Weeders in the rain

Original in Konkani : Dr. R.V.Pandit

English Translation  : Thomas Gay

Hiss hiss hiss ! the rain is crashing,
Silken streamers of water flashing,
Peasant girls with their wicker shields
Move in lines through the weed-grown fields.

Hiss hiss hiss ! the rain comes down,
So lusty the rioting grass has grown,
No end is here of the robber weedings
No water left for the young rice seedings

Sob sob sob ! the rain is weeping,
Threads of water feebly dro0ping;
Rains fail: sun with his scorching ray
Makes emerald rice shoots wilt away.

Hide and seek the rain is playing,
How shall we the manure be laying ?
If bitter salts the rootlets sear,
How shall we pay the landlord’s share ?

Blow blow blow ! Let the clouds assemble !
Crash ! Let the cataract water tumble !
Vainly the wicker-shield weeders plod,
If they miss the beautiful hand of Goa,

Hiss hiss hiss ! down comes the rain,
Hiss hiss hiss ! down comes the rain.










Original in Konkani : Sanjiv Verenkar

English Translation : Prof. Prakash Thali

Today –
After so many years
It has been raining
On our roof-tops too
Oh, it has been raining !

All these years
So many,
It had indeed been raining
Only on your houses.

The same rains
The same drops
The same torrnets
On our houses too…
The rains ! So Strange !



Malayalam Poem by :V.Madhusudanan Nair

English Translation by P.K.N.Panicker


I have freedom for anything and everything,

to construct palatial buildings,

to revel in food and beverages,

to sell off rivers, to scoop out the mountains,

to create destructive floods of tear

and fish in those waters,

to teach that the two – men and women

are eternal foes,

to divide the people,

to distill out wealth – to gain from other’s sweat

and to ensure that divine blessing possible

only with wealth.


I have freedom for anything and everything,

to rewrite history the way it suits me,

to turn lies into truths,

to inject slow-acting poison

in the words and dreams

of the weak, the fickle minded;

outwardly secular

in the heart religious fanaticism;

To kill is the target

on the lips alluring compassion;

The shadow-gods I created

on my own volition

use array of belligerent, confusing conflicts

to rewrite the meaning of ‘Freedom’.

As I march forward, leading the procession

celebrating my freedom

with the intelligence-torch in my hand

there stands one with a crutch

by the side of the road, as a prop

and surrounded by beggars.


Oh! Gandhi Jayanthi+1 has come,

has not it

even as early as a century and half back –

this tranquility of non-violence;

Let us pick up a broom,

we shall clean this Gandhi Statue,

decorate with garlands,

Khadi+2, red, green or saffron;

Times have changed

and changed are our perceptions of freedom.

Let us replace that staff in his hand

with this sharp dagger.


Is that from behind this dilapidated Gandhi statue

comes the laughter of a brave child?


+1       Gandhi Jayanthi   –  Means Birth Day of Gandhiji.

+2   Khadi+2  –  Khadi is handspun cloth and used to be in white colour, though today it is available in all

colours – here the colours may be a representation of different ideologies or religious affinity.


Padmasri Vishnu Narayanan    Namboodiri

 ‘But where is the face?’ I ask amazed;

Silent as a sage there sits my friend.

In the picture he drew of the grand Carnival

The flags are there, elephants, umbrellas

And the crowds of people robed in deep colours.

But no one has a face: is this fellow

A total crank or a great philosopher?


And in the evening as I stand

Restful at my old gatehouse,

A huge procession passes by me:

Those who wear trousers and pants,

Those who wear headgear and cap,

Meticulous in every step.

The leaders whisper to each other thus:

‘Where is your ace?’ ‘Oh, where is yours?’


As the landslides in my soul far deep

Crammed with the springs of compassion

For crowds struggling like insects in

Hot oil lamps, I promptly raise

My handkerchief to wipe my tears;

But it touches nothing: What! emptiness?

Startled and stunned I rush to my room

Trembling, and at the mirror on the wall

I take just one look; above the collar

My God! I too have no face at all?


This is a translation of Malayalam poem “ചിത്രം”. In Malayalam this poem has 3 stanzas titled Chitram, Jatha and Chaya. The poem is translated by the poet himself (Padmasri Vishnu Narayanan  Namboodiri) . To read the poem in Malayalam : http://www.akshra.org/%e0%b4%9a%e0%b4%bf%e0%b4%a4%e0%b5%8d%e0%b4%b0%e0%b4%82/ 


Mahakavi Kalidasa

The rain advances like a king
In awful majesty;
Hear, dearest, how his thunders ring
Like royal drums, and see
His lightning-banners wave; a cloud
For elephant he rides,
And finds his welcome from the crowd
Of lovers and of brides.The clouds, a mighty army, march
With drumlike thundering
And stretch upon the rainbow’s arch
The lightning’s flashing string; p. 213
The cruel arrows of the rain
Smite them who love, apart
From whom they love, with stinging pain,
And pierce them to the heart.
The forest seems to show its glee
In flowering nipa plants;
In waving twigs of many a tree
Wind-swept, it seems to dance;
Its ketak-blossom’s opening sheath
Is like a smile put on
To greet the rain’s reviving breath,
Now pain and heat are gone.

To you, dear, may the cloudy time
Bring all that you desire,
Bring every pleasure, perfect, prime,
To set a bride on fire;
May rain whereby life wakes and shines
Where there is power of life,
The unchanging friend of clinging vines,
Shower blessings on my wife.


In front of Light

Original in Konkani : N.Balakrishna Mallya
English translation : N.Balakrishna Mallya

O darkness ! Your power will not last long
No! Never , You cannot continue this long
However obstinate you are, you have to run away from here
Be apprised ! from emptiness, surely Light will appear

Your body might be dreadful and thick black
Your suppression might have lasted for so much time
You will disappear in emptiness when Truth appears
Know always ! Light will emerge

The whole world is filled with your frightening stories
As if there is no end to fear, no calmness of mind
Do not lie down lumpishly, return the way you came
Be apprised ! Light will burn any moment

Faced with light, though holding a golden platter
Darkness cannot stand in any of the four directions
When the veil is raised from the face of light
Know that ! Light fills up all


To read the original of this poem in Konkani please visit :



In Malayalam : Sampreetha 

English Translation: P.K.N.Panicker.

The funeral procession moves on.
Who enquires
(just for the sake of enquiring)
What is death, how?
Whose is the face
and who the relatives?

When I look at,
perceive with my eyes
bereft of consciousness
behind distances run away;
the procession moves on ………

I too move
watching the procession
moving towards the grave
dug by someone……

In this coffin
is the smell of pandanus flowers
Dreams in millions blossom………

Whose shoulders carry my weight
Whose laments get dissolved
in the sweat of the pallbearers
The smell of which flower
is it that continues to peer
into my nostrils…….

Which volcano, which lake
is on the path
Which of them is related to life?
Which is the shade,
the cottage I waited in
watching my thoughts take roots?
When I bid goodbye
why is it that my body
foolishly refuses to look back?
Without searching
into the distances left behind
the eyes remain completely shut……

In this journey
where it hungers not
someone throws in a penny…….
The hands suddenly pulled back
are disciplined
not to catch that in haste…..

How many are the relatives
on this road
beating the drums
dancing nonstop;
How many folded hands
to pay homage
on this day.
Hey the dead!
I am indeed fortunate ……..


To read the poem in  Malayalam http://www.akshra.org/%e0%b4%98%e0%b5%8b%e0%b4%b7%e0%b4%af%e0%b4%be%e0%b4%a4%e0%b5%8d%e0%b4%b0/


The name of my Heartbeat is India

In Assamese: Nilim Kumar

English Translation: Bibekananda Choudhury


As a kid

I rolled down from bed

And dropped onto the Earth;

And my parents were amazed

As I didn’t cry

They say I gnawed you

On falling onto the Earth

O soil of India!

They say I put you into my mouth

O soil of India!


That very day perhaps

You got mingled in my blood

That very day perhaps

The soothing coolness of your soil

Could feel the fire inside me

O India!

The day I rolled down from bed

And rolled onto your bosom


I heard of You in the Mahabharata

I memorised you in songs

I beckoned you in prayers

As Bharat Janani

Standing under the Tiranga

We saluted you


Bande Mataram!


Am carrying you in my hearts

Wherever I go

O India!


The turmoil in my blood

The restlessness in my brain

The yearnings of my heart

My illness and misfortunes

The darkness of addiction

My likes and dislikes

My broken dreams


Nothing could erase your name

From my soul

O India!


Perhaps that very day


As I put your soil into my mouth

That very day you became food in my stomach


Transformed into blood from food

Now that you are reverberating in my heart as heartbeat


The name of my Heartbeat is India

The name of my Heartbeat is India


To read the poem in Assamese:



My Childhood

Konkani Original : Sanjiv Verenkar
English Translation :  Prof. Prakash Thali

When I looked at
My small daughter Sneha
pedaling on the cycle
With her tiny feet
My poor childhood
Came back to life
so vivid
There was an occasion
when i saw the grandson of landlord
going round and round
on his cycle in the backyard
I had started elbowing
My mother’ sides
While on her waist
What pains my mother
might have suffered
At that particular time?
Today, I wonder.


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