Am I Asking for Too Much!
Recently I got a copy of "स्मृति शेष", a collection of poems from the poet Dr. Sashibala Singh. The book contains 67 poems in all and I'm going through them rather slowly to do justice to such a beautiful book. Born in 1943, Dr Sahibala introduces herself as a contended housewife, a mother of three sons and two daughters and a happy grandmother of eight children. She has lost her husband last year after a glorious married life of 49 years and today she even feels the spiritual presence of her husband in her life. Her poems are simply superb, something she has probed out of the quagmire of her heart. Here poetry flows like water and there is nothing belaboured about it. I'm happy to translate one for my blog.
Over phone I was chiding them—
What kind of children you are!
No letters, nor message, not even a phone call!
Better, rather, as kids you were
In your floral dress of a riot of colours
Fair-skinned with dishevelled hair
Screaming mom for matters so trivial
Pestering me for things I won’t grant
With cute little palms, imploring and open
And I would run away to ignore them
But, seeing you behind my love would surge
Distressing my heart as affections would rush
I would draw you closer for a kiss on your brow.
Now, in the name of motherhood
I’m begging you something—
Give me a few moments of yours—just a few
Be it over phone, I won’t mind
But talk to me, my children, let me hear you.
Oh, darling of my heart
Am I asking for too much!
A mother’s heart is content with that
Only that much is enough
And nothing more I’d ask.
I’m happy to see
The sapling I planted in my youth
Is poised to kiss the sky
And touch the clouds of ambitions
But I remain here, where I was
Sans pride and down to earth
Repeating the history as I stroke the grass
And the epoch begins and ends like that.
A. N. Nanda