ब्लौग लिखना शुरू किया तो एक इच्छा थी की अपनी दोनों माँ (जन्म देने वाली माँ और सास) तथा दोनों पिता के बारे में भी लिखूं। इस लेख के साथ वो इच्छा भी पूरी हो रही है। समस्या ये थी की चारों माता-पिता में से किसके बारे में पहले लिखूं और किसके बारे में बाद में। फिर ईश्वरीय समाधान आया - 'लेडीज़ फर्स्ट' । लेकिन पुनः समस्या हुयी दोनों माओं में से किसपर पहले लिखूं। तब लगा जो जीवित है उसपर पहले लिखूं अतः निम्न क्रम में चारों आदरणीय हस्तियों के बारे में लिखा--
१-मेरी सासू माँ....ससुराल बेला फूल ...
२-आप कल भी साथ-साथ थीं , आप आज भी करीब हैं...
३ -चंदा ने पूछा तारों से , तारों ने पूछा हज़ारों से- "सबसे अच्छा कौन है ? --पापा--मेरे पापा ....
४-पिता समान पूज्य ससुर जी को प्रणाम
मेरे पूज्य पापा (ससुर जी) ने देश के लिए बहुत योगदान किया । १९६७ में प्रथम बार चुनाव जीतकर बीजेपी में आये । विद्युत् मंत्री और फिर खादी ग्रामोद्द्योग मंत्री के पद पर रहे। उनकी छवि एक इमानदार एवं कर्मनिष्ठ नेता के रूप में रही। इमरजेंसी के दौरान वे डेढ़ वर्ष तक कारावास में रहे। एक लम्बी अवधी तक उन्होंने देश की सेवा की। राजमाता सिंधिया के निधन के दो वर्ष बाद ७५ वर्ष की आयु में उन्होंने भी सेवानिवृत्ति ले ली। सन २००९ में १६ जनवरी को ८४ वर्ष की आयु में उनका निधन हो गया।
पापा का स्वभाव अति दयालुता से पूर्ण एवं ममतामयी था। परिवार के सदस्यों के साथ साथ परिचितों एवं अन्यों के साथ भी अति सुहृदयता का था। हम सभी का बहुत ख़याल रखते थे।
पापा की स्मृति में एक अति विशेष घटना का जिक्र कर रही हूँ। मेरा विवाह मेडिकल थर्ड इयर में हुआ था । जब फ़ाइनल इयर का रिजल्ट आया तो मेरे अंकों की विशिष्ट उपलब्धि पर पापा ने आशीर्वाद स्वरुप 'Titan' घडी उपहार में दी थी, जो मेरे लिए एक अनमोल उपहार है।
आज एक सितम्बर को पापा के जन्मदिन के अवसर पर विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि अर्पित करती हूँ।
दुःख की इस घडी में एक पारिवारिक मित्र द्वारा भेजी गयी भावभीनी श्रद्धांजलि यहाँ प्रस्तुत कर रही हूँ---
The southward journey of the sun is now over and from today, it will begin its journey towards the north bringing to us warmer climes and longer days. While the western astronomy marks the summer and winter solstices on June 22 and December 22 respectively, our astronomy depicts the change of direction from the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn from July 14 and January 14 respectively.
[19012009 – 1014 : Dear ZEAL, this letter stands modified at this point as the event that has come to pass makes it impossible for me to think anything else. I am feeling a loss and today, I wish to write on it.]
What I am endeavoring to write today is an Eulogy but do pardon me if I am not able to do justice to it. I am just writing my heart out.
I offer my deepest condolences to the grieving family on the sudden and untimely demise of Samir ji’s father and am praying for the peace of the departed soul। While, respected father has left us for heavenly abode, it is but a shedding of the body in which the soul was resting during its present earthly transit. As we don new clothes, the soul shall again return to this very earth in another bodily form. The Yaatraa is Anant, dearest ZEAL. The Soul is Immortal.
I am indeed very thankful to you, dear ZEAL, that you thought of informing me about the unfortunate event। A parent’s loss is indeed very huge for anyone and I can understand how Samir and his brothers must be feeling right now. Yesterday, after you call, I was going through whatever you had shared with me about your father-in-law and I clearly remember that you spoke of him very proudly and with great respect.
I know it is a huge loss for you too, dear ZEAL and my sympathies are with you too. The children must also be bereaved that an immediate family member has now gone to God’s abode. But then, this is the Jivan Kaa Nitya-Kram.
None of us can escape the finality of death and we can only endeavor to do such deeds that when we depart, we leave ‘footprints on the sands of time’. This famous words are from a wonderful poem written by H. W. Longfellow which I am reproducing hereunder a little later. It, in trueness, very nicely pays tribute to your respected father-in-law. The lines came to me as I was lost in thought about the frailty of life. Again the word that came to me was Kshanbhagurtaa! In a flash, is transcends into was and all we are left with is memories.
Also, please do convey my deepest regret to mother-in-law. She has kept her promise – Till Death Do Us Part. She must be very shocked at the sudden turn of events and I really feel very strongly for her. I am absolutely certain of you consoling her the most in this moment of dire grief because you are a very caring person. You always work towards alleviating the pain and sorrow of others and I am very proud of you about the way you are. In a single word, you are Outstanding!
I almost can hear your voice, dear ZEAL, as we both looked at a particular photograph in the album where Samir’s father was standing along with prominent dignitaries and your voice conveyed the pride you felt for him in your heart. There was this throw in your voice and almost a glint in your eyes.
Then, as the mind wandered on, I heard your voice describing the saree he had presented to you। Another flick of an image and I see Samir crying open-heartedly with his head in father’s lap on the day of marriage because he had found the best woman that you are, dear ZEAL! Nobody can be better than you and I know it!
Dear ZEAL, just saw so many images of the man that I was not destined to meet in person। But then, I did meet him through your words and conveyance! Such is the influence of your words, that I can feel I have met the person whom I have never met! It is only due to your vast profundity and absolute trueness, dear ZEAL।
Let me now go to the poem that came to my mind. Honestly, I did not remember when I had read this particular poem but it was years ago for sure. So pale and hazy was its memory that as you gave me the news and I was thinking along the lines I mentioned above, the faint echo of the mind’s voice played the most poignant of its lines – Footprints on the sands of time!
Mr. Longfellow said of this poem: `I kept it some time in manuscript, unwilling to show it to any one, it being a voice from my inmost heart, at a time when I was rallying from depression.' Before it was published in the Knickerbocker Magazine, October, 1838, it was read by the poet to his college class at the close of a lecture on Goethe. Its title, though used now exclusively for this poem, was originally, in the poet's mind, a generic one. He notes from time to time that he has written a psalm, a psalm of death, or another psalm of life. The `psalmist' is thus the poet himself. When printed in the Knickerbocker it bore as a motto the lines from Crashaw:
Life that shall send
A challenge to its end,
And when it comes,
Say, “Welcome, friend।"
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! --
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Dear ZEAL, the poet advises us that the soul is the self in us and we should never see life as an empty dream. To believe is our duty and then things won’t be as drab as they seem in life.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Yes! Life is real and we must be earnest in our attempt to do our best. Father took these words in true spirit and he achieved! Don’t you agree, dear ZEAL?
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
Every moment we are getting closer to our final destination of this embodied form of ours but like brave soldiers, we must have the passion to do our best before it is our turn to appear at the Pearly Gates.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Life is always going to be full of challenges and every challenge is one battle in itself. God has, however, empowered us with virtues in the heart and thoughts in the mind to fend all the challenges that come our way and successfully negotiate each of them. Your respected father-in-law must have come across so many a strife during his life, his career but he heeded to the above words and emerged a victor at the end of the various challenges that life posed him with.
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, -- act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
So, close to our very own – Karmaniye Vaadhikaaraste Maa Faleshu Kadaachan!! Eternality of this fact is so amply proved by above lines. Ours is but to act and do our deeds to the best of our aptitude with trueness in the heart and knowledge that God above us sees it all! I am doing just that, dear ZEAL and I seek you with me.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Here comes the most poignant stanza of the entire poem! Does not the life and times of respected father remind us that we need to work so much in life! And it is only because he did achieve what he set out for that today, dear ZEAL, even after he has left us for the Heavenly abode, we will be guided by his footprints on the sands of time!
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
certainly take heart and know that I will again come to the wonderful life that I have experienced with the wonderful person that you are, dear ZEAL!
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
This is what I thought I would share with you today, dear ZEAL and I am indeed very sad and low today. I could almost see one more empty chair in that ‘Circle Of Life’ .
Here, on a tangential note, but because it has root of sorts in the first line of the fourth stanza of the above poem, the mind brings upon this aphorism by Hippocrates –
"Ars longa vita brevis est"
Literally it translates to –
Art is long, Life is short
The Latin translation done by Horace of this phrase credited to Hippocrates, goes thus – The "Art" referred to in the original aphorism was the Craft of Medicine, which took a lifetime to acquire. Is it not right, dear Doctor?
I am very drained, dear ZEAL and will pause here for the day. I pay respectful homage to your father-in-law and convey my deepest condolences to the surviving family.
As I take your leave for now, I would just like to draw your attention to this truth –
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul."
Aatmaa Amar Hain!