Wind, come softly.
Don’t break the shutters of the windows.
Don’t scatter the papers.
Don’t throw down the books on the shelf.
There, look what you did — you threw them all down.
You tore the pages of the books.
You brought rain again.
You’re very clever at poking fun at weaklings.
Frail crumbling houses, crumbling doors, crumbling rafters,
crumbling wood, crumbling bodies, crumbling lives,
crumbling hearts —
the wind god winnows and crushes them all.
He won’t do what you tell him.
So, come, let’s build strong homes,
Let’s joint the doors firmly.
Practise to firm the body.
Make the heart steadfast.
Do this, and the wind will be friends with us.
The wind blows out weak fires.
He makes strong fires roar and flourish.
His friendship is good.
We praise him every day.
Written by Subramania Bharati. Translated from the Tamil by A.K. Ramanujan
In this poem, the poet has very beautifully expressed his ideas about both the constructive and destructive aspects of the wind. The wind is often satirical of weak men. Wind symbolizes the difficulties that are faced in life. When we have the endurance to bear the difficulties of life, we can overcome each challenge but, if we are weak and unstable, we succumb to the difficulties of life.
The poet requests the wind God to come softly. He requests Him not to break the shutters of windows and not to scatter the papers. He asks it not to throw the books down from the shelf. But the request had no effect on it. The poet blames wind that it is very clever in teasing the weaklings. It crumbles frail houses, doors, rafters, wood, bodies, lives and hearts.
Then the poet gives example of fire. He says that a weak fire is put off by the strong wind, but when the fire is also strong, the wind can not extinguish the fire; rather it makes it much stronger.
Therefore, he advises us to become stronger and fight with it. He requests to make stronger houses and join the doors firmly. He also requests to firm the body so that we can fight the wind easily. He says that the friendship of wind is good. Thus, the poet tells us that if a person is capable, even his enemies become his friend. On the other hand, if a person is weak, even nature makes fun of him. In a way, the poet is trying to establish the universally known dictum ‘Survival of the fittest’.