Today is Saraswati pooja. The day Hindus worship Saraswati , the goddess of knowledge, music, art and culture. It’s an auspicuous day where children, in India, are initiated into learning and write their first word. The ritual is called “Vidya- Arambham” roughly translated to mean “beginning of knowledge”. I pick this day dedicated to learning, sharing of knowledge and appreciation of fine arts to launch my blog. My “Blog- Arambham” day!
Words! Words have endured across millenniums as religious texts and classics, have taken us on time travels; Recreating realities or imagination , transporting us into the hearts and minds of those who lived way before us; and those who may live after us; a feat that technology has only been able to achieve in Science fiction novels. To this massive swirl of words circling the universe, today, I add my own, hoping that they too will endure the passage of time and emerge meaningful and positive.
I have always wanted to write. At age 8 it was to write the next in the series of ‘ Noddy goes to School”. At 10 it was the next adventure of the “Famous Five” (inspired by Enid Blyton). It was a dream with no urgency to act. The urgency came, when I lost my 52 year young father before I got to know him as a person, someone other than ‘Daddy’. And later when I stood wondering , at a ferry terminal in New York city as the ashes from the world trade center swirled around me, if I will see my 2 year old son again and if he will ever get to know me.
I urge people to write, if not to the world, at least to their loved ones; preferably handwritten. I’m glad I wrote, letters to my parents ,at one stage in my life; When I had just moved to the United states from India (in my early twenties) and phone calls to India where almost a dollar a minute. I missed them terribly, having lived with them all my life up to that point. So, I wrote how much I missed them, how much I loved them. I don’t remember all that I wrote, although the emotions that I was trying to convey are vivid in my mind. My father became terminally ill within a year of my moving and he passed away, when I was least expecting it. I didn’t get to talk to him much the last few months of his life and for many years carried the regret that I never got to tell him how much he meant to me and that I couldn’t be there with him. One day, going through old letters, I remembered my mother tellling me how my dad, in his final days, used to make her reread my letters; over and over again. It gave me some peace and closure to know that even though I was not able to be there physically with him, my words were there. While I’m not sure I was successful in translating all my feelings for him into words, I’m sure he felt those that I had not written in between those written lines. That realization turned my “want to write” to “need to write”.
As I pick that which is mightier than the sword, I pray there no casualties. I pray that only love inspires me. I pray that my words portray even the heinous of villains with empathy and understanding of the all ways we humans can fail. I pray that my guardian angels continue to guide me in this new path.