कोशिश नहीं हारती / Efforts Never Fail

Today I’m going to share an uplifting poem by Shri Sohan Lal Dwivedi, an Indian poet, Gandhian, and freedom fighter who is better known for his patriotic poems, as he was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi.

This is the poem that I had read in my school days, and even now it’s often quoted to inspire our new generation. But generally and wrongly Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan, father of the famous Indian actor, Amitabh Bachchan is credited to have written this poem. Amitabh Bachchan himself has clarified this in the social media.

Shri Sohan Lal Dwivedi

Irrespective of who has written, let’s see the spirit of the poem. Incidentally, today, the third Monday of January, has been coined as Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. Let’s reposition the day as one for positive change, so that we can look forward with optimism to the year ahead.

लहरों से डर कर नौका पार नहीं होती
कोशिश करने वालों की हार नहीं होती…

नन्हीं चींटी जब दाना लेकर चलती है
चढ़ती दीवारों पर, सौ बार फिसलती है
मन का विश्वास रगों में साहस भरता है
चढ़कर गिरना, गिरकर चढ़ना न अखरता है
आख़िर उसकी मेहनत बेकार नहीं होती
कोशिश करने वालों की हार नहीं होती…

डुबकियां सिंधु में गोताखोर लगाता है
जा जाकर खाली हाथ लौटकर आता है
मिलते नहीं सहज ही मोती गहरे पानी में
बढ़ता दुगना उत्साह इसी हैरानी में
मुट्ठी उसकी खाली हर बार नहीं होती
कोशिश करने वालों की हार नहीं होती…

असफलता एक चुनौती है, स्वीकार करो
क्या कमी रह गई, देखो और सुधार करो
जब तक न सफल हो, नींद चैन को त्यागो तुम
संघर्ष का मैदान छोड़ मत भागो तुम
कुछ किये बिना ही जय जयकार नहीं होती
कोशिश करने वालों की हार नहीं होती…

English Translation:

You cannot take your boat across the sea
if you are afraid of the waves,
the one who tries, never fails…

The tiny ant carries a small grain in its mouth,
climbs up on the wall,
slips and falls a hundred times,
the determination in the mind
fills your body with courage,
then climbing up and falling down doesn’t hurt…
ultimately, its efforts don’t go waste,
the one who tries, never fails…

The diver dives into the water of the sea,
he returns empty handed a number of times,
not easy it is to find a pearl in the deep waters,
but this in turn doubles his enthusiasm,
his hands are not empty every time,
the one who tries, never fails…

Failure is a challenge, accept it,
recognise your shortcomings, rectify them,
shun rest and sleep, till you are successful,
never run away from the battlefield of hard work,
you cannot get praise without working for it,
the one who tries, never fails…

–Kaushal Kishore


  1. This wonderful translation by you, Kaushal, of the uplifting poem by the great Indian poet
    Shri Sohan Lal Dwivedi is to me, an outsider, a revelation beyond compare!
    I love it so much that I have copied it, and was inspired to find out as much as I could in a short time about the man I admire so much, even more so after learning about his admiration for
    Mahatma Gandhi, whom I love too.

    You have mentioned the Blue Monday, a term known here also as being the most depressing day of the year. I don’t sufferer from this affliction, especially as it is Full Moon, that brings optimistic hope for being able to enjoy life again.

    I thank you, Kaushal, for once again spreading the optimism and uplifting our spirits!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Joanna for this kind gesture. Shri Dwivedi is a lesser known poet, but I have read his other poems as well. All have some rhythm with a message loud and clear.

      I don’t know much about the Blue Monday. It is a sheer coincidence that I came to know about it while writing for this post today. For me, all days are good, God-given.


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