(This is one poem that i can never forget. First heard during my 11th grade, I've been wanting to translate it for long. It gives you just one lesson--humility--the more humble you are, the better the person. Please excuse my understanding of the poem (and also the transliteration of the original Hindi version), and if there are mistakes, do let them know in the comments section)
Jad Ki Muskan (The Root's Smile)
By Harivanshrai Bachchan
Translated by Nishath Nizar
Ek din tane ne bhi kaha tha
Jad? Jad to jad hi hai
Jivan se sada dari rahi hai
aur yahi hai uska sara itihas
ki zameen me muh gadaye padi rahi hai
Lekin mai zameen se upar utha,
bahar nikala, badha hu, majboot bana hu.
Esi se to tana hu.
One day the trunk had had also said-
Roots? Roots are but just roots
Forever cowering from life
And this is its history
That it shall forever hide itself in the earth.
But we, rose out of the ground
Grew and became strong
That is why they call me the trunk.
Ek din daalo ne bhi kaha tha -
Tana? kis baat par hai tana?
Jaha bithaal diya
wahin par hai bana.
Pragatisheel jagati me til bhar nahi dola hai
khaya hai, motaya hai, sehlaya chola
One day the branches had spoken –
Trunk? Why be so boastful?
You stay just where you are
Not budging a space
In this ever changing world, what change have you brought?
You have eaten, fattened and relaxed all this while.
Lekin hum tane se futi,
Deesha Deesha me gayi,
upar uthi, neehe aayi,
har hawa ke liye dol bani, laharai.
Esi se to Daal kehlayin.
But we arose from the trunk
Spread far and wide
Went up, came down
Became a percussion for every wind that blew
This is why they call us the branch
Ek din pattiyo ne bhi kaha tha -
Daal? Daal me kya hai kamaal?
Mana wah jhoomi, jhuki, doli hai. Dhwanipradhan duniya me
ek shabd bhi wah kabhi boli hai?
Lekin hum har-har swar karti hai.. Murmur swar marm bhara bharti hai. Nutan har warsh hui,
Pathjhar me jhar,
Bahar phut phir chahartin hai..
Vithkit chitta panthi ka shap tap harti hai.
One day the leaves had also said—
Branches? What is so great about branches?
We understand that they swayed, bowed and danced. But in this ever changing world
Did they even speak a word?
But we, have spoken our mind
Our voice filled the world with such sweetness
Every season seems anew
Falling in autumn,
And with spring a new beginning
Adding life to an otherwise meaningless life
Ek din phoolo ne bhi kaha tha - Pattiyan? Pattiyon ne kya kiya?
Sankhya k bal par bas daalo ko chap diya.
Daalo ke bal par hi chal chapal rahi hai,
Hawao ke bal par hi machal rahi hai.
Lekin hum apne se khule, khile ,phule ,hai
Rang liye, Ras liye, parag liye, Bhramro ne aakar hamare gun gaye hai, hum par boraye hai.
One day the flowers had also said – Leaves? What have the leaves done?
Just because of their sheer numbers are they so visible
They survive only due to the branches
They sway only due to the winds
But we have bloomed on our own
We’ve brought colour, fragrance and pollen; even the beetles have praised us in their songs,
They have lived on us
Sab ki sun payi hai,
Jad Muskayi hai.
After listening to everyone
The root just smiled.