By Indira Krishnamurti pradhan
“Faraway glows a lantern on the mountain
Like a sharp eye
Flickering, slowly turning into a fiery glow”
दूर एक लालटेन जलती है पहाड़ पर
एक तेज़ आंख की तरह
टिमटिमाती धीरे-धीरे आग बनती हुई
An excerpt from his poem ‘Lantern on The Mountain” ( translated by my friend Arijit N )
‘Lantern on the Mountain’
A nationally acclaimed, Sahithya Academy award winning and progressive poet, writer and journalist has left this world. Mangalesh Dabral was a Facebook friend of mine and even though I didn’t know him personally, he would visit my wall frequently and appreciate some of the poems and posts and even shared those that he loved. Fame notwithstanding, I learned over the years what a humble, warm and sincere person he was. I feel deeply sad that I didn’t have the opportunity to meet him in real life. That “lantern on the mountain” will continue to glow brightly and will not get extinguished. You and your poems will forever live in our memories.
If there is a lesson to be learned from this dreadful pandemic, it is that no matter how distant we think we are from others, all of our lives have become interwoven and connected. As individuals, we are no longer defined purely by our narrow self-interest and in many of us we are seeing the end of our moral superiority. Our egos cling to the illusion of certainty and not until in the presence of death do we know deep down how impermanent and powerless humans are ultimately when the hand of fate rules and snatches away without any warning a precious life that was held in great affection, respect and esteem.
As the Irish poet John O’Donohue (whom Dabral ji also admired) said “Death is a silent friend who walks beside us all our days..” It has shown us our own vulnerabilities.
We can now feel the loss of one human being as an incalculable loss to all of us. What would become of our lives if the connection to the soul is not recognized? Manglesh Dabral ji lived in both worlds: The inner and outer. My heartfelt and deepest condolences to his family in this time of great sadness and grief. My prayers for the peace of his soul.
Om Shanti. Om Sadgati.
” A poet is as much within as outside. Ghalib asked, “kiska dil huñ ki do ālam se lagāya hai mujhe (whose heart am I that beats in both the worlds)?”
A poet has to dwell between the two worlds, two times, else it won’t work. Everyone in this world is equally sensible. One who has lived through more struggles perhaps feels more gravely about reality than others. But a poet is able to translate their feelings into experience. And when that experience takes the shape of a thought, then a poem is born.”
~ Mangalesh Dabral