“Happy are these who dream dreams
And are ready to pay the price to make them come true “
If you are still living, never say never
What is certain isn’t certain
Things will not stay as they are
Never becomes before the Day is out
Chaman Lal Prabhakar
A telegram just dropped into my room, when I am about to leave. I open it, thinking it, has come from Punjab but it is from Hardwar.
As if something very sharp edged weapon pierces into my heart. Blood gushes out into the form of tears from my eyes.
SARA expired off heart attack on 8th night 11.30.
Sara – the Gentle soul
Who lived and died for LOVE
Who martyred herself at the after of LOVE,
The Zigzags of life
From June 7th to July 14th without break I sat into the Library and tried to set the routine for coming two years.
On 15th July Pushpa, Buta and children came . They stayed only for one day. On 17th or 18th – Amarjit came, also Kaundiniya from Hardwar. Spent two three days together. On 19th night Amarjit told about two tragic events in Kaundiniya’s family and asked whether he and his wife Sara can come and stay with me for some days. I was moved and of course agreed.
But then in the morning of 20th July, Amarjit was to leave. Sai woke up in the morning & read news from Panjab in Indian Express. He woke me up around 6.45, I Just asked why so early? But then he gave the newspaper in my hand and I was also dumb founded – the news was of murder of Pirthipal Singh Randhawa , he was also dumbfounded . Could not even speak anything for some time.
Amarjit left in very sad mood. I was also sad, came to J.N.U. made a hue and cry. Talked to so many students- I was restless. In the night we made posters I put up at major places in the morning. Same morning Harsh of PS.O. from Delhi came . He chalked out some program and left for Punjab same night.
Next few days, till this date, at the time of writing these lines were almost totally occupied by this incident. Organizing protest meetings, issuing statements, releasing pamphlets writing reports in Hindi, Punjabi & English – rushing to journalists – all works, I have to do with some help from RSC people.
Pirthipal’s murder has aroused me very much and I did as much activity as any –leading PSU person have done. I am not part of politics in that sense, but last ten year’s association with movement in Panjab and also association with individuals in the movement has a deep effect upon me. With Pirthipal also I have a personal association but not friendship I liked him. But more than my liking, he has become a -symbol of democratic movement– most popular leader of last ten years. At that level, I was hurt. And my grief also turned into anger and I wrote, spoke with anger and passion. I was able to mobilize many eminent persons speak for him, and I am satisfied with the role I could play in it.
But then in those very days on 23rd July night came Sara and Kaundiniya. Sara’s first smiling look was so attractive that I was almost charmed.
Something about them.
Kaundiniya is in political activity since 1959 and has passed through many phases and presently is trade union leader at Hardwar. About 38 – 40 years of age, belongs to U.P.
Sara was born into a converted Christian family in Kerala, now of 35. A very good student and entered nursing training. Met Kaundiniya as political detenue hospitalized in her hospital in 1969. Married – Spent very hard time for coming six years. Child born after a year or so boy named Arun. Stayed some time in Bombay, then in Patna, then in Kathmandu – Police always following Kaundiniya spent some time in jails during all these periods. Came to Hardwar in 1975. Sara got a Staff nurse job in BHEL and Kaundiniya started his trade union activity. Sara’s parents did not approve Sara’s marriage, but she did not bother. Here Popli was their family friend – very affectionate and humane person. Tension started between the couple and went on for prolonged time. Even common people came to know. Popli was always helping both of them to resolve. Popli left for England for two years in Dec 1977 and that made their life more difficult. Sara got an appointment in Libya, but could not join. This finally broke her down. His political friends came to know, but could not intervene much – In Sep. – Oct. 1977, first time Sara attempted suicide – poured Kerosene upon her, but Kaundiniya reached before. Then after they tried to live separately, but Arun was dear to both. Tensions mounted upon and on 21st Feb. night she gave morphine to Arun & herself both. Arun died, but she survived miraculously even twelve hours after and even with a very big dose. After coming into consciousness, she confessed and declared that she want to die or remain in Jail for life. Political persons helped her in this time. She was removed from Job. Taken to Panjab, spent some relaxed days- recovered to some extent. Kaundiniya filed writ in Delhi High Court. In that context they came to Delhi. Amarjit gave me some brief about there life.
Till 26th, I was very busy in Pirthipal’s meetings etc. But still I paid attention to her, she participated in all of the meetings. We became friendly in very little time. Kaundiniya was encouraging our friendship but I was irritated with him even at his encouragement.
On 28th we want to see the film ‘ Zorba the Greek’. Before this she completed reading ‘Mother’ and started reading, ‘How the steel was tempered’. These were Vijay’s suggestions, who gave company most of the time. Though my suggestions were ‘Anna Karenina ‘like novels, but I also thought these novels may be more helpful to her.
In the meantime – We grew very fond of each other and very soft feelings grew. Both of us told many things of past life, of past relations, even intimate ones.
From her first look on first day, I judged that she is suffering from lack of love in life. And in the course of time, I knew how passionate she was. When I suggested once ‘Anna Karenina ‘ , she told she did not need to read the novel to know the love of a passionate woman. She knew it from her own life.
We both were passionate, both lacking love in life. It was but natural that we were in love with each other in very little time.
Sara and Kaundiniya stayed here till august 1st. Perhaps this was the best period of my life till now. But our love could not be as simple as simply it grew. With the passionate feelings grew all feelings of suffering also—pain, bitterness and most importantly– loss of Arun at her own hands —– an idealist regard for relations with Kaundiniya. A sense of guilt – wishing for passionate life, after losing Arun. This all complex feelings checked and censured the most strong feeling, the life giving urge of love. Above this – the pitiable behavior of Kaundiniya which was always disturbing her, making her feel more guilty. In a very short time, I tried very much that she not feel guilty of anything in life.
And then she gave the impression of a very strong person, looking totally normal, by which I myself was deceived and could not check my personal ego, which was offended sometimes because of her inner conflicts. I feel guilty of my behavior now, though I was not rude or bad, with a normal person this behavior could have been natural and helpful as well. I did not want to overdo with her. I just wanted her to think for herself. I just offered her my hand for life. She was in turmoil. I could not know the extent of turmoil.
She was determined not to live – urge for life was surging in her heart, being given strength by my feelings also. But the morality which she held was crushing her, outwardly she did not show the sign of her inner turmoil and myself could not judge it accurately.
She told me before leaving many times just ‘we will not meet again’. I took it lightly, she warned also not to take it lightly. She asked me not to come to Hardwar even Kaundiniya and Vijay were asking for it. But in her inner being, she longed it very much. And I told her that I will come whenever you invite me, there I failed.
The day of parting– from last night I was a bit angry with her because of my egoism. In the morning she asked whether I will come to Hardwar, I said NO- then she gave me her self addressed envelop as ‘tip’. I refused she was hurt. But then we sat for many hours, I harshly criticized Kaundiniya. Then in the afternoon she agreed to stay for some more days, then again she changed her mind. We left for bus stand around 3.30. I dropped at ‘Patriot’ office, but reached again at Bus stop. Again I remained with them till 11 p.m. When last bus started. At the time of starting of bus, Sara clasped my hand with warmth and continuously waived till we were not out of sight. Kaundiniya insisted me to come along but I told that I will come later.
Sara proved prophetic in her words.
Afterwards I felt so guilty, though there were very little chances of her survival and I did never thought that if could happen in such short time, in fact I was hoping that she may come along Kaundiniya on Saturday on 8th or 9th , otherwise I will go on 13 & 14th, But how I could know?
It was the most passionate and most short lived relation of my life. But from all the women I met in life, perhaps I have the highest regard for Sara- The person whose only value in life was love. And this is mine value too, had she lived perhaps we would have been the best couple.
In all this period – The development of rationality in my mind hurts me some time. It seems sometimes cruel and inhuman that if I loved Sara so much why I have not the feeling of being crushed? But she was too dear to me. Her memory too dear to me. Always I will cherish her memory.
By dying, she has put a duty upon me and me like people to live. …. To live in most desperate emotional situation too, otherwise who would live – Everybody will have the fate of Sara, if we don’t live.
I should acquire her determination, even if in her personality it was for negative purpose for death.
And also the strength to maintain the calmness in worst situations.
And I must leave this so dangerous personal egotism of mine – though it helps much is some situation. It would have been better if Sara had even some negative egotism in her.
She was self – aware of her personality, of her morally strong position, of her honesty, of her genuineness and integrity. For this she suffered a long suffering.
I feel myself most fortunate in meeting her and at the same time most unfortunate at her loss.
Like her – happiness and sorrow both came together in my life.
Only little consolation which I have is this that she did not die as love starved soul. I could make her last few days happy and also she gave me deepest and the best of her heart. We could give each other humane feelings. That is the only little consolation, but how little it is?
Completed 32 years of life yesterday. In this last year freed myself of so many oppressive notions, illussions. A year full of mental torture as well some momentary real pleasure also. Most important event of this year was meeting with Sara, the most short – lived, most pleasurable relation of life lived by now.
Sara in her living and also in her death left some lessons for those who are living and want to live.
‘Vanity or egotism is most inhuman and dangerous enemy of relations of life. Kaundiniya’s vanity or egotism lead Sara to such situation where living became impossible for her. And how I repent my own vanity and egotism with which I hurt the soul like Sara. Vanity or egotism is such distorted vision of life that you can not see life in its most concrete & objective revelation. You can’t understand other’s inner feelings his or her heart or mind. You are engrossed in yours own self and always trying to rotate the other around you. I have not much vanity or egotism, but still sometimes I am victim of it. If I have any regard for Sara, I must overcome this slight aberration in my personality.
If vanity or egotism is bad, self annihilation is worse. Apart from all regards and affection which I have for Sara, her attitude of self annihilation was totally wrong, this also lead to her ultimate fate, the most cruel not for her alone , for all of her friends also. One must esteem his or her life. A sense of self-esteem is necessary to live. To live, if you have to leave sometimes very dear person or relation, it is preferable to leave.
IIIrd lesson which I got from the death of Sara is the awareness of the so-called illusory democratic consciousness. Liberal democratic consciousness, which demands for individual right to take decision etc. It is hallow. The person, who has a better perception of life , even for the life of some other person, if he or she intervenes in his or her life for his for her betterment in long run, he or she is perfectly democrat. It is the question of lower or higher consciousness, question of …shallow or deep understanding of life. A person of higher consciousness or deeper understanding can take a better decision even for some other’s life, even on the apparent level it is offending for the person concerned. It is better to take risk than to let the other person die.
Had I decided firmly to keep Sara here, She would have …stayed…… or I had decided to go along with Sara, even against the apparent refusal of her to invite me, it would have …been….. more democratic act on my part than just leave her to think for some days and take her own decision. In such a breaking situation how could she have taken, with so many turmoil’s in her inner being, after so many shocks.
Shedding of liberal democratic illusion has taken too big price from me.
IV. The apparent personality of Sara, which deceived me of being a strong and normal person, is also a lesson to understand, especially in context of women, who after going on continuously being dependant on male society , unconsciously become very complex in nature. Leaving some very exceptional women, who might have achieved truly free personality, most of the women have to be judged not by what they say in words, but how they feel inside, apparently they give entirely opposite expression. This lesson is being learnt by me in all the previous cases and in each case I reacted on apparent expression and could not restraint me, out of my vanity, to understand the other person, in her complexity, in her contradiction, in her inner being. With Sarika, also happened like this, but most tragically with Sara. I know that she loved me passionately wished, desired to live with me, but because of all the rubbish notions of society, could not make it clear enough.
When meet women, don’t go after appearances, try to understand the inner being of her. There is a gap between appearance and inner being of women. A man sometime can live without love, but women never, but neither she can make her feeling expressive enough. As much she loves, as much she feels insecure and fearful.
Women always suffer more but introversion and apparent calmness and strong looking becomes her defence mechanism, but this mechanism makes her weak from inside which sometimes collapses like Sara.
Sara has died but Saras must live.
– “How Innocent you are! “ – Sara to Chaman
On 8th of his month, I participated in ‘Onam’ festival of Kerala. Exactly one month before Sara left. Onam feast was cherishment of her memory.
That very day, got a very rude letter from Kaundiniyya, I did mind it but it did not hurt me, because that very ego by which he wants to hurt me, is point for his survival.
Some days back, wrote to Surjit & Harinder, but till now received no reply. For the first time, I got feeling like, Surjit – Harinder, are not perfect in knowing even very personal relations, for which I regarded them most.
I have been hurt by their comments about Sara and her situation, Surjit’s, apparent sympathy for Kaundiniyya his use of words- ‘Murderer of her own child’, and also Harinder’s expressions, made me feel that they understand Sara very little. For the first time, I felt Surjit’s sympathy for women is his ‘sympathy & glorification of women’s weakness’. Tragic is Harinder’s glorification of women’s weakness.
Some Poems noted in Diary
“Order of Weeping “–Lorca
I have shut my balcony window because I do not want to hear the weeping, yet from behind the grey walls nothing else is heard but the weeping.
There are very few angles that sing, there are very few dogs that bark, a thousand violins fit into the palm of my hand.
But the weeping is the immense dog, the weeping is an immense angel,violin, tears muffle the wind, and nothing else is heard but the weeping. the weeping is an immense
Lorca – Double poem of Lake Eden
My ancient voice was …unaware………. of the dense bitter juices. I divine it licking my feet under the drenched & fragile ferns.
An, ancient voice of my love, ah, voice of my reality, ah, voice of my opened side, when every rose sprang from my tongue and the grass brew not the …horse’s…………. insensible teeth!
You are drinking here my blood drinking my tiresome child’s temper, while in the winds my eyes break against aluminum and voices of drunkards.
Let me pass through the door where Eve eats ants, and Adam fertilizes dazzled fishes. Horned dwarf, let me pass thought to the word of yawnings……………. & stretching and of exhilarating jumps.
I know the most secret use of an old rusty pin, and I know the horror of wide open eyes on the tangible surface of the dish.
But I want not world or dream, divine voice, I want my freedom, my human love in the most obscure cover of a breeze wanted by no one. My human love!
These sea dogs pursue each other, and the wind way lays unsuspecting tree-trunks. Oh, ancient voice, burn with your tongue this voice of tin & talcum!
I want to cry, because it pleases me as children in the last bench do cry, because I am not a man, nor a poet ,nor a leaf, I am a wounded pulse probing what lies on the other side.
I want to weep calling out my name rose child ,and fire tree on this lake’s shore, to pronounce my truth of full – blooded man, stiffing in me …there…….
It is True—Lorca
Oh, how hard it is to love you as I do!
Because of your love, the air, my heart and my hat hurt
Who would buy this ribbon of mine and this sadness?
White cotton, to make handkerchiefs with?
Oh how hard it is to love you, as I do!
If I die, leave the balcony open
The child eats oranges (From my balcony I see him)
The harvest scythes the corn (From my balcony I hear him)
If I die leave the balcony open!
Song of the Withered Orange Tree—Lorca
Woodcutter.Cut my shadow. Deliver me from
Torture of beholding myself fruitless
Why I was born surrounded by mirrors? The
Day turns round me. And the night reproduces me
In each of her stars.
I want to live without seeing myself. And I
Shall dream that ants and hawks are my leaves and libels.
Woodcutter. Cut my shadow. Deliver me
From the torture of beholding myself fruitless.