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Hindi Poet Shri Madan Mohan Baheti, "Ghotoo"

Updated on October 3, 2010

I am fortunate to have enjoyed Hindi poetries of Shri Madan Mohan Baheti "Ghotto" , from my childhood. He is an Engineer and an industrialist by profession, a graduate from Institute of Technology (now called Indian Institute of Technology) at Varanasi, India. But poetry, playing with words twisting them, Hindi words with occasional mix of English words is his basic instinct. Ghotoo is his pet name, he uses as a sort of signature on his poetries.

pun/fun at the same time subtle philosophical points
Just sitting with you almost at any instant some word he will twist in such a manner that it will no longer look as before but whole meaning is carried with the new one and you will automatically laugh at it. The pun, satire what ever you may call his such twistings, they are just sweet fun which give a hearty laugh. Rarely I have seen him making fun at the expense of any body else. He is a born sweet poet. So his poetries are based on his own experiences of life put in an entertaining pleasing "laughy" manner. At the same time you can see deep philosophical point he makes.

He writes in Hindi so his poetry, pun, jokes philosophies are quite a bit very Hindi like -very Indian. But I am sure others can enjoy them too. Let me give here two such examples.

He is now perhaps around 68. He must have been writing from his childhood. But I heard him first time when I was about 14 years old. He was just finishing engineering then. A teenager who loved any thing young, old, nature or machine and converted it into poetry. I was among first listeners to some of his poetries and enjoyed it very much. It did help me in the long run to shape my ideas, philosophies, enjoyments of life and fun behind even serious matters like science, politics, family. He was writing at that time a series of poetries on "कलयुग के दशावतार" (Ten Avatar of current era Kalayug).

Yuga and Avatar in Indian Mythology
In Hindu Cosmology, life in the universe is created and destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion years. There are 4 such epochs or eras. Each of these eras or epochs is called a Yuga. The cycle of these 4 yuga continues eternally. New one starts when the another ends and so on. These 4 yugas are called "sat yuga" (era of truth), Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and finally Kalayuga. The current era is that of Kalayuga. It has started about 5000 years back. It is supposed to be yuga in which people just enjoy life and are not so much dedicated towards truth, god etc. They are just lost in physical pleasures. But this is also era in which mythological gods are very generous. They will be pleased by very simple things like you just remember them with your full heart in it. Then they may help you. Avatars are reincarnations of gods who come to earth in some form (not necessarily human form), to help human beings in any era. For more details on yugas see wikipedia site

Now generally Avatars in recent eras have been sort of reincarnation of devatas ( exact word in english for devata is not so clear, one can use perhaps gods) in human forms. For example the well known trinity Shiva (the destroyer), Vishnu (the creator), Brahma (the ruler) are devatas. The devatas Rama and Krishna (who preached the well known book Geeta) are avatars of Vishnu. Some people also consider Buddha as an Avatar of Vishnu in the current era. But Ghotoo imagined in these poetries that Avatars of this Kalayuga -the era of physical pleasures are very different.

Avatars according to Ghotoo
They are बिजली (electricity), फैशन (fashion), सिनेमा (movies), नेता (leaders), सहकारिता (cooperative movement) etc. He wrote poetries on each of them. The pun, mythological touch, fun included in this imagination is quite unique to Madan. It describes his style quite a bit. In those school years, I won several times prizes, applauds in my school by reciting his poetries. Here are few lines from his poem on Avatar Bijlee (Electricity)

होती देखी घर घर नारी की पूजा
लाख कर महिमा कलयुग की प्रभु को यह सूझा
की फॉरवर्ड होती जाती नर्री प्रति दिन
कर दे न मेरे खिलाफ आन्दोलन

कि जितने भी अवतार हुए पुरुष रूप धर
लक्ष्मीजी को बिठा रखा है घर के अन्दर
वह नारी है उसे आगे लाना होगा
लक्ष्मीजी को अवतार दिलाना होगा

Seeing a woman being worshiped in every home
after creating the Kalyuga, Lord Vishnu (the creator) hit upon a brain wave
that the women are becoming forward day by day
  they may start strike against me

he started assessing that so far all avatars (reincarnations) are in the form of man
leaving the feeling that Devi Laxmi has been just confined to her work at home

after all she is a woman, she should be brought forward
it is time now that Devi Laxmi should take an avatar

(Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth and wife of Lord Vishnu)

Here are two more lines from the same poem

और जो छूता उसे धक्का दे दूर भागती
जब थक जाती तो फ्यूज चला जाता

and if anyone touches it, it pushes him back

when it gets tired we get the fuse (electricity breakdown)

Path to life and Path to stairs
Here is another one of his instant pun- an old one. One day during my school days my younger sister was pleading with Madan Mohan, "You have taken my brother for the movie जीने की राह ( jeene ki rah -Path to life). Why you left me. Take me also for the same movie." Now in Hindi if you just twist the word जीने (jeene ) a little bit to जिने (jine), the meaning changes from life to stairs. Right opportunity for Ghotoo. He took hand of my sister and said, "Okey I will show you jine ki rah (path to stairs)", and just took her towards जिने (stairs).

I created a separate blog for his poetries, (I tried with hub pages but that does not allow too much nonenglish in hubs) where I had put one of his poetries in Hindi and translations in English and handed it over to him. He has put some more of his recent poems on the blog.

See the site for his poetry (I hope he will put one by one some of his older poetries including his Avatars).

Let me end this intro of him with one of his couplet which I like very much.

ज्ञान एक सबून है.

जिसे जितना घिसो

उतना ही झाग देता है

knowledge is like a soap,

more you rub it,

more it gives you foam


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    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 5 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Hi! Sanjog

      Thanks a lot for visit. Yes I like poems of Ghotooji very much specially his satirical ones. I like that quote from Harvansh Rai Bachchanji.

      Though I think if we translate directly from any of Indian languages to another Indian language it may preserve both beauty and faith as Indian woman generally are.

    • SANJOG MAHESHWARI profile image

      SANJOG MAHESHWARI 5 years ago

      Hi Soumyasrajanji! My chance encounter with your wonderful hub on Shri "Ghotoo" Ji Maharaj, turned out to be a very pleasant experience. I stopped by to read it ,at least, four times before hitting the keys of my P.C to write this comment. I take this opportunity to heartily complement you for providing us with the English translation of Ghotooji's poetry. For a fuller explanation of the reason why I am specifically appreciative of your efforts at translating Ghotooji's Hindi verses into English, I would like to invite you to visit my hub: 'TRANSLATION HOWLERS THAT TRIGGER TOOTHY SMILES' After all said and done, you have done a wonderful job in introducing an eminent Hindi poet not only to the English speaking world but also the likes of me, whose mother-tongue is Hindi, yet are so oblivious of what is happening in the Hindi world of literature-tide, trends & tidings. Occasionally, I also dabble in translation. I find much substance in what Dr. Harbansh RAi Bachchan says, "Translation is like a woman,who, if beautiful, is not faithful , and if faithful not beautiful" Your translated versions of Ghotooji's verses, seem to be both beautiful and faithful to the original. Thanks for sharing.

      P.S. Thanks for your comment on my hub"DIVISIVE POLITICS"

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Thanks a lot for your VAIBHAV for the visit.

    • profile image

      VAIBHAV 6 years ago


    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      The poetry Bijlee abd its english translation is now on Ghotoo's blog. I am happy it has been put on blog ghotoo by Ghotooji himself. Hope some of hubpagers will enjoy it. Here is address of English translation.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Thanks a lot Midtown Girl! You are so nice.

    • Midtown Girl profile image

      Midtown Girl 7 years ago from Right where I want to be!

      Wonderful hub! Thank you for providing another area of your culture for me to explore. As I study more about American poetry, I will look to Hindi poets to see what I can learn as well.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Hi! Diya

      Thanks a lot for the visit and appreciation. Madan Mohanji actually lives in Noida only. If you want to contact him - may be you can do via the above mentioned blog- ( ). I had created this and handed over to him. If there is any problem let me know.

      I watch some times NEWS 24. Now I will look for you. If you come some time to Mumbai do contact me.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Hi! Neelesh

      Thanks a lot for the visit and appreciation. You can be in direct touch with Madan Mohanji at the link below. I had built this wordpress site for him and then handed it over to him. I see that now there are several new poems put up there.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      It looks like comment section does not allow Hindi fonts.

      so the poem above did not come out in the above comment. You can look at the poem in Hindi at the link

    • diyabhatt profile image

      diyabhatt 7 years ago from Noida

      Hi Saumyasrajan, thanks for sharing such an awesum hub....I am an Indian, I did'nt knw "Ghotoo", the great poet...Thanks for introducing me to such a great man...u're doing a wonderful job my friend keep it up...! take care :)

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 7 years ago from new delhi

      hi i do write quite a bit of poetry myself and would love to help translate. please feel free to refer any to me.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Here is one of his recent poem

      (see the link above in the article for more of his poems)

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      ?????? ????

      ??????? ?? ????? ???? ????

      ??? ??? ?? ???? ????

      ??? ??????

      ????? ?? ???? ????? ??

      ?????? ?? ???? ?????

      ??? ????? ?? ????? ?? ? ??????

      ??????? ?? ????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?????

      ????? ???? ???? ? ????

      ?????? ???? ?? ?? ???? ?? ??? ?? ????

      ????? ?????

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      (English translation by me )

      glow of light of dawn had started touching the face

      buds had started opening

      humming of bees had started ringing the ears

      birds started signing on each branch of the tree

      the cow had started shouting

      the temple's bell had started ringing

      prayers had also started

      light wind had started blowing

      nature tried in so many ways

      But I did not wake up.

      Phone bell started ringing and I woke up

      How mundane I have become

      shame on me.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Thanks a lot anglnwu for the visit and so nice comment.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 7 years ago

      I love poetry in general and it is great to know one recommended by a fellow hubber.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Hi! amit

      Thanks a lot for your nice warm message for Bahetiji. I will convey it to him.

    • profile image

      amit gupta 7 years ago

      happy to see you as a poet,really your feel are realistic and very near to our heart,good to know about your life history which is inspired to us.keep it up & always guide us th.your sweet poems.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Thanks a lot Devinder for so touching comment.

    • profile image

      DEVINDER ARORA 7 years ago




    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Thanks Micky!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Yo Soumyasrajan! Thanks for the introduction to this poetry!

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Thanks a lot Terasa for so strong comment. There is nothing particular about India. I feel the same when I see some of the hubs from Americans, like your articles.

      Thanks Iounn. I am happy I discovered you via this comment.

    • Teresa Laurente profile image

      Maria Teresa Rodriguez - Laurente 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

      Why you all from India write good? I enjoy these and other hubs you have. More power. Keep on.

    • profile image

      Iðunn 7 years ago

      thanks for the heads up... I have found a developing taste for Indian poetry and always on the lookout for poets I have not heard of yet.

    • profile image

      soumyasrajan 7 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

      Yhanks Moulik. I used to read many Bengali writer's novels stories translated in Hindi, enjoyed them a lot. But lately I have also not gone through that much from Bengali world. ThoughI do visit Kolkata often.

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 7 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      I am from India, yet I have not read much about non-Bengalee authors - it is a same on me. Thank you so much for your wonderful writing on Ghotoo...