Introduction

This poem is translated by Shivanath from the Dogri poem Jhuriyaan written by Arvind. Here, the poet talks about the wrinkles on his mother’s face and counts them, listing every moment she sacrificed something as the cause of her wrinkles. The poet addresses his mother in the poem.

About the Poet

Arvind was a Dogri writer.

Theme

The main theme of the poem is the figure of the mother and the sacrifices she makes for her family and her child.

Stanza 1 – 3

My mother,
Making bold today
I begin to count
Wrinkles on your face.

One wrinkle
Of the time
When your father
Uprooted you

From the backyard
Of his house
To plant you
In the courtyard of others.

The poet says that speaking in a bold way today, he begins to count the wrinkles on his mother’s face. He counts one wrinkle of the time she was married. The marriage is referred to as an act of her mother’s father uprooting her from the backyard of his house to plant her in the courtyard of others, that is, her in-laws. 

Stanza 4 – 6

One wrinkle
Of that time
When I nourished myself
On your blood
And grew
In your womb.

Another wrinkle
When I Sucked
From your breast
The comeliness of your face.

Still another wrinkle
When a girl
Took me away
From you.

The poet counts one wrinkle of that time when she was pregnant with him, and he nourished himself on her blood and grew in her womb. He counts another wrinkle for when he was an infant and sucked milk from her breast, taking away the beauty of her face. He counts still another wrinkle for when he himself got married and let a girl take him away from his mother.

Stanza 7 – 8

Mother, my mother
Taking courage
In my hands today
I'm seeking
Under the skin of your wrinkles
A girl

Who was suppressed,
Who celebrated raade festival
With fondness,
Who went to the Tawi
To immerse raade seedlings
And bathe during the Navaratras,
Who played hopscotch
And the game of pebbles.

The poet says that being courageous today, he was searching for a girl under the skin of his mother’s wrinkles. A girl who was supressed, a girl who celebrated raade festival with fondness, who went to the Twai to immerse raade seedlings and bathe during the Navaratras, who played hopscotch and the game of pebbles. Therefore, the poet is looking for the young girl that his mother used to be before she sacrificed herself and her youth for her family and children.

Stanza 9 – 10

I'll bring for you
Everything:
Colours for raade,
Tinsel for your dupatta,
Colourful pebbles
From across the Tawi.

Become that girl,
Mother,
Just for a day.

The poet says that he will bring everything for his mother- colours for raade, tinsel for her dupatta, and colourful pebbles from across the Tawi. He just wishes for her to become that girl again, just for a day. He wants his mother to get back all the happiness she sacrificed, and live as a young girl free of worries again, even if it is just for a day.