Saantvan (Consolation)

In 1909, Savarkar wrote a poetic letter of consolation from London to his dear sister-in-law Yesuvahini. She had earlier written to him expressing anguish at the arrest of Savarkar's youngest brother Narayanrao. Days earlier on 21 November 1909, the higher court had confirmed the prison sentence to Yesuvahini's own husband Babarao. Savarkar himself was in London. It was Yesuvahini who was single-handedly bearing the brunt of the Government's onslaught. This remarkable letter entitled Saantvan (Consolation) is a landmark in Marathi literature.

Savarkar wrote:

Saantvan
(1)

My loving salutations to thee, O my sister
Whose love hath so tenderly nursed me as to make me forget
The early loss of my mother.
Received your letter of blessing, have taken to heart what you hath written
Thy letter gladdened my heart and made me feel truly blessed,
Blessed indeed is this family of ours in as much as it is
Thus privileged to serve the Lord Ram and administer to his Will!

(2)

Many a flower blooms and withers away
Who has kept their count or note
But behold, the lotus flower that was plucked by Gajendra's trunk
And offered at the feet of Srihari and thus withered away there
Became immortal and holy effecting moksha (deliverance)
Thus is our Mother Bharat like the pious Gajendra seeking deliverance

Let her come to our garden and offer our dark blue black lotus flower
And pluck it from the bough to offer it at the feet of Sri Rama.
Blessed indeed is our family tree, definitely touched by the divine
In as much as it is privileged to serve Sri Rama

(3)
Let then the rest of our flowers too be plucked thus
And offered at the feet of Sri Rama
Let this mortal body be put to good use
Immortal is the family tree that has extinguished itself for the nation
Its fragrance of human welfare spreads all around
O Mother, weave a garland of all in bloom for the
Festival of the Nine Nights
Once the momentous Ninth Night passes
And the ninth garland is woven and offered
Kali the Terrible will reveal Herself
And grant Victory to her votaries
(4)

Sister! Thou hast ever been the symbol of courage,
the source of my inspiration.
Thou too art a consecrated and avowed votary to Ram's noble mission
Thy consecration to this great and noble cause
Calls upon thee to be great and noble thyself.
Behold! On one side stand watching the past souls of sages and saints
Of our race gone before and on the other side the
Future generations yet unborn!
May we be able to acquit ourselves today in a manner
As to evoke universal approval from these godly spectators