Savarkar’s close associate Madan Lal Dhingra bravely went to the gallows for the cause of India’s freedom on 17 July 1909. The British Police were now keenly shadowing Savarkar. Dhingra’s martyrdom and the subsequent repression by British authorities took its toll on Savarkar’s health. On 29 July, Savarkar went to Brighton, around 50 miles south of London to recuperate his health. He remained there for about 10-12 days. His associate Niranjan Pal would visit him to give him moral support. The two would frequently roam on the shores of Brighton. On one such occasion both of them were sitting on the seashore surrounded by dozens of mirthful English men and women. In the midst of this mirth, Savarkar was immensely sad. Sitting in front of the vast ocean, his mind was grieving at the thought of his beloved motherland. Niranjan Pal described that momentous occasion 29 years later in an article titledReminiscences of Savarkar dated 27 May 1938 in ‘The Mahratta’, Pune. Pal wrote, “Presently, he (Savarkar) commenced to hum a song. He sang as he composed. It was a Marathi song, describing the pitiable serfdom of India. Forgetful of all else, Savarkar went on singing. Presently, tears began to roll down his cheeks. His voice became choked. The song remained unfinished, Savarkar began to weep like a child.” The song Sagaras (To the Ocean) has become immortal in Marathi literature.
The following translation has been done by Anurupa Cinar.
ने मजसी ने परत मातृभूमीला I सागरा, प्राण तळमळला
भूमातेच्या चरणतला तुज धूतांI मी नित्य पाहिला होता
मज वदलासी अन्य देशिं चल जाऊंI सृष्टिची विविधता पाहूं
तइंजननी-हृद् विरहशंकितहि झालेंI परि तुवां वचन तिज दिधलें
मार्गज्ञ स्वयें मीच पृष्ठिं वाहीन I त्वरित या परत आणीन
विश्वसलों या तव वचनींI मी
जगदनुभव-योगें बनुनी I मी
तव अधिक शक्त उध्दरणींI मी
येईन त्वरेंकथुन सोडिलें तिजला I
सागरा, प्राण तळमळला
शुक पंजरिं वा हरिण शिरावा पाशींI ही फसगत झाली तैशी
भूविरह कसा सतत साहुं यापुढती I दशदिशा तमोमय होती
गुण-सुमनेंमीं वेचियलीं ह्या भावेंI कीं तिनें सुगंधा ध्यावें
जरि उध्दरणीं व्यय न तिच्या हो साचा I हा व्यर्थ भार विद्येचा
ती आम्रवृक्षवत्सलता I रे
नवकुसुमयुता त्या सुलता I रे
तो बाल गुलाबहि आतां I रे
फुलबाग मला हाय पारखा झाला I सागरा, प्राण तळमळला
नभिं नक्षत्रें बहुत एक परि प्यारा I मज भरतभूमिचा तारा
प्रासाद इथें भव्य परि मज भारी I आइची झोपडी प्यारी
तिजवीण नको राज्य, मज प्रिय साचा I वनवास तिच्या जरि वनिंचा
भुलविणें व्यर्थहेंआतांI रे
बहु जिवलग गमतें चित्ता I रे
तुज सरित्पते I जी सरिता I रे
तद्विरहाची शपथ घालितों तुजला I सागरा, प्राण तळमळला
या फेन-मिषेंहंससि निर्दया कैसा I कां वचन भंगिसी ऐसा
तत्स्वामित्वा सांप्रत जी मिरवीते I भिउनि का आंग्लभूमीतें
मन्मातेला अबलम्हणुनि फसवीसी I मज विवासनाते देशीं
तरि आंग्लभूमी-भयभीता I रे
अबला न माझिही माता I रे
कथिल हें अगस्तिस आतांI रे
जो आचमनिं एक क्षणिं तुज प्याला I
सागरा, प्राण तळमळला.
|O Ocean, take me back to my Motherland
My soul in so much torment be! ||Dhru.||
Lapping worshipfully at my mother’s feet
So always I saw you
Let us visit other Lands to see
The abounding nature, said you.
Seeing my Mother’s heart full of qualms
A sacred oath you did give t’her,
Knowing the way home, ‘pon your back
My speedy return you promised her.
Fell for your promise did I!
That worldly-wise ‘n able be I
Her deliverance better serve do I
’Pon returning, so saying I left her.
O Ocean, my soul in so much torment be! ||1||
Like a parrot in a cage, like a deer in a trap—
Oh so duped am I
Parting from my mother for ever—
Besieged by darkness am I!
Flowers of virtue gather did I
That blessed by their fragrance she be.
Bereft from service for her deliverance
My learning a futile burden it be,
The love of her mango trees, oh!
The beauty of her blossoming vines, oh!
Her tender budding rose, oh!
Oh forever lost is her garden to me,
O Ocean, my soul in so much torment be! ||2||
Stars abound in the heavens above, but
Only the star of Bharatland love I
Here are found plush palaces, but
Only my mother’s humble hut love I
What care I for a kingdom without Her?
Ever exile in her forests choose I.
Deception is futile now, say I
Let you not be spared, vow I
Suffer the same pangs, cry I
Of parting with the dearest of your rivers!
O Ocean, my soul in so much torment be! ||3||
O Ye of Foaming Surf, pitilessly you mock!
Why go back on your word, oh!
Why deceive my helpless mother,
Oh why condemn me to exile so!
Was it in fear of England
Who flaunts her mastery over you so?
Fearsome though England may be, O
My Mother is not feeble so
Tell all to Agasti she will, lo
Who in one gulp your waters drank!
O Ocean, my soul in so much torment be! ||4||