The Tragedy Queen – A Tribute

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Fragments that scattered,
disturbed in imagination are
none other than pieces of my broken heart.

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एक अरसा हुआ नींद को आए हुए
बेरहम इस पलक को झपकाए हुए
सन्नाटों से घायल हुई लम्बी सी रातें
और ख़यालों में तुमसे करना दो बातें

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There was a time once,
when, they would weep and bleed blood red
but then the blood turned into vapor
and left me dry.

 

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आ मौत तू गले से लगा ले मुझको,
तरस गई है यह ज़िंदगी तुझको।
क्याें तू मुझसे हुई यूँ बेगानी,
तेरी मेरी कहानी जन्मों पुरानी।
पुकारे। से जब तू आती भी नहीं,
और मुझे साथ ले जाती भी नहीं।
दुनिया की भीड़ में तन्हा सी मैं,
राह तकती हूँ हर दिन तेरा मैं।
आ एै संगदिल मुझे बाँहों में भर ले,
अपनी हसीन आग़ोश में जकड़ ले।
तू ही तो है एक सच्ची अपनी सहेली,
यह जीवन खेला तो बस एक है पहेली।।

 

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Now each injury appears a silent one,
for, breaking and re-breaking
does not sound like shattering any more.
मौत की हसीमौत की हसीन चादर ओढ़े,
रुख़सत  वो  हमसे जो  हुए।
एै  ज़िन्दगी  ज़रा  करवट  पलट,
हम  भी  उनकी  ओर  हो  चले।

 

 

The wounded ambitions
that smelt like fragrant roses and Jasmine once
are now like a rotten dead mouse
that one would get rid of at the earliest.

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The monotonous drills of peace and quiet
sound fascinating but far, very far
from reality they despair in dismay.

 

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सूखे पत्तों की मानिंद काश ये ज़ख़्म भी गिर जाते,
पंखुड़ियों की ख़ामोशी से हम भी होंठ सिलवाते।
बेआबरू बेलिबास पतझड़ की टहनियों की तरह,
हमारा दर्दे जिगर भी किरणों के दर्पण में दिखलाते।

 

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I hear a teasing laugh,
coming from my heart,
laughing at my status of being a loser
in the game of life.

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Having lost my love to hatred,
I squirm under thoughts unreachable,
of happiness and joy like a distant broken toy.

 

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एक आस, एक अहसास,
एक वह तुझसे मिलने की आस
जैसे सनतराष के मुजसम को
अजब एक लग गई हो प्यास
है फ़िज़ाओं में तेरी ही ख़ुशबू
तेरे दीदार की सनम है एक आस
तू यहीं कहीं है शायद हमनवा
आ मिल जा अब न कर निराश।

 

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Looking hither and tither frantically
for the glue of love,
that shall mend to repair
the cracks and cuts of my fragments.

 

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मौत की हसीन चादर ओढ़े,
रुख़सत वो हमसे जो हुए।
एै ज़िन्दगी ज़रा करवट पलट,
हम भी उनकी ओर हो चले।

 

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Gasping for breath suffocated
by fears, dislike, enmity and
a hundred other vices
of the tradition called suffering.

 

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उनका जनाज़ा ज़िन्दगी की इन्तेहा हुआ,
हमारा सबर भी उनके साथ ही निकला।
न था मालूम की न आओगे लौट कर,
मौत को ही हम हमदर्द अपना बना लेते।।

 

 

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With trembling limbs I crawl to thee,
take a glance
O! Merciful and lead me to the
Gateway that shall set me free.

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With a tattered figure
that oozes in the gloom of misery
flowing in mindfulness,
That needs the state of restfulness.

 

The shower of the muck
that keeps the hopelessness
in my bruised spirit stuck,
Is nothing but the so called luck.

 

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Sikiladi

A tribute to the all time great Tragedy Queen of Hindi Cinema, The Late Meena Kumari on her 44th Death Anniversary on 31/3/16. The poetry is Sikiladi’s perception of the  tragedian’s aching heart.

 

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Meena Kumari herself was a great poetess hence this tribute comes in a poetic form.

THE FEMALE EGO

She was successful in her own way. An upcoming artist who had mastered the nuances of the Indian classical music. This was a dream come true for Meera, who was brought up in a conservative background where girls were mere objects nurtured to be married off with a display of family wealth.
It was a very significant day in her life. A dream about to come true. She woke up with her heart pounding with excitement . The evening would turn her into a celebrity in her own right when she will be presented with the Award for her unmatched contribution on the Indian Music Scene in Kenya. In her mind, she had already planned that she will wear her red silk saree and roll up her hair in a chignon so she could flaunt her traditional earrings.
She hurriedly started with the housework so she could leave for work slightly early. The plan was to leave early from office as well as she had to reach for the ceremony by 6.30 pm. In her excitement she took it for granted that her family too would be equally joyous about her getting the award. But, unfortunately that wasn’t the case. No sooner did she go for a shower after having finished with the breakfast and packed lunch preparations, the electrician turned up for the repairs. Though being in the family of five working members, she was the only one expected to stay back at home to attend to the electrician. Himesh with his big ego and the “I am the head of the family and I am the boss” attitude would be the last person to wait on a worker. It was simply below his dignity though he took maximum pride at having made his house to his taste. The children, all three of them had to rush to work as well yet they expected the electric faults to be repaired when they returned home in the evening.
As she waited on the electrician, Meera decided to utilize this time to iron her clothes for the evening. To her bad luck the electrician switched off the mains the same moment. For a moment she in her frustration felt that may be he could read her thoughts and was conspiring to irritate her.
Somehow, she tried to maintain her calm and carry on with the routine of the day. She got home, had her cup of tea in the kitchen while making preparations for the dinner. She had no hope of Himesh or the children taking her out for a dinner on her eventful day. Somehow, struggling through the chores, she got dressed up by 6pm. There was still no sign of Himesh. She called him up and he told her that he was on his way.
Like a typical dutifully obedient wife, she waited anxiously. She knew she had made the mistake of agreeing to wait for him. Himesh finally reached home at 6.20 pm and in his thoughtless manner had the audacity of asking Meera to make him a cup of tea.
Needless to say, they arrived at the venue only around 7pm, exactly half an hour later than she should have. The ceremony had begun so they silently made their way to the reserved seats by her name on them.
As the ceremony went on, honoring various women achievers who had made their presence felt in different fields, Meera saw the visible presence of the family and friends of those women. They were all made to feel so special by their near and dear ones and she couldn’t understand what had she done not to deserve such adulations from her own. Throughout the drive to the function hall Himesh had cribbed about having left his important work to accompany his wife to a function that was not so important for him.
He had never been supportive of her music training initially but then succumbed to a silent acceptance upon observing her gaining popularity at the Indian Music Scene. She was a founder member of The Indian Music Scene along with her mentor Deepshikha Roy. Together they consummated several musical shows along with their students and raised huge sums for a few charitable organizations. This had resulted in Meera and Deepshikha being popular on the social scene in Kenya.
Himesh’s pride had never let him praise Meera at her musical capacity. He rather wondered aloud often at gatherings that he didn’t understand what was the attraction in that classical music that people raved about it. Undoubtedly, she felt humiliated every time he spoke such a way and pitied his attitude. The children were too engrossed in the western music and obviously the classical effects of the Ragas and Notes made no sense to them. She silently wondered if they too had an ego like their father which prevented them from acknowledging her talent.
Whilst lost in her thoughts, she suddenly heard her name being announced. In a daze, she stood up, walked calmly towards the stage. Was she excited? She was happy but unsure of her feelings at the moment as she was presented the award by the Cultural Minister of Kenya. She was thrilled at the applause but her eyes were searching for her children among the audience. A smile spread on her as she saw her daughter Bindu clapping and waving at her. Then she looked towards Himesh who was clapping too but more as a formality. She felt choked, swallowed her anxiety and faked a big smile as she posed for the photographer.
No sooner, had she returned to her seat waving back to Deepshikha and her friends that Himesh said,” I think this ceremony is turning quite boring. Now that you have got your trophy, we should leave as I am quite tired and hungry too”. She felt hopeless for half a minute and then convinced him that they were towards the end of the ceremony.
Her mind wandered off to thoughts running wild about the male chauvinist culture of Indian Men. Would a man like it if a wife walked out from a ceremony where he is being honored? No, answered her mind, a woman rather takes pride in her spouse’s progress and achievement.
She turned towards Himesh, and asked him to leave if was bored. She had many well wishers at the venue and would be dropped home by one of them. She finally had refused to be felt like an object. Himesh was quite unprepared for this coming from his humble wife. His insecurity at her fame was getting a bigger jolt now. Not only was she more prominent in the society, she was more confident of herself now. As he gazed at the trophy in her hands, he realized he hadn’t even hugged or kissed or congratulated her for this milestone of her life. She had been his biggest support in his trying times and he had just taken it for granted. The world around them had noticed the potential of his wife but he in his chauvinist mannerism had ignored her always.
The realization was hitting Hitesh hard now as he feared her new found courage in voicing herself. He remembered all those times when he made fun of her hobby of classical music which resulted in their children never admiring this talent of their mother. He remembered how when he was too busy earning money, she was busy earning the precious values in their children and attending each badminton match where Bindu played, each cricket match played by Madhur, each swimming gala participated by Harpreet. He thought of the times when he never sent her to spend time with her parents because he felt threatened by their affluence and didn’t want to expose his children to rich lifestyle.
Meera having said what she had to, had moved away to take a seat next to her friend Jaspreet without waiting for his response. She had made a decision and her Milestone in music was going to be accompanied by her milestone at being herself. He looked at her, she seemed happier but he felt guilty. He recollected the times when he suffered a big blow in his business and how she came forward as his strength in her various manners by being extra supportive. She had not been demanding. He never had to tell her to squeeze the budget in those trying times.
The Male Chauvinist in him had had a set back and Hitesh was now trying to figure out a way to pick up threads of past and not just stitch them, but to embroider them beautifully to their benefit.
The Women Achievers are trending and thus begins the new era of our lives. Welcome to the age of Female Chauvinism where ego is no barrier, it is merely an ego of Self Respect and Rights.
Sikiladi

SPECIAL CHILDREN

REIKI SEVA AT ELITE ENGLISH SCHOOL, DUBAI

By Monica Gokaldas

LHSG Kenya, Founder Member.

THE INTENTION

My trip to Dubai got a new meaning when I got to practice Reiki upon some very special children in February. I was planning to go and see my mother for a couple of days on my way back from India to Nairobi. At the same time I wanted to meet and pay my condolence to my Cousin Brother Harry’s family having lost Harry a few months ago. I could sense how disturbing it would be for the wife Ruchi to once again repeat the hurt feeling at having lost her husband. I certainly didn’t want to go and ask her the whys and hows of Harry’s death as it would be too painful for both of us as well as her daughter Mehar. So I decided to pay my condolence the LHSG way by offering to do a seva activity dedicated to the deceased making it my homage to my loving brother Harry who was always very helpful to those in need of moral or medical support.

THE PERMISSION:

I learnt from Ruchi that their daughter Mehar had started doing voluntary work at a school where she assisted teachers in teaching the Special Needs Children. I grabbed the opportunity and requested permission via my sister in law Ruchi to enable me go and do Reiki for those children. Luck favored me and the permission was granted on 12/2/16. I was scheduled to arrive in Dubai on 22/2/16 and the Reiki seva was finalized for 24/2/16.

ON THE DAY:

On the eventful day I was given a lift by my sister in law Sheila, a past LHSG member in Dubai. Four of us left together (Sheilu, Ruchi, Mehar and me) for The Elite English School in Dubai. This was the first time ever I was going to lead and conduct a Seva single handed hence I had requested Sheila to help me out. She was a bit hesitant being out of practice but then agreed to do it the way she felt comfortable. W     e reached the school by 9.15 am, way ahead of the 10am time allocated to us. While waiting we familiarized ourselves to the school as Mehar guided us. She introduced us to Ms. Heena Jaising, The Special Educator for the children we were going to meet.

Heena confirmed with me if what I was going to conduct would be safe enough of the children before allowing me to proceed as Ruchi hadn’t briefed her about what therapy would be used. Once I mentioned that Reiki is extremely safe practice and causes no harm whatsoever, she immediately told me that she had learnt Reiki too and had no inhibitions about it. Heena told us that the children under her care were slow learners/autistic/down’s syndrome affected and might not be able to concentrate on what I teach them or talk to them. She suggested I conduct a meditation with them.

I called upon Master Usui’s and my Guru Kamal Tolia’s guidance to conduct the meditation in a way the children could relate to. At 9.45 am we were finally led to the room that was to be the Reiki Workshop for the next two hours. The children were seated on the chairs and their faces were brimming with happiness to see Mehar. They appeared to be very fond of her and hugged her, held her hands and greeted her as Didi (elder sister).  We ladies introduced ourselves to the children and then Heena told them that we were the teachers who will teach meditation.

I was quite surprised at the way the children arranged themselves with little bit of guidance from the teachers. They sat on the chairs placed in a semi circular way. The children who were between the ages 7 to 16 years seemed excited at the mention of meditation. Since I thought it would be better to make it simple and interactive I called upon Master Usui once again along with the LHSG etheric Group to add on their energies along with mine.

THE MEDITATION AND REIKI:

Before commencing with the meditation I placed the intention of Reiki to flow through the hands of all children and everyone else present in the room while going through the steps. It involved placing their hands on each part of the body one by one, starting from the Crown Chakra going towards the feet. While I gave instruction Sheila was very helpful in displaying the posture and also correcting their postures. The children were very interactive and took very well to this. To my amazement, they were the ones prompting me for the next part saying, “nose/cheeks/chin etc”. At each position, they repeated after me, “my (body part where the hands were) … I love you”, thrice. Besides that we together (the students and I) discussed the significance of each part of the body.

They were so happy at offering this love to themselves that towards the end they clapped with joy. Then Sheila and I gave them mass healing as the teachers said they might not allow us to place our hands on them or might not be able to sit silently for that frame of time. But with faith in our hearts and blessings from the Almighty we made a beginning with a little girl who had impaired hearing. The teacher, Heena felt at least this one girl should receive the benefits of hands on healing.  Before we knew others were lining up and sitting on the chairs besides mine to get the hands on healing. Sheila once again was a big help as she joined in too.

Together the two of us gave hands on healing to 27 of the 29 children, six teachers and our heroine of the day Mehar Panjabi as she is still grieving over the demise of her father Harry. The children though did not like to settle down quietly, for Reiki stayed calm and smiling while receiving it.

GRATITUDE:

I give a very big gratitude to my Guru, Kamal Tolia for instilling these noble thoughts of seva in me on occasions happy or sad, celebrations or grievances, seen or unseen. I give my gratitude to the management and teachers of the Elite English School, Dubai for permitting me to conduct this workshop, it being a very humbling experience.  Mehar Panjabi in particular deserves very big thanks for making it possible.  Finally I thank my pillar of strength, my sisters at Lotus Healing Seva Group, who added their energies and wished me success at this workshop.

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THIS LIFE

This life my dear, is going a waste
As day after day passes by in haste.
Chores innumerable awaiting results
And the days just end up in disgusts.

An accusation that lacks substance ,
A pilgrimage that severely lacks purpose.
An apology that’s filled with hollowness,
And a pride that’s miserably meaningless.

Life has become an empty extravagance,
With pompous fights against sustenance .
The bluff, the showbiz of all events alone,
Having no ingenuity yet finding a clone.

Life’s little pleasures that filled joy in hearts,
Are now replaced with arrows upon charts.
Happiness is measured as per thy status,
Of financial stability and gimmicks bogus.

The primary pride of parenthood too suffers,
When digitalization covers rhymes with buffers.
The building blocks that fingers held strong,
Are now computerized with a new charm.

Weddings having lost their sanctity are now,
Occasions to merely drink, dance and trance.
Care we no longer for the sacred ceremonies,
Care we for those having bags of monies.

The aged now conspire against their age,
With renewed teeth and darkened false hair.
We appear just forty at the age of eighty,
Botoxed and buffooned our buttocks and bosom.

Discrediting the significance of precious time,
We have shut up our ears to the Godly Chime.
Wasting this life in activities unwanted,
The soul is thus blemished and pigmented.

Sikiladi

MAKE ME PURE

 

With a broken body and a bruised soul,

I cry to The Almighty, please listen to,
My plead, and, take me to the other shore.

Pleated and folded under many wraps,
Is my wounded spirit, please give it love,
To make it see the light, it’s crushed to the core.

Writhing and wrestling in painful conditions,
I keep up the smile, awaiting your magical note,
Which shall mend the struggle, the threads that tore.

Yearning for the healing, is my heart and soul,
The falsities have hurt me and lost all the hope,
I pray in earnest to thee, for me open thy door.

I may be a sinner which denying I am not,
Punishment so heavy has injured my each pore,
Have mercy upon me, don’t wait to settle score.

Bleeding are my cells so many that flooded,
Is the atmosphere and gloom is in the air around,
Come bathe me in your antidote and make me pure.

Sikiladi

YOU JUST DO!

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Celebrating Womanhood

YOU JUST DO!!

Oh!woman thy wonderous ways,
on treacherous roads of dismay.
Charging up your strength unimaginable,
When times of need come unmanageable.
You make it happen,you just do!!

While giving birth in painful ways,
You smile silently for it all pays.
Bringing forth to life a new generation,
Making motherhood into a veneration.
You make it happen,you just do!!

Life’s tough decisive challenging ways,
Woman is the one who hardest prays.
Fighting for justice thou not goes cowardly,
Thy inner strength emerges then outwardly.
You make it happen, you just do!!

Your admirable charming business ways,
Or just simple housekeeping outlays.
Being educated or formally uneducated,
Your keeping skills appear very calculative.
You make it happen, you just do!!

You shine through in a managerial way,
As a tough professional not letting away.
Pulling threads of perfection with great precision,
Be it a malady, a parody or a company decision.
You make it happen, you just do!!

Your endless maturity in motherly ways,
Of pulling the reins when the young strays.
Of forming a balance, bridging the generations,
Your wisdom that grows even through subjugation.
You make it happen, you just do !!

Your elegance breeds in beautiful ways,
And Holds supreme in charitable ways.
Gaining pleasure in caring, nursing and nurturing,
Taking pride in cooking, sharing and nourishing.
You make it happen, you just do !!

Your temperament in mighteous ways,
Oft times turns to Mother Teresa ways.
Undertaking tasks unhindered and so unheard,
Going upto space, leading a country so cultured.
You make it happen, you just do !!

Sikiladi

The Indian Woman

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The common perception of an Indian Woman
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The Asian Weekly March 4th – 10th, 2016

INDIAN WOMAN

Born to bear innumerable burden,
With a face so brightly smile laden,
Complains she not so very often,
The patient and calm Indian Woman.

Losing her maiden charm and identity,
She is not felicitated nor a celebrity.
Adopting her life as a mere charity,
Accepting things with a quiet dignity.

Reading interesting tales of Robin Hood,
Admiring much his vigor and manhood,
Through her docile innocent childhood,
Growing up to her mature womanhood.

Giving birth a pleasure not just for her,
But an obligation to please hubby’s mother.
She enters her life’s new exciting chapter,
Leaving behind her own father and mother.

To be called a damsel so very week,
Who is quiet and timidly outright meek.
The Indian woman who has no beak,
In presence of elders doesn’t speak.

The image is of the generation gone,
The times so rigid have now gone.
She has risen like raging storm,
With a roaring growl she did reform.

Silence is but just her etiquette n dignity,
She marvels in her cultural bright ethnicity,
Yet unfaltering be her rising magnanimity,
In business, science, aviation or generosity.

With a balanced mind like no other,
A perfectionist attitude of no bother,
Tackling chores going across borders,
Being Pilots, Presidents, signing charters.

Successful Indian Woman has emerged,
At par with her man she has surfaced,
She is the Durga and the Laxmi Bai,
The Indira Gandhi and Neerja is she.

At home she is a loving magic heart,
A Mother, a wife, a daughter to the chart.
But when she steps out in the world,
She can be a thunderous wild bird.

Her praiseworthy solemn motherhood,
Works like an elixir to all childhood,
Be it her siblings, kids or her parents,
Or even the children in her neighborhood.

The subjected, subjugated, submissive,
No longer is the Indian Little Miss.
As a daughter she is the parents pride,
Not any more is she considered a plight.

The Indian Woman is now an epitome
Of strong will power and valuable morality
Be proud of her at each step of life
End her not in the feotus,do give her life.

Unhindered by the cruel infanticide,
Like a rock she withstands the tide.
The modern Indian woman not mere a bride ,
She lives with her virtues and loads of pride.

 

This poem is published in the issue 289 of The Asian Weekly as a Women’s Day Dedication by Sikiladi.