A Daughter to her Mother: Uma Ray Srinivasan

Uma Ray Srinivasan
Mother dear, you left me back in gloom.
It feels so dark, so void, in vastness endless,
Surrounded by sound of duty exacting, tiring.

It wasn’t like this with you around. Your eyes
To mine in gentle whisper said, ‘Come, sit
My child, you look so exhausted, sit by me.’

I said, ‘Not yet, not yet, there’s so much to do.
I never seemed to have time enough to do nothing.
No time to read, to write, to rest, do nothing.

Now I even have the luxury of doing nothing.
I need not bathe you, feed you watch you ov’rnight.
My time is mine. Yes, all of it, which you can’t claim.

But now? Am I alone? Not quite. My life’s full.
I have love, I have warmth, I have all I can possibly wish.
Yet, I have you not.

Between the low horizon and distant zenith,
You are lost somewhere, I know not, I reach not, nor grasp.
Yet I talk to you, I feel you, see and hear you.

You beacon your warm invitation to be with you there.
I say “Not yet, not yet, there’s so much to do.
For mother dear, I am a mother too.

Bio: Born and brought up in Tagore’s Santiniketan, Uma Ray Srinivasan, was conferred the PhD degree for her doctoral thesis on the complete plays of Shakespeare by the Visva Bharati University. An Associate Professor in English, she has been serving Victoria Institution (College) for more than three decades now. She has presented papers at national and international conferences in India and abroad. She coordinated the National level UGC seminar held at Victoria Institution (College) in 2015, on ‘Women’s Voices: Heard Voices and those Unheard –Elizabethan and Jacobean Theatre and the Indian Classroom Context.’ Uma Ray Srinivasan also edited the proceedings of the seminar journal, containing writings and speeches delivered at the seminar by distinguished Renaissance scholars such as Prof Swapan Chakrabarti, Prof Aniket Jaware, Prof Supriya Chaudhuri, Prof. Abhijit Sen, Prof Nandini Bhattacharya and many others. The latest of her papers, ‘Rajmohan’s Wife, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Neglected Novel’, has been published in Sahitya Akademi’s Journal, Indian Literature (November-December 2019, Vol No. 6), commemorating the 125th Death Anniversary of the writer. Her forthcoming publication venture is a translation of complete Abol Tabol (with fifty-three poems) by Sukumar Ray with a critical Introduction to the work. She has of late completed the translation of Sukumar Ray’s Ha Ja Ba Ra La called L M N O P.


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