For the first time, I'm deviating from my usual method of reviewing. First of all, I believe poetry is not something which can be reviewed. Secondly, when it is an epic work like this, one can only express their views.
Views: I had the pleasure of reading this book recently; written in 1933-34, sometime around when my grandparents were born. It makes me wonder; books, literature, written material is so wonderful. To have survived through generations.
In In the Afternoon of Time: An Autobiography by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, he states that "imitations or parodies of Madhushala had begun to appear immediately after its first public reading: the day after my recitation at Benares Hindu University in December 1933, Professor Manoranjan Prasad dashed off imitations of several verses and recited them during the course of my own readings the day following". In this book, from the fifteenth edition, the same professor has shared his experiences of the seminar along with a few quatrains of the parody he had created based on Bachchan's poem. Prof. Prasad writes that, and I translate, "My Madhushala concerns the materialistic, unlike Bachchan's mystic Madhushala".
Hindi is not my first language, and hence I had difficulty in understanding many of the verses. I had to consult a dictionary most of the times but, as they say, a literal translation is never impressive as far as poetry is concerned. I have also come across some translations by fellow readers/bloggers but, there also, the essence of the poem gets lost in translation. Now, the perfect and most poetic translation of this piece in English is the one done by Marjorie Boulton & Ram Swaroop Vyas, first published by Fortune Press in 1950, and the revised edition published by Penguin Books in 1989. In 2009, in India, from what I gathered from press reports; Madhushala – The House of Wine was reproduced again, this time with illustrations, and launched with much fanfare with the entire Bachchan clan in attendance. It's been nine years since, but I just could not find a single edition of that book anywhere. Why is it so? I couldn't find it in any of the publisher's websites either. And the few sites, including Amazon, where it is available, it costs a bomb! I would have loved to read it, in its entirety. It would have given me a better understanding of the text. As of now, only Columbia University's website has a PDF version of the book but, only the first twenty-five of the one-hundred-and-thirty-five quatrains are available in scanned format; while select American Universities have an edition of the same book in their library. I have added the link below to the same.
I don’t know why, studying both English and Hindi from the first standard itself, I haven’t been able to embrace the latter as well as I have done the former. Maybe, that is the reason that it took me from August to October to finish a book of 77 pages!
Excellent book and delighted to have the lyrics to the famous tunes of Madhushala. One that is song by Amitabh Bachchan himself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19sMzT5Iln0 and the slightly longer version by Manna Dey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBNhFShxU-4 .
For the publishers , if you could come out with an edition in which the poem is interpreted , it would be nice. The poem itself is open to multiple views and was very thought provoking when it came out. Bachchanji travelled from village to village and recited the poem.Pity that this is not possible now.
But yes, publishers can either have a youtube edition of it being explained or create a book that has both the verses and the explanations.
I have held this poem dear to me for a decade or so. Always find something new in it. Finally delighted to have the complete poem - an outstanding poem of our glorious Hindi literature.
भावुकता अंगूर लता से खींच कल्पना की हाला कवि साकी बनकर आया है भरकर कविता का प्याला; कभी न कण भर खाली होगा, लाख पिऍं, दो लाख पिऍं! पाठक गण हैं पीनेवाले, पुस्तक मेरी मधुशाला! . If you haven't read Madhushala yet and this lines doesn't inspire you to do so, then neither my reverence is going to do!! . Get your copy and dwell into this magical place. Each stanza of this poem beholds something rare, inspiring and beautiful. It's a Profound and true to life treasure that you can always keep close to your heart, in a good time and in a bad time! . Genre - Poetry Pages - 77 No ratings needed for this book!!! Thousands of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ from me!!
If you are trying poetry for the first time this is where you start it. Do not read all of it at once or you will loose it. However author has suggested to read it in one go. For the first timers after every phrase take a break and try to understand word by word. It may sound exhausting but once you do this in initial stages then you will have no problem all the way to the end. Great use of language and stood the test of time.
Excellent hardback edition. The poetry itself deserves 5 stars, of course.
I give 4 stars because I didn't like the page layout. There are 3 stanzas of the poem on each page. I was hoping to find one stanza on each page. But again, if they put one stanza on one page, the cost of the book might go up 10 times. Also, the stanzas are not completely independent, they are themes and allusions that the neighbouring stanzas share, so having 6 stanzas together on a double page helps. I would give 4.5 stars, but that is not possible.
Harivansh Rai Bachchan saahab ka yeh kaavay sangrah yauvan , jeevan vyatha aur harshoullaas se bharapuur hai. Is kaavya sangrah ko padkar har bhatawasi ko apne upaar garv mahasuus karana chahiye
Is sangrah ka anuvaad karana anucit raheega kyonki har vyakti kee liye isaka anuvaad alag hee hooga . Aur Bachchan saahab khud hee likhatee hain "jiski aisee ruchi thi usko vaisee lagee madhushala". This sangrah koo parhakar bas madhushaala ka aanand leena ucit raheega .
I know even writing a review for this would be foolish but as it goes, Bachchan sahab takes you on a different level with this one. A collection of 135 poems, a must read for satisfying the thrist in you, by visiting 'madhushala'.