Don’t Look At Me This Way (ನೀ ಹೀಂಗ ನೋಡಬ್ಯಾಡ ನನ್ನ)

Da Ra Bendre’s life was not an easy one. Born in Dharwad into a family of Vedic Marathi-speaking Brahmins, he lost his father at an early age and grew up in poverty (albeit under the loving guardianship of his mother and maternal grandmother). Married at the age of 23 to Lakshmibai (nee Rangubai), he and his wife were to experience the death of six of their nine children (five in infancy and one, tragically, when he was 20). This poem – about the death of an infant daughter, Lalitha – details the mute grief of his wife and the poet’s despairing response.

Contrary to the popular narrative, this song was not one that sprung spontaneously from the poet’s lips upon seeing his wife. Rather, it came to him as a “sight” as he travelled in the railway carriage that was taking him home to his wife and infant daughter. In other words, it was the (wrenching) vision of a future that was very near.


To read and listen to more (including the entire translation), please buy my book, The Pollen Waits On Tiptoe. If you are living in India, you can buy the book by going to this page.


1. If you are living abroad, you will, unfortunately, not be allowed to buy the book on Amazon India. Therefore, if you would like one or more copies of the book, please write directly to me ( with your details.

2. Buying 10 or more books will entitle you an overall discount of 30%. To avail yourself of this discount, contact MUP directly at

3. The book is also available as an ebook. The app hosting the ebook is called VIVIDLIPI and the book can be purchased at this link. (Since the publisher does not have an agreement with Amazon, I am afraid the book is not available on Kindle.)

Author: MKA

I'm Madhav, from Bangalore. I write my own poetry in English (you can read it at and translate Da Ra Bendre's poetry from Kannada into English. I am the author of "The Pollen Waits On Tiptoe", a book of my English translations of selected poems by Bendre. The book is available on Amazon India and VIVIDLIPI. Besides Bendre, I also translate sundry other Kannada writings into English. My favourite poets include Yeats, Tagore, Bendre, Dylan Thomas, Emily Dickinson, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. If you'd like to get in touch, do write to me at I'd be very happy to hear from you!

10 thoughts on “Don’t Look At Me This Way (ನೀ ಹೀಂಗ ನೋಡಬ್ಯಾಡ ನನ್ನ)”

  1. ಮಾಧವ್, ನನ್ನ ನೆನಪಿದೆಯಾ? ಜಯಶ್ರೀ ಮೇಡಂ. ಕನ್ನಡ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯವನ್ನು ಈ ರೀತಿ ಬೆಳಕಿಗೆ ತಂದು, ಪ್ರಚಾರ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ಒಂದು ಹೊಸ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ. ಮೂಲ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಧಕ್ಕೆ ಬರದಂತೆ ಬಹಳ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿದೆ.
    ನಿನ್ನ ಬರವಣಿಗೆಯಿಂದ ಇನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಕೃತಿಗಳ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್ ರೂಪಾಂತರ ಬರಲಿ.
    All the best👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jayashree Ma’am,
      ಖಂಡಿತಾ ನೆನಪಿದೆ! ನಿಮ್ಮ ಸ್ಪಂದನೆಗಾಗಿ ಬಹಳ ಧನ್ಯವಾದ. ನಿಮಗೆ ಇದು ಹಿಡಿಸಿತು ಅಂತ ಕೇಳಿ ಖುಶಿಯಾಯ್ತು. ನಿಮ್ಮ ಹಾರೈಕೆ ಹಾಗು ಮೆಚ್ಚುಗೆಗಾಗಿ thanksಉ. ನನ್ನ ಈ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಗಳ ನಿಮ್ಜೊತೆ ಹಂಚುತ್ತಿರುತ್ತೀನಿ. 🙂


      1. We actually don’t get that feel when we read a translated poem it more difficult to feel it when we know the actual poem but this case is different,Thanks to Madhav .Brother this attempt is so amazing justice is conveyed to the actual poem .Fine art keep writing and inspiring !

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you very much for writing, Amith! I’m very glad you enjoyed it so much. If you can, do look through some of the other translations on the website – I’m quite sure you’ll find a few others you enjoy. 😊


  2. Wow..amazing translation and also recitation Madhavji…ಬೇಂದ್ರೆಯವರ ಭಾವ ತೀವ್ರತೆ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಅನುವಾದದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಹಳ ಶಕ್ತವಾಗಿ ಮೂಡಿಬಂದಿದೆ. ಅಭಿನಂದನೆಗಳು.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t like to read translations. The end product is always insipid,lifeless divested of the principal rasa, the language itself.
    But your attempt is successful and it manages to keep the reader involved till the end. Thank you for bringing DARA again for us.
    I wish you success in your future attempts too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Ms. Bhende! I’m very glad to know you liked the translation/transcreation. Given that you liked this, I think you may also like “Basavanna’s Chronicles” and “Jogi”. 🙂
      Also – thank you for writing to let me know you enjoyed it. So few people actually do.


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