Today, I read an article about Shweta Basu-Prasad, a National award-winning actress, who was arrested a couple of months ago for ‘soliciting clients at a five star hotel’ in the city of Hyderabad. She vehemently denies the charge saying she had been to the city to attend an awards function and decided to stay an extra day when the raid at the hotel happened. She was sent to a rescue and rehabilitation centre for two months from where she returned home to Mumbai recently.
In her interview she spoke about her life in the past few months and the ordeal she went through bravely. At the remand home, she wrote a poem she shared with the newspaper. I loved the poem immensely and was touched with her sincerity, her toughness in the face of adversity. My heart went out to this young woman from a simple background, with immense talent displayed at a tender age, caught in a storm ready to devour her. But, her ability to look the dragon in the eye and give it her all to come out a fighter at the end of it made me look at this young girl with awe and admiration.
I would like to share her poem titled, The Cliff. Every word has been poured from a heart so young, yet so strong — it is definitely inspiring. Here goes…
“Thunderstruck, all alone, I stand
here at the edge of the cliff /
I crawled the dense forest to get here /
The tribes and wild and strays/
They say “Jump, jump from
the cliff” /
As I look down, naked, cold
The ferocious sea I see with its
It’s ready to swallow me./
The noises are unbearable/
the place so dark./
As I decided to jump in the sea I
saw the North Star./
I remembered how it shone above my blessed home/
where singing, hugging and
laughter awaited me/
I said, “Wait I want to go home”/
The voices murmured, “End
“Jump, jump you ugly thing”/
I smiled to them and pitied them/
They don’t know I have wings.
She said,”It should not seem as if I was suicidal or something. I chose to fly and rise above it all, you know.”
How many young men and women out there get caught in a web so sticky, and how many of them have the courage to fight it out and come out winners? Not many. But, to all those who do, I salute them for their bravery, for their ability to look at adversity in its face and not cower in fear.
I hope the story of young Shweta inspires many to give it their best and not lose hope. For, there is light at the end of the tunnel.