Dr. Meenakshi Mohan, USA (Winging through Gloom: Poetry of Hope and Recovery)

Meenakshi Mohan

Dr. Meenakshi Mohan, an internationally published writer is an educator, art critic, children’s writer, painter, and poet. She has been listed twice in the Who is Who Among American Teachers. She is on the editorial Committee for Inquiry in Education, a peer-reviewed journal published by National Louis University, Chicago, Illinois.

 

 

AKASHDEEP

 

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,

Whispering, it will be happier….

    - Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

During the month of Kartik, I visited my Nana’s house with my mother.

The house was getting ready for the festival Deepawali

deep cleaning of the house, the kitchen busy preparing mithais

colorful rangolis at the front entrance. It all looked so fresh and beautiful.

 

One night, I stood outside this four-storied high brick building.

Gray scattered clouds covered the sky. A few stars peeked through them.

Then, I noticed a copper kalash high up on the roof, emitting light

through its various holes around it. It looked as if a cluster of stars were gushing out.

What is it, Mama? I asked my mother, holding on to her.

This is Akashdeep, the Lamp of Hope, she said.

 

My five-year-old curious mind wondered what that meant.

She continued; People of Ayodhya lighted their houses with Akashdeep to welcome Lord Rama

returning home after his exile in the forest and hoping for peace.

I looked at my mother, but she continued to explain more about this divine light,

When wounded soldiers returned from wars,

 people lit their houses with this light to welcome them and hope for peace.

 

So, is this the light of Hope for Peace? I asked her.

Yes, she smiled, and looked up to the sky and said,

Akashdeep also brings blessings from our ancestors who left us a long time ago.

 

Many years went by, but my mother’s words still resonate.

Today, when our world is in peril with many disasters,

I wished if only we could light this Akashdeep in our hearts and ignite its flame of hope.

And spread peace and placidity in the world from our hearts to yours and yours.

 

During the month of Kartik, I still find a bright star peeking through the clouds,

     Is that my mother, my Akashdeep, my divine light of hope and strength?

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