Monday, October 24, 2011

Poems of Gitanjali

There are certain things you come across in life which leave you with nothing but a stunned mind and silence. Poems of Gitanjali is one of these things.

With the onset of Diwali cleaning, my mother was busy clearing out her bookshelf this morning. Like every year, I went and plonked myself beside the huge stack of books and started going through them in the hope of discovering something new. This unassuming cover was just lying within the mess, content in its own being. I picked it up, and flipped through the pages to find verses of uncluttered poetry. Curious to know more, I started reading the Forward and the Introduction to the book.

Gitanjali was a young girl  diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 14. She was a simple girl, from a simple family. She fought this humiliating disease for 2 years, until finally succumbing to it a few days after her 16th birthday.

Since she spent most of her time alone in her room or the hospital, she would write poems. But surprisingly, she would hide all these poems she would write in the most improbable of places. She would scribble a few lines and hide it within her pillow cover, the sofa cushions, behind books, wherever she could reach. The reason being that she didn't want to hurt her family by letting them know of her pain, through her words.

Gitanjali wrote innocent poems about the stray dog in her building, her new birthday dress, the bird she'd share her breakfast with - they are the kind of poems which would leave you with an after taste of bittersweet melancholy.

But more than that, she wrote extensively about life as well as death.  The kind of poems she had written between the ages of 12-16 are heart wrenching, yet uplifting at the same time. This particular one absolutely stunned me.

Tear Drops

Two tiny
Tear drops
Weighing heavily
In my eyes
Afraid to shed their burden
For who knows
It might
Pierce the hearts
Of those who care
And burden them ever-more
Their wounded hearts
With shattered hopes
Who attempt in vain
To keep an iron hold

I met their eyes
With a surging tide
And marvel at their
Strength and courage
To keep vigil day and night
To watch over me
I bypass them
They are blissfully unaware.

The clarity this sweet young girl conveyed through her poems, will really leave you with nothing but silence.

Even though the publication of this book took its way through various obstacles, publishing this book was necessary. As it is only through work like this that we realize that 'Nothing is without meaning. Not even death.'

2 Comments (+add yours?)

Shraddha said...

I want to read this when I get back in December.

Such innocent poetry. I have my little notebook in my bag all the time...but the innocence is long gone! Sigh.

Zeba said...

Such simplistically beautiful lines..