ti Santan hinz aati paer
Nadan Tchandhigaam chay seevay
Hyeni Hyeni Saneymez me gharich maaey

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