“Now I Remain for Myself” is a collection of Marathi poems written by Bahinabai Chaudhari, a prominent Indian poetess who comes from the state of Maharashtra. Originally composed in the late 19th century, Chaudhari’s verses beautifully express her personal experiences, emotions, and reflections on various aspects of life.
Bahinabai’s poems reflect her life experiences, her observations of nature, her love for her land and culture, and her wisdom and philosophy. She wrote about the joys and sorrows of a farmer’s life, the festivals and rituals of Maharashtra, the beauty and bounty of nature, and the spiritual quest for self-realization. Her poems are simple, spontaneous, lyrical, and profound. They have a universal appeal and resonate with the common people.
One of her most famous poems is “Now I Remain for Myself” (मी आता माझ्यासाठी राहिले), which expresses her sense of liberation and detachment after losing her husband and children. The poem is written in the first person and has four stanzas of four lines each. The poem has a regular rhyme scheme of abcb in each stanza.
About Bahinbai Chaudhari
Bahinabai Chaudhari was born into a poor and illiterate family of farmers. She was married at the age of 13 to Nathuji Khanderao Chaudhari, who was also a farmer and a poet. She had four sons and two daughters, but only one son survived. Her husband died when she was 30 years old, leaving her alone to manage the farm and the household.
Bahinabai Chaudhari learned to read and write from her husband, who encouraged her to compose poems. She wrote about her daily life, her joys and sorrows, her love and devotion for her husband, her struggles and hardships as a farmer, and her observations of nature and society. She also wrote about her spiritual beliefs and her devotion to Lord Vitthal, a form of Vishnu worshipped by the Varkari sect.
Bahinabai Chaudhari’s poems were not written down by herself but were memorized and recited by her son Madhusudan, who later published them in various magazines and books. Her poems became popular among the masses as well as the literary circles, and she received recognition and appreciation from eminent writers and critics such as N.C. Kelkar, V.S. Khandekar, P.K. Atre, and Sane Guruji.
Themes Of Now I Remain For Myself
Nature and Rural Life
Chaudhari’s poems often celebrate the beauty of nature and capture the essence of rural life. She vividly describes the changing seasons, the agricultural activities, and the natural elements surrounding her, reflecting a deep connection to the land and its rhythms.
Chaudhari’s poetry portrays women’s experiences, emotions, and struggles in a patriarchal society. She addresses themes such as love, marriage, motherhood, and societal expectations, offering a glimpse into the complex inner world of women during her era.
Spirituality and Devotion
Deeply religious, Chaudhari’s verses frequently convey her devotion to the divine. She explores faith, spirituality, and the pursuit of inner peace, infusing her work with a sense of spiritual transcendence.
Summary Of Now I Remain For Myself
The poem begins with the speaker lamenting the loss of her husband, who was her companion and support in life. She feels like a bird whose nest has been destroyed by a storm. She wonders how she will survive without him, who will take care of her, and who will share her joys and sorrows. She feels like she has lost everything and has no purpose in life.
In the first stanza, the speaker says that she has now remained for herself after losing her husband and children. She says that she has no one to call her own or to care for her. She says that she has become free from all worldly attachments and expectations.
In the second stanza, the speaker says that she has now become indifferent to praise or blame, happiness or sorrow, honor or dishonor. She says that she has transcended all dualities and distinctions. She says that she has attained a state of peace and equanimity.
In the third stanza, the speaker says that she has now realized her true self, which is beyond birth and death, name and form, time and space. She says that she has merged with the supreme reality, which is eternal, blissful, and pure. She says that she has become one with God.
In the fourth stanza, the speaker says she has become free from all desires and fears. She says that she has no need for anything or anyone. She says that she has reached the ultimate goal of life.
Analysis Of Now I Remain For Myself
The poem is a remarkable expression of the poet’s spiritual journey from grief to liberation. The poem shows how the poet transformed her suffering into an opportunity for self-discovery and enlightenment. The verse also shows how the poet embraced the philosophy of Vedanta, which teaches that the true self is identical to Brahman, the supreme reality.
The poem uses simple words and images to convey profound truths. The poet uses metaphors such as “the world’s net” (जगाचा जाळा) to describe the bondage of worldly attachments, “the sky’s limit” (आकाशाचा थोर) to describe the transcendence of time and space, and “the ocean’s shore” (समुद्राचा किनारा) to describe the attainment of bliss and peace.
The poem also uses repetition to emphasize the poet’s transformation. The phrase “now I remain for myself” (मी आता माझ्यासाठी राहिले) is repeated at the beginning of each stanza to mark the contrast between her past and present state. The phrase “now I have” (मला आता) is repeated at the end of each line in the third stanza to show her realization of her true self.
She concludes the poem by saying that now she remains for herself, but not in a selfish or egotistic way. She says that she remains for herself as a part of the whole creation, as a drop of water in the ocean, as a ray of light in the sun, as a flower in the garden. She says that she remains for herself as an expression of God’s beauty and bliss.
The poem is also notable for its feminist perspective that challenges the patriarchal norms and values of Indian society. Bahinabai Chaudhari expresses her autonomy and agency as a woman who has survived many hardships and oppressions. She rejects the roles and duties that are imposed on women by men and society. She claims her right to live according to her own will and desire. She affirms her dignity and worth as a human being who has a unique identity and voice.
The poem is a powerful testimony of Bahinabai Chaudhari‘s courage, wisdom, and spirituality. It shows how she overcame her grief and suffering by finding meaning and joy in herself and in God. It shows how she challenged the norms and expectations of society by asserting her individuality and freedom. It shows how she celebrated her womanhood and humanity by embracing her nature and spirit. The poem is also an inspiration for women who seek to assert their individuality and freedom in a male-dominated world.
“The poem is also an inspiration for anyone who seeks to overcome suffering and find meaning in life.“
Poem Short Version
Now I remain for myself,
No one to blame or praise,
No one to love or hate,
No one to please or displease.
I am my own master,
I am my own guide,
I am my own friend,
I am my own judge.
I am free to choose my own path,
I am free to follow my own dreams,
I am free to be myself.
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