TODAY MY 87TH BIRTHDAY

a writing by Rajaram Ramachandran

Born on 13/07/1931, I have completed 86 years, today being my 87th Birthday, the 13th July 2017. The aftermath of the Word War I (1914-1918) and the disastrous World War II (1939-1945), practically ruined the world economy due to heavy loss of men and materials.

Japan caught hold of Pearl Harbour, thus nearing the tail end of India’s border. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, with his huge INA Army was marching from Burma towards New Delhi. The famine within the country, particularly in Bengal, ruined the whole country. As Japanese planes bombarded the harbour side of Madras, we were all overnight evacuated from the city and our family took refuge in a thatched roof hut in a small village down South India. We had to suffer for our minimum necessities to keep ourselves alive almost for 2 or 3 years.

Thereafter freedom movement started in India and it went on vigorously till the country got its freedom from the British on 15th August 1947. Partition of India between Pakistan and India was another turbulent period, which people of India had to face. So, the best part of my life had gone facing wars and total human sufferings.

I joined Indian Railway Accounts services on 21/12/1950, when I was just 19 years old, and served this big organisation till I retired as Divisional Accounts Officer on 31/07/1989 at 58 years of my age then. On retirement I settled myself at Juhu, Mumbai with my only son, a Mechanical Engineer, who was working as a Drilling Engineer for the ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Commission) and thereafter as Country Manager in Weatherford (Texas) Co., but unfortunately he died on 28/03/2011(53 years old), besides another tragedy, that being the death of my wife earlier on 25/05/2002. These unbearable incidents during those supposed to be the best part of my life had toughened my heart and somehow I tried to spend my time in a practical way, rather in a philosophical manner.

I started writing poetry travelling in Grant Trunk Express train from New Delhi to Vijayawada, my work-place. It was monsoon time in 1965, when there was a heavy downpour during my journey then. I was a lone passenger in a six berth I Class compartment. The outside moving panorama in the hilly sections attracted me very much, the waterfalls, the overflowing lakes and flooding rivers, the drift woods carried by floods etc. It kindled my thoughts to write a poem on those scenes and out came the poem, “A Song of the World.” This was published in the annual souvenir of South Indian Cultural Association, Vijayawada. Thereafter started my poetry career and I wrote several poems on Social themes. After my retirement I worked as a voluntary Accounts Manager for over 25 years in the ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India, myself managing the entire Hare Krishna Temple Accounts on computer net works. The holy atmosphere around the temple prompted me to write on the spiritual subjects like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Krishna Leela, on these ancient epics. So, poetry writing and reading keeps my mind calm and clean.

Late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, Sahithya Akademi, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Famous poets of the world like Ms. (Late) Sandra Fowler of West VIrginia USA
appreciated some of my poems. Chinese poets have translated some of my poems in their
Chinese language and also included my name in the Dictionary of Internatioal Poets released by them. A few of my poems have been prescribed for the College/school English classes.

This way I was able to write 22 poetry books in simple English and I have posted almost all of them in the most popular websites like www.voicesnet.com (from the year 2008) for the reading pleasure of poetry lovers. The viewership accounts in this website as on 12/07/2017 are as under:
(1) Viewed 1207 poems 5,20,841 times, (2) Profile view = 39,400 and (3) 8 documents 6,739 according to Voicesnet records. I stand as the 15th poet in the Hall of Fame under this website.
(2) This achievement of mine is partly due to the generous heart of Mr. Jeff, who is a gentleman to the core, allowing me to post my series of poems under collections in this very popular website www.voicesnet.com.

Mr. Jeff became my close friend from those days. In the beginning I told him most of my poems run in series in the book form and he took all the pains in providing me with separate section in the name, “collections” then. This book section has grown up like a big Banyan Tree now. Also Mr.Jeff appointed me as a judge representing India to sort out every day the best poems out of a bunch of poems he used to send me every day. From the final list he was giving a cash prize for the best poem selected by a panel of 3 or 4 judges, which scheme was discontinued some time back.

Whatever I remember on this occasion of my 87th Birthday, a few incidents, here and there, I picked up and present them briefly just for a casual reference to the worst or best part of my life. I have no regrets about my past or present, as I am like a weather beaten soldier, myself taking everything lightly, as anyone else would have faced the same in his or her life period. There is a proverb saying, “Every house has doors steps with its own good or bad stories,” to mean that none is spared from good or bad days in one’s life time.

By God’s grace, I am still hale and healthy with no major health problems though I am 86 years old.

My sincere thanks to all the Readers, who read this with all their patience.

Rajaram Ramachandran
13/07/2017




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