…….” O father ! By tomorrow, I shall fly.”


Roseinbloom madam always looked concerned about the condition of the women in India. I promised her that I will write something about them. On the other hand Roshario madam while bidding me farewell, wrote its Hindi equivalent Alwida in Devnagari. The use of that very word touched my heart!Bathchairdave Sir made a reference to the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So, on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
While writing the new chapter of one of my novels this evening, I happened refer to the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge :
To meet, to know, to love--and then to part
Is the sad tale of many a human heart!
While I wrote, I simultaneously heard to the poetry- as I normally do- of one of the most renowned and my favorite Hindi/Urdu Indian lyricist Gulzar (which I have translated as below):
My name will be lost in the wilderness
My face will also change
It is only my voice, that will linger in your ears
If you cared to remember!
Now, the above incidents had a cumulative effect on my consciousness. They built up a nostalgic mood !
I had to write something about the farewell of women as applied to the Indian conditions.
The departure of the daughters from the father’s house on marriage is the most dramatic and tear jerking incident in the Indian household.
I have selected two immortal poetic renditions on the subject, the English translations of which are as given below.
The first poetry is written by Shiv Kumar Batalawi, one of the most renowned and beloved poets of Punjab.(My own Mother tongue is Punjabi.)
When the cotton flower blooms,
O noble father.
Bring that season back for me,
O noble father.
It was in that season that I lost my song.
Separation choked its throat,
Sorrow ravaged its face,
Like water in ruined wells were its eyes.
It was a song that brought to lips,
The scent of musk.
O noble father.
Bring back that song for me.
O noble father.
One day my song and I,
In that enchanted season,
Ploughed the earth of my heart,
Sowed it with seeds of undefiled dreams.
No matter how many tears I poured on it,
No flower bloomed.
O noble father.
Bring back one flower for me,
O noble father.
What use your fertile lands
If daughters wilt?
What use your lakes
If the swans are parched?
What use your ample wealth
Your granary of pearls,
O noble father,
If you cannot bring back the season,
When the cotton flower blooms.
O noble father.
[This poem has been translated by Shri Suman Kashyap]
Next is the translation of a famous folk song written by Musarrat Nazir
which is produced as below:
In this song, as far as the poetry goes with the literary perfection the comparison of daughter's stay in his father’s place ( babul) is done with the temporary nest of birds.
This is a very old and famous folk song, played in almost every marriage in Punjab at the time of departure of the girl from her father’s house in what is called as the Doli ceremony
Your house was like a temporary nest of birds, O father!
By tomorrow, I shall fly.
Marriage party is camping outside
Tomorrow, I shall be in another land.
Please take care of the keys to home,
Your house was like a temporary nest of birds, O father!
By tomorrow, I shall fly.
My heart is lost in this place ( your house ),
Where I used to play with the dolls.
But, who will fathom my pain?
Your house was like a temporary nest of birds, O father!
By tomorrow, I shall fly.
I can see my brothers looking at the skies (today)
Can they change my destiny , (no, they can’t )
All bonds of love are broken,
Your house was like a temporary nest of birds, O father!
By tomorrow, I shall fly.
O my mother, forgive me please!
I am indebted to you, ( you fed me),
I salute you for the last time!
Henceforth, only destiny can make us meet again,
Your house was like a temporary nest of birds, O father!
By tomorrow, I shall fly.

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. roshario

    Namaste Abh …..Samuel Taylor Coleridge is one of my Favourite poets (Kubla Khan) ….Loved the Folk Song by Musarrat Nazir thank you for introducing me to more Indian Poetry & Song ….keep writing my friend

  2. saffy123

    I am forced to recall the young woman who was brutally raped on a bus in India..and the response issued by one of the rapists…”she should have fought”.so am now wondering if her father and other men shed tears over this act.
    I find your blogs very egocentric, rose coloured and not at all in tune with just what is happening in your country…I personally know how women are treated there and how men actually treat them…….this is my personal opinion only….feel free to shoot me…after all..I am only a ‘woman’…..

  3. starlette

    Well Saffy I am just a mere women also……..and I am also absolutely appalled at the way Indian women are treated, now I know just one person cannot be held responsible for the deeds of others, but it would seem the Indian teachings are all about love, compassion, peace whatever……….shame the males do not throw some of this the females way………so shoot me too…..

  4. Abhilaaj Post author

    Thanks for being a regular follower (and now a critic ) of my blogs !
    Well, you must say whatever you feel is right and in whatever manner you desire to.
    And as a writer of fiction, I too.
    We live in a democratic world.
    Every basket of fruits including the one packed in your country’s orchards contains some rotten fruits.
    While, looking at the very small percentage of the rotten fruits with a microscope- which the print and the electronic media unfortunately does so often for sake of the readership / TRP – you can not ignore the presence of so many good ones, colorful ,tasty and the nutritious !
    I do not claim to be a journalist who comments on the rotten fruits , I am a fiction writer who prefers to admire and comment on the good ones to the extent possible..
    I have also written of evil characters in my novels wherever the plot demanded. In one of my blogs (The Hippocratic oath…) ,I have written about an Indian woman who was divorced for no reason of hers and was also denied the custody of her child. Please go through this blog.
    This particular blog mainly consists of the poetry written by 2 top Indian poets very long ago which I have just quoted / and translated 1 of them. The poetry is not written by me at all !
    The crime rate in no part of the world including the developed nations is declining- it is ever increasing.
    I condemn it equally wherever it is committed, in India or elsewhere !
    Hope, you do not expect people to write a poetry on molestation, terrorism, ethnicity, desecration or war ?
    A writer has to be a preacher of the angles- not of the devils. I presume !

  5. Suzan1957

    Why do you not reflect on your own feelings about the subject you are writing and not quote everyone else. To me that would be much more interesting and meaningful. Just a thought.

  6. Abhilaaj Post author

    Suzan, because I am a fiction writer and not a social worker or a journalist. I may have a hero and a villain in my works, but I support or condemn none of them.
    My opinion on what happens in the country may get reflected in some of my protagonists as demanded by the story, and for no other reason.
    A fiction writer is like a painter who may either paint a sparrow or a hawk ! You have the best of the Indian poetry duly translated in to English on the given subject. It is left to your judgment whether to admire it per se or not !

  7. vonMichael

    The status of a women in India is of no value in the society since ceturies.
    It has been fixed behind a doneky in the hierarchic with one big difference; donkeys are been needed for work, women just for fun and getting children.

    That’s what I know from various documentry reports on screen.

  8. roshario

    Have to comment on the fact that saffy & starlett call themselves just woman come on ladies we live in countries where we are valued not just as wives & mothers but people in our own right who can have opinions & vote …saffy recalls the woman who was raped on a bus ….I live near Rotherham where over a 1000 young girls were groomed for sex are we in tune as to what is happening in our own country ….. I put it to you are we ??

  9. starlette

    Roshario, the words just a women is a turn of phrase, and I value myself very highly as a women, I do have an opinion and am not afraid to voice it, and I would never let myself be subject to either being verbally or physically abused by man or women……the grooming that is taking place in our country of the young girls is shocking and worrying, I have just read a book about a young girls own experience of how she was groomed from being 13, she did live in Rotherham, although that is not the only area where the abuse is happening……… but and please do not think I am being racist here because I am not……..not one English man was involved, they were all from other countries……. they have no respect for our women and used and abused them in the most horrific way…….hiring them out to other men for the use of……. .how many do you see on tv being convicted of grooming…… is there English men among them……maybe one or two, I don’t know, but the majority are foreigners , these are facts……..lots have no respect for their own women, and even less for ours ………so yes it happens in our country, but who are the main perpetuators…………some of our police and social workers turned a blind eye so they should be called upon for answers too…….but not all theses girls were in care, indeed many came from good homes, without going into details it was very very cleverly done how these girls were groomed and trapped, and still today a lot of the groomers are not convicted because the girls are to frightened to give evidence…..so yes it does take place in our country………but by who??

  10. roshario

    Starlett thank you for your reply but please get your facts right …not 1 English man was involved ….. I beg to differ those that were convicted were born and bred here educated here have businesses or jobs here they may have been of Muslim origin but still British and as to the so called Police,social workers counselors who turned a blind eye all British are they not just a quilty as the perpetrators.

    1. starlette

      Yes Rosh, I have stated that the police and social workers are answerable too, British born maybe………..but not with the same morals and values as most of us have….. people still follow their own cultures despite where they live., this we know all to well to our own cost, again I will not tar everyone with the same brush, and really cannot get involved in any racist issues, but the ones I am talking about were very well off individuals, they drove the mercs and lived the high life……all paid for by the vast amounts of money that they charged other men for the abuse of these girls,……so sorry I cannot defend them even if they were born here……… I do know that if you go to their countries, you follow their rules, or woe betide the outcome…..

  11. saffy123

    rosh…the young Indian lady involved was murdered..raped and killed by 6 men who have admitted they were out for fun…I brought it up as it created an outcry by the women of India….their voice had never been heard before. I know each country has its own dark side…but it was in response to a ‘fiction’ writer..one who is promoting his novels on here and one that does not have an ‘original’ thought in his head., both star and I write….but have you seen us promoting our work?? That was my criteria…and I will still stand by the fact that I am a woman, hear me roar!!!

  12. Abhilaaj Post author

    Saffy ,I am dumbstruck at your negativity !
    I do not wish to compete with your biased attitude and thunderous sarcasm !
    No, I am not here to promote my novels. Never !
    Why do you also not attempt writing ” fiction ” (under inverted comas as used by you ) and help the society.
    Those who write fiction do so for benefit of the mankind ! They may remain poor though !
    Your attitude even in the chatting room smelt to some extent of racialism, unfortunately. Sad but true !Kindly introspect!
    Although,I did not name you then,I sadly do it now.
    If I do not have any original thought in my mind ( as you accused ), so it may be !
    You may not read my blogs if you dislike my byline ! As simple as that.
    You call me egocentric, you allege that I painted a rosy picture of India in my articles, you challenge me that I shoot you with a gun “since you are a woman “!
    I feel sad, surprised and amused too !
    The old school of thoughts of love and universal brotherhood is my basic guiding principle.
    I shoot people with respect, empathy and love and not with guns, Saffy !
    I do not wish to ever be so much advanced and powerful like you ,to have the feelings of superiority complex and hatred towards very ordinary person just because he belongs to the 3 rd world country !
    As an Indian poet said :
    ” We are not greedy for so much,
    Little will do for us ! ”
    Your screaming and shouting may probably have some reasons buried down in your conscience other than those connected to my blogs.
    You may have to please find them out yourself.
    Let me again explain you that I condemn the atrocities on women in India as much as I condemn the racial attacks on the Indians /Asians in the US and elsewhere.
    As Roshario madam has pointed out such crimes take place in your own areas too.
    Have you been able to write any report or make any investigation against any such crime taking place in your own nation, ask yourself please. Introspect.
    Rosahrio and you are the people who make equal but opposite difference to the society.
    She was the one (along with bcd Sir) who motivated me to write for SC !
    You are the one who makes me think “Write for SC, Why ? ”
    And if I continue writing, it will be on requests and desires of some of the people whom I love and respect !
    Let me finally explain you again that reporting of news is basically not my job, nor forming and publishing of views. I do not run any NGO too !
    I am basically a story teller and a poet ! Let me please do that!
    You could always view Indian TV Channels about such news.
    BBC has produced a documentary on the Nirbhaya rape case, please watch that !
    Let me say that I have spent 10 hours in finishing the blog at hand. I did not sleep that night !
    Patricia and some other members may confirm it as I said about my remaining awake in the night while chatting for a while that night !
    The translation of the poetry is the toughest job one has to do. It was done by me to just provide all of you some insight to the women- centric Indian poetry and the folk songs. A labor of love!
    No, I am not paid for writing a blog which you know, nor am I writing them on my name by which I am known in India !
    The nick name Abhilaaj with a picture of eagle !
    The eagle will be more known than me in that case !
    Let me sign off with the above !
    I wish I should not have made the kind of comments you made me make , unfortunately.
    I do not roar like a tiger, but I do attempt making my point in the most humble but firm manner. Pen is my sword !
    Satyamev jayate : Let the truth win is the cardinal principal of India ! Amen !