A Fresh Start: on Akshaya Tritiya, also Eid.

A Fresh Start: on Akshaya Tritiya, also Eid!

Memories of you are vivid - of school days distinct,
of first of the month Visiting Sundays short and sweet -
when we sat on the Hoogly’s strand at Chandannagar,
regaled by parrots, under canopies of Banyan trees.

Afternoons, from one to five breezed past in a haze,
boats plying on soft ripples assuring us Love is lifelong -
for you brought picnic packs to feed us our favourite grub
that emotionally fed our hearts for the rest of the month.

Yet tempted by vendors lining our school and strand,
we sought compassion - sold through ice creams, puchkas:
also savouring tamarind water tossed jhalmuri, churmur -
upsetting you, taking your culinary efforts for granted.

These sights vividly come to my mind with such alacrity,
three weeks since you left us, Ma, on the twenty first April -
sixteen years after Baba on a fifth of January morning:
with my resilience crushed, after a year's Corona pandemic.

The last three months I had relied on your moral strength,
even if only over daily telephone and rare video chats -
to see me through a worst crisis - to save myself going mad:
at eighty - a weight even your athletic heart couldn’t bear!

It was in saving me yet again from collapse, that you left -
not able to withhold saying, “why is my daughter’s luck so bad!”
Quoting Tennyson's “A Will” you asserted, “whose will is strong:
He suffers, but he will not suffer long...cannot suffer wrong.”

Now I discover validations of your talents, remarkable strength -
through letters, certificates, news clippings - from your desk
that you never showed us, so we don’t buckle under comparison:
I find moral strength in reserve - inspiration as my inheritance!

Among your heritage - I found three old cameras, fm radio sets,
reminding me of a passion for photography, music we shared:
defined by our cooking, sewing, knitting, drawing, theatre, poetry;
over that sportsmanship, leadership skills with a kind, creative flair!

Your loss is slowly but surely receding from my pained psyche,
as I make determined efforts to seek you in my current situations -
so in healing and moving on I’ll find you alongside at every step
to lead a joyous but productive life - you have always willed for me!

Eid Mubarak with an excerpt from my novel Across Borders, in the link below, which vividly depicts my mother’s life - in her voice as the narrator Maya, also including my father’s life in conjunction with hers: http://shuvashreechowdhury.com/2015/07/18/eid-mubarak-an-excerpt-from-my-novel-across-borders/

By Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

O WELL for him whose will is strong!
He suffers, but he will not suffer long;
He suffers, but he cannot suffer wrong:
For him nor moves the loud world’s random mock,
Nor all Calamity’s hugest waves confound
Who seems a promontory of rock,
That, compass’d round with turbulent sound,
In middle ocean meets the surging shock,
Tempest-buffeted, citadel-crowned.

But ill for him who, bettering not with time,
Corrupts the strength of heaven-descended Will,
And ever weaker grows thro’ acted crime,
Or seeming-genial venial fault,
Recurring and suggesting still!
He seems as one whose footsteps halt,
Toiling in immeasurable sand,
And o’er a weary sultry land,
Far beneath a blazing vault,
Sown in a wrinkle of the monstrous hill,
The city sparkles like a grain of salt.

PS: this post is in continuation and reference to the last few posts.

The Strand at Chandannagar…
Just found this FM radio in Ma’s cupboard. Baba had bought this for her in 1988/89 when she was doing her doctorate in her college in Gwalior, for her to have company in the hostel room.
After changing the batteries and with much anxiety, it started playing and this was the first song. It’s almost like I’m connected to my parents from heaven.
I was so happy when it started playing so suddenly …so was too overwhelmed or I even know these lyrics.
In fact while I was trying to fix the batteries I said “Ma if you are around, show me a sign and let this play…” it did.☺️

The videos might play better from the Facebook link:

See these videos

I found these three transistors(radios) in my moms cupboard along with various documents, also my photo below from 1997…this is perhaps how she perceived me always and was overly protective!☺️
My photo of 1997, in Ma’s cupboard…
Ashirbad on my wedding: The morning of the 20th of April 2006. I’m wearing Ma’s Ashirbad sari, personally chosen by Baba(he passed away in 2005 Jan) as this was his favourite colour and he bought my childhood frocks and later salwar suits in this golden colour.
On our terrace…
The evening(20th April) before Ma passed away(21st April 2021)

We all have different and very personal perspectives on life and death. I for one have talked in depth of death in 5 books – especially my debut one Across Borders, in which I depicted my father’s death vividly and how Ma and I coped with it.
The idea is – not to delude ourselves of death or the absence, but keep the essence of the dear ones presence alive.
Almost every other household is losing someone either near or a distant relative – just now from the pandemic.
As a writer…My social responsibility is to help people cope with loss …in knowing that we are not alone in our loss or grief and others go through it as well.
Many of us think we are insulated from life’s realities and tragedies, until we face our very own sufferings and loss.
Perhaps we poets and writers are imparted much more upheavals in life, since birth, so that we develop a refined sense of empathy to build our writing voice and character with.
My attitude to life is no longer – Why me! It’s – Try me! 🙄😌
This photo was on the eve of my mother’s passing and my 15th anniversary 20/04/21…did I have a clue that I would be hit so hard the next day!
But life is like that, it hits you hardest when you least expect it to…atleast it has happened to me lifelong.
That’s how I know that my purpose in life is to be a writer and all the corporate work experiences have lent me a confident writing voice along with the conviction and strength in my thinking process.
Trust me, the easiest and most desirable thing when in grief is to shut the world out and to mourn alone…not stand up to public scrutiny and sympathy. But that’s where my strength has been tested…
This is in continuation or summing up of my last few poem
posts…which were written with a lot of effort at a time like this.

#freshstart #positivity #inspiration #movingon #moralstrength #mother #will #motivation #authorlife #novel #eid #akshayatritiya #boardingschool #Chandannagar #sunset #poetry #inheritance


One thought on “A Fresh Start: on Akshaya Tritiya, also Eid.

  1. Heart touching writing. Subhashree, I understand your feelings. When I lost my father then I feel nobody’s have in the world who loves me as my father. Parents are precious.

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