New Year gift, From the Alcove, a new poetry collection by Nilakshi Borgohain. Read the introduction by Sri Anil Sharma on the Poetry Page.
Nilakshi Borgohain enjoys reading and writing poetry, short stories, novels, travel pieces, essays and reviews. Her extensive travels abroad as well as within the country has greatly shaped her as a writer who can write on the local cultures which occupy an integral part in her works.
Her work has appeared in The Sunday Statesman,(Kolkata, Delhi),The India Perspective (Published by the Ministry of External Affairs), The Contemporary Vibes (Literary journal published from Chandigarh), The Indian Literature (published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi), Asia Magazine(Seoul), Namaskar (in-flight magazine of Air India), Jet Wings (In-flight magazine of Jet Airways) and several more journals and magazines.
Meeting Nilakshi Borgohain
The city was treated to an enthralling event ….it was the theatre festival ! Such exciting events are a rarity in this city and theatre lovers were delighted at the prospect of getting an opportunity to view a series of plays in the coming week.
The public was particularly keen on viewing the play by the famous actor turned playwright. Tickets were sold online like hot cakes. People arrived early only to ensure that they get their seats in the front rows. Alas, it was not to be. There was a delay for more than an hour.
The first reaction of the guests at the announcement was to grab the few vacant chairs to make the wait as comfortable as possible. Once ensconced in the chairs, they started looking around at the other guests seated in the lounge all dressed up for the occasion. Most appeared to belong to the educated, elite section of the society. The men were dressed in smart suits and jackets, the lovely ladies in flowing silk sarees, some in their fashionable soft sequinned kurtas. A few were adorned in the beautiful traditional mekhela chador. There was of course the young, modern crowd smartly turned out in western attire with coats, boots et al.
Very soon, the remaining vacant chairs were occupied and the foyer was flooded by waves of humanity pushing slowly towards the doorway to the main auditorium. Engrossed in lively conversation, many of the guests seemed not to mind the delay. This was an opportunity to slip away and entertain oneself, stationed at a vantage corner to observe people, their attractive affability shining from their faces. The crowd could have been around two hundred or little more waiting patiently for the show to begin. A small group though seemed quite affected at the growing delay and were heard complaining. Others moved towards the canteen to partake of the assortment of food and drinks laid out on the counter. Many were happy to strike a perfunctory conversation with strangers standing nearby. It would be no surprise if some such meetings ended up in close friendships. Every one seemed quite comfortable getting themselves acquainted with strangers if only to pass the time. The whispers in the lounge gradually started rising in volume punctuated by stifled laughter and occasional giggles.
A couple smartly dressed stood a little apart from the rest of the guests. The lady wore an elegant coat that made her stand out in the crowd. The man and the woman undoubtedly belonged to the State judging by their physical appearance. However, their demeanour revealed they were sophisticated city dwellers perhaps on a short visit to the city. Standing quietly, a little aloof from the rest of the crowd with a soft, amused smile on her lips, the lady was taking in the crowded scene before her. Her eyes were warm and sparkling. There was a glowing self confidence and self belief in her distinctive personality which makes such people attractive to everyone. She exuded a kind of warmth and aura that was alluring and made people keen to connect with her. Her face showed no traces of irritability or impatience at the delay confronting us all. She aroused a keen interest and before long, a conversation was struck and there started a friendship reminding one of that fashionable trendy Japanese word ‘Moai’ meaning an informal group of people with common interests who look out for one another.
Very soon the organisers announced that the show was about to commence and we were requested to enter and take our seats. The show took all of two full hours and ended with rounds of applause. Evidently, it was a great success and the guests enjoyed the play. While the show ended with every one happy and exiting with smiles on their faces with the delay now forgotten, it launched a new friendship of two persons who had never before met each other but connected as long lost friends. It was a moment of fresh beginning. Several meetings in popular cafes and at their own homes followed where each other’s interests and hobbies were discovered. The calm and dignified lady was an author of several books published and a poet too, entirely a league of her own. She shared her poems and presented some of her books which were quickly read and devoured. Common interests and familiar stories of the past help to create firm bonds of friendship.
Her books talks of righteousness and character building which she says makes one beautiful inside out and that one has to give away love to feel more love. She speaks of forgiveness in her books which can make you simply smile and feel joyful. Her charming and positive approach to life inexplicably makes you feel real good just by being around her. It is, therefore, not difficult to understand why she chose happiness to be the central theme of her very first novel.
Happiness is certainly a meaningful subject for man is forever pursuing this as his ultimate goal but didn’t someone say that happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase happiness ,the more it will elude you. But if you wait quietly, it will, like a colourful butterfly, come and gently rest upon you. It can burst forth from closeness with Nature, it can come from an emotional relationship, it can also come from an attractive object you see and appreciate it , the distinguished lady would state. Even doing very ordinary tasks during the day like cleaning your own cupboard can bring happiness and joy. True happiness can have a profound effect on your senses. The body, mind and spirit are closely connected and if you allow this connection to happen, it becomes naturally beautiful.
Friendship may generally start for three different reasons amongst people so said a wise man – firstly, it may start for the sake of utility or usefulness where both parties feel that they can benefit from the new relationship in some way or the other. Secondly, it is for sheer pleasure and joy at making new acquaintances, having fun and enjoying each other’s company . Thirdly, friendship may be based on mutual respect and admiration towards each other. Based on such mutual considerations where respect is the cornerstone of the relationship, friendships are destined to last a lifetime to bring joy, beauty, kindness, love and of course happiness.
Life is good when it’s lived for oneself and it’s great when lived together with friends and loved ones. Dedicated to my new friend.
—————————————————-E. C. —————