Words of fire from kavirAja bhUShaNa have always held us captivated since the days of boyhood. Whenever we heard from our teachers and elders, his terse cHappaya or kavitta in unadulterated braja, we were quickly transported to some other world with our heartbeats accelerated and those hormones further soaring that run high during youth. Our childhood memories associate bhUShaNa with one of our AchArya-s in school who used to teach us hindI and saMskR^ita, and who transmitted this contagious bhUShaNa-fascination to many of us.
This magnum-opus, shivarAja-bhUShaNa, the fiery poetic annals of the life of the cHatrapati founder of the hindavI swarAja written by bhUShaNa, his contemporary, appears to have quickly lost out these days in popularity, probably since his kliShTa braja is hard to understand even for an average speaker of Hindi, what to say of non-Hindi speakers, in this age when all our languages, indeed the whole cultural continuum, seems to be suffering a major, lasting, and deliberate disruption. While we can do little about that, what we shall do for our own pleasure is to reproduce and translate in English, some of these words, although we are not upto the task to preserve even to a small fraction, the original fire that the lines of bhUShaNa radiate.
So, here goes the first episode (in no particular order of SB):
छूट्यो है हुलास आमखास एक संग छूट्यो
…हरम सरम एक संग बिनु ढंग ही
नैनन तें नीरधीर छूट्यो एक संग छूट्यो
…सुखरुचि मुखरुचि त्यों ही मनरंग ही
भूषण बखानै सिवराज मरदाने तेरी –
…धाक बिललाने न गहत बल अंग ही
दक्खिन के सूबा पाय दिली के अमीर तजें
…उत्तर की आस जीव आस एक संग ही ॥
(SB.150, ‘sahokti’ alaMkAra in kavitta meter of the ‘manaharaNa’ vareity)
With all excitement evaporated; matters of palace and forts interest no more;
Harem and chivalry have suddenly lost meaning;
Pride has left the glances so also bravery the heart;
Tastes and Pleasures, ‘ve all dried up; face paled…
O shivarAja, how should bhUShaNa speak of your manliness!
Effect of your terror is such, that
No boastfulness (of their bravery, by their bards) brings life back to the Amirs of Delhi,
When ordered to march to the Southern Provinces,
Indeed cease both at once: hopes of ever returning back to the North, and desire of life!
The poem describes the terror of the founder of marahaTTA nation in the hearts of the Imperial officers of Delhi, when they hear about their posting in the South.