What makes Madhushala so mysterious and deeply philosophical?
मदिरालय जाने को घर से चलता है पीनेवाला,
‘किस पथ से जाऊँ?’ असमंजस में है वह भोलाभाला,
अलग-अलग पथ बतलाते सब पर मैं यह बतलाता हूँ ,
राह पकड़ तू एक चला चल, पा जाएगा मधुशाला
This is the central theme of Madhushala, an epic piece of poetry written by Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan back in 1930s, when he was still in his 20s. Madhushala has been one of the most controversial and somewhat mysterious poems in Hindi literature. The essence of Madhushala is relevant in our lives in current times even while we are almost 100 years apart from the time it was written. For example, as expressed in the above four lines, when one is unsure of which road to take – the poet recommends to take any road, any road will take you there. Hey, isn’t it what they said in Alice in Wonderland?
Then there is also an impression that Madhushala is written in praise of Wine / Alcohol and the poet himself was a drunkard. Or that Bachchan ji merely based his Madhushala on Umar Khayyam's Rubaai'yat. This podcast is an attempt to demystify some of it and understand the essence of Madhushala with stories from Dr. Bachchan’s life, his inspirations, his experiences and people around him.
We will pick one poem (रुबाई) from Madhushala at a time and talk about it – a quartet or a Rubaai (रुबाई) is a Four lines short poem, or as we say in Hindi – a Chatushpadi (चतुष्पदी / चौपाई). We will explain the meaning and tell stories associated with them, or ones that are relatable.
So, here we are :-) we will talk poetry with stories and stories with poetry. Want to join me in this journey? चलेंगे आप मधुशाला के सफर पर मेरे साथ – तो आइए, एक गरम चाय की प्याली पर मिलते हैं और शुरुआत करते हैं…
Click here for all Madhushala episodes
Madhushala Podcast episodes on YouTube