SHRAVAN TRIPATHI (23.1.93 – 24.2.2009)
Dear Shravan. On your 28th birthday, I’m flooded with warm and gratifying memories of yours. Not years ago, when you were alive, but now yes, you do, remind me of King Chitraketu’s son, who expired, soon after he was born, but sermonised his father into the biggest lesson of the world in just a day, and that was. ‘All relationships are, because of your mortal body, and as you leave your mortal remains behind, you also leave behind, your relations—it sounds harsh. Thereafter, everyone is all by himself and has to suffer, as per his karmas.’
They say a God’s day is equivalent to 12 human years. You lived for 16 years. Your short life span taught me many things in that one-an-a-half, God’s days. You’ve been through all the dimensions of life—prime being the frontiers of birth and death. Birthday is of course a celebration—but death a huge frustration, especially, for the ones left behind. How tricky is life. No matter, how much you plan, life has its own plans. ‘Do not plan anything. Things will take their own course.’ Says Osho. The sixteen years that I spent with you were par-excellence. From your babyhood, childhood to your teens it was just fantastic. And how the family together fought the battle of cancer is something we can’t forget.
Your sad and untimely demise takes me yet to another iconic story. Yeh Mahabharat se hey. At the end of 12 years in exile in the forests, time had come for the Pandavas to live in Agyat Vas—incognito. One day, while searching for the mysterious deer, Yudhishtir, was exhausted and thirsty. His brother Nakul, thus ventured out, to fetch water for him where he found a beautiful lake. The lake was devoid of any living creature except a crane (Baka). When he attempted to take water from the lake, the crane spoke, “Listen Nakul! The water of this lake will turn into poison if you take it without satisfactorily answering my questions.” But Nakul defied the crane and drank the water and died on the spot. So did, Yudhisthir’s other brothers, when they went, looking for Nakul. Finally, Yudhistir followed, in desperation to find his brothers. He arrived at the same lake where he was interfaced with the same crane who revealed himself as a Yaksha—a spirit. Yudhistir answered all the questions of Yaksha and then had the water and even got his brothers back. Well those were the powerful men of those times about which I can only visualise and dream. I wish I had the answers to get you back even when you weren’t the Nakul who drank that water.
But more than that there is this story that really inspires me. There was once a cave that lived underground as most caves do. The cave had spent its entire life in darkness. It had never seen light. One day, a voice came up to him and said, ‘Come up … into the light. Come up … and enjoy the sunlight.’ ‘I don’t know what you mean by light. All I have ever known and seen is darkness.’ The cave replied. ‘Come and see it for yourself,’ said the voice again. The cave mustered up enough courage and climbed up slowly from the depths of the earth. Suddenly, it reached the top of the earth and was surrounded by the magnificent light, the likes of which he had never seen before in his life. ‘This is beautiful,’ said the cave. And after enjoying the light for a while the cave said to the sunlight, ‘Now it is your turn to come with me and see the darkness.’ ‘What is darkness?’ Asked the Sunlight. The cave answered, ‘come and see it for yourself.’ The Sunlight decided to visit the cave’s home. And as the Sunlight entered the cave, it said. ‘Now show me where your darkness is.’ But with the Sunlight, there was no darkness to be found.
In your short life span you came as that sunlight, and you did spread so much light, the nimbus of which can be seen and felt even now. What else Shravan? Rest in piece.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)
ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)
AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)
REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
RHYTHM … in poems
(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)
Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020; The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15,2020;
(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)