A poem about parents

May 12, 2016

Amitabh Bacchan

is probably the top hero of the Hindi film world. His father,

Harivansh Rai Bacchan

was a noted Hindi poet. Amitabh made his way against all odds in “Bollywood”, the Hindi film industry, and is today one of the most respected as well as the most sought-after actor.

He appears in this ad (so much of our culture seems to be in our ads today!). He enunciates, in his inimitable style a beautiful poem, written by Anurag Agnihotri, group creative director Ogilvy & Mather.

He makes the poem personal by references to his own parents, in real life.

Transliteration: Maa Baap kahin nahi jaate, Bas aise lagta hai ki wo chale gaye Per wo jaate nahi, Kabhi wo aapke hothon se muskurate hain To kabhi wo aapke chalne ke andaz me jhalak jaate hain Kabhi wo aapke bete ke naak me dikh jaate hain Aur nahi to kabhi wo aapke bete ki beti ki aankhon me chhup jate hain Kabhi wo aapko chaunka detein hain Aap ki hi zuban se nikli kisi baat per, jo unhone boli thi Wo un loriyon Kabhi wo aapko chaunka detein hain Aapkme hain jo aapko yaad bhi nahi Wo us hichkichahat me hain, jo aap jhoot bolte samay mehsoos kerte hain Kabhi socha hai ki aap baithe baithe pair kyun hilatein hain Gullu, Bablu, Pinki jo bhi aapka pyar ka naam hai usme Kisi tasveer mein Kisi taareq mein Aapke andar ki aag mein Gaur se dekhiye Ek bahut lambi ladi hai bahut purani Jiski aap ek kadi hain Wo aap ke pahle the aur aap ke baad bhi rahenge Kyunki maa baap kahin jaate nahi Wo yahin rehte… hain sadiyon ke liye.

Rough translation:

Parents don’t go away… It only feels as if they’ve gone. They don’t go… Sometimes they smile from your lips, Sometimes they flash by in your gait. They sometimes are seen in your child’s nose Or they hide in your grandchild’s eyes. Sometimes they startle you With words issuing from your lips…that they had said. They are those lullabies which you can’t even remember; They are in the hesitation you feel when uttering a lie. Have you ever thought why you keep swinging your feet while sitting? They are in “Gullu”, “Bablu” “Pinki”…whatever your “pet” name is In some photograph, in some special date.. In your inner fire. Look carefully: It’s an old, long story, In which you are just a chapter. They were there before you, and will be there after you, too: Because parents don’t go away. They stay right here…for ages.