‘Ek Boond’ is a poem in Hindi that has stuck with me since my schooldays. Even in those days, I liked it though I never properly could have understood its poignant subtext. The whole imagery of an unsure, nervous and jittery raindrop caught in self doubt while leaving her home in the clouds, was and is still one of the most evocative texts I have chanced upon. Little wonder then that the ‘Ek Boond’ not only found home in a waiting pearl shell but also in my heart and mind.
And as I age and increasingly have to uncomfortable decisions in my life that engineer the flutter of butterflies in my tummy, I keep returning to the lines etched by Ayodhya Singh Upadhyaya ‘Hariaudh’. His ‘Ek Boond’ gives me hope and assurance that in spite of all the odds and the quirks of fate, there is someone up out there, probably up above, looking after us and helping us out, like sending a gust of wind to push our Boond into the shell, where she eventually turned into a pearl.
Today, again as I venture out of my comfort zone and into the world unknown, I can’t help but remember the nervous and jittery raindrop that too had ventured out of her comfy home in the clouds. Hopefully, there is a shell out there waiting for me, like it was for her. Hopefully!!!
Here is the text of poem:
ज्यों निकल कर बादलों की गोद से।
थी अभी एक बूँद कुछ आगे बढ़ी।।
सोचने फिर फिर यही जी में लगी।
आह क्यों घर छोड़कर मैं यों बढ़ी।।
दैव मेरे भाग्य में क्या है बढ़ा।
में बचूँगी या मिलूँगी धूल में।।
या जलूँगी गिर अंगारे पर किसी।
चू पडूँगी या कमल के फूल में।।
बह गयी उस काल एक ऐसी हवा।
वह समुन्दर ओर आई अनमनी।।
एक सुन्दर सीप का मुँह था खुला।
वह उसी में जा पड़ी मोती बनी।।
लोग यों ही है झिझकते, सोचते।
जबकि उनको छोड़ना पड़ता है घर।।
किन्तु घर का छोड़ना अक्सर उन्हें।
बूँद लौं कुछ और ही देता है कर।।
–अयोध्या सिंह उपाध्याय ‘हरिऔध