Saturday Poem: हँसती रहने देना by “Agyeya” ( अज्ञेय )

In Poetry on April 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayana “Agyeya” or simply Agyeya, was one of the towering figures of 20th century Hindi literature …. and I am not really sure why? What I mean is that most people I know always talk of Agyeya ji in tones reserved solely for the grand patriarch of a family. And yet when it came to actually reciting his verses or discussing his prose or even criticism, most are at a loss for words. I suspect, a writer and poet much more widely known than actually read. (I am also reminded of someone who probably shares the same fate: Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan)Anyway, I caught this 5-part documentary on Agyeya ji  (an assortment of interviews mostly laced with reminiscences) called Sannate ka Chhand. Among other things, he discusses the origins of his nom de plume, “Agyeya” and mentions Binsar (someone else’s favourite place on earth). Check it out. Oh! and here’s a poem …

हँसती रहने देना

जब आवे दिन
तब देह बुझे या टूटे, इन
आँखों को
हँसती रहने देना।

हाथों ने बहुत अनर्थ किये
पग ठौर-कुठौर चले,
मन के
आगे भी खोटे लक्ष्य रहे
वाणी ने (जाने अनजाने) सौ झूठ कहे

पर आँखों ने
मृत्यु का
अंधकार भी देखा तो
सच-सच देखा।
इस पार
उन्हें जब आवे दिन –
ले जावे
पर उस पार
फिर भी आलोक कथा
सच्ची कहने देना :
हँसती रहने देना
जब आवे दिन

  1. I have immense respect for this great humane poet. I first heard his recital of some poems on youtube quite accidently while listening to some other English Poets. I was pleasantly surprised to see Agyeya’jis poetry. Truly blessed to hear him. He died a year before I was born, so my generation probably doesn’t know of him. I’ll continue to read and keep searching for his other works now that I’ve discovered him. THANK YOU for this beautiful poem posted here. I am already on the youtube link for “Sannate ka Chhand.” Thanks again. 🙂

    • You’re welcome! Glad you liked Agyeya ji’s poems! Always a delight to know of others who love and appreciate poetry. Its a small group, but feels deeply fraternal.

  2. While I was a Delhi university student i took serious interest in Ajneya and studied his poetry along with novels, essays and stories. As a writer in every dimension he excells. I have published a book (sannate ka chhand) on his poems which is awarded in the field of hindi criticism. The poem which you have posted is marvelous in melancholic tone to transcend sheer ephemerality!

  3. वाह खूबसूरत कविता ।

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