Monday, August 22, 2016

BLOG OF THE WEEK ~ A CHAT ON POETRY AND FAITH WITH SUMANA ROY

This week, my friends, we are bringing  you a very special chat. Our wonderful staff member and friend, Sumana Roy, who writes at SUMANAR / LEKHA, sadly lost her cherished only daughter in January of 2015. She has written very movingly of her grief and her faith ever since, in poems that leave me breathless with admiration, at her courage and the depth of her faith. I asked Sumana if she might feel ready to talk about writing one's way through such a grievous loss. Though it pained her to write about it, she graciously agreed. For this chat, I think a strong cup of tea is in order, for comfort, and I suggest some Kleenex close by. Let's begin.






Sherry: Sumana, I am moved by your willingness to have this chat, in which we will honor your daughter, mourn her untimely loss, and talk about the faith and courage it takes to walk through such a devastating bereavement and remain standing.

Let’s first pay homage to your beautiful Shruti, in all of her radiance. Would you tell us about her, and, if you can bear it, how you lost her suddenly to illness?


Shruti


Sumana: Dear Sherry, I would love to share my thoughts about my daughter, though to talk about her pains me, but I am thinking of her 24x7 hours. I don’t think I’ll ever get over those gray hospital days. I feel forever grateful to my Poetry Jam (at that time I used to write poetry prompts there) friends, who prayed for her when I wrote to Mary from Delhi that I have lost the strength to pray.

Now I feel it's as it were a life within two brackets. The bracket begins with my mother’s jubilant words: meye hoyechhe (so you have a daughter now), after she was born; the bracket closes with my husband’s broken voice: shob shesh (everything’s ended). And in between there are twenty-six years of blessedness, of being the mother of my only child.






Shruti, (we fondly called her Toya), was very quiet to the extent of being reticent. Never gave me any anxiety of any sorts. Her passion was in reading books, listening to songs, singing mainly Tagore songs, (which she was taught from a very early age by a tutor, an expert in Tagore songs),watching good movies and keeping a diary. Lately she was being interested in photography. In her Facebook Timeline she used Tagore’s words as her banner words:

Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky. 


"Sunset sky" really broke my heart,  Sherry, when I saw it after her passing.

She had few but good friends. She did her Masters in English and wanted to be a teacher. She was on the lookout for a job. When she was doing her teacher’s training course she happened to take classes for a month in the school where I taught.

A very normal, peaceful, quiet life we had before November 2014 when she was diagnosed with acute liver failure. It was a bolt from the blue. At first we took her to Kolkata and then to New Delhi. A liver transplant was necessary but she didn’t give us the time and withered like a faded flower, changing our life forever.

Sherry: Oh, Sumana, our hearts break for you. Out of a clear blue sky, such devastation.  Your recent poem “Loss of a Gift of God” is so moving. I would love to include it here, if I may.


LOSS OF A GIFT OF GOD

I could hear your steps becoming fainter,
your youthful demure, a shadow.
Alas! We always breathed your breezy words.
Our sweet balms, our joys of living were they.
One day they ceased to flow.
We are now breathless,
and doomed forever in the land of
stormy lull and dark hours.
My only born you were.
Little velvet touch rose without a thorn.
A song you were to be sung forever.
When your prattles blossomed into words
you brought heaven down
in our heart.
Like the autumn bees
we thought "....warm days will never cease"*.
Like the silver lining
the fragrant memories fill our heart.
Your diary-words still unread
throb in the pages waiting.
Our anxieties over you have ended.
But not that wait
to be with you my precious;
after these earthly days are spent.

*The quote is taken from Keats' ode "To Autumn".


Sherry: Your poem moves me to tears, Sumana. So hard to have lost the light of your life. After such a profound loss, one can only look forward to Heaven, my friend. We can learn much from you about bearing the unbearable. I remember how impressed I was with your poem “Trust”. It is a statement of faith, if ever I have read one.


I trust my sun who will always rise
I trust my stars who won’t forget to light
I trust my Ganga* who will ever purify
And my Himalayas who will pull me to His height
My soul has taken bath in fire yet not burnt
My soul has withstood fear-storm undaunted
Waves of doubt could never blow out Thy name
The trust in Thou glows in my soul like a flame 
Be my storm, fire, deluge whatever Thou Will
With faith, trust, love let my heart be filled.

*Ganga is the Ganges



The Ganges
telegraph.co.uk


Sherry: So heartfelt, Sumana. “My soul has taken bath in fire yet not burnt.” It continues to astound me, how people manage to continue putting one foot in front of the other, and keep on walking. It is what inspires me most about humankind.

In your poems, it is clear your faith is your bedrock. Would you talk to us about this journey?

Sumana: The aftermath of a storm is a sight of devastation which is exactly what I was. Absolutely wrecked. But I like to believe that even in that state God held my hands, though the touch was coarse; still it was His Touch. He did not let my faith fall apart. I could feel His grace in that. 

You know, Sherry, when a patient is admitted into a hospital, the doctors won’t let him free until he is cured. Here I was absolutely intoxicated and drunk with worldly things, deeply attached, yet trying to believe that God is everything. He was to cure me of this worldly disease, isn’t it? Because I had taken His name and somehow cultivated a little faith. A mother sometimes spanks her obstinate child for its own good maybe.

However I am much patient now. One has to develop forbearance, composure and dependence on God by practice if it’s not there in someone. Constant prayer works. At least I see it that way. 

When life was good, everything was according to my choice. I am not ashamed to confess now that God was only a favorite word to me. I used to pray as a habit. The mind always looks for material comfort and it’s impossible to bring this pleasure-seeking mind under control. The world was a reality to me then, where spiritual thoughts were a part of life but not all in all. 

I used to read books on Vedanta literature even then, and also books on Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and loved the words like, “God alone is real (Eternal) and everything else is unreal (Ephemeral),” said by the great 19th century saint, Sri Ramakrishna. But is it possible for a mind so deeply engrossed in this world to realize the saying? “Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.”

When my father died in 2013, even then I must say I didn’t get to the meaning of those words. Realization dawned when my daughter passed away.

Before my marriage I had taken initiation from the 10th President of the Ramakrishna Order for a spiritual life. Now I am more serious about it and it is helping me on my journey. 


en.wikipedia.org


I am glad God has given me opportunity to find loving souls who have renounced this world and help me a lot to go beyond all attachments. Very recently I have been asked by them to translate a book on Ramakrishna (from English into Bengali), and the work is like making a pilgrimage. I really so treasure their holy company.

I had taken an early retirement from school last September (official parlance – voluntary retirement), simply to cut off from the regular flow of life and engage myself to be in my inner space and look after my husband, who was not keeping well after all these mishaps. By God’s grace he is doing well now.



Me and Hubby


Sherry: We are so glad to hear that your husband is well, Sumana. I love that you are working on the book as a holy pilgrimage.

I know from other chats with you that the poetry of Tagore is a very important aspect of your spiritual journey. Tell us about this connection, won’t you? And perhaps you will share a poem of his with us?

Sumana: Mainly Tagore’s songs are my soul’s refuge. The lyrics and music are beyond this world. They delight in happiness and console in sorrow, literally. If one is willing to enter his world, he will show how to pull the sun out of the night. That man accepted grief as a loving gift of God. 

There are thousands of his songs; every single one (classified to different categories, like worship, love, seasons etc.) simply shines with spiritual glow. I didn’t get  a good translation of the song below. I translated it myself with my lack of knowledge in English that did not do justice to the wealth of meanings inherent in the Bengali words.

Tagore’s poem:

Grief there is, and Death; Partings char.
Yet Peace, Bliss and the Infinite stir.
Flows life ceaselessly, beam the sun, moon and stars
In striking tints and hues Spring shows up in bowers.
Waves ebb waves arise.
Wilt flowers and bloom buds.
Decays not, ends not, never ever depletes
Unto that wholeness the mind begs a retreat





I also identify myself in another song of his. I am just quoting the first stanza, translated by Anandamayee Majumder:

On the raging night of troubled dark
When all my guards fell apart
I did not know, I did not see
In the carnage, you had come to me.

I am including here the video of the first song, sung by one of my favorite singers.




Sherry: This is so beautiful, Sumana. Thank you for this. I understand you have recently been working on further translations of Tagore's poems, and have a blog where you are doing this work, Sonar Tori. Will you tell us about it?




Sumana: Actually, the idea struck when I had to translate achhe dukkho (Grief there is) in this chat. At first I wasn't confident enough, as I couldn't translate the sounds, rhythm, meanings and rhyme of the Bengali words into English properly. I am giving you an example. The common word for Night in Bengali is Ratri and there are also many synonyms for Night. In one of his songs, Tagore uses Nisha for Night. Now Nisha is very close to Nesha in sound, which means alcoholic intoxication in Bengali, and he uses it for a Spring Night  to mean how intoxicating a Spring Night would be to a poet drunk in Beauty. It is "Boshonto Nisha" in Bengali and "Spring Night" in English without the intoxicating effect that Beauty has on Her devoted followers. This is the difference, and I feel handicapped.

Moreover, the poet has used such beautiful melodious music for each song! The tunes are simply refuges for hurt minds like mine. Tagore was also a great singer of his time. 

Reading your comments, and Susan's or Mary's, I felt I was able to convey the inherent meaning of the words. Mary even added this new blog, Sonar Tori, to the Poets United Blogroll. So if anyone is interested in Tagore, they might check this blog. I have also included the Youtube links to the songs, sung by renowned artists, in the blog. 

I might not even have started the translating blog had I not already done the translating of his poem in this chat, Sherry. So grateful to you, dear friend.

Sherry: Well, I am happy to have the teeniest part to play in the birth of these gorgeous translations, Sumana. We will follow your work with the poems of Tagore with great interest. I do believe you have captured his voice, and the emotion in his poems and songs, so well. 

Spirituality grows, as we walk through our lives and our losses, and it comes forth in our poetry.  Your poem “Monsoon” expresses this so well.


Monsoon

I
My dark blossom
last night
I saw you blooming.
Each of your petals
made the moon and the stars dim
till they all blotted out.
You were happy, weren't you?
I heard your timpani laughter.
I know
now all the embers under my feet
will turn into soft grass once more.
I will cease to be a fire-walker.

II
The dark one
I have been waiting for you
for your fragrant moist touch
on this feverish skin
You are never a mere flower
but my kohl eyed beauty
Krishnakoli*
who ends all desert days.
I will cup
every drop of mercy
from you
to drink to my fill.

*Krishnakoli (black-bloom) is a famous song of Tagore. Protagonist is a dark skinned damsel.







Sherry: You have walked hot coals for sure, my friend. I like the hope in the idea that soft grass will return under your feet once more. Your poetry  affects me in the same way Tagore’s does. It is so beautiful, so deep.

Sumana:  Oh SherryTagore is an ethereal song meant for the infinite, and I’m just a discordant note looking at the song in breathtaking disbelief.

It was the beginning of monsoon. As I looked up from my windows I noticed a very dark cloudlet brewing to douse the unbearably hot and humid summer, and the thought of Krishnakoli came to my mind; the words flowed. These days I tend to associate everything with the passage of time. 

Sherry: Me, too. And it passes so quickly. I think of your poem "The Moon", which is so very lovely.



Silver teardrops
Of the waning, weeping moon
I collect in silence
to look at them
on new moon nights.
What sparkles when you are not there?
Starry briolette
of remembrance
in a heart of darkness
where light is a lost dream.
The sun, a myth.

Sherry: The depth of heartbreak. And yet you continue to send forth into the world your beautiful poems of love and light. It honors your daughter, Sumana. She would be so proud of you. I remember this poem from some time back that reveals your faith, looking up towards the light from the tears and darkness.



When my sadness
Trickles down my cheek
I look up
I hear
My trees singing in bird voice
Wiping my sorrow
Death cannot strangle me
With His stony, icy touch
For the sun’s caress
Warms me
Inside out
Pitch black sky of misery
Fails to engulf me
As joys of memory
Twinkle and glow
My Lord
Let Thy light
Shine in my heart
Till my last breath


Sherry: Sumana, your strong faith humbles and inspires. Is there anything you would like to add, as we bring this heart-stirring chat to a close?
  
Sumana: I began to write with a broken heart to find myself once again. I am including here the first poem I wrote when I was back from all those stormy days. It was a 5-7-5 syllable poem resembling a Haiku, written for a prompt @ Poetry Jam:


Silence

  All words are shattered
Broken pieces piercing deep
  My heart oozing void


However, I choose to live by Gautama Buddha’s words, “Be your own light.” He uttered these words on his death bed to his tearful disciples who were broken at the thought of his passing.



"Be Your Own Light"


Sherry: "Be your own light," a message for us all and perhaps the hardest thing we come into this life to learn. Sigh. These words will stay with me for a very long time. It is what we need to do, in times of darkness.

It is a privilege to have had this chat with you, Sumana. You teach humility, faith, surrender and enduring love through your words and your very way of being. Is there anything you would like to say to Poets United? 


Sumana: What to speak of you, Mary, Susan, Rosemary and all the wonderful souls who write here at Poets United! Everything is so positive about you all. Always so full of power, love, gratitude; always uplifting. I consider it God’s grace to be among you.

Sherry: We are blessed to have you among us. Thank you for all you do for Poets United. And thank you, Sumana, for allowing us the privilege of paying tribute to your daughter’s beautiful spirit, and for the deep and loving thoughts and poems on faith that you have shared with us today. We wrap our poetic arms around you as we travel through the weeks and years together, sharing our journey of words. I hope there is some comfort here among us, for you.

A wonderful chat with a valiant poet, my friends, making a difficult journey with such grace. We are fortunate, in this community, to have such amazing pilgrims among us. This will be a hard act to follow, but do come back and see who we talk to next. Who knows? It might be you! (Hint: there will be poems of Love, to heal our aching hearts!)



63 comments:

  1. I held my tears until "Moon" and "Light More Light," poems I am printing out for my spirit. I must learn more about the Ramakrishna Order for a spiritual life. I Thank you, Sumana, and wish I could say more than broken sentences now. You remind me of Eleanor Roosevelt saying "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness." That came from a proverb or poem or holy work, I am sure. What courage to put words out when we know so little and need so much! Doing so serves much more than self in the world. (Thank you, too, Sherry, for your courage.)

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    1. You are welcome, Susan. I always feel that stories such as Sumana's, and the inspiration, faith, comfort and hope they give to others, help to spread her light beyond our small circle. We never know who might take away something from sharing her courageous journey, that makes a difference. I am so grateful, Sumana, that YOU had the courage to accept this invitation, for I know talking about it pains you. Thank you, my friend. We are honoured to read your words.

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    2. Oh Susan your words honor me. Ramakrishna used to say a little candle light dispels a thousand year old darkness of a 1000 yr old room. I am myself in search of the light of faith that might soothe my sorrowful soul. In the beginning there was Word and words do carry light. I have taken refuge in the words of Ramakrishna, Tagore, Jesus, Buddha and All enlightened souls. Thank you so much for such heartfelt words for me Susan.

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    3. Dear Sherry, I always feel the warmth of your heart around everyone you love. Such a precious soul you are. Aww...our mails regarding the chat were so full of your comforting words that it really gave me strength to pour my heart to you. Some good Karma of my past brings me to you and all the wonderful souls of the community. Smiles.

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    4. I am so moved by your words, and your beautiful heart, Sumana. Thank you.

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  2. Oh, this is so heartbreaking, Sumana, and so unfair!

    My soul has taken bath in fire yet not burnt...

    All words are shattered
    Broken pieces piercing deep
    My heart oozing void...

    These lines tug my heart (for a certain reason.). A big engulfing void!

    It takes courage to share your pain that keeps you biting all the time.

    Writing and reading give solace. Stay well, Sumana. Take Care!

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    1. You are right Tarang, reading and writing do give solace. I find such Power hidden in Words (I pray to God To keep my eyesight right as long as I live & screens are such foes to eyes!). May all sore hearts find solace in words. Thank you for the gift of such beautiful words Tarang.

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  3. Oh Sumana your words so deep from within continue to help me grieve after the devastating loss of my dad in 1998...it still pierces deep, and I wrote too to help me.

    I was glad to read that your husband is doing well. Your poem Silence really describes the pain of grief for me....

    'All words are shattered
    Broken pieces piercing deep
    My heart oozing void'


    Thank you both for sharing these amazing poems...I wish you peace and light Sumana!

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    1. I realize how deep grief might become Donna. So sorry for your loss. Loss of a parent is to lose that protecting shade overhead. It's really so devastating. Writing does help in the journey. I also feel this way. My heartfelt thanks to you Donna for the words you shared.

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  4. A lady dealing so gracefully with all that has been delt her. Your poetry touches ones soul and is so inspirational. I'll be visiting your blog Sonar Tori in a moment or two. Sumana, I wish you and yours peace and light.

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    1. Thanks Julian. What can we do but to bear whatever happens to us. Not everything is in our hands. Thy Will Be Done. And thank you for the beautiful comment in "Sonar Tori". Sonar Tori means Golden Boat. It is the title of one of Tagore's long poems.

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  5. How very gracious of you to share your thoughts, loss and faith with us Sumana.. I can't imagine how one recovers from such a loss and yet you yourself provide a light and guidance through sharing your journey. I hope always that there will be a caring hand above all of us - Whatever we believe and that our loved ones will always remain alive in our hearts and words. Much peace and light to you and thank you sherry also

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    1. Thanks Jae. "a caring hand", so beautifully you've said this. I sincerely believe in this too. From the deepest core of my heart I pray may all the grieving souls be taken cared of by the caring hand.
      And Sherry is such an angel. I'm in awe for all she does for PU.

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  6. No one knows how such terrible things can happen to someone so young and innocent! Every time I think of you and Shruti, I hug you in my heart, Sumana. Adversity introduces us to ourselves..( ah, you talk about ínner space, and I completely understand!). May your beautiful memories sustain and bring comfort to you...
    The poems are so so touching, so meaningful. They had me in tears....Thank you for the wonderful words. Stay well both of you !!
    Thank You, Sherry for writing what so many of us feel, so beautifully.

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    1. It's beyond imagination what suffering she had to undergo and how patiently she bore the torturing modern medical treatments without uttering a sound of pain. Now it's my turn to bear this heart piercing pain of grief. I think I am not as patient as she was. So I pour out my ache in words and rush to Ramakrishna and Rabindranath to help me bear it. And also to the poetic communities I am eternally grateful. Thank you so much Panchali di for the comforting words.

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  7. Ah, Sumana and Sherry, this is one of the most moving interviews I have read in this space. Sumana, I remember well the time when your daughter became ill & then passed from this world and how you wrote that you had lost strength to pray. From that bottom, you have found the strength to rise high and pray with the kind of strength you did not have before. I love the poems that you shared here & share in your blog. They are so often prayers spoken from deep within your heart. And your new blog, I find it amazing really. You have such a gift to take such depthful words of Tagore & translate them into English for others to understand. You live a prayerful life as few so. You are a woman who inspires, Sumana. With your poetry & with your life. Thanks to both of you!

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    1. In those thorny days when I bled every moment your words gave me much peace and comfort Mary. I knew you along with other friends were praying for her. Her new path was full of heartfelt prayers from loving souls. How this comforts me even now. A 'thank you' sounds so small for such love.
      I feel translating Tagore helps me to be in that much needed inner space; this particular work has become a kind of meditation now. The songs that I have been listening to from my childhoods open up with new meanings every now and then. A very rewarding experience this is. Thank you dear Mary :)

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    2. ooops, sorry for that 's' in 'childhood...seems it has a mind of its own :)

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  8. Yes, this is a very special one, isn't it, Mary? I, too, am following the Tagore translations daily at the new blog. Sumana, you inspire! And sharing the beautiful words of Tagore to reach us on these far shores is truly a gift you are making to so many. Thank you for that.

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    1. Oh Sherry I am now on a hunt out for synonyms and feel Google guns are not enough. Tagore was so fond of using a word in all possible synonyms for it. How I wish I knew the English language more thoroughly. Thank you for your read and constantly sharing insightful comments for his poems in Sonar Tori.

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    2. Sumana, google Thesaurus, and look there for synonyms........you can type in your word and very many possibilities are suggested. That might help. Smiles.

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  9. A moving interview and the poetry: transcendent. I cannot imagine finding the strength to write pieces of such insight and inspiration, following such a terrible tragedy. You are an amazing woman ... your words are a beautiful homage to your daughter and honor her memory, Sumana.

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    1. Thank you Wendy, your words are always so precious to me. You are right it's impossible to stand after such blows but it's only His Grace that I am able. May there be peace to all.

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  10. Sumana and Sherry, I agree with the other poets that this interview is very moving. Sumana, I too rememeber when your daughter fell ill and passed away. Your strength and words are most inspiring. You are a very special woman in the poetry blogosphere.

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    1. Yes Gabriella, I remember how you shared with me about your loss of your brother then. My grief stricken world found solace and strength in your comforting words. Thanks dear friend.

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  11. moving ...inspiring...and full of positive vibes...!

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    1. Oh Sreeja bless me that I may always stay positive. Thank you dear friend.

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  12. Grace, faith and courage...they shine in your words and your poems. You shine a light for us all Sumana. Thank you. Keep well my friend and keep writing.

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    1. Thank you Rajani for your kind words. Writing is a solace and recently translating Tagore songs is my another refuge.

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  13. what can i say
    it has all been said
    other than
    i am moved
    i feel the weight
    of your grief
    i am humbled by
    your grace
    your acceptance
    of your loss

    may the perpetual light
    shine upon your daughter
    her soul in repose at peace
    in the glorious realm of the Lord

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    1. Ah this beautiful prayer soothes my soul Rall. Thank you, dear friend.

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  14. My heartfelt thanks to you Sherry. I only know how patiently you did this job over such a long period. I really have no words to express my feelings. Thank you, thank you dear friend.

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    1. It was truly a privilege for me, Sumana. An honour.

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  15. Dear Sumana - "Be your own light" exquisite words which you have manifesfed here in the shining essence of your being glimmering in all you write .... Through a loss that could have understandably darkened your soul - you have instead found light - sacred in itself - penned in each poem and thought, You glow with the spirit of motherhood and somehow comfort and educate all in your presence. An honor to feel the warmth, the light of transcendence through love. Thank you for the gift of sharing your loss and your continuing journey. Truly you are your own light --- shining. All love and reflected light back to further enrich the power of your illumination blazing here. With heart, mind and soul I offer you the rays of my fledgling light in respect, honor and love ... Thank you Sherry for bringing us this mystic authentic interview.

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  16. Oh thank you so much dear Pearl for such loving words. They are truly like a comfortable shelter for a life like mine. I always pray to and thank God for showing me words of illumined souls. He does hear sincere prayers from heart I think and helps carry on. Otherwise how could I have found such wonderful poetic communities to bare my soul. May He always guide all. Thank you dear friend for your words. They are gold.

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  17. A very moving interview, indeed; and such beautiful faith and resolution expressed in your poems, Sumana. To stay open to love and poetry in the face of such shock and grief, and to search again for God – this is a type of heroism, I believe; also a profound way of honouring your lovely daughter and expressing the truth of your heart. I too will look at your Tagore blog with great interest, having first been introduced to his verse (in translation) as a child.

    Sherry, thank you so much for the inspiration of this interview!

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    1. Oh Rosemary, I am miserable enough and I can't imagine what I would do if I did not have that little faith that I have in God. To the believers He Is and to the non believers he is Not. Bless me Rosemary that I retain this much faith. I think this is all I have now and an inherent love for words. And so Tagore's world beckoned me to do the work I'm doing now. It would be so lovely if you visit this new blog (Sonar Tori) of mine and share some of your insightful thoughts. Thank you so much dear friend.

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    2. Heroism - Rosemary, that is the word that has been eluding me. Sumana is making a heroic journey indeed.

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  18. Sumana Ma'am, you are such an inspiring person, full of love and light. Each and every word that you said in this interview taught me something. I can closely relate to your situation with my Dida's situation when she lost my mother suddenly due to wrong treatment. My mother is the only daughter of my Dida and she was heartbroken after the sudden catastrophe.
    I will share with my granny about you and your courage. "Be your own light"~ such beautiful and powerful words. I would definitely try to follow it in my life.
    And I have no words to praise your soulful poems. They are so beautiful, profound and moving.
    Tagore is an inseparable part of my life also and therefore, I will be following Sonar Tori regularly.
    Thank you so much Sherry for this amazing interview.

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    1. It's extremely devastating to lose a loved one for wrong treatment Purba. I feel so sad to think of such loss to a mother and to a daughter as well. My regards to your Dida. You are strong and very mature for your age Purba and write so beautifully. I feel so happy that you will be following Sonar Tori regularly. Thank you dear.

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  19. Very moving interview. I think it's the worst thing to happen in life to outlive our children. Thank you for sharing and may you be strong like you already are.

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    1. Yes Natasa bearing the unbearable. I say, "Thy will be done". Thank you so much for your heartfelt words.
      Hope you are writing. We miss you here.

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    2. Yes, we miss you, Natasa, but I catch glimpses on facebook. I, too, hope you are writing.

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  20. "The aftermath of a storm is a sight of devastation which is exactly what I was. Absolutely wrecked. But I like to believe that even in that state God held my hands, though the touch was coarse; still it was His Touch. He did not let my faith fall apart. I could feel His grace in that. "

    These of your words, replied in this interview, although not intended, are themselves a poem, an ode to your inner light Sumana. I have been privy to your poems, and now to your pain and as well your pilgrimage. I feel blessed at our encounter

    much love...

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    1. Thank you so much Gillena for your kind thoughts. They are so precious to me dear friend. I feel blessed too, to have come across all beautiful souls like you here at the blogosphere. Much love to you too....

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  21. Sumana, I don't have the right words to express my gratitude for your honesty here and for sharing the pain that must be the harshest of all pains. What a stupendous woman you are. I am honored to know you, if only through these waves. Your poetry is so rich with the transcendence of suffering. It is a process that you have undertaken with such admirable courage. Your faith is so strong, I bow to it.
    Your next prompt here is "blessings". I won't write about you, but please know that a blessing is what you are to this blog and to all who read you. Thank you Sumana. Blessings to you.
    And to you too Sherry for having the wisdom to delve into the life of someone so special.

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  22. Thank you Myrna for your beautiful words. Blogging helps me to live in that inner space I so crave for. Not sure if anything can heal my wound as long as I live but precious words from beautiful hearts like you do help so much. Feeling really blessed Myrna. Thank you so much.

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  23. "God held my hands, though the touch was coarse." That will stay with me. Thank you for sharing your heart, Sumana.

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    1. Yeah that's how I felt you know and still feel. Thank you so much MZ :)

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  24. Dear Sumana how heart rending this interview is. Losing a beloved child is unthinkable to a parent and clearly your faith and understanding has helped you through this most difficult time. As you are probably aware I lost my wife after over fifty years of marriage and I find that being able to talk and write about in my poetry has helped so much as she remains close to me this way.

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  25. Yes Robin I do feel the void that's within you..the one who is left behind. But your words always inspire me and makes me happy for that lingering sweetness in your works. Always very touching and moving. Thank you dear friend for your heartfelt words.

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  26. Oh Sumana, this was really heart wrenching interview, I can't imagine what you must be going through let alone how you must be dealing with the immense pain and loss. My heart cries out and longs to reach out to you. Know that you ll always remain in my prayers. Love and hugs.

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    1. Thank you sweet Sanaa for your heartfelt words...

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  27. The sense of your loss and heartache is so immense, Sumana. I cannot imagine the pain that you must have suffered when dealing with the young life of your daughter cut short. It is some consolation to believe in God and the unfathomable reason of the taking of your Shruti. May you and your family be well to remember her always with love and keep in your heart the special joyous times you spent with her.

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    1. Thank you Nick for such beautiful words. They do heal.

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  28. A mother's heart is always there for her child.A love that never ends. Your resolve to be brave is most admirable facing it head-on. It is shown in the poems most distinctly.

    Hank

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    1. Ah, your words are precious Hank. My heartfelt thanks.

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  29. A mother's heart is always there for her child.A love that never ends. Your resolve to be brave is most admirable facing it head-on. It is shown in the poems most distinctly.

    Hank

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  30. losing a loved one, and especially a lovely child, is not easy to cope with.
    stay strong, Sumana, which i think you already are. your faith in God, your inner courage and Tagore's words will ease your journey in life. and Shruti will always be in your heart, and that too can be a source of strength.
    oh my, i am so moved by this interview.

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  31. Thank you so much Lee San. I have no option but to be steady which is extremely hard for an ordinary woman like me. We can only try our best.

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  32. Sumana I had not realised your tremendous loss as am relative newcomer to 'poets United but was aware of your deep faith and always grateful that you often made time to comment on my blog. I understand fully when you say "God was a favourite word to me" - a place where the untested rest in their faith. Your test was more than I could bear and I tip my hat to your courage and tenacity. Thank you for sharing that glimpse of your daughter with us.

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  33. life is very hard to live these days but somehow I drag on. I scribble whatever comes to mind and meet wonderful souls all over the world. Thank you Laura for the beautiful words, they do give me strength. Thanks friend.

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