‘Character’ – a translated poem in Gujarati (ચારિત્ર્ય)

16 Mar

I have read somewhere that it does not matter who says good words, but one should have the only concern with what is being said. Here, I am going to post a Gujarati translation of the poem of a poetess who has been portrayed as a disputed poetess for her some literary work hurting religious feelings of people. She was exiled from her home country and now she has settled elsewhere.

I had been in States in 1994 and there at my friend’s 7-Ten Food Store, I picked up a magazine ‘The New Yorker’ (Volume of Aug. 22 & 29, 1994) from the shelf. While turning over the pages of the Magazine, a poem titled as “Character” drew my attention. It was translated into English from its original version by Carolyne Wright and Farida Sarkar. I had translated the same in Gujarati then.

My Readers may read the English version of the above poem by surfing on I-net. My Gujarati version of the same will follow soon after my preamble is over. Before proceeding on, I would like to clarify why this poem had attracted me. Here is an imaginary scene of a girl walking along the public path.

In my previous post titled as “Character and Reputation”, I had tried to define both these words. Here, there is no room for the repetition of my thoughts; but, in precise, I would tell that a woman having good character has much more importance of her good reputation also. Sometimes, she is victimized of harassment by some Road Romeo type lewd and brutal beasts in public or at work-places. In such critical situation, how her reaction should be has been counseled here in this very short poem.

Here is simply counseling from the poetess and my end also; but how to resist such unpleasant situation depends on particular person’s own style, daring and thinking. In my view, some other measures like seeking help under laws against sexual exploitation by letting own parents know are  safe to keep intact own reputation rather than dealing with mischievous behaviors of such rogues directly.

Let us proceed on,


કિશોરી તું,

ન વિસ્મરે તો ઇષ્ટ કે તું કિશોરી!
ગૃહઉંબર વટાવી બાહિર નીકળી ન ત્યાં તો,
મરદો તણી વિષ્ટાનજર, ખરડવા મથે તવ નખશિખ કાયા.

આગળ વધી પોળમાર્ગ ગ્રહે ત્યાં,
એ જ મરદો અનુસરતા તને –
મથે લોભાવવા બોલાવવા સીટીઓ વગાડી.

કિંતુ એ જ ચાલે,પોળમાર્ગ વળોટી
કદમ તુજ ચાલે સરિયામ રસ્તે.

હતાશ મર્દો ભાંડે તને દઈ મેંણાં,
ઊફ, સાવ ઠંડી!

ચારિત્ર્યહીન હો તું અગર, શીઘ્ર વળજે જ પાછી; અન્યથા,
ચાલી જજે, બસ જજે ચાલી,
જેવી કે તું હાલ ચાલી રહી છે!

– વલીભાઈ મુસા (ભાવાનુવાદક)


Fair Use Disclaimer: –

My site is wholly non-commercial and non-profit in purpose. The break of any right is unintentional; and, in case of any objection brought to my notice, this Article will be removed promptly from my web. Concerned person/s may contact me at . However, if it is wished rather any specific credit be given instead of removal, I will gratefully give the appropriate credit desired. In otherwise case also, my preparedness to withdraw the post is always here subject to mutual convincing debates.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

6 responses to “‘Character’ – a translated poem in Gujarati (ચારિત્ર્ય)


    March 19, 2009 at 11:26 am

    i could know something which I never knew so far. I thank to give me something of a renowned poetess.


  2. 'ઈશ્ક'પાલનપુરી

    March 27, 2009 at 4:01 am

    સરસ ભાવાનુવાદ! ચારિત્ર્ય ની ઉચ્ચકોટી ની વ્યાખ્યા,કાવ્યમાં એક નવો જ વિચાર,ભાવાનુવાદ કરવા બદલ આભાર , અભિનંદન!!!


  3. munira

    September 6, 2011 at 5:48 am

    i have not read the original poem yet, so will not say how good the translation i find; but thank you for introducing me to an extraordinary creation.


    • Valibhai Musa

      September 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      Munira Beta,

      Find below the English version of the translated poem “Character”. I hope it will satisfy your curiosity to reach the source of my translation. Due to some secret reasons, I am unable to disclose the name of the poetess.


      You’re a girl
      and you’d better not forget
      that when you step over the threshold of your house
      men will look askance at you.
      When you keep on walking down the lane
      men will follow you and whistle.
      When you cross the lane and step onto the main road
      men will revile you and call you a loose woman.
      If you’ve got no character
      you’ll turn back
      and if not
      you’ll keep on going,
      as you’re going now.



  4. munira

    September 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    અનુવાદક તરીકે મૂળ કવિતાના અર્થને જ નહિ પણ રસને ય જાળવી રાખવા બદલ અભિનંદન.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: