A poignant poem by the eldest son of Shriram and Janaki, KS Jatar, otherwise known as Bapurao to his mother Janaki (also known as Aaisaheb) after she passed away in 1912, when she must have been nearing the age of 70. Janakibai or Aaisaheb survived for almost 20 years after her husband (Shriram) died at the age of 61, and looked after her large family of four sons and three daughters with a lot of love and care. Her loss was keenly felt by the whole family.
Her eldest son was 41 when he wrote this poem but even as a man nearing middle age, he was broken after his mother’s death as can be seen from this poem. He writes of the tragedy of her loss, remembers the variety of food she used to cook, and the love and support she provided to various members of the whole family.
A particularly poignant moment in the poem is when Bapurao writes that “you” (meaning his mother Janaki) promised to look after your daughter-in-law after “Bhau” went abroad, but your untimely death dashed all hopes. Here he is referring to Bhausaheb’s first wife Bhagirathi alias Durga, who unfortunately died prematurely in her early twenties.
This poem is on two sheets of paper written in Marathi and posted in two separate images. People from the Jatar family are all named here. It is sure to bring a tear to your eye.
This is the second and last page of the poem.
An English translation of this poem will be welcome and will be put up in a separate post. Any volunteers?
(This poem was handed over to me by my father, Maj Gen. SCN Jatar who found it in his father’s (Bhausaheb’s) old papers. However, he says it may have been given to him by his cousin Raghunath Jatar, he doesn’t remember exactly)
Update: Rama Kulkarni (granddaughter of Indutai Bhajekar (nee Jatar) has provided this additional information on the following:
Chani ,Bani, Kumudini, Inda, Godu che te lahaanse baala,
Khelati aanandane nacha janun ghaav ghaali ha kaal.
Shriramachi jaaya devasuta Janaki pavitra sati
Geli sodun aamha zhalo yastava anaath ya jagati
The children referred to in the first line are Chani, Banutai (Inamdar) – his daughters; Kumud mavshi (Borgaonkar) – Balasaheb’s daughter; Indira Jatar (Bhajekar) ( my maternal grandmother, Bhausaheb’s eldest daughter).