Loss and Coping : Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s Poem, Jo Beet Gayi So Baat Gayi

Many of us are familiar with the lyrical ode to intoxication, the famous Hindi poem ‘Madhushala’ (The Winehouse) by Harivansh Rai Bachchan (1907-2003). Of course, the imagery of madira (wine), saaki (server) and pyala (cup) is only used as a trope to dwell on the complexity of life and the intoxication of poetry itself.

Much like ‘Madhushaala’, Bachchan uses imagery from everyday life to discuss the nature of loss in another one of his later poems, ‘Jo Beet Gayi so Baat Gayi’.

Although the poem carries no deep undertones or profound revelations, its simple refrain, “what has happened has happened”, is a powerful reminder to love truly, feel deeply, give completely, and when the time comes, to let go and move on with grace and dignity.


Jo Beet Gayi So Baat Gayi

Jeevan mein ek sitara tha,
Mana woh behad pyara tha,
Woh toot gaya toh toot gaya
Amber ke aanan ko dekho
Kitne iske taare toote
Kitne iske pyare chhoote
Jo chhoot gaye phir kahan mile,
Par bolo toote taaron par
kab amber shok manata hai
Jo beet gayi so baat gayi

Jeevan mein woh tha ek kusum
The uss par nitya nichhavar tum
Woh sookh gaya toh sookh gaya
Madhuban ki chhaatee ko dekho
Sookhee kitni iski kaliyan
Murjhaayin kitni vallariyan
Jo murjhaayin phir kahan khili
Par bolo sookhe phoolon par
Kab madhuban shor machata hai
Jo beet gayi so baat gayi

Jeevan mein madhu ka pyala tha
Tumne tan-man de daala tha
Woh toot gaya toh toot gaya
Madiralaya ka aangan dekho
Kitne pyale hil jaate hain
Gir mitti mein mil jaate hain
Jo girte hain kab uthte hain
Par bolo toote pyalon par
Kab madiralaya pachhtata hai
Jo beet gayi so baat gayi

Mridu mitti ke bane huye hain
madhughat phoota hi karte hain
Laghu jeevan le kar aaye hain
Pyale toota hi karte hain
Phir bhi madiralaya ke andar
Madhu ke ghat hain, madhu pyale hain
Jo maadakta ke maare hain
Way madhu loota hi karte hain
Woh kachcha peene wala hai
Jiski mamta ghat-pyalon par
Jo sachche madhu se jala hua
Kab rota hai chillaata hai
Jo beet gayi so baat gayi




What has Happened has Happened

In your life there was a star
Agreed, it was much loved
When it sank, it sank
Look at the courtyard of the sky
Many of its stars break away
Many of its stars are lost
The lost ones, are they ever found?
But for all its lost stars 
Does the sky ever grieve?
What has happened has happened!

In your life there was a flower
Which you doted on 
when it dried, it dried
Look at the garden’s breast
Many of its buds have dried
Many of its flowers have wilted
The wilted flowers, do they ever bloom again?
But for all its dried flowers
Does the garden create an uproar?
What has happened has happened!

In your life, there was a cup of wine
To which you gave your heart and soul
When it broke, it broke
Look at the winehouse’s courtyard
Many of its cups are shaken
Many of its cups fall and turn to dust
Those that fall, do they ever rise?
But for all its broken cups
Does the winehouse ever lament?
What has happened has happened!

Made of soft mud
Wine jars are bound to shatter
Cursed with a short life
Wine cups are bound to break
Yet, inside the winehouse
There are wine jars, there are wine cups
Those who seek intoxication
Are bound to splurge on wine
He is an inexperienced drinker
Who is attached to the wine cup
He, who is a true lover of wine
Does he ever shout or scream?
What has happened has happened!

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