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,
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)
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