Tuesday, February 19, 2008

#2 , BHARTRUHARI AND CHARLES LAMB

CHARLES LAMB'S DESCRIPTION OF A POOR MAN AND HIS CHILDREN SOURCE: THE WORKS OF CHARLES AND MARY LAMB, VOLUME 2 "... But look at the countenance of the poor wives who follow and persecute their good man to the door of the public house, which he is about to enter, when something like shame would restrain him, if stronger misery did not induce him to pass the threshold. That face, ground by want, in which every cheerful, every conversable lineament has been long effaced by misery,--is that a face to stay at home with? is it more a woman, or a wild cat? alas! it is the face of the wife of his youth, that once smiled upon him. It can smile no longer. What comforts can it share? what burthens can it lighten? Oh, 'tis a fine thing to talk of the humble meal shared together! But what if there be no bread in the cupboard? The innocent prattle of his children takes out the sting of a man's poverty. But the children of the very poor do not prattle. It is none of the least frightful features in that condition, that there is no childishness in its dwellings. Poor people, said a sensible old nurse to us once, do not bring up their children; they drag them up. ..." BLOGGER'S VIEW There is a proverb in Telugu language which on translation reads as under: What 'Sun' cannot see, a poet sees everywhere. (Implication: A poet can penetrate through dark recesses of human mind, which the Sun's rays cannot penetrate through. The poet is omniscient). Won't you agree?

SANSKRIT VERSE OF BHARTRUHARI
diinaa diina mukhaau sadaiva s`is`ukair aakrisht`a jiirn`aambara aa
kros`adbhau kshudhitair niranna vidhuraa dris`yaa na ceed geehinii .
yaacgnaa bhamga bhayeena gadgada gala trut`yad viliinaaksharam
ko deehii iti vadeet sva dagdha jat`harasyaarthee manasvii pumaan .21



ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF BHARTRUHARI'S VERSE
Why should a man with self respect beg? When he entreats for something, his voice choaks with fear of failure/refusal by donor. His words become broken. Yet he says 'Pl. give ... etc.'. The poet explains the compelling circumstances. When a person sees his starving and sunken faced wife clad in a torn saree being chased by his hungry children seeking food, he cannot but go for a charity support. This is a masterpiece from the poet. He clearly recognises that the wisest person is driven to a pitiable state by hunger in the family.

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