Maithili to English Tranlation: Gajendra Thakur

Maithili to English Tranlator: Gajendra Thakur
Gajendra Thakur (b. 1971) is the editor of Maithili ejournal “Videha” that can be viewed at . His poem, story, novel, research articles, epic – all in Maithili language are lying scattered and is in print in single volume by the title “KurukShetram- Antarmanak.”He can be reached at his email:

1.Worn- out half rupee coin
(Ghasal Athanni)

Original Maithili : Late Kashikant Mishra Madhup
Translation : Gajendra Thakur

Noon of Jyeshtha month,
With all his twelve mouths vomiting fire-ball
Up-stooping The Sun
Burning the three worlds aflaming
Violent western wind
The tempest
The san-san-san sound of it
Like fire particle
Anguished blowing the dust.
The birds in nest, composed
Not shaking the wings
Not opening the eyes
Under the tree Animals puffing with tearful eyes
The herdsman went home unwillingly
Pond water turns hot
The water and land habitants tremble
The surrounded husk-bamboo enclosures, doors, windows of houses shut
This fire-rain!
No wayfarer to be seen on road
Will the world create the nature
This fire-rain!
The hi-fis
Having Big bellies
Relaxing supported on big cushions,
Making and filtering Sherbet
Sugar-candy, nut and ice mixed
Beneath the dancing electric-fan
They too peace starved asking –Hari! Hari!
What to tell about the Living
The shadow also asking for shadow
The noon of Jyeshtha-month!
Though at this time
Even then Buchni Left the courtyard of house
Is digging the field of Landowner
What can do the poor-women!
Having been beaten by the lord-of-bad-fate, through all the eight portions of day-night
The widow without family without any standing
Only child of six months
The hope for future
Who is weeping beside the road adjacent to the field
How can she console him?
Even the blood within her is in scarcity
Then how the milk will come out?
After fasting three times in a row (of morning-evening)
Became labourer @ fifty paise
From sunrise to sunset
Will do work
Will not get even the labourer’s breakfast!
Evening time
World now fearless
The moon rose with compassion
By cold light did the universe ecstatic
The cow caring for her child raced by echoing hukara-sound
Tun-tun-tun-tun sound
Tan-tan-tan-tan sound
The sound of bell
The smoke coming out of houses
Even that time starved-thirsty Buchni
Bosom drawn covering her son with saree
Torn faded clothes
The bones coming out
The beauty burnt, marked by poverty
Fearing for being burnt by the fire of hunger
The youth of her fled as soon as it came
Even more than that of riped betel-leaf
Yellowish and thin body
Cracked and split lips
Eyes like mango cut to size
In the ditch is whose ill-fate-thief
*****-anxiety stepping to the tip of saree
Burning her body
Every moment oh! Hope becoming fireball
“give some grain-water” whose life
Speaking through treachery of tear
That becoming helpless
Telling with fear somehow
With folded hands:
That rubbed fifty-paise coin was not accepted (in market)
I went to all the shops
Please give another half rupee coin
I came am only for this
Has become night
Landowner, do not take time
With hunger and thirst I am dying
Buy with that
Will thresh and crush grain
The child is weeping since morning
Restless and taking out my life.
She again came disturbing my forehead
Changing the real fifty-paise coin somehow
Clearly doing mischief
Hey! Hold her neck and push beside
She is witch
See the eyes
How onlooking
Swallowed such person as her master (husband) Budhna when she came
Chewed suddenly
At the time of Goddess LakShmi
doing lending business
Nobody here?
Took beside this ill-fated women?
I am not asking debt
Or came for begging
The cultivated labour-charge be given
I am your subject-son
Many times came here
Legs crumbling
For grain my body starving
The third-class-god not assigns even death to me
What time has come
Ha! Did work with all body-strength
That good-line even then the labour-charge not coming
That’s why this famine in world has appeared
I will not be able to go
When I step up the legs it seems dark in-front
Will die here only
To whom I will tell?
Nobody is my own
The wrong-doing is also the splendor of the powerful
God! Oh!
Hey you have no fear?
Many murder I have done and lived
Not even my body-hair got damaged
Long live the Daroga (police-incharge)
Will murder you
Flee women flee
By giving enough wage to labourer
I will put a blemish to my ancestry?
This false-acting do before
someone else
I am black-cobra
will she go simply?
The lord of death is dancing over her head
O, what you are looking at my face
That much courage the third-class people will show?
Even more heavy than the heaviest
With slap of Makhna she became helpless
Both mother-son fell on earth
Became senseless she
Even then with anger
By doing heavy-echo
Bhutkanbabu stood roaring:
Makhna! Makhna!
She is doing false-acting
Bring my stick
What will you know about women’s character?
My whole life dealt with all these.
Stick thrashing on the senseless body
Only once unrecognizable weeping
With child left Buchni this Creation!
With sorrow amidst laughter of Moon
That rubbed-worn-out half rupee coin spoke:
“where should I” go
To get shelter
Who will give?
Worn-out is whose fate!

(vermilion on forehead of married women put by host)
Sri Shivshankar Srinivas (b.02.07.1953), village-Lohana, Madhubani| Famous story writer| Published works: Trikona, adahan, gaachh paatha (story-collections). Original Maithili: Shivashankar Srinivas
Translation : Gajendra Thakur

It was occasion of investiture ceremony of Rambhadra Jha’s son. The family came to village from Hyderabad. Kalyani also came with them. Kalyani was only daughter of Rambhadra jha, ten year younger was the son whose investiture ceremony was occasioned.

Kalyani had come; the discussion was there all over the Tola of village. That had a reason. Reason was that the Brahmin-daughter re-married after being widowed. She has come to village! And that for participating in the investiture ceremony? That has reason of amazement. Those members of Tola among whom widow-remarriage was permissible were also amazed! Different types of gossip were in vogue. Much gossip was among the women folk. Along with different arguments and logical deductions the major point of discussion turned towards her groom. Someone was talking-“Groom is excellent. Smiling face.”
Second one asking-“To which caste you belong.”
On that third one telling-“whatever be, when married with a widow itself, then whatever he be.”
“What type of job you do?”
“He is in Bank.”
“Then it is good.”
“Whatever be, Kalyani would remain happy.”

In that way different types of talk and gossip was prevailing in society.
Kalyani’s this type of marriage was not something that was never happened incident but for this lineage it was certainly a new type event. That marriage was solemnized not in village but in Hyderabad. Rambhadra is working there, lives there with family.

Kalyani’s first marriage was solemnized five year’s ago; wedding took place in village only. With much pomp and gaiety. Good groom of a respectable family but the luck was not in favour. Only after four months the groom died in a rail accident. Died on spot. Rambhadra along with his family was at village itself. Upheaval like situation arose as soon as the news came. The whole family dipped into mourning. Understand that the whole village was weeping. Variegated situation was that!

Rambhadra Jha did not think to leave Kalyani at village for any reason. Only three day after the incident all left for Hyderabad, were much critisised by society.

After some time mother of Kalyani started creating an environment in which Kalyani should understand that her marriage itself had never took place. What happened happened. That was like a dream. But Kalyani was finding it uneasy to remain straight. She remained trembling for quite some time. As she was living in Hyderabad town, the place has its own activity. A separate environment was there that started constantly giving freshness to Kalyani. Slowly-slowly she started getting life.

Those days she was studying in B.A., was attending college. One day her classmate Preeta introduced her to her (Preeta’s) elder brother. First Kalyani winced, but Preeta impressed her softly and slowly, gave her energy to come out, breaking the shackles of nurture. Preeta’s family was from Uttar Pradesh. Earlier they were all Brahmins but now for them there was no caste bondage. For this marriage of choice the whole family consented. The matter got forward. Kalyani’s mother took the proposal in an ecstatic way. She always wanted to re-marry Kalyani. She came forward. The environment of enthusiasm became aromatic. Kalyani got married.

The news travelled to Village without delay. Many people of this village reside there. Some of the people came to village during those days. They all told this. In a flash the news spread over the village. For some time great discussion ensued and that not only in the village but also in the whole area, but also after some time everything started to be calmed. Some people spoke this thing-that thing but most took it in right spirit. The same discussion has re-surfaced when Rambhadra Jha’s family had come here for ceremony of investiture with sacred thread.

In Hyderabad, when the date for investiture ceremony was fixed then itself the matter of inviting or not Kalyani came in front. It was amazing that the mother herself did not want that Kalyani should go to village. Internally she feared village people. In the mind was the fear that the people may outcast them at the time of investiture ceremony. In the ceremonial rituals the participation of people is necessary and then for eight-Brahmin feast also people are required. She put her fear before Kalyani’s father, husband. Rambhadra was not in agreement with wife’s viewpoint. He gave logic- “Even when Kalyani would not accompany us even then people would outcaste us if they had decided. The more we would fear the more they would threaten.” But the heart of wife was not solaced. Rambhadra Jha kept silence then.

Time came nearby. One day, in the morning, Rambhadra was reading newspaper. Inquisitive wife came and sat near him. Rambhadra knew what she would tell and she told same thing- “When you go to office today then return by Kalyani’s house. Tell her about the investiture ceremony of Bauwa and tell also to come with us. How could we leave her? She is our child. Bauwa is sibling of her’s and that also the only one. She would accompany, whatever be…” While speaking tear came to her eyes, could not speak any further. When in the evening he returned wife asked- “what she answered? You went there or not?” Rambhadra Jha spoke in pleasant mood- “You know after hearing the news she started dancing with excitement, started making programmes of different types.”
“And he!” wife asked with certain fear.
“Who?” Rambhadra Jha questioned.
“Not ask that, on his face I felt a distinct type of contentment. He is gem, really.” Rambhadra Jha while replying looked at his wife. He saw that expression of her face has changed suddenly. He felt that wife had not become happy on the news of son-in-law also going. She wants to take along only her daughter, but he did not say anything.

That only when Rambhadra Jha and all came to village, people saw that Kalyani and her husband both had come. They saw it, then why they would remain silent? Gossiping started. Different types of talking were in air but all was within. Rambhadra did not get any non-cooperation from anybody. Not say about the feast and feast servers. All work started with the help of the people. Despite getting social harmony Kalyani’s mother felt that whenever a man or women comes his or her eyes look for Kalyani. Look towards Kalyani’s husband. Feeling this she feared people from her inner, felted restlessness. Had it been in her capacity, had she known some magic-spell she would have turned both of them invisible so that they would see all without being seen by anybody. But that was not possible for her. Powerless, she would start imbalancing. She would start thinking much type of things and would fear.

For Kalyani all this was nothing. She was completely normal. Her husband was enjoying by being carefree. People were coming, mostly the daughters and ladies and joke and comic topics took rounds. Kalyani would become hilarious. The high-pitch laughing would make mother startled. Like hunter being hit at her head. Thought in mind- “Somebody would feel uneasy at her laugh and would start putting hurdles. She should remain calm and disciplined but it would not be. When she would go to Hyderabad should live in whatever way she likes.” After sometime her mind started becoming abashed. And one day could not control and told, “ You would not remain disciplined. You are swallowing poison and sleeping in east-wind. This is village that you understand. People may object to all this any time, think of that.” Hearing mother’s talk Kalyani became surprised. Seeing and thinking of her new face she became exhausted. The enthusiasm like rice-soup started cooling down. Suddenly she became lazy, and likewise time started being passed. The work relating to investiture ceremony of sacred thread began.

The preparation ensued. The sacred Marba (rostrum) was erected. The ceremony of bringing clay for auspicious rite was performed. The rostrum was repaired, smeared and polished with dung. Then rostrum was written and painted.

The day was the day before the sacred investiture ceremony. On that day was to be held the sacred bathing ceremony. The drum was being drummed and pipe was being blown. The preparation for worship and invocation of family deity was underway. The ladies old and young were singing good-omen songs. The fragrance of festivity had spread all over. The whole environment became musical.

Here now the rite of Sinurhar (putting vermilon on married women by host) was to be performed. The preparation was underway for putting oil and vermilion by host to the women who took part in the ceremony. The ladies would be given gift in their saree and rice cooked in milk along with fried chapatti would be given in their hands. The married participates in this and feel the happiness about the well being of their husband; therefore the nearest and dearest relatives are called for this ceremony. So the boy’s mother invited the nearest clans-women. Any newly married, daughter-bride would not generally come. But why anyone should feel neglected? Minimum five married are essential; if all were called then also it would be seventeen. She invited one and all. She invited all but among them Kalyani’s name did not figure. She was not invited.

The function of Sinurhar was to be held before the room of home-goddess, the boy’s mother was busy in arrangements. Kalyani was in eastern house’s southern partition. Kalyani was sitting in front of window. From there she was hearing and looking everything. The newly-weds, daughters, women were making line for Sinurhar. The joyous mood was all-over and was resulting in springs of laughter now and then, was enough for changing mood of anyone to a pleasant one.

Onlooking and overhearing Kalyani now and then was trembling. She could not imagine that in Sinurhar function of his own brother’s investiture ceremony she would not be present. She stood and stands up in front of mirror. Other day she would feel shy by looking at her own image. That look today seemed unrecognizable. She thought- “Why came here? For what enjoyment?”

Her concentration moved towards her mother. At once she remembered her grand mother. By her name she remembers more of silly rituals then of her affection. Everybody, her mother and aunt including, were in dominance of her disciplinary rituals! What would get touched? On what matter she would get angry! Her grand mother thought that the unmarried and married having husbands both were contaminated. She ate food cooked by men or widow only. Among men the widowed were also not debarred.

She remembers that when she was child, during her arrival and departure to village from Hyderabad, when she would visit other’s home on invitation, people would indulge after indicating towards her in slow-voice talking. Although she was a little child even then she understood that they had been talking about her also. Later on she knew that they were talking about her grand mother. Among the whisper maker were all the married women whose husband were alive. Those days she was not that much mature but later on she knew that in her society people regard widow as bad-omen. So most of the time, among themselves, those married women whose husband were alive criticized widows. They regarded the look of widows as bad-omen. No men look towards other man in this way nor do the women look towards widower in this manner. Today Kalyani remembers the hawk of a story of a fowler, which hunted and brought fowls for the fowler. Even later on when the fowler remained asleep then also would hunt even without getting any provocation

The hawk hunted fowls. She thought that men were fowlers and the ladies were hawks. The women hunting the women. She felt uneasiness. She felt that somebody has enflamed her body.

See, mother did not invite her? Who cares? From this what is going to happen? But in the investiture ceremony of her brother itself she was not invited? Not for any other reason, but simply for the sake of enjoyment, for feeling the satisfaction to have participated in the function along with the brides and daughters, this continued haunting her. Not only haunted but now she felt awkward. Then her eyes moved towards her husband. He too was seeing the Sinurhar episode. She felt what her husband had been feeling! At then she saw her mother was coming towards her. Her heart started beating fast. The whole body became lighter. She felt suddenly that she had transformed into a child. But mother did not come to her. She stopped at eaves; Kalyani stood and came near door, saw that her father was standing there. Kalyani stood behind an obstruction.

“What are you asking”? She heard her mother asking.
His father said- “I am not seeing Kalyani in the Sinurhar function.”
“Oh God, You will not get intelligence ever.” The wife told in high-pitch and angrily.
“That’s how?” The husband also asked in high-pitched voice.
“She is my daughter. Her fate was bad that we repaired. We did not think over the Dharma and Adharma.” She told angrily to her husband- “This is a pooja of home-Goddess for those married whose husband has not died.”
“But Kalyani is not in that category.”

The Wife’s voice became harsh- “Not ask any false queries. Because of her I will not allow any wrong to happen to my son.” The wife left while replying. Rambhadra Jha’s senses came to a halt.

The whole courtyard came to standstill. Many did not like Kalyani’s mother’s attitude but mere whispering and no protest came forward. But Kalyani became restless. Her mother thinks of her as bad-omen. Her head felt like cracking. What should she do? She should not stay here any more. She resolved internally.

But that resolve did not remain as such for long. Before she would take any decision, her eye looked to her brother who was sitting on verandah. She onlooked him from there itself. She remembered the events right from his childhood to till date. The sibling bondage trembled her heart. She thought like weeping in the laps of her father. The tears came out of her eyes. But how should she weep? How should she weep on the auspicious day of his brother? She wiped her eyes with saree.

She looked towards her mother. Mother was performing the rites of Sinurhar. Mother once turned towards one side for putting something and then Kalyani saw that Mother’s face also there was no peace. Kalyani saw that she moved downwards and took the vermilion. After putting oil in head of the married she would now put vermilion. Kalyani turned and came in front of mirror; saw the vermilion line at her head and this enthused energy into her.

She thought- “She won’t go. She won’t go leaving the function of her brother?” Looking towards the innocent face of her brother her heart got filled with affection. She thought- her mother thinks that she is bad-omen. But her father does not think so. And brother? What would he think at this tender age? He is a boy. He is her sibling. She won’t go. But how she would remain as such? Thinking of this she onlooked the Sinurhar function for some time. Her mother was putting vermilion on the heads of the lucky married ones. She thought that the function of Sinurhar would be performed by some married whose husband is alive! She got strengthened at this thought. From room she came to courtyard and moved towards Sinurhar. She took in hand the plate containing rice cooked in milk and fried chapatti. She moved forward and gave rice cooked in milk and fried chapatti in the hands of her sister-in-law who was lined up in front. The sister-in-law accepted it joyfully. Then Kalyani’s cousin sister Lalita took holds of her and put her in line. She took the vermilion plate from Kalyani’s mother and put vermilion on Kalyani’s head. The mother felt awkward. The people also. But the glaring face of Kalyani standing in the row filled her with emotion. See everybody liked it. Kalyani’s mother surprisingly looked backwards and saw her husband smiling with closed lip looking at his daughter. Kalyani onlooked and saw that her husband ‘s face is full with affection. He was seeing at her joyfully.

3. Looking into the mirror of time
Gopalji Jha ‘Gopesh’
Late Gopalji Jha ‘Gopesh’ (1931-2008) is a Maithili poet of eminence. His published works include “Album,” “Gumm Bhel Tharh Chhi,” “Son Daik Chitthi,” and “Aab Kahu man Kehan Lagaiye.”

Original Maithili : Gopalji Jha Gopesh
Translation : Gajendra Thakur

Looking into the mirror of time
I see my face
And feel
That nothing new happens
Takes birth
Daily in the early morning
Some desire of this kind
Within the mind upward goes emotion’s wave
That something new will happen today
But Sun-God impresses
On the head of day some news of this kind
In which I to myself
Am not able to adjust
flying distances with dusty wings
fat becomes the pet pigeon likewise
my waves of emotions
become thick, find support from my experiences
prove that
nothing new happens
whatever come in front of us
that happens to be on the stone-piece of time
the same worn-out old thing old ideology
that boasts of being new
and squeezes the pain out of tired, inert mind

The Fundamentals
-by Taranand Viyogi (1966- ) The maithili short story “moolbhoot” by Sh. Taranand Viyogi translated into English by Gajendra Thakur.
Once upon a time it happened.
The almighty could not see the mismanagement in the country.
He posed like a Tantric and came before the Leader of the Nation. He could have come in his real form but as this Leader of the Nation believed more in the Tantrics so he thought it more appropriate to pose like a Tantric and came to the Leader of the Nation.
After worship and sacred-reading (by the Leader of the Nation) he (Tantric) asked for corruption in donation from the Leader of the Nation.
A unique light of corruption came out of the body of the Leader of the Nation and went away.
After the departure of Corruption the chastity and character of the Leader of the Nation also departed. Then Dharma went away. After that good-habits also came out and went on its way.
The efficiency of the clerk vanished. The healing-touch of the Doctors fell flat. The Engineers became perplexed. The political leaders and ministers started dying.
The religious places became empty. There was none who will pour water on to the Gods.
The prospective and the brilliant left study and started street-rowdism and started inhaling cannabis.
The whole country became lonely crematorium.
Then again the Almighty could not see the misfortune of the nation.
Again a Tantric came to the Leader of the Nation.
And again asked for coruuption for the welfare of all from the Leader of the Nation.
Ramlochan Thakur (1949- ) Senior Poet, theatre artist ,editor and critic of Maithili language. "Itihashanta" and "Deshak nam chhal son chrai", "Apoorva"(collection of poems).
Gajendra Thakur (b. 1971) is the editor of Maithili ejournal “Videha” that can be viewed at . His poem, story, novel, research articles, epic – all in Maithili language are lying scattered and is in print in single volume by the title “KurukShetram.” He can be reached at his email:
Original Maithili Poem by Sh. Ramlochan Thakur translated into English by GAJENDRA THAKUR
Addressed to the system/ warning-
Without any indication
Any wait for time
The sleeping volcano
Could thunder anytime
The mountaineer
Anytime could lag behind
Original poem in Maithili by Ramlochan Thakur

Translated into English by Gajendra Thakur

Letter to the Sister


I had received your letter

But there was delay in reply.

Why should I lie that

I was busy.

What to write and why to write,

That I could not decide,

Therefore this delay!

Sister !

I know that this year too

You might have made Sama-Chakeba.

And might have waited for me.

After Vrindaban set on fire.

Then not finding me

might have become sad.

Incessant tear might have flown from your eyes.

But Sister !

You believe it or not

It is true that

Any forest fire could not be controlled by

A water-filled jug and

That you have written,

True, I am changed, a lot.

I know that Vrindaban is

Not the same Vrindaban now,

Now not one,

But in numbers,

The slanderers have taken birth

And it is this Vrindaban,

The permanent abode of those.

The old hollowed trees have

Given shelter to the terrible poisonous snakes.



Even air is poisonous,

To inhale that air is also not advisable.


In my opinion

It would be better if it is destroyed in fire,

trying to subdue the fire is not desirable,

Is misuse of strength,

That strength is to be preserved

For future.

When we would plant

Certainly would plant

A new Vrindaban

Would water it not from a reservoir

But with our sweat/ and would blossom

Flowers of many colours/ in consonance of our desire

Would give a new colour to our dreams.


I believe/ and you’d believe too

That today/ in our own village we are all unknown-unknown

Having no identity,

Certainly the pain of it is unbearable,

But/ for that

It would not be appropriate to cry

But to recognize our own power,

And to overhear outside voice too and

To resolve

Then tomorrow – tomorrow

We would have an identity,

We the Vrindaban,

Our Vrindaban.
Sh. Krishnamohan Jha (1968- ), "Ekta Herayal Duniya", collection of poems.
Gajendra Thakur (b. 1971) is the editor of Maithili ejournal “Videha” that can be viewed at . His poem, story, novel, research articles, epic – all in Maithili language are lying scattered and is in print in single volume by the title “KurukShetram.” He can be reached at his email:
Original Maithili Poem by Sh. Krishnamohan Jha translated into English by GAJENDRA THAKUR
If not today then tomorrow
If not tomorrow then on a day after tomorrow
If not on a day after tomorrow then on two days after tomorrow
Not on two days after tomorrow not even after a month…
Then after a couple of years

One day
You would return to this threshold
And time and again would tell to yourself-
Thanks! Thanks!!


Maithili short-story written by Sh. Deo Shankar Navin translated into English by Gajendra Thakur.
From a distance came a crow and sat on top of a two pronged tree of the state road. Disciplined, a peace of bread in his beak…may be that he is tired while constantly flying or may be that he might have procured the bread after meticulous attack…was sitting and resting. In front was the parliament house, bright like some young women’s bare and muscled body bathed in milk. The crow was looking towards it with angry eyes. And at that time a healthy dog passed thereby. Looking bread in the mouth of the crow he spoke – O brother ! How many days have passed, I have not heard you sing. I often remember . Please have a song ! The crow looked seriously towards him, keeping bread in his claws he spoke thunderously- boy ! while lying in that cave how you will hear the song of outside world ? What you’ll do after hearing ? Now even while speaking, my bread won’t fall in front of you.

RamlochanThakur’s Poem translated into English.
You and I

Anyone whatever be
Itihashanta, Gita or Gitanjali
Is not without purpose
The creator is not impartial
The only difference
That what I hold
You do not

Purposeful false talk
Yudhishthir does
Cheats teacher
You know too
But do not hold
Calling him out as Dharmaraja, the uprighteous
But not I.

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