Meet Me

भेटीलागीं जीवा लागलीसे आस ।
पाहे रात्रीं दिवस वाट तुझी ॥१॥

पूर्णिमेचा चंद्रमा चकोरा जीवन ।
तैसें माझें मन वाट पाहें ॥२॥

दिवाळीच्या मुळा लेंकी आसावली ।
पाहतसे वाटुली पंढरीची ॥३॥

भुकेलिया बाळ अति शोक करी ।
वाट पाहे परि माउलीची ॥४॥

तुका ह्मणे मज लागलीसे भूक ।
धांवूनि श्रीमुख दावीं देवा ॥५॥

Literal Translation

The soul is afflicted with longing to meet
Nights and days expecting you

Full moon is life for chakor (partridge)
Similarly my mind expects you

(Married) daughters long for invitation (to visit their maternal home) for Diwali
Watch the path of Pandhari

Hungry baby expresses extreme sorrow
Yet expectantly waits for its mother

Tuka says I am afflicted by hunger
Run, show your auspicious face, O God

Poetic Translation

Meet me meet me close
My heart beseeches
Night and day it reaches
For you and only you

The fullness of the moon
Has flooded into life
So my mind is rife
Only the thought of you

Festival of lights
Brides await eagerly
The way to Pandhari
I watch and I watch

Hungry hungry infant
Inconsolably cries
Yet only has eyes
For the mother’s return

Tuka says the hunger
Pervaded my being
Sate it soon by showing
Your visage divine


3 thoughts on “Meet Me

  1. There are so many difficulties translating this one.

    The tone of intense devotion and extreme supplication is alien to English. Beseech is a request for a favor, such as from a king, while the original is a compulsion on god to show himself to the devotee.

    Variations of the word “laag” occur throughout. Roughly translated, the word means put or attach, but here it connotes a deep integrality: “bheti laag” – meet me continuously, “laagali aasa” – afflicted by the longing or desire or yearning, “maja laagalise bhooka” – hunger has taken over my self.

    The chakor (partridge) metaphor does not carry over at all. Moonbeams are the diet, hence life, of the chakor, which also means someone who is bright.

    Daughters wishing to visit their parents for Diwali can be generalized as I have done, but with a loss of intensity.

    “Srimukha” or auspicious face (of god) has many associations and connotations in India lacking in English. Instead of the abstract “visage auspicious”, it could be “your divinity” or “your visage divine” for the last line.

    Dear readers, all suggestions for improvement are welcome.

  2. From RY Deshpande: This is a very difficult piece. The warmth and intimacy of the original are intensely psychic and cannot be easily rendered into English, perhaps not even in other Indian languages. This is pure Marathi.

  3. Yet it should be possible to translate, the essential experience. Any hints or suggestions for improvements or even a completely different take?

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