Poetry: Meenakshi Mohan (Tagore Special)

Meenakshi Mohan

Gurudeva's Words Still Resonate …

 

The setting sun wondered who would enlighten the world in my absence, the whole world remained mum, but the small earthen lamp commented to the Lord to do whatever it can with its limited capability!

রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর

(English Translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Poem)

 

The dark, ominous clouds

stayed suspended on that sad treacherous night, holding their tears.

The thrashing, whipping winds

battered the windows

with enraged fury

of the two-bedroom apartment of my sister in Varanasi.

The stars and the moon shied away with dismal

behind the smokey mass.

 

The outside room and hallway

crowded with people

at the midnight hour of

January 7, 2005

stayed awake to give homage

to the gentle soul of my mother,

ready to depart

on luminous white wings of the ethereal angels

to take her to the heavenly abode.

 

Crestfallen, brokenhearted with grief

we thought of our ailing father,

lying in the next room

oblivious of the fact

of his forthcoming loss – his lifetime companion.

We wondered who would now take charge and care for him?

My sister, a polio patient with the strength of her steel legs,

mumbled:

 

“ke loibe mor karjo,” kahe Sandhya rabi

suniya jagat rahe niruttar chobi.

Matir prodip chilo, se kohilo

“Swami amar je tuku sadhya koribo ta ami.”

 

Note: My sister was that flickering light that stayed with our father until his last moment while we, my other sister and brother, were able to come from the USA and Australia after our father had passed away. My sister, despite her ailments, gave him the best care and nurturing, which we were unable to do from abroad. She was the most significant source of help and consolation for us. A few years later, she also passed away at a young age. Gurudeva’s words still resonate, and I see my sister as that flickering lamp.

 

Bio: Meenakshi Mohan, Ed. D., is a scholar, art critic, children’s writer, painter, and poet. She has published worldwide both in the academic and creative areas. She is on the Editorial Team for Inquiry in Education, a peer-reviewed journal published by National Louis University, Chicago, Illinois.


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