Vipul Rikhi: Ochintu Koi Mane Raste

The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery. ~Erik H. Erikson~

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In January this year, while Vipul and a few friends were on a 'Sadbhavana Yatra' in north Gujarat they met Dhruv Bhatt a well-known Sahitya Akademi awarded Gujarati writer.

Vipul shares : "As we travelled with him in his car, with great love, he shared with us those poems of his which come to him as songs (with tunes). We have so much enjoyed learning these songs of a modern/contemporary mystic poet, so to speak. In this song, he speaks of the benevolence of nature (kudrat ni rehem) and the joy of being alive. While walking along the banks of the river Narmada, he once came across a farmer working in his field under a blazing sun. When he asked him how he was doing, the farmer turned to him with a thousand watt smile, and replied with no hint of self-pity, that he was full of joy! That moved something internally for Dhruv dada in his attitude to the farmer, and to himself, and inspired this poem/song."

Lyrics and translation:

Ochintu koi mane raste made ne kadi
dheere thi poochhe ke kem chhe
To aapne to kahiye ke dariya si mauj maan
ne upar thi kudrat ni rehem chhe

Phaatela khissa ni aad maan muki chhe ame
chhalkaati malkaati mauj
Eklo ubhun ne toye mela maan houn
evun laagya kare chhe mane roj
Taalu vasaaye nahin evadi pataari maan
aapno khajaano hem-khem chhe
Aapne to kahiye ke dariya si mauj maan...

Aankhon maan paani to aave ne jaaye
nathi bheetar bheenaash thathi ochhi
Vadh ghat no kaanthaao raakhe hisaab nathi
parvaah samandar ne hoti
Sooraj to uge ane aathmiye jaaye
maari upar aakaash em-nem chhe
Aapne to kahiye ke dariya si mauj maan...

I'm at play 

If, suddenly, I were to come across
Someone on the way
And if they were to ask me
"How are you doing today?"
Then I would say, 
Nature is so bountiful
And like waves in the ocean 
I'm at play!
In my torn trouser-pocket hide 
Many joyful, dancing waves
Even when alone 
I'm in a carnival each day 
In a tiny bundle
Which can never be locked
My treasure is as safe as day 
Like waves in the ocean
I'm at play! 

Water in the eyes comes and goes
But the moistness within never dries
The shore may keep accounts
Of less and more
The ocean doesn't bother about such scores 
The sun may rise and set everyday 
The sky over me is always the same 
Like waves in the ocean
I'm at play! 

​​​​​​​Translated by Vipul Rikhi

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