Beyond The Beaten Track: Offbeat Poems From Gujarat (Heritage Collection)

Mother in Children’s Ward (Vadilal Dagli)

A mother, sitting on a stool
near an undulating corner
of a cot almost empty
droops down upon a pillow’s fringes.

The distraught ears doze off
listening to the tender breathing.
The mother stretches her neck
into the light and shade world of her infant.

Doubt, turmoil, fear, fatigue
melt in a pinch of sleep.
A mute flower floats
on the waves of a frantic sea.

બાળકોના વૉર્ડમાં એક માતા (વાડીલાલ ડગલી )

જાણે સાવ ખાલી ખાટલાના
ઉંચાનીચા થતા ખૂણા પાસે
સ્ટૂલ પર બેઠી બેઠી માતા
ઓશીકાની ઝૂલ પર ઢળી પડે.

કૂણા શ્વાસોચ્છ્વાસ સાંભળતા
વિહ્વળ કાનને ઝોકું આવે
શિશુની ધૂપછાંવ સૃષ્ટિમાં
જનેતા જરા ડોક લંબાવે.

સંશય, અજંપો, ભીતિ, થાક
ચપટીક ઊંઘમાં ઓગળે.
ગાંડા દરિયાનાં મોજાં પર
સૂનમૂન એક ફૂલ તરે.

Category in Beyond The Beaten Track

Parent and Progeny

Appreciation

Mother and child has been a much celebrated image. In India it is depicted in the form of Jasoda and Krishna; in Christian countries in the form of Mary and the baby Jesus. Both are hallowed images. But seldom do the pain and exhaustion of the mother get depicted. Dagli has drawn a sensitive portrait of an exhausted mother taking a brief nap.

About The Author

Vadilal Dagli, M.A. (1926-1985) was born in Rojid, Dhandhuka taluka of Saurashtra. His early schooling was at Dilawarkhan School in Veraval, Saurashtra. There he studied French as a second language. Later he went to Ahmedabad to study at C.N. School, famed as a Gandhian institution, and came in contact with the poet ‘Sneharashmi’ who was a teacher there. He left Ahmedabad for college studies in Mumbai, and then went to the U.S. for M.A. at the University of California. On returning to India he joined the Press Trust of India. Later he worked in Indian Express and State Bank, and then joined the periodical Commerce as its Editor. Dagli was strongly influenced by the blind pundit Sukhlalji, and his meticulously logical prose. He was also influenced by Bernard Shaw’s direct, epigrammatic prose. Dagli had a vivid imagination and could visualize the characters of the play he was reading or writing. In the U.S. he conceived the idea of getting small, informative booklets written on various subjects by experts in a reader-friendly style to satisfy people’s need for information, along the lines of booklets brought out by the University of Chicago. Eventually these came out under the rubric ‘Parichay Pustikas’ (Introductory Booklets), and several hundred were written by subject experts and published. There was a gap of some 20 years before he began to write poetry again. He published several volumes of essays, a novel, a volume of poetry, and a translation of a book by K.A. Abbas. He was a recipient of Narmad Gold Medal.