Translated into English by DR. RAJIV KUMAR VERMA.
Shefalika Verma has written two outstanding books in Maithili; one a book of poems titled “BHAVANJALI”, and the other, a book of short stories titled “YAYAVARI”. Her Maithili Books have been translated into many languages including Hindi, English, Oriya, Gujarati, Dogri and others. She is frequently invited to the India Poetry Recital Festivals as her fans and friends are important people. I do not have to give more introduction of her as her achievements speak for themselves.
TRANSLATED BY -DR. RAJIV KUMAR VERMAASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT SATYAWATI COLLEGE [EVE.] UNIVERSITY OF DELHI, DELHI
THE. CORPSE OF BOLDNESS
PROF. [DR.] SHEFALIKA VERMA
The overcast cloudy sky made my inner self wet with your thoughts and memory. Do you know it seems if I do not think, it is all right, if I do not need, it is all right. But now it is too late.
You always think that Upasana is very happy, leading a free life like waves on the currents of freedom. Yes, it was the encouragement given by you people that made me feel empowered. It was indeed the result of that empowerment I was able to open my mouth before Babuji.
Remember, next day we all were full of high spirits when we met in the college. It seemed as if we had conquered the Mount Everest or had crossed the English Channel laughingly.
I remember the off periods in the college when we used to make countless Plans sitting under the trees laden with beautiful enchanting flowers. We used to think that girls must be bold , they must exhibit BOLDNESS . We used to laugh at the fact that marriage is settled by the parents and girls follow their choice as tamed sheep and she goats and
begin to serve their husbands . Do you remember Parijat , we always used to laugh loudly
The Boldness of our laughter rocked and thundered the sky. We used to debate on the topics from the pages of history how Sanyogita chose Prithviraj as her husband in spite of opposition from her father ; how Krishna eloped with Rukmani and how Draupadi married Arjuna .
Really Parijat, all these talks appeared absolutely true those days . In our inner core a kind of revolt surfaced against this society. The main issue behind this tendency to revolt was the fact that the women should not consider themselves helpless, hapless and dependent on others. You already know that it was me who first took this daring step. Yes, I raised the first slogan of freedom in opposition to my parents and to the norms and values of society.
This slogan of freedom was not only imbued with the feelings of revolt, but I had the inner feeling that my husband should be equally educated, cultured and capable. And it was not an unjust craving which could not have been satiated.
Parijat , it is also not true that before revolting against my Babuji , I had to forget the techings and lessons from the great works of Shelley , Keats , Prasad , Mahadevi , Mir, Ghalib and others.
Presently, I am a Professor in a local college. No doubt my craving for education is achieved but craving for a suitable life partner is lost like a dead body in a cemetery. Even if that desire still persists, what can be done now? Already thirty-two spring seasons of my life is converted into barrenness. What should I think now? There remain only some counted days in my life. I am earning well, eating and dressing well. I am no longer the daughter of a poor father.
Perhaps fault lies with my fate. My fate was always accompanied by poverty, not of mine but my father's . Paro, do you remember Divya ? Daughter of a colonel, her parents bought a doctor for her. Paro, do you remember Sipi whose both parents were principals? They bought an engineer for her in fifteen thousand rupees. Not to talk of doctors and engineers, even a mere inter pass or graduade boy fetched a market price of Rs. Ten thousand. I am really angry aith those girls who married those money - takers. I wish if all those girls joined their hands together in a bold manner and qustioned the authority and domination of their Purchased husbands, it could have perhaps changed the
conservative attitudes of their respective husbands in a gradual manner. Nevertheless, Parijat forget it.
My father was not able to buy an educated match for me. At the same time, my literate background did not prove a blessing but a curse for my parents and me. I remember my parents satisfied my craving for education almost remaining hungry. I was educated to such a level where there was no match available for me. That is why when
my father wanted me to marry Satish, a matriculate coal dealer, I flatly and Boldly refused . For this behaviour my father used to rebuke and scold me day and night. I patiently tolerated all this, but was not able to find any way.
Paro , I no more want to journey through my memory - lane , but at the same time
my inner feelings make me guilty . Perhaps I chose the wrong path, Ideviated from the right path . I should not have Boldly refused my negotiation with Satish . Ishould not have reacted against Satish Babu. After all I was the daughter of a poor father. My condition was entirely different from those of Divya and Sipi .
The boldness and happiness of those days really deviated me from the right path. Nevertheless , neither I was at fault nor you or our friends . It was the fault of our tender age which ultimately has plucked the dream flower of so many happiness. Paro, that was not real . But this is reality. During those days we shared happiness together but presently I am alone suffering and this suffering is thousand times more than our shared happiness.
Yes Paro, your Upasana had tried to build a dream castle with seven colours , but now that is in shambles . Till date I never allowed myself to be imbued with any kind of emotion such as kindness, care for others and love. Now I realise that it was caring attitude for others, which catapults a man to the cloudy heights or takes him to the seabed. Paro, there are persons who belong neither to heaven nor to hell. They try to belong to both. In this process, they become devoid of feelings such as care, love and
kindness. Their lives remain full of void and perenially thirsty. Paro, I belong to same category, undoubtedly lam a thirsty soul.
Paro, our college life will never come back. But I must tell you that all girls should not think in the same manner, behave in the same way. Today's age is entirely different from those of earlier age. In today's materialistic society why all girls will think about Sanyogita and Draupadi . In these days the choice or liking of a girl is of no significance.
Really Paro, woman loses_ her meaning and existence without a man. Woman can never be independent. Her only fate is to serve as a wife. If she tries to be--independent, she meets the same fate; like me the dark sea submerges her. Emotions are not permanent, but being a wife is permanent. She is queen of her home. Paro, you cannot imagine my longing for a permanent home. After leading the life of a free and independent bird , I must get a strong shoulder where I can lie my head and seek for eternal bliss . But fate has ruined my life. My all golden dreams are shattered now.
Paro , like me you have also made your life miserable , deplorable and pitiable . I request you to build a happy nest, a permanent home. You are younger to me. You should not deliberately ruin your own life.
For me, my pain is my life. Happiness for me is pain as well as sorrow.