Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Picking up the pieces

There are many reasons why we may like a certain poem a lot.

Perhaps it tells our own story. Perhaps it makes us wish we had written it instead. Perhaps it gives us hope. Perhaps it inspires us. Perhaps it speaks to us.

And sometimes, if we're lucky enough, we find that one poem that puts all these reasons together. The ultimate poem. The most beautiful. The most meaningful. The most memorable. That one poem that stays with us forever. That one poem that we remember all our lives.

Years and years ago, perhaps 15 years ago, my mother used to read this tiny Reader's Digest-sized Hindi magazine called 'Sarita'. I used to read it too, mainly to help my Hindi. I concentrated only on the Bollywood section (yeah yeah, I started young!) but one day something caught my eye. The magazine had a little section that featured poems sent in by amateur poets.

And that's where I spotted the simplest yet the most beautiful poem I'd ever read.

Today for some reason, the poem came back to me.

I don't remember the poet's name but I think this is how it went:

Main nirantar
toot toot kar
phir phir judne wali
woh chattaan hoon...
jo jitni baar toot-ti hai
judne se pehle
utni hi baar
apne bheetar
kuchh naya samet leti hai...
Tum mujhe baar baar todte ho
aur main phir phir judti hoon...

And here's my sad attempt to translate it for the non-Hindi-speaking readers. Compared to the original, this sucks bigtime, but it's the best I can do.

I'm that rock
the one that breaks again and again
and then puts itself together
every time it breaks...
and each time
before putting itself together
it takes in something new...
You break me again and again
and I put myself together
again and again...


shub said...

nice one...and you remember it after all these days :)

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

OH NO NO NO! Gold lost again! HMPH!
BRB...I'm yet to read it.

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

Hehehe...I was the second one, Puneet. :P:P:P HA!

PuNeEt said...

am second here...
after ages :-)

lemme come back


PuNeEt said...

thats a very sweet poem...

ya there are many reasons y we like the poems....

bt is there something calld ultimate poem also...
If there is one...
then I'm still searching for it


The Girl Who Sold The World said...

*Appaluds* You STILL remember it after so many years? :O WOW! It's quite inspirational though...
Well, I dunno...I love poems but haven't found THE perfect poem yet...but I love this nonsensical verse from 'The Walrus and The Carpenter'...I studied this 2 years back in class 10:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things
Of shoes- and ships- and sealing wax-
Of cabbages- and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

HAHA! Silly but good. ;)
And hey, your blog has some jadoo...I read Puneet's comment before posting my second one but still blogspot displayed it before his!!! Blog bhooooooooot? :P

Starbreez said...

Heartbreaking, heartmending poem. Maybe that ignited your own love affair with poetry? I think you'd like Shel Silverstein's "The Missing Piece"!

Chirag said...

"judne se pehle
utni hi baar
apne bheetar
kuchh naya samet leti hai." -- very nice

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sparing a thought for the non-hindi speakers :p
But anyway sounds like it must be a really good poem since you can remember it even after all this while

Dante said...

Death in itself is nothing; but we fear
To be we know not what, we know not where


Just 2 short lines but how easily and simply does it sum up human life. Guess that's why i have an affinity for this poem/haiku.

lil _kath said...

Simple but have deep meaning..nice poem naa^_^ but how come kawaii sayesha remembers it till now?

Kais said...

Nice poem. I sometimes like to do a history search on phrases or poems quoted in novels. Heres a beautiful poem that I came across about 2 years back in an unlikely location - a book about a plot to kill hitler called 'Devils Handshake'. Poem turned out to be by Yeats. Its from the assasin to his girlfriend in the book:

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

Like it? Okay dont steal it now ... Im saving it for when I have to write love letters!


Negative Creep said...

I don't know, but poems don't really do it for me... no poem i've read comes even close to the feelings some songs bring up in me and believe me, i've read a lot... If any of you have heard the song School by Nirvana, than you know what i'm talking bout... that song has just 17 words but the intensity and beauty of the song is unmathced by any pseudo-intellectual ravings of an egomaniacal poet... That song conveys such strong feelings of despair, entrapment, rage, and finally resignation... Music ][st Krieg!!!

Although here's an example of poetry i do like...

Aldebaran's great, OK,
Algol's pretty neat,
Betelgeuse's pretty girls,
Will knock you off your feet.
They'll do anything you like,
Real fast and then real slow,
But if you have to take me apart to get me there,
Then I don't want to go.
Take me apart, take me apart,
What a way to roam,
And if you have to take me apart to get me there,
I'd rather stay at home.
Sirius is paved with gold
So I've heard it said
By nuts who then go on to say
"See Tau before you're dead."
I'll gladly take the high road
Or even take the low,
But if you have to take me apart to get me there,
Then I, for one, won't go.
Take me apart, take me apart, You must be off your head,
And if you try to take me apart to get me there,
I'll stay right here in bed.
I teleported home one night,
With Ron and Sid and Meg,
Ron stole Meggie's heart away,
And I got Sidney's leg.

atul lakhotia said...

u still remeber the words of the the poem...this must be the ultimate poem gr8...

Aethyr said...

i dont know about the ultimate poem of that sort..but there is one i compltelty love and somewhat describes my situation..here it goes.

"Babu banke bihari baggha ,
daal nahi pate hain
thande pani ka pehla magga.
Nahana Tapasya hai vikat samsya Nahane main lagate hain pura ek ghanta...
i dont remember the rest of it now..it was very long. and ya also i can not translate it..u did a good job there

Rohit Talwar said...

maine to kabhi nahi suni ya padhi kahi :((

but aapne bataya :)

Shekhar said...

Poems are wonderful, and so is this one that you write about. It IS fantastic that you remember it after so many years.

Thanks for reminding me to write about MY favorite poem. I do not know what it is, but Tagore's "Where the mind is without fear" from Gitanjali always inspires me and forces me to think in a new direction. Do check out my latest post where I'll quote the passage that I love the most. :)

Cheers, and thanks for mentioning the beautiful poem by the anonymous poet once again.

Vikram said...

Amazing lines :)

Rays Of Sun said...

Wow! remembering an Hindi poetry:O
Sacchi bol,yaad thee poetry ya google maara:P:P:P

Harshi said...

You are right...some poems just 'speak to us'.

It's a very deep poem. Very genuine, and I guess the person put their entire heart and reason into it while writing this.

And you remember the exact lines?! That's amazing Sash. :-)

Rays Of Sun said...

Uthee nahi abhi tak? ya fir bahut busy hai?

Ravi said...

Hmm... The poem made me think.

And then I had a doubt.... Why rock? Why not a jigsaw? :)

Raj said...

Thats a nice poem and a pretty good translation :D

Sahil said...

because a rock is not meant to be broken, whereas a jigsaw puzzle is. The rock gathers it's pieces by itself, not by others putting it together. The rock has strength whereas the puzzle lacks it. The rock learns something new about itself and life, the puzzle learns nothing.

And the rock is resilient. Resilient to what life throws at it. It may shatter and break into millions of pieces, but it will become that rock again.

It is a great poem Sayesha..

and even though my Hindi is not that great, somehow I think that:

jo jitni baar toot-ti hai
judne se pehle
utni hi baar

should be read:

jo jitni baar toot-ti hai
utni hi baar
judne se pehle

Sahil said...

..actually the version i wrote doesn't sound right either..

vasanthi said...

Hi just out of curiosity, what is your mother tongue?

American Pi said...

vasanthi >> sayesha's mother tongue is jharkhandi.

Shekhar said...

Hey, how come you changed the title of the post?

raj said...

hey sayesha and firends, just posted anothe mondegreen in your "what was that again" post. Would any of you know the original lyrics

Suds said...

Hey Sayesha, Nice poem. U have great memory... U can remember somethign for that long. Amazing. Enjoy...

V said...


And some are perhaps because we have written them ourselves, due to our own small segment of life.

(If you want to read any of my poems, email me at sumedh.prasad@gmail.com

Rays Of Sun said...

Kahan ho ji?

tinku said...

Samajh nahin aayi poem. Log poem kyun likhte hain?

Jahan na pahunche ravi,
wahan pahunche kavi

ye bhi ek poet ne kaha hai aur sirf iss liye kaha hai kyunki ravi aur kavi rhyme karte hain. Agar suraj ke itne saare naam mein ek naam ravi nahin hota to kavi ko kabhi bhi suraj ke sath compare nahin kiya jata. Aise thodi hi koi bolta 'jahan na pahunche suraj, wahan pahunche kavi'.

Khali dimag kavi ka ghar.


Rays Of Sun said...


//Khali dimag kavi ka ghar//
Mera nick hai Kavi:O and me proud of my dimag:P

tinku said...

ohh ROS mujhe nahin pata tha tera nick kavi hai. le fir issi baat pe correction kar deta hoon..

Khali dimag ROS ka ghar!

hehe ab mast hai..ek damm raapchik :p


Rays Of Sun said...

Grrrrrr..chalo accha hai isee bahane aur kaii Einstein's ban jaayenge:D

Harshi said...

Sash..where are you. Hope you are fine..

Sayesha said...

Hi people, sorry about the disappearance... was sick... and tired... and sick and tired... of being sick... and tired... you get the picture! :)

Yeah, amazing, huh? It must have had a real impact on me I guess! :)

#The Girl,
Tu sone ke peechhe bhaagna band kar ladki :)

Yeah man... long time! :)
Hope you find your 'ultimate poem' soon! ;)

#The Girl,
What a poem, girl.. kuchh samajh mein nahin aaya! :P

Yeah, I was quite amazed at my blog jaadu too! :O

Hmmm... you may be right! :)
Ok, let me go look for 'The Missing Piece' now! :)


I know the translation does not do justice to the poem, but it's the best I could do. Yeah, the poem really rocks! :)

WOW! These lines are awesome! :)

#Lil Kath,
I guess Kawaii Sayesha must have really really liked the poem, so it stayed in her memory :)

Amazing lines! Don't worry, I won't steal them! :D 'Cos if I say this to a guy na... hahaha! He wil run away from me at the speed of light! :)

I wouldn't really compare songs with poems... each has a different feel really... but thanks for sharing the song... assume you copy-pasted it, and did not sit and type the whole thing out? :)

Yeah, to me, this is the ultimate poem :)

Whoa I dunno if you're serious or kidding! :O

This is not a well-known poem yaar! It's some obscure little gem hidden in some obscure little magazine that I managed to chance upon! :)

Yes, I like that poem too! We studied it in school. :)


Google?? Google par milegi yeh poem?? Dhoond ke dikha! :/

//I guess the person put their entire heart and reason into it while writing this.

I think so too. :)

Nahin yaar... uth gaye they hum as usual 6 am ko... but wasn't feeling too good.. :(

I think Sahil's done a fantastic job at answering at your question. Much better than what I could have done.

Thanks! :)

However you may rephrase it, the basic meaning stays the same -- that every time she puts herself together, along he comes and breaks her all over again.

This is of course, assuming that the 'tum' refers to a guy, and to 'life'.

But if it is indeed a guy, I have something to ask her: Why does she even bother with him??

//actually the version i wrote doesn't sound right either..

I agree.

I was born in Orissa, and my parents speak Oriya. I speak a mish-mash of every language I know bits of, and even drop in a bit of Chinese at times when I talk to them... hehehe... :P

#American Pie,
Eeeeesh! :/

This just seemed more apt. I realised you'd linked the post, thanks for updating the link :)

I've replied on the comment space of that post.

I guess when something really speaks to us, we remember it for long. I may have messed up a bit here and there, but this is the gist :)

Why don't you email me some of your works at sayeshaz@gmail.com?

Yaheen hain ji! Aap sab ko chhodkar aur kahan jayenge? :)

Ya allah! Is ladke ka kya kiya jaaye?? :O

Hahahahahaha! :D

#ROS & Tinku,
Hope you guys sort out your differences soon, and decide whose house it actually is! :D

Am here, babe. Wasn't feeling well... so took a break... more in next post :)

Negative Creep said...

The thing i posted is more a poem than a song... It's by Douglas Adams....

Sahil said...

However you may rephrase it, the basic meaning stays the same -- that every time she puts herself together, along he comes and breaks her all over again.

This is of course, assuming that the 'tum' refers to a guy, and to 'life'.

Actually I pictured the rock to be a girl, and the thing breaking her to be life's hardships. But let's say if it is a guy, then to answer ur question:

Why does she even bother with him??

Coz he's worth it.

ps - im suprised u didn't saboo me about my version of the hindi poem being incorrect. U don't miss opportunities as obvious as that. You MUST be sick. Jao bhai, kohin doctor ko bulao, jaldi, abhi!

Harshi said...

Oh, sorry to hear that Sash. Feel better..

Sayesha said...

#Negative Creep,
All righty! :)

The guy sounds really arrogant. Is it you?

//U don't miss opportunities as obvious as that. You MUST be sick.

Haan haan, uthao meri beemari ka faayda... do din mein changi hokar waat lagayegi Sayesha! :D

Thanks, babe. Tomorrow is an important deadline. Will go see the doc on saturday. :)

Sahil said...

Arrogant in a boyish way is the way I'd like to say. But what I am is what you will have to decide for yourself yaar.

So I have 2 days to take as much "fayda" of you as i want huh?

bwahahahahahaha let the games begin!

Sayesha said...

You wanna play games with me, Sahil?

Soch lo.

Sahil said...

ooooooooo... i'm SO scared.

Sayesha said...



Okay I'll play the 'ill Sayesha' card one more time.

Aise chidhaoge beemaar bachi ko? :(