“Within me is an island
Hidden from the sea of my body.
There I shed a tear
Hidden from the eye of the heart’.
Yes like perhaps in each one of us, there is an island in Devi Nangrani’s heart and mind, hidden away even from the eyes of the heart, even from – our lifelong companion – our physical body and she visits that island occasionally to shed a tear, to ‘Listen to her heart Beat’, but she does not dwell there for longer period because she is not a recluse, or and escapist. She may be alone sometimes but she is never lonely. She comes away to the shore, to the main land, the solid earth to her kith and kin, to her social concern and commitments. But how does she manage to cross the stormy, turbulant sea that surrounds the sea island?
The poems in her anthology ‘Journey’ give answers to these questions. She has the support of faith’:
You see with eyes of faith
The unseen world within you
Opens the gates for you to a new world.’
She gets support from ‘Friendship’:
‘A friend is someone I can be silent with
A friend is like a walking stick
That supports me at all times’
It is not easy journey. The ‘Aching heart’ stops you:
It is heart that aches
It is heart that misses
The nearness of the dear ones
Filling the core with sorrow
Soaking the soreness
Making the words speechless’
Conflicts’ hamper you:
It is the hearts that lets you live
It is the hearts that strengthens
The intricacy of human relations
With warmth, care and affection.’
But at the very outset writer knows that inspite of the helplessness of the mind, inspite of the ‘Mirage’ like qualities of life, you have to ‘Be your own friend’ and have faith and courage so that you can listen to the music of your heart and can feel ‘the Spirit’ within you. Devi Nangrani has penned down these simple, serene poems as one would note down the slow, silent, waves of thoughts passing through our heart and mind.
The poems of Journey reflect the mind which has lived through life with a sense of devotion and dedication, they are almost religious but they do not represent any single religious group or cult but are rather universal and secular. The writer seek solace and guidance from any source that is available to a normal human being, hence fore there is no reference to great philosophical books or scripture or no high sounding preachings are sought to be given.
Devi Nangrani is writer who has command over Hindi and English beside her mother tongue Sindhi and has been expressing her emotions and feelings through these languages. We should congratulate her for this poetic journey through birth, death and beyond, because she is large hearted enough to take us along with her, and in that journey, we realize along with her that ‘Life is a Holly Gift’.
‘Wait not far the pleasure or pain of the life
To kindle thy age for a knowledge of the ‘self’.
Life is gift, a holy gift not for gambling in
But for realization of self from within.