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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A FIERY POET - SUBRAMANIA BHARATI


If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.

                                                       - Isaac Newton

Some books come to us by  divine intervention.  Some days ago,   I came across  a translated version of Bharati's works authored by Prema Nanda kumar. In fact, that book was published by Sahitya Akademi and  I tried to  buy the same,  but could not procure as it  was out of print.  I searched for other scholarly translation  and immediately I was landed  up in Usha Rajagopalan's - Everyman's Selected Poems of Subramania Bharati.  

The book offers the treasure of information about the life of Subramania Bharati. He is one of the 20th century greatest Tamil Poets.     He was a child prodigy.  Bharati was his title conferred on him at the age of eleven  which means ' one blessed by the goddess of learning'.

His works are philosophical.  When you read,   you get a feel of reading Indian Ancient Texts : Vedas /Upanishads.  His poems are devotional and catching his imagination on Nature is difficult to fathom.

Some of my favourite lines of Subramania Bharati are  :

The hand opens a lock, 
Wisdom opens the mind.

The mind controls the breath,
Right action shields the body.

I came across a baby fire,
I kept it in a tree hollow,
The forest charred and cooled.
Fire Power - is it young or old ?
Whoosh, crackle, snap, sizzle.

May we reap quickly the fruits of our effort.
May we earn wealth and joy, fame on earth.

( credit: Usha Rajagopalan's book: Selected Poems of Subramania Bharati )

His poem  'The Goddess of Beauty'  is very touching.  His other poem on the greatness of 'worker' is equally inspiring. His poem on 'Awake, Mother India !' helped in strengthening Independence  Movement from British.  

History reveals that great people have not lived fully on this planet and they came only for a short sojourn but during that short period, they made ripples.   Bharati who moved India with his fiery poems also died at the young age of 39 much like Vivekananda who also left his  mortal frame at the same age.    Hope these stalwarts continue to inspire succeeding generations !