Author, Burning for Freedom

Author, Burning for Freedom
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Friday, September 20, 2013

Re-vamping my Website

Hi, Everyone! At the moment I am enjoying myself revamping my website—it seems as if the sky is the limit!! And it is all thanks to the enterprising Harshavardhan Shinde.
Just a month or so ago, I got a fb message from one of my newly-become Friends, Harshavardhan. It went something like this: “Your website is old and behind times. You need a new one and I can give it to you.” I was extremely preoccupied and busy at the time. Nothing but the sheer audacity of this statement was going to puncture that, for sure!

I was aware of the limitations of my current website, though. I cannot do anything on it without going through the webmaster and that is quite a tortuous process. I had so many ideas, I had progressed so much (articles, videos, interviews etc.) in the last year, but my website didn’t reflect it. After a half hour or so messaging with Harshavardhan, I had a cautious flame of hope burgeoning within me. It was 3 a.m. in India at this time. Harshavardhan promised to send me a sample of what my website will be like to put some of my concerns to rest.

Unbelievably, a mere five hours later he had a sample site incorporating quite a few details ready! When did he work on it . . . ? When did he sleep . . . ?—and I discovered he is a college student. So young!

I must say I found his enterprise and verve very, verve impressive.

As an added bonus, I found out that not only can I manage the website myself I can design it myself too. So here I am, on the threshold of a reader-friendly, technologically with-it website I hadn’t even dreamed of (for I didn’t think I could have it)! Now I am giving myself a free rein and including a Video gallery, Photo gallery, an “Ask me” page, and a making a “one-stop-shop” for research sources on a wide range of subjects . . . oooh! I love it . . . especially the last one, for it has been my dearest wish for a long time; ever since 2009, in fact.

And it is all thanks to Harshavardhan Shinde and his

So coming soooooon .  . .

- Anurupa

Friday, September 13, 2013

Savarkar's relationship with the Damle Household

Hi, Everyone! It is my intention to translate several anecdotes of Savarkar preserved by those who knew him well. I consider it essential to do so to illustrate Savarkar fully to all.

Savarkar Smruti (Memories of Savarkar)  by Moreshwar Damle, Lakshmi Process Studio, Kolhapur, 1982; pages 1-2

Tatya’s Relationship with the Damle Household

Fortunately, our family had the opportunity to form a close connection with such a great patriot like Savarkar. It was like this, the plague was rampant in 1924-25. Savarkar got permission to stay in Nasik from June 24, but only for three months. Later on he was granted two more months extension. But after that he was ordered to return to Ratnagiri, plague notwithstanding. In November 1924 Savarkar was back in Ratnagiri and decided to live in the nearby Shirgaon to be away from plague-ridden areas. This incident took place somewhere around November 1924. Fearing Governmental wrath, no one was willing to take him in. In these circumstances, our father, Mr. Vishnupant Damle, invited him to be our guest. We lived in an old house with not many conveniences. We wondered how it would suit a patriot of Savarkar’s stature. But Savarkar saw our home and accepted our hospitality.
At the time Savarkar was by himself. His wife being pregnant, he preferred that she stay in Satara.

Once in our home, the room Savarkar picked for himself was about twelve feet long and seven feet wide. Actually, it was our rice storage shed—not very well-lit, with one door and a tiny window. And so, our father asked him, “Tatyasaheb, will this tiny room really serve your needs? It has just the door and barely a window! Not much sunlight comes in, either.” To this Savarkar replied, “Vishnupant, firstly, I am not ‘Tatyasaheb.’ If it makes you uncomfortable to call me just ‘Tatya,’ then do call me ‘Tatyarao.’ As for this room—my cell in Andaman was much smaller than this and dirty and dark to boot. That’s what I am used to; better not to forget the jail life already, anyway.
Later on, sitting on the floor of this very room, using his trunk as a desk, Savarkar wrote his book Hindupadpadshahi. With this we got a very good idea how he did his valuable writing work in that dark and dingy cell in Andaman. This room being blessed by Savarkar’s stay, we have preserved it as is till today.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Savarkar: Ja Jhunja! Fight for our very own Motherland!

 Hi, Everyone! On dawn of August 15, 1947, India became free. Savarkar’s dream of a free—though not united—Hindustan was fulfilled.
Almost fifty years before that in 1898, at fifteen years of age he had taken an oath before the Ashtabhuja Goddess to organize a revolution for the freedom of his beloved motherland. He had left no stone unturned in his goal to get freedom for India and bring honor back to his motherland. One of his ways to achieve this was to set about awakening the Indians to the plight of Hindustan and stirring patriotism in their hearts. And one of his weapons for this was his soul-stirring poetry.
It is impossible to remain unmoved by the passion, patriotism, pain, and urgency in his poems. I am posting one of my favorite poems of his with my translation:

Ja Jhunje! (Fight!)

निजजाति-छळानें हृदय कां तळमळतें ?
तुम्हि तरुण शिरांतुनि रक्त  नवें सळसळतें ?
 हे नवें रक्त तों विजेहुनी पेटावें
 मृत्यूसि तुम्हीं गाठून बळें भेटावें

मग मुकुट आपला कोणीं I फोडिला
हिंदूंचा झेंडा कोणीं I तोडिला
   आशेचा अंकुर कोणीं I मोडिला
   हें चिंतुनि चिंतुनि क्रुद्ध आंसावें जळतीं
दिनरात्रीं  डोळ्यांतुनि कां रे गळती ?

ह्या भारतभूस्तव  समररंगणीं गेले
   ह्या चिंतेनें बहु वीर लढुनिया मेले
   कुणि घोर यातनांचिया चितेवरि जळले
कुणीं फांस गळ्यासी लागतांहि ना ढळले

त्या त्यांच्या अपुर्या इच्छा I या क्षणीं
तुम्हांसि बाहती हांका I फोडुनी
   का ऐकूं  येती कोणा  I यांतुनी

जरि येति तरी रे ऊठ कोण जो तो तूं
घे करीं शिरा जा झुंज पुरव तो हेतू

Anguished are ye not by our people’s pitiful plight? Fie!
Pound not in you hot, young, blood, O Youth,
Blood more fiery than lightning? Fie!
Approach Death, meet it head on! Forsooth!

Who dared our crown shatter?
Who dared the Hindu flag tatter?
Who dared our burgeoning hopes batter?

Dwell!  Where are the hot, raging tears
Spilling from your eyes night and day! Fie!

Ah! Sons of Bharat into the battlefield plowed
Their anguished hearts were there razed
Some marched boldly to the gallows uncowed!
Or in pyres of untold tortures were set ablaze

Hark, their  thundering unfulfilled ardor,
Every second it calls out to you harder!
Is there anyone who can hear its clamor?

All ye who do! Awake! Awake!
Fight! Fulfill our cause! Your life stake!

- Anurupa