THE DIVINE GARB
I see a divine garb hanging round my body
In the early morning hours when I still feel bodily pains
And warding off all attempts to bring to an end
Night’s dreamy splendour;
I see the crimson colours of the divine garb
Absorbing the cooling effect of the early morning rays
The garb giving me the feel
That I am something of the very special
The divine garb is not like the one
Faked by rogue weavers
To make a gullible king walk half naked in the streets
The garment is indeed woven as a web
Where threads are smeared with thoughts pure and holy
To give them a dazzle and sheen
I get up not knowing what to do
Is the garment meant to convey a message
That I should play the role of a missionary
To make the man in the street learn his relationship with Almighty
Though a devoted soul I know I am hardly fitted to play such a role
My inadequacies are too many and too glaring
To dare and challenge those already in the field.
Is the garment meant to wake up in me thoughts lying dormant
Like particles floating in the rays of the morning sun
To enable me to join the ranks of knowledgeable souls
Whose message conveyed through word and print
Makes them unrivalled in the field of poetry or art
Here again I feel humbled
As the gumption that produced those wizards
Whose classics enthralled hmanity over the centuries
Is not what I can lay claim to with confidence.
I pick up a few granites of hard History
Which is all I could gather after digging over the years into realms of past
Though the effort is not much I can see the road ahead
I have an understanding how the world is what it is today
The chronicles are there for anybody to read
To understand the myriad efforts put forth by man to achieve progress
I find the divine garb is sent with a mission
To give cheer and hope to an agonised soul
Perplexed with dismay and despair
Facing the trauma of a life besieged with problems of aging and health
Its message is not to waver but put forth best effort
In the service of man even in a limited way
As the last days could also be best days at times
The mind cast in a mould of peace and content,
And God remains sheet-anchor in thought and deed.
I would like to remember Babayya with this poem which he recited to me and my Son when we called to wish him a Happy 88th Birthday last year.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
— Rabindranath Tagore
Swargeeyya Suryanarayana Murthy garu is well known to me. I had the privilege of his poems read to me by the man himself many, many times.
We had many occasions where we discussed the ideas he had and how he feels inadequate to put them on paper because of his physical disabilities.
He lived a simple and great life. He was very independent in thought and deed, helped people till the end and never sought any kind of favours from others. His love for poetry, history and writing stayed with him till the end.
I am sure god almighty has big plans for him in the heaven where he is headed right now.
He will stay in my thoughts for the rest of my life.
May god bless his soul!
That is a very beatiful and touching poem in memory of my grandfather. I remember tatagaru to be an extremely dedicated and devoted person in all his duties. My memories about him take me back all the way to the house in Rajahmundry which I would visit during my school days. I would visit with my mom and remember the train journey, especially when it enters the long bridge over the river Godavari. I remember throwing coins into the river as my mom would say that would fulfil all our wishes and bring us good luck. I would then admire the hardwork of the cycle-rickshaw pullers and how they would struggle pulling the load under the Rajahmundry heat, and then the house with the huge backyard filled with eucalyptus trees. I must have been just 7 or 8 years old back then but those memories are still vivid in my mind.
Tatagaru would always quiz us on English vocabulary and would give the winner a spoonful of sugar or something sweet and I always felt I was his favorite in this aspect:-) Those were really memorable days where I would bask under all the love and affection showered onto me by ammamma and tatagaru.
Growing up I began to read his innumerable poems, but at that age I couldn’t quite comprehend what he was trying to convey. Today, I truly feel like reading those poems again in order to better appreciate them and relive his thoughts. I have also admired his knowledge of world history and geography. One only had to have patience to listen him out.
I did talk to him a couple of times after coming to US and I was amazed by his memory and how he could recollect things about me. He always used to ask me when I would invite him to US. I guess that was his only wish left unfulfilled.
We are all left at the mercy of God. It is only He who has the power and authority to give and take life. There have been moments when I do get these morbid thoughts of afterlife and what happens to our conscience, but I always inevitably end up resigning to fate. It does leave me with the realization of how precious this life is and how one must completely savor every moment of it, spread the love and affection in terms of manasa, vaacha and karma which ultimately acts as our Divine Garb covering us and taking us to the other side.
I am happy I spoke to suribabu,as we call your father,a day before his 90th birthday;he was full of just for life and his voice came out strong and cheerful on the telephone;he said it is not ok to telephone and that I should visit him and spend some time;the next I heard was that he was admitted in the hospital;I prayed that he may end his avatar without polonged suffering and I along with several of his wellwishers were happy that God granted this wish of ours to him.
May his soul rest in peace.
Dear Bava Garu, Mavayya Garu was a very affectionate person. He could share a good joke with a hearty laugh. I always felt that I am conversing with an Intellectual, inspite of his really unassuming and humble personality. Yes Sir, he is indeed a legend and always will occupy a special place in our hearts. Our heartfelt condolenses to U and the rest of the family. – mallik
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