Monday, November 24, 2014

Bahinabai: The Maharashtrian Poetess

- By Aishwarya Pramod

Bahinabai Chaudhari (1880 - 1951) was a Marathi poet from Jalgaon district (just north of Aurangabad). She composed in Ahirani dialect of Marathi, commonly spoken in the region. Since she herself was illiterate, her son wrote down the poems for her. Her poetry is full of quiet wisdom and observations of nature and rural life around her.

Most of her poems were based on agriculture, nature and the lives of farmers.

Here are two of her many compositions:

Asaa Raajaa shetkari, chaallaare aalvaani,
Dekhaa tyaachyaa paayaakhaale, kaate gele vaakisani

(So royal is the farmer, walking barefooted,
Look under his feet, the thorns are bent)

Aala saas, gela saas, jeeva tujha re tantra
Arey jagna-marna eka sasacha antar

(Breath in, Breath out, life so is your doctrine
Life and death are just a breath apart)

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