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SURESH BRIJ SUROOR
Sweet & Sour for Being A Wife of The Poet
In a literary meet, I along with my wife were invited formally; me to decorate it and she to embellish that. Almost all the poets, scholars, artists and writers of the city had also been invited along with their counterparts who were offered a lively and glorious chance to feel proud to increase the grace of the meet.
During the programme, the president, the secretary and one or two rich intelligent persons came to me for garlanding and offered respect while placing a piece of cloth upon my shoulders. The photographer triggered his camera which was fixed at the flash point, just focusing its lens only. The world within those four walls bet claps. The videographer, after keeping the halogen lamp on upon his camera, moved that from one side to another. While announcing me a signature in the field of art and literature, they made a humble request to my spouse to speak out publically on the stage about the happiness’s and of sorrows for being the wife of a poet; any wordy encounter with each other or sweet and sour experiences of life as his life partner. What then! The clouds were gathered up, the sword began to flash out like an electricity and Noorie became annoyed and burst out.
My better-half while feeling shy, showing airs and twisting with some small steps went up to the stage and addressed :
“Ladies and Gentlemen! It is my good luck that I have got a chance to speak out in a public meet, for the very first time, that too in this literary one. None had ever estimated me a capable person for anything and if now have estimated, that too, is due to Bedil Sahib (a man without heart). Moreover, he is the subject to be talked upon. If ever, I had been introduced with another one in this field of art and literature, it was only that I was the only one who had entered into his life named Mohtarma Noorie Bedil (a madam full of splendor but without heart). The receiver of introduction had hardly taken a pain to ask for the hale and hearty after a formal salutation. No comments on the seasons, no talk upon any hobby, no enquiry of the family or no discussion about the progress of the county. Moreover, hardly there comes a smile of an inch or two over those lips and sometimes not even that.
“I know that incident, about twenty years back when we were got married with old customs in the presence of some aged persons. In the beginning he was soft at heart. He was a master in the art of pleasing the displeased. Even in those days, whenever a friend was met on the way, he used to meet him with a zest while holding his hand, shaking his hands and embracing well. Then he used to forget everything while talking, even me moving behind him as that of a key-ring bound to attach with the corner of the worn clothes. Even now, whenever two or three friends are met, they sit together in a round. After some rounds he forgets his home, the children and even day or night. If he remembers anything at that time, it would be only the poetry, a thought or some fancy.
“From the very beginning, he had no time schedule to be back at home and had no fixed destination at the time of leaving the same. He had no worry of taking food or had no contemplation for sleep. He can spread earth on the ground and can take on sky as the cover. Where ever he sits, he settles himself then and there. For the sake of God, if his friends assemble at home, it is worse.
“Sir likes cleanliness altogether. He wishes that everything at home must be placed properly as well as mannerly. He does not like the things placed haphazardly or ill mannerly in any case anywhere. He wants to get his room cleaned accept the table lying there in that corner. He hardly sits over that table during the day timings. But he sits over it to read or to write mostly in the pitch darkness and in the silence of the nights. If someone talks to him at that time, he appears to be indignant. He bursts out at once, if the chain of his thoughts is broken or his world is disturbed though a bit.
“He loves the children from the core of his heart undoubtedly but does not like to hold small kids in his lap. Sometimes, he sinks is his thoughts while sitting with them and leaves that place. Many a times, I have spoken him to behave like a gentleman at least with the children while sitting at home, but no. The other times, he is not found at home while in the home like that of a common man.
“By the grace of God, there is no shortage of funds at home. But not enough there to spend thriftlessly. On the last day of every month, he gives me all his earnings for our livelihood. Whatever he earns from papers, magazines or books on getting his poetry, stories, articles or reviews published, gives him enough for his pocket. Once upon a time, one of his drafts was lost. He was set to search out that. He got the home cleaned thoroughly without any festival due. He remained angry with all at home for some days. But when that appeared in a magazine, he felt shy of.
“He seems to be a man of a simple nature on his appearance. But he is a short tempered person in the sophisticated clothing. He does not like to speak or listen at a high tone but does not let his thought loose till its effect is seen. There is more to be said, but some unsaid should also be left over.
“He likes to be free from the bindings of the time and from all the matters of the home. To fulfill his desire, it is my first and foremost duty to let him so, being an Indian wife. It is the reason that I do not poke my nose into his affairs, whatsoever. Being with him, I have got the privilege to meet some well-known, well-reputed celebrities and dignitaries of India and abroad. In his accompany, I have got some understanding of an art and of the literature, for which I am really grateful to him.
“Whatsoever it is, Sahib writes marvelously. Whatsoever he likes to convey, he conveys even better. Whatever he feels, he puts forth that clearly before us. He gives due attention to the base and the balance of poetry. There is a good flow in his poetry always. He is a specialist in giving new styles of the compositions. He often robs poetic symposiums. He creates spell-bound atmosphere with his performances, everywhere. Whenever a piece of his work is seen in a paper or magazine, one likes to read that out, being forceful, in peace of mind. He makes his readers half mad. His works goes down deep to touch the bottom of the hearts. He has done a great job in the field of art and literature for which he has been awarded with numerous medals in unaccountable times. Why should not I feel proud to be the wife of such a fine personality with many faces and phases? May God grant his skills of the writings be flourished. May he live long. May God grant attendants the power to tolerate him. Thank you.”
In the grand sounds of the clapping, she stepped down the stage twisting slowly and slowly, as if Begum Noor Jahan (An Empress of Mughal Empire in India) had won the battle for a fort and had hosted her flag thereon, high in the sky. I cannot forget this incident in my life, even if I try to do so. At that time I came to know that she, after coming down the stage in flying colours, thinks me as a lotus lying in the mud while she feels herself as a mad black bee roaming around that one.
Translated from Urdu by The Writer