Antim Unchai - An Inspirational Poem by Padma Bhushan Kunwar Narayan

One of the finest poets in Hindi literature with a landmark of works. Yes! I am talking about Padma Bhusan awardee Kunwar Narayan present at the forefront of the literary world. He never ceased to inspire a generation of people with his work resonating waves of motivational and inspirational vibes.

Antim Unchai (अंतिम ऊँचाई) is part of his collection of poems from the book Apne Sapne published in 2003. Kunwar Narayan embraced life on different grounds of cognition and thought. Diversity is his unique element. Most of his poems do not seem to create boundaries but an immersion in various languages and subjects.

There is an absence of deceptions in the language of his poetry. Many of his poems touch different parts of life in a completely new way. The relationship of poetry can be very distant or close to the reality of life. The question is how much poetry is generous in its power to make it all worthwhile. His works sometimes go deep into the folds of many historical or philosophical experiences and sometimes look so simple that it seems very close to us.

So without further ado, I will let you revisit this beautiful poem.

अंतिम ऊँचाई

कितना स्पष्ट होता आगे बढ़ते जाने का मतलब
अगर दसों दिशाएँ हमारे सामने होतीं,
हमारे चारों ओर नहीं।
कितना आसान होता चलते चले जाना
यदि केवल हम चलते होते
बाक़ी सब रुका होता।
मैंने अक्सर इस ऊलजलूल दुनिया को
दस सिरों से सोचने और बीस हाथों से पाने की कोशिश में
अपने लिए बेहद मुश्किल बना लिया है।
शुरू-शुरू में सब यही चाहते हैं
कि सब कुछ शुरू से शुरू हो,
लेकिन अंत तक पहुँचते-पहुँचते हिम्मत हार जाते हैं।
हमें कोई दिलचस्पी नहीं रहती
कि वह सब कैसे समाप्त होता है
जो इतनी धूमधाम से शुरू हुआ था
हमारे चाहने पर।
दुर्गम वनों और ऊँचे पर्वतों को जीतते हुए
जब तुम अंतिम ऊँचाई को भी जीत लोगे—
जब तुम्हें लगेगा कि कोई अंतर नहीं बचा अब
तुममें और उन पत्थरों की कठोरता में
जिन्हें तुमने जीता है—
जब तुम अपने मस्तक पर बर्फ़ का पहला तूफ़ान झेलोगे
और काँपोगे नहीं—
तब तुम पाओगे कि कोई फ़र्क़ नहीं
सब कुछ जीत लेने में
और अंत तक हिम्मत न हारने में।

- कुँवर नारायण

Antim Unchai
(Hinglish Translation)

Kitna Spasht Hota Aage Badte Jana Ka Matlab
Agar Duson Dishaye Humare Samne Hoti,
Humare Charon Ore Nahi |
Kitna Aasaan Hota Chalte Chale Jana
Yadi Keval Hum Chalte Hote
Baaki Sab Ruka Hota |
Mene Aksar Is Oolajalool Duniya Ko
Dus Siron Se Sochne Aur Bees Hathon Se Paane Ki Koshish Mein
Apne Liye Behad Mushkil Bana Liya Hai |
Shuru-Shuru Mein Sab Yahi Chahte Hain
Ki Sab Kuch Shuru Se Shuru Ho,
Lekin Antt Tak Pahuchte-Pahuchte Himmat Haar Jaatein Hain |
Humein Koi Dilachaspee Nahi Rehti
Ki Vah Sab Kaise Samaapt Hota Hai
Jo Itni Dhoomadhaam Se Shuru Hua Tha
Humare Chahne Par |
Durgam Vano Aur Unche Parvaton Ko Jeette Hue
Jab Tum Antim Unchai Ko Bhi Jeet Loge -
Jab Tumhe Lagega Ki Koi Antar Nahi Bacha Ab
Tum Mein Aur Unn Patharon Ki Kathorata Mein
Jinhe Tumne Jeeta Hai -
Jab Tum Apne Mastak Par Barf Ka Pehla Toofaan Jheloge
Aur Kaanponge Nahi -
Tab Tum Paoge Ki Koi Farak Nahi
Sab Kuch Jeet Lene Mein
Aur Antt Tak Himmat Na Haarne Mein |

- Kunwar Narayan

Antim Unchai
(English Translation)

How Clear It Would Have Been To Keep Moving Forward
If The Ten Directions Were In Front of Us,
Not Around Us |
How Easy It Would Have Been To Keep Walking
If Only We Could Walk
Everything Else Would Have Ceased |
I Have Seen This Bustling World
While Trying To Think With Ten Heads And Trying To Achieve It With Twenty Hands
I Have Made It Difficult For My Self |
Everyone In The Begining Wants
That Everything Should Start From The Begining,
But By The Time They Reach The End, They Lose Their Courage |
We Lose Interest
That How It Would All End
That Started With So Much Fanfare
On Our Wish |
While Conquering Inaccessible Forest And High Mountains
When You Conquer Even The Final Height -
When You Feel That There Is No Difference Now
In You And In The Hardness Of Those Stones
Which You Have Won -
When You Will Face The First Snowstorm On Your Head
And Will Not Tremble -
Then You Will Find That There Is No Difference
To Win Everything
And In Not Giving Up Till The End |

- Kunwar Narayan

PS: I have done these translations myself. Please feel free to comment below if you want to improve the translation so you can help more readers :)

And here is the video clip from the Season Finale of TVF’s Aspirants Web Series where Abhilash, the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) aspirant who later in the story becomes one, narrates the remaining part of the poem Antim Unchai.

Thank you for reading.

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