Kanupriya Mukhrit Huee

Audio-video series based on Dharmveer Bharati’s ‘Kanupriya’

'कनुप्रिया मुखरित हुई' के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें

Krishna addressed with love: Kanu. Kanu’s beloved: Kanupriya. Dharmveer Bharati’s book in verse Kanupriya is a telling of Radha’s emotional journey. The expression and articulation in this book is such that it seems as if Dharmveer Bharati has seen every sliver of a woman’s heart.

Kanupriya was first published in 1959. Since then more than 10 re-prints of this book has been released.

We present five chapters of this classic, in five different voices in this series ‘Kanupriya Mukhrit Huee’. These chapters and voices are symbolic of five different aspects of a woman’s heart. We are sure, on this journey you too will feel with us as if Kanupriya has materialized via these five audio renditions.

A garland of emotions
If Kanupriya is to be put in a genre, possibly the best fit would be that it is a novel in verse. However, no genre is really appropriate for this book. A novel in verse has a narrative based on causality and a sequence of events. This is the limitation of our logical thinking and the form of our conventional experiences. However, there is a dimension of life where things do not necessarily follow a sequence of events. In this dimension, cause and effect inter-twine with each other – 2 sides of the same experience. No specification of prior and later remains. Being one in love is such a dimension. It is this that Dharmveer Bharati has presented as a sequence of internal experiences. A stream of the sweetest feelings.

Radha's pain
The story of Radha and Krishna is eternal. It has no beginning, nor end. Many literary works have been written on this love story. Each is a reflection of the author’s own perspective. Bharati’s Kanupriya too is a materialization of the poet’s very personal way of experiencing Radha. In Kanupriya, Radha is not just a woman but a combination of several aspects of female energy force.

Radha is Shakti herself. However, as a human she is aware of her limitations. She knows that Krishna is an avatar of God. Krishna has taken form to fulfill his divine duties. Having performed his leelaa he must return to Vishnu-lok – that is beyond Radha’s human reach. Can the barrier between the human and her divine beloved be overcome?

Radha’s consciousness, Krishna’s incompleteness
There is another aspect to Radha’s pain too. Just as Radha is raised to a divine level in company of Krishna, similarly Krishna too experiences the delicate beauty of human emotions in the company of Radha. When God takes human form, he too has to experience the whole range of human experiences, struggles, success, failure, pain, separation. In moments of pain, only Kanupriya can be his strength. Just as the human needs the divine, the divine too needs the human. However detached Krishna may be, he too seeks the ‘experience of completeness’. A completeness that is possible only when the human and divine come together.

In truth Radha is Shakti, energy force herself. It is in her divine consciousness that Krishna takes form. In her divine consciousness the raas leela occurs, and therein we find - the tale of eternal oneness and eternal seeking: Kanupriya.

The Strength of Poetry, The Reader’s Right
Poetry or any form of art does not contain questions or answers. It is the greatness of poetry that it is an expression of internal experiences. It does not deliver a message per se. Each reader is free to receive a poem in his/her own way, at her own level of experiences and feelings. We present to you Kanupriya as we experienced it, through the unique adaptions of 5 different voice-artists. We hope in the process we will share with you in some measure, the divine beauty of this classic work of art.

Preface published 25 March 2017


aamra baur kaa geet
that day, standing against the blossom-laden mango tree
you kept calling with your flute...
Words: Dharmveer Bharati
Voice: Kanupriya Mohanti
पृथक् (pRthak): separate; गोपन (gopan): distance, withdrawing; अभिभूत (abhibhoot): overwhelmed; संशय (sanshay): doubt; महावर (mahaavar): aalataa, rouge

published 7 April 2017


like extinguished ashes, a broken song, the moon that has set
like a vessel emptied, a moment gone - such is my body...
Words: Dharmveer Bharati
Voice: Archana Gupta
Image credit: Ambika Jhunjhunwala
विप्रलब्धा (vipralabdhaa): the betrayed; रीते हुए पात्र (reete hue paatr): emptied vessel; वेग (veg): speed; आश्लेष (aashleSh): embrace; म्लान (mlaan): withered; उजाड़ अन्त:पुर (ujaaD antahpur): forsaken interiors; साबित (saabit): whole, intact; मणिजटित (maNeejatit): bejeweled; बाहुहीन (baahuheen): without arms; कसाव (kasaav): tightening; गुंजलक (gunjalak): grip of a snake; आवर्त (aavart): fold; अलकों (alakon): hair; प्रत्यंचा (pratyanchaa): bowstring

published 14 April 2017


usee aam ke neeche
i feel peace
under the branch of this mango tree
from where you had called me...
Words: Dharmveer Bharati
Voice: Parul 'Pankhuri' Gupta
तन्मय (tanmay): absorbed, immersed; वक्ष (vaksh): chest; यन्त्र (yantr): machine; कपोलों kapolo(n): cheek; छौना (chhaunaa): child;

published 21 April 2017


samudra swapna
the waves becoming uncontrollable
and from the shore, with your arms raised,
you are keeping on saying something
but no one heeds you, no one heeds!
Words: Dharmveer Bharati
Voice: Vani Murarka
शेषशय्या (sheShashayyaa): bed; क्रीड़ा (kreeDaa): play, frolic; अवगुण्ठन (avaguNThan): veil; विक्षुब्ध (vikshubdha): distraught; शिरस्त्राण (shirastraaN): helmet; सिवार (sivaar): seaweed; अभिप्राय (abhipraay): intention; वटपत्र (vaTpatr): banyan leaf; छौना (chhaunaa): child; देवदारु (devadaaru): cedar; गाण्डीव (gaaNDeev): Arjun's bow; सिवार-सा उतरा आया है: floating like rotten seaweed; तटस्थ (taTasth): neutral; जीर्णवसन (jeerNavasan): tattered clothes

published 28 April 2017


without me, what meaning can there be
in your history
words, mere words...
without radha
all just bloodthirsty, meaningless words
Words: Dharmveer Bharati
Voice: Ruchi Varshneya
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published 5 May 2017

Meet The Artists

Kanupriya Mohanti
In this quantum universe, Kanupriya is a poet at heart and a software engineer by profession; in an alternate reality, she might be working as a journalist or a space explorer. In the miniscule amounts of time that Kanupriya is not working at her full-time job, or spending time with her husband, three kids and two dogs, she likes reading, and especially enjoys science fiction. She used to write and recite poetry as a child, but now gets her writing satisfaction from being a volunteer editor and article contributor to her technical newsletter at work. She marvels at nature, and at the power of the written word. According to Kanupriya, two things that could solve all the problems in the world would be education and compassion.

On the experience of reciting Kanupriya
... The recording itself took countless iterations. After several failed attempts the recording finally came together for me. Like divers in the ocean who give themselves up to the wonders around them only when they get past the mechanics of their diving gear, at some point I made my way into a zone in which nothing else existed except for the sheer lyrical beauty of the poetry... Read full experience
Archana Gupta
Archana is a Software Engineer by profession, an old Hindi Film Music enthusiast and a dabbler in Hindi/Urdu poetry by choice and a wife and mother at the core of her existence. Though she enjoys reading both prose and poetry, she has been increasingly gravitating towards verse in the last few years. She is most drawn to works of Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Smt. Mahadevi Verma in Hindi and Mirza Ghalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Kaifi Azmi in Urdu. She also feels a special affinity towards Amrita Preetam’s writings. Other than reading and writing, she enjoys watching her boys play sports, traveling to new places, watching movies, cooking and scrapbooking when time permits.

On the experience of reciting Kanupriya

... I was immediately drawn to Vipralabdha. The pain, bewilderment, the underlying sense of betrayal and resulting anger all “spoke” to me.

... The feedback demanded introspection. Was I allowing my own reactions to Radha’s situation overpower the expression of Radha’s emotions in her characteristic style?

... My own interpretation still had stronger undertones of anger than desired by them. I simply saw the character as far more open and vocal with her soulmate – I guess more like a contemporary woman.

... getting into a character, thinking and reacting like it while removing all traces of one’s own thought process or natural reactions is much harder than it appears... Read full experience

Parul Gupta 'Pankhuri
Parul lives in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh. Following graduation in Mathematics, she did a computer course and interior designing course. She is a professional online script writer for weddings and other events. Parul likes to experiment with different styles of writing. In 2015 she won the first prize for her poem 'Bhukamp' at the All India Poetry Competition. She is associated with Delhi Press since quite some time. Her poems and stories are published in Sarita, Grihashobha and other publications. Parul specially enjoys singing bhajans.

On the experience of reciting Kanupriya

2015 में विनोद तिवारी सर का मेल आया कि काव्यालय का नया ऑडियो प्रोजेक्ट “कनुप्रिया” शुरू होने वाला है।

राधा और कृष्ण के जीवन के कुछ काव्यमयी अंश। पर यह राधा एक आम औरत के जैसे भाव, इच्छा, कुंठा, शिकायत, लज्जा, सब लिए हुए थी। मेरे हिस्से अंश “उसी आम के नीचे” आया।

... अब नवम्बर 2016 को मेरे भाई की शादी थी और इधर कनुप्रिया प्रोजेक्ट फिर हरकत में आ गया। राधा के भाव भी हों और उदासी भी, मुक्त कविता की तरह उसे बहना था और लय में बंधना भी था! तकनीकी (अनचाहे साउन्ड) की काफी दिक्कत थी।

... मैंने भी ठान रखा था जब तक करनी पड़ेगी करुँगी (हालंकि मेरे जैसे जॉइंट फॅमिली में बहुत डिफिकल्ट है रिकॉर्डिंग करना)। करवा चौथ वाले दिन मैंने फिर से रिकार्डिंग भेजी। सीधे फोन आया। उन्होंने कहा- “एक्सीलेंट पारुल! टू गुड! अगर मै तुम्हारे सामने होती तो स्टैंडिंग ओवेशन देती।” और उसी रात से मुझे फीवर हो गया, वो भी मलेरिया जो महीने भर तक पीछे पड़ा रहा। बहुत सही समय पे कनुप्रिया का काम पूरा कर दिया था मैंने ।

... और सभी कण्ठ कलाकार किसी फिल्म के हीरोइन के जैसे :-)। सच में सेलेब्रिटी के जैसे लगा था मुझे! अब बस पिक्चर रिलीज़ होने का इन्तजार है। Read full experience

Vani Murarka
Vani Murarka is a software developer, writer and painter. She founded Kaavyaalaya in 1997. Now she runs Kaavyaalaya along with Dr. Vinod Tewary. Vani has developed a unique software - Geet Gatiroop, that enables poets to refine the structure of their poems. Vani has done Masters in Computer Science. While a resident of Kolkata, Vani prefers to think of herself as a citizen of this globe and the universe itself. These lines of William Blake seem to echo her life's objective -
To see the World in a grain of sand / And Heaven in a wild flower / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour.

On the experience of working on this project

पोस्ट प्रोडक्शन के काम के दौरान मेरा सभी अंशों के साथ बहुत वक्त बीता। ऐसा लगता है जैसे सभी अंश और पूरी कृति कनुप्रिया हौले से संदेश दे रहे हैं...

... “समुद्र स्वप्न” अंश में: ... आखिरकार धर्म-अधर्म, सही-गलत के ज्ञान का दम्भ छोड़ प्रेम की ओर, राधा की ओर ही मुड़ना होगा।

... और अन्त में “शब्द शब्द शब्द, राधा के बिना सब अर्थहीन शब्द”: शायद संसार जो भेद-भाव और युद्ध से पीड़ित है, इसी वजह से पीड़ित है। क्योंकि स्त्रीवाची (feminine) गुणों को, राधा को, हम महत्व नहीं देते। ... कनुप्रिया समर्पित है पर अबला नहीं... Read full experience

Ruchi Varshneya
Ruchi was born and brought up in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the academic town of Roorkee. Reading and reciting Hindi poetry and literature were one of her favourite activities in her youth. She earned her engineering degree from IIT (Roorkee), MBA from XLRI school of management, Jamshedpur and Masters in Public Health from John's Hopkins University, Maryland, USA. She lives with her husband and two teenage children in California, USA now and works for a global healthcare company. She uses her free time to run to raise funds for 'Asha for Education' and volunteer for initiatives such as 'PARI' and 'Kaavyalaya.org'.

On the experience of reciting Kanupriya
The process of reading the poetry multiple times, researching the interpretations, assimilating in the character, and practising recital in front of a mirror was as rewarding as the final recording. I got a satisfactory version after several attempts. It was a tall order to capture the right emotion, right pronunciation and the right diction of this great piece of poetry - a confident, defiant Radha speaking directly to her Krishna. I wanted to give it my best. Hope I did it justice.
Vinod Tewary
Dr. Vinod Tewary is a physicist and the co-editor of Kaavyaalaya. A native of Hardoi Dr. Tewary lives in Colorado, USA these days and works as a senior scientist in a national science organization. Before coming to the US he was a professor and dean at B.I.T.S. Pilani. He did BSc and MSc in Physics from Lucknow University and PhD from Delhi University. He has received the Eric Reisnner medal, US Govt.'s bronze medal, Pride of India award and Life-time achievement award for his work in the field of Physics research.
Dr. Tewary is particularly interested in Hindi poetry writing. He is an accomplished poet. Since childhood he received this training from his teacher that writing poetry is akin to worshipping Saraswati. It is imperative that the poet respect the purety and rigor of poetry.
His personality can be summed up as, "Unshakeable faith in Physics, unbroken affinity to Hindi and endless interest in poetry."

Meet the artists, published 31 March 2017

Image credit
'Radha' by Manish Verma
'Radha' is a painting by Manish Verma. You can view the full painting here. A resident of Delhi, Manish is a painter and sculptor. We are grateful to him for giving us permission to use his artwork for this project. You can view his other works of art here.
Mango Flowers: ABC News, Australia
Longing: Ambika Jhunjhunwala
Ambika Jhunjhunwala lives in Bonn, Germany. She is an extremely talented artist, an avid painter. You can see more of her work on her Facebook page Burnt in Sienna. Kaavyaalaya is thankful to her that she gave us the permission to use her painting.
All images used in Samudra Swapna and the video for Samaapan is from Pixabay.com
For future Kaavyaalaya content

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राष्ट्र वसन्त
रामदयाल पाण्डेय

पिकी पुकारती रही, पुकारते धरा-गगन;
मगर कहीं रुके नहीं वसन्त के चपल चरण।

असंख्य काँपते नयन लिये विपिन हुआ विकल;
असंख्य बाहु हैं विकल, कि प्राण हैं रहे मचल;
असंख्य कंठ खोलकर 'कुहू कुहू' पुकारती;
वियोगिनी वसन्त की...

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pyaas to tumheen bujhaaogee nadee
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tum bahatee raho
mujh tak aane ko.
main tumhen loo(n)gaa nadee

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