साँप !        अज्ञेय

तुम सभ्य तो हुए नहीं
नगर में बसना
भी तुम्हें नहीं आया।
एक बात पूछूँ–(उत्तर दोगे?)
तब कैसे सीखा डँसना–
विष कहाँ पाया?

दिल्ली, 15 जून, 1954

Snake!        Agyeya

Neither did you become civilised
nor could you ever learn
to live in a city
may I ask–(will you answer?)
so how did you learn to bite–
where did you acquire poison?

Delhi, 15 June, 1954

Translation: Namita Waikar
Pune, 6 October, 2016


Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan ‘Agyeya’, popularly known by his pen-name Ajneya.

There were four she-birds

चार होत्या पक्षिणी त्या

                – कुसुमाग्रज 


चार होत्या पक्षिणी त्या,
रात होती वादळी
चार कंठी बांधलेली,
एक होती साखळी

दोन होत्या त्यात हंसी,
राजहंसी एक ती
आणि एकीला काळे ना,
जात माझी कोणती

बाण आला एक कोठून,
जायबंदी  हो गळा
सावलीला जाण आली
जात माझी कोकिळा

कोकिळेने काय केले?
गीत झाडांना दिले
आणि मातीचे नभाशी
एक नाते सांधले

ती म्हणाली एकटी मी
राहिले तर राहिले
या स्वरांचे सूर्य झाले,
यात सारे पावले

There were four she-birds 

                        – Kusumagraj 


There were four she-birds
and the night was stormy
Bound together by a chain
around their necks

Two of them were swans,
one a royal swan
And one did not know,
what kind of bird she was

An arrow darted unawares,
wounding her neck
The dark one thus realised,
‘I am a koel’

What did the koel do?
She gave her song to trees
And bound the earth forever
to the sky above

That I am alone, she said,
matters not a bit
My song is the sun, and that,
gives me everything

Translated by:  Namita Waikar 

Ruskin Bond – at Jaipur Literature Festival in Jan 2011

Boys will be boys –  Ruskin Bond                        

Ruskin Bond with Ravi Singh settling down for a Sunday morning story reading session #JLF 2011

Of all the events, the most delightful one was on Sunday morning, 23 Jan 2011 – Boys will be boys – with Ruskin Bond who spoke to Ravi Singh, Editor-in-chief of Penguin India.  Reading  from his book A handful of nuts, the author evoked laughter among the audience as he read the antics of a lady – whose skin he likened to that of a crocodile – trying to seduce a man much younger than her. In deference to the young school going audience, he had to stop short of reading the entire passage! He shared an anecdote about his visit to a book shop and finding his book lying way below in a pile under all the best-sellers. Mr Bond, looking about the make sure the owner wasn’t watching, took his book out from the bottom of the pile and placed it on top. All his care and caution was brought to naught when the book shop owner picked up his book and told him –  unaware that he was speaking to the author –  ye book chalta nahin hain! To refute that, he bought the book, the price of which was a meager Rs 3/-

There was not much of a market for books when he began writing which was about 50 years ago, the author said, calling himself “quite ancient.” There were no festivals or book fairs then. The first book fair was in Delhi in 1968-69.