Mana Tasach Tarun

A friend sent this Marathi poem for translation into English. It was sent to his neighbor by Raghunath, a person important to the neighbor, a mentor. The poem has a message of support, advice, to someone who feels (or is made to feel) the weight of age. He is advised to engage life positively and not to give in to the murmurs, his own or society’s. The refrain, literally “why say because of age”, is untranslatable. I have a formulation close to this in one of the stanzas, but have given it different shades of expression in others. The first two words of the sixth line are not Marathi words, as far as I know. Perhaps they are Gujarati words since the neighbor is Gujarati and the poet, while Marathi, lives in Gujarat. May be an alert reader will know.

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Literal Translation

years came years went
mind like that-only youthful
why say
because of age

three storey laughter
— — sulk
everything like that still
why say
because of age

enthusiasm for everything
in everything fun
still feel like that-only
why say
because of age

joy in life
fun in living
able still to take
why say
because of age

though the leaf fades
the new leaves are still green
why say
because of age

-o-

Poetic Translation

The years have rolled on in,
And the years have rolled and gone;
The mind is ageless still
Where light of youth once shone.

Towering peals of laughter,
The armor of a pout,
Are all still so vivid —
Why, because of age, stay out?

Everything is of interest,
Richly loaded with fun,
Everything still feels the same —
Then why be the silent one?

The happiness of life,
The sheer joy of living,
Is yet a full measure
And age is still forgiving.

The green of the sprig and tendril
Belies the fading leaves;
Whatever they say of age,
The heart in youth believes.

(Hexametric, if you take the lines two by two.)

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