These poems were written primarily for my own fulfillment and satisfaction but with the absolute certainty that He about whom I write is present in every thought, every line, every word for without the blessedness of His grace could I have written at all? They are simple outpourings of my heart without much thought given to style or technique and have been written over a period of the past few years as and when a mood of intensity compelled me to do so. I have expressed my relationship with the Blue-God in these poems in which I have given myself to Him in anguish, in petition, in praise, in adoration but most of all in profound love.
In a sudden surprised moment of life when everything was dark and desolate I heard the call of His flute and in that pulsating moment all the broken notes of my tuneless life were transformed into a beautiful Raaga of love, pervaded with an intense awareness that He is here with me, in me, beside me always and forever. But often have I failed Him, so often failed miserably to keep him at the centre of my life, so often my feeble faith has wavered and whenever sorrow has struck I have failed to understand his love yet always, always He has forgiven and drawn me to Him again like an errant child. These poems are also expressions of deep, reverend gratitude which I humbly offer Him.
No words are sufficient to reveal the unexplained yearning which trembles within when one is in communion with Him and as such these poems are inadequate. They should not have been written at all because silence is the vice most easily heard by Him --- yet there are times when the fullness of the heart seems to burst its bounds and gushes out in an extravagance of words helplessly, incoherently at such times these poems were written.
Very few special friends have read some of these poems but most of them have been written and kept away. They served as a catharsis, and that was all. So why publish the now? Thereby hangs a tale which I would like to share with my readers. Frail human that I am, some time back I started felling the need for encouragement and possibly appreciation also for the sustenance of my ability to write and I started searching for an audience. But alas! I write in English and Bhakti-ras in English! What a stumbling-block! No one except a few friends, upon whom I forced myself, was enthusiastic about hearing them because, they said, it was difficult to discover Bhakti-rasa in songs sung in an alien language. Sm. Ipsita Chakravarty, one of the few, was adventurous enough to select a few of these poems and few, was adventurous enough to select a few of these poems and through the Institute of Ancient Sciences published a slim volume which I called "My Dark Lover and Me". Unfortunately the book was never marketed and all hundred copies which were published are now with me in their pristine glory. This misadventure left me more than discouraged. Just then I came across an announcement made by a London based literary organization regarding a Poetry Competition they were holding on the theme of Lord Krishna. There could be nodoubt in my mind that this was a message from Him, of hope, to tell me that He Himself as always was there to encourage me. I entered two poems, which are included in this present volume, entitled "Radha and Me" and "Your Beauty". It so happened that I was awarded the first prize for "Radha and Me" a staggering amount of Rs.30,000/- in Indian Currency. Here was encouragement and appreciation like a great downpour! So mysterious are the ways of my dark Beloved His gifts of mercy come in such unexpected ways, in such unexpected moments. How little I give of myself to Him how much, in what inexhaustible measure He gives, so much more than I could ever deserve. This book is once again a very humble offering to Him in inexpressible gratitude for the abundance of His Grace.
I am not a scholar. I have not studied the scriptures, and my acquaintance with Vyasa and Sankara is brief and shallow, so my writing has neither knowledge or philosophy to support it. The only knowledge I have is that of His love for me, the only philosophy I know is that of my devotion to Him so I plead forgiveness for the factual inaccuracies which must be there in these poems. It will make me happy if those who read this book are able to feel my devotion to Him for then I would have succeeded as a poet, but it will not hurt me if I am rejected and the reader finds no worth in my writing for after all, I am secure in the certainty and now I have proof of it that my beloved Krishna to whom I offer these poems has accepted them with all their faults and inadequacies. I seek only the blessings of my readers that I may write more and more about Him and for Him.
I take this opportunity of thanking my friends who have been very vocal in their support of the publication of this book; my children and their families who have silently always been appreciative and supportive of all my efforts, particularly my son who has ungrudgingly sanctioned the finance required for this publication and most of all I remember my parents with love and thank them for giving me the education which enables me to write today, at time and age when going to school was almost unheard of for girls of my community. My very sincere thanks are due to my very good friend Mrs. Nita Bhagat who has typed some of these poems and also to Sri. K. K. Goenka who very kindly undertook to have the rest of the manuscript typed at his office. Last but not the least I owe my gratitude to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan who have agreed to publish this book under their prestigious banner.
About the Author
Born in Calcutta in 1929, educated in Loreto House School and College and graduated from Calcutta University in 1949 with Honours in English. Received the Nagendra Gold Medal from the University for the Best Essay of that year. Was married in 1951, a few months before her final M.A. Examination. Special Interests were always reading, writing and social service but did not anything seriously till 1970 due to various domestic constraints.
Krishna love came naturally to Rita Dalmiya from an early age and, inspired by her father, she sought to develop a deep personal relationship with Him which was free from any rituals or any deep study of the scriptures.
A book of her poems was published in 1975 by Writers Workshop for private circulation only. Another book of poems called "In Aloneness" was published by Prayer Books in 1978. "Meera Bai". A book in prose, was published by Writers Workshop in 1988.
Until 1985 was actively associated as a volunteer and a member of the Governing Body of The Calcutta Samaritans, a Counselling Centre for mentally and emotionally disturbed people and those addicted to drugs. For many years she has also been on the Governing Body of the Ladies Study Group which is the ladies' wing of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and is currently involved with the running of their cancer unit in Thakurpukur, Calcutta. She is the Chairperson of DUYA, a drug de-addiction counseling unit for slum dwellers which she set up in 1988 together with the syed Group of Schools in an area which is the hot-bed of drug pedlars.
She has a daughter who is a Professor of Philosophy and a son who is a Civil Engineer in the construction business. Her husband died in 1983. She lives in Calcutta with her son and his family.
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