Zopadi

Chetan had suggested this poem by Tukdoji Maharaj for translation in his comment on Shyam. It can be found here: http://pratikshadreamz.blogspot.com/2011/04/ya-zopadit-majya-by-saint-tukdoji.html.

It is a simple yet hard-to-translate poem of fulfillment in a desire-free life.

Each phrase is seven syllables, which I have kept in the translation, though with a different rhyme pattern.

-o-

ह्या झोपडीत माझ्या

राजस जी महाली, सौख्य कधी मिळाली
ती सर्व प्राप्त झाली, ह्या झोपडीत माझ्या

भूमीवरी पडावे, ताऱ्यांकडे पहावे
प्रभुनाम नित्य गावे, ह्या झोपडीत माझ्या

पहारे आणि तिजोर्या, तिथुनी होती चोर्या
दारास नाही दोर्या, ह्या झोपडीत माझ्या

जाता तया महाला, मज्जाव शब्द आला
भीती न यावयाला, ह्या झोपडीत माझ्या

महाली मऊ बिछाने, कंदील शामदाने
आम्हा जमीन माने, ह्या झोपडीत माझ्या

येता तरी सुखे या, जाता तरी सुखे जा
कोणावरी न बोझा, या झोपडीत माझ्या

पाहुनी सौख्य माझे, देवेंद्र तो हि लाझे
शांती सदा विराजे, ह्या झोपडीत माझ्या

-o-

In this humble hut of mine

In the palaces of kings
Whenever a joy is felt
The same satisfaction sings
In this humble hut of mine

Lie down resting on the ground
Gaze at shining stars above
The name of the Lord is found
In this humble hut of mine

Of no use safe and sentry
Treasures can yet be stolen
Wide open door for entry
In this humble hut of mine

Should you visit the palace
Your entrance will be denied
But you may step in fearless
In this humble hut of mine

In the palace soft comfort
And lamps and chandeliers
We accept a bed of dirt
In this humble hut of mine

Come with joyful intention
Leave with peace and happiness
On none an imposition
In this humble hut of mine

Even gods are bewildered
With my supreme contentment
Peace forever is ushered
In this humble hut of mine

[See comments below. Alt for the refrain is “In this simple house of mine”.]

31 thoughts on “Zopadi

  1. “humble hut” is ok but what about “thatch”? “humble hut” doesn’t move smoothly. Rendering on the whole is natural and pleasing.

  2. Here in this hut of mine.

    Simple and true to the original. “Here” has assonance with “HyA”, “this hut” – z sound with “zopadi”, mine with “mazya”.

  3. Is “here” naturally a 2-syllable word or a single syllable in this setting? If single, alt could be “Right here in this hut of mine”. I am inclined to leave it as “Here in this …” without the “Right” because of the simplicity and directness. “Here” and “mine” are long enough to take 3 syllables between them.

  4. I’ll take “here” as monosyllabic. The line can be scanned as follows:

    Here in| this hut| of mine|

    trochee-iamb-iamb

    Some vowels may have length but accent is more important.

    “Right here” is awful.

  5. Need seven syllables. So unless someone has a better suggestion, back to “In this lowly hut of mine”.

  6. There is redundancy. Hut is always simple, humble, poor, lowly, wanting means, Here the idea is that which yet houses cosiness, warmth, even a kind of bareness without being spartan.

  7. Here’s a song form of this poem, choosing the universal elements and pruning the contrasts:

    In this simple house

    In palaces of kings
    Whatever joys are felt
    That satisfaction sings
    In this house of mine

    Resting on the ground
    With shining stars above
    The very Lord is found
    In this house of mine

    Come with joy and peace
    And go with happiness
    Let all your worries cease
    In this simple house of mine

  8. I’d settle on “In this simple house of mine” for the refrain in the poem-form.

  9. The song form appears too brief to have sustained lilt and movement, it to have enveloping or impressionable volume.

    “The very Lord” is a bit harsh. What about Sovereign/The Master?

  10. If you want to go evangelical, it could be “The sweet Lord is found”, or if you want to go new-agey, “Love and light around”.

    3 stanzas are fine for a song. The music will fill up before, between, and after, and lines can be repeated etc. But I’ll see if another falls into place …

  11. I would be new-agey.

    Music can fill up and up but the contents, the substance will be lacking. Yes, at least one more stanza is needed, the composition is crying for it.

  12. Make it four stanzas:

    In this simple house

    In palaces of kings
    Whatever joys are felt
    That satisfaction sings
    In this house of mine

    Resting on the ground
    With shining stars above
    Light and love around
    This simple house of mine

    No treasures for a thief
    No sentry and no safe
    There’s no loss or grief
    In this house of mine

    Come with joy and peace
    And go with happiness
    Let all your worries cease
    In this simple house of mine

  13. This is definitely very acceptable. Just a bit of fine-tuning perhaps.

    Third line: “More satisfaction sings”. It has to be richer than the palace.

    Seventh line: You are talking of “stars above” in the previous line. “Light” wouldn’t go well with that. What about “Dream and love around”?

    Thirteenth line: “joy and peace”—in the second line you already have “joys”. Perhaps you can have instead “song and peace”, “light and peace”, …

    Instead of repeating “simple” you may like to use variously “tiny”, “small”, “cozy”, “little”, “pretty”.

    You can leave it as is.

  14. The seventh line’s connection to previous should be strengthened thus:

    “Their light and love’s around”.

    The fourth stanza needs recasting, specifically to remove the extraneous “worries”, and the duplicate joy (triplicate with happiness that follows):

    Come gently as the breeze
    And go in happiness
    For ever there is peace
    In this simple house of mine

  15. In the come-and-go phrase you have to have contrast, I suppose, and it is not there in “breeze” and “happiness”. In any case there has to be parity between “breeze” and “happiness”.

    It is ok now. Good job done.

  16. This is really awesome! Thanks Akash. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the translation and all the comments.

  17. I felt that
    राजस जी महाली, सौख्य कधी मिळाली
    is a question. That is in the palace who gets happiness? I get that in my hut. If my interpretation is correct (which I am not confident about), then your first two lines in the translation may have to change.

  18. Thanks, Chetan.

    Nitin, interesting observation. So the “ती” in the next line refers to joys that were not obtained in the palace? This interpretation can be accommodated by changing lines 2 and 3 thus:

    Happiness is out of reach
    But a satisfaction sings

    or

    Is happiness within reach?
    Here a satisfaction sings

    -o-

    Because of the “ती”, the balance may shift toward the initial interpretation. But I do like the question form for line 2 as above and in the song form it could be:

    Is happiness in reach?
    A satisfaction sings

  19. You can simply say,

    In the palaces of kings
    If ever a joy is felt
    The same satisfaction sings
    In this humble hut of mine

  20. Here’s the final song form, with an attempt at actually singing it (please note that I am no singer – it’s more of a verification that it flows in melody and rhythm). Also, the “whatever joys” and “a satisfaction” combination reflects the ambiguity pointed out by Nitin.

    In palaces of kings
    Whatever joys are felt
    A satisfaction sings
    In this house of mine

    Resting on the ground
    With shining stars above
    Light and love around
    This simple house of mine

    No treasures for a thief
    No sentry and no safe
    No cause for loss or grief
    In this house of mine

    Come free and be at ease
    And go with happiness
    Forever there is peace
    In this simple house of mine

    The image is a painting by the inimitable Bob Ross.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s