Untitled Poem to her deceased husband by Rashmi Rajya Laxmi Shah

My beloved, one day

you saw me

and I saw you

And—

You heaped on me

the red sun rising in your life.

With the paint on the parting of my hair

you drew a picture of your essence.

The tika on my forehead

became a mirror for you.

My red cheeks

were for you your entire universe.

And from that day onward I lost myself

and became your bride in red.

With the red bead necklace

our lives got entangled.

Thus we became one

and I began to love redness.

Red! Red! Red was my good fortune.

Even with your departure

I embraced the blood-like red.

Indeed I have grown most fond

of the beauty of blood.

That blood which is like the vermilion

you sent to me as your wedding gift.

So I have treasured it,

welcomed it and followed it.

Now forever in the dream for red

these footsteps have reached their end.

With the last breath on this earth

I ask for a red revolution.

Rashmi Rajya Laxmi Shah, daughter of renowned poet and artist Balkrishna Sama, was a full collaborator along with her husband Jagat Prakash Jung Shah to the anti-Rana democratic movement led by the Nepali Congress. After Jagat Shah was killed in action during a revolt against King Mahendra’s government in 1962, Rashmi Rajya stayed in Calcutta as refugee. Son Naveen Prakash Jung Shah recalls that it was only after the death of her husband that she fully adopted the red insignias of a married woman. The poem above was written sometime before she committed suicide a day before Teej of the same year.

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Calcutta, 1962. Original calligraphy of her composition by Rashmi Rajya Laxmi Shah.
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