Bahinabai Chaudhary was a brilliant poetess born in 1880 in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. Though she was illiterate , her literary talent was remarkable.Her poetry revolved around the life of the villagers, farmers and hardworking women in that era and also the analogy of nature with realities of life among other subjects. Her cousin brother Sopandev chaudhari wrote her poems as dictated by her. Before that lot of her poems could not be preserved unfortunately. Her poems written in unique style are really an invaluable treasure for poem lovers all over the world. She married at an early age and was widowed at the age of 20. She had to tolerate all the ill-treatment given to widows in that era. Yet she never blamed destiny and worked hard for livelihood and brought up her kids and also wrote magnificent poetry.
I am presenting here one of her poems which depicts the reality of managing family happily inspite of all odds faced in life. The poem name is “Are Sansar Sansar‘ meaning “How beautiful is managing family!!”.
अरे संसार संसार, जसा तवा चुल्ह्यावर,
आधी हाताला चटके, तेव्हा मिळते भाकर ।
Are sansaar sansaar jasa tawa chulhyavar. Aadhi hatala chatake tevha milate bhakar.
In that period clay chulhas(burners) were used to cook which used coal as fuel. The basic food or bhakri or indian bread is cooked on a pan. The pan becomes hot for feeding beautiful food to family members and also the housewife sustains small burn injuries in the process but the joy of feeding family is so pleasing that she forgets all the burns in this process.
अरे संसार संसार, होटा कधी म्हनू नाही
राउळीच्या कयसाले, लोटा कधी म्हनू नाही ।
Are sansaar sansaar hota kadhi mhanu nahi. Raulachya kalsale lota Kadhi mhanu nahi.
Feeding and managing the family with love despite all odds and agonies is not a task that is unliked by mother in the house as the beautifully carved top of the temple is not just a shape of glass kept upside down
देखा संसार संसार, शेंग वरतून काटे,
अरे वरतून काटे, मधी चिकणे सागर गोटे ।
Dekha Sansaar Sansaar , Sheng varatun Kate, are varatun Kate, madhi chikane sagargote.
These family duties are like beans which have thorns from outside but have beautiful seeds inside. The joy of keeping family happy is so pleasing that it helps to forget all the difficulties faced in doing so .
अरे संसार संसार, नाही रडन कुढन
येड्या, गयांतला हार, म्हणू नकोरे लोढनं ।
Are sansaar sansaar , nahi radan kudhan ,yedyaa galyatalaa haar mhanu nako re lodhan.
This task of managing family is never felt by the housewife as burden due to the odds in the process but she feels that it’s a beautiful garland of flowers as it gives so much happiness to the housewife by seeing all the family content with the love of mother.
एक संसार संसार, दोन्ही जिवांचा इचार,
देतो सुखाले नकार, अन् दुखाले होकार ।
Ek sansaar sansaar donhi jivanchaa ichaar . Deto sukhale nakat ani duhkhaalaa hokaar
Family means thinking and bringing up all members in the family and in the process more agonies are encountered than moments of happiness.
देखा संसार संसार, दोन्ही जिवांचा सुधार
कदी नगद उधार, सुखदुखःचा बेपार ।
Dekha Sansaar Sansaar donhi jivanchaa sudhaar.Kadhi Nagad udhar sukh duhkhanchaa bepaar.
The financial difficulties faced like borrowing money from others is a usual affair in this duty to make both ends meet.
The poem was picturised in Marathi film “Manini”.
Bahinabai chaudhari passed away in 1951 and her name was given before North Maharashtra University to commemorate her contribution to Marathi literature. Her works are published by government of Maharashtra in the book ” Bahinabainchi gaani” (songs of Bahinabai).
Let’s Salute to this brilliant litteratuer.