Beggar : English Translation of Suryakant Tripathy Nirala’s Hindi Poem “Bhikshuk”

He comes.

Making us repentant with remorseful remarks,

He comes on path.

His stomach and back seems one,

A stick in hand,

Asking for alms and grain,

To satisfy his hunger.

He spreads forward

His torn satchel,

Making us repentant with remorseful remarks,

He comes on path.

Two children with him always,

With one hand on their starved belly

Other hand raised

to attract some merciful sight,

Lips and mouth parched.

Receiving no mercy from the Maker,

Starving, can’t sob and shed tears

Busy eating decayed leftover by a roadside

Competing with stray dogs

To satiate their hunger.

– Translated by Shayna.

Suryakant Tripathy Nirala, was an eminent Hindi writer born on 21 february, 1896 in a Brahmin family of Midnapore in Bengal (originally from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh). He was a  Hindi poet, novelist, essayist and story writer of high mark. He ushered in a new style of poetry and pioneered the Chhayavaad movement along with some other Hindi writers.

In the poem Beggar Nirala depicts the sorry plight of beggars. Hunger makes them beg for money and some food. But nobody feels sorry for them and these beggar children are forced to eat leftovers and at the same time they have to fight and compete with stray dogs to fill their starved bellies. It is pathetic see how humans are lowered down to the level of animals because of their poverty.

This poem is a strong indictment of society where rich keeps getting rich and the poor is always poor. A poor man lives his whole life struggling to make his both ends meet but never gets to feed himself properly. Poor children are always starving and malnutrition ed but society and government never gets to do anything to improve their sorry condition.


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