Kusum weaves words for Martyrs, Avatars

Mehak Dua
The student whom you teach morality, respect for elders and love for mother land when rises to become a soldier only to live by his words, “So Jayenge Kal Lipat Kar Tirange Ke Saath Almari Main, Yeh Desh Bhakti Hai Sahib, Taarikho Pe Jaagti Hai” (Tomorrow we will sleep wrapped in tricolour, this is patriotism which is awakened on dates) and dies for the same you are left heart-broken with no choice than to live with the memories of martyrdom of the same student and his valour.
This is something what brave heart Tushar Mahajan of Udhampur, a student of Kusum Sharma did to his teacher who later unleashed her creativity to weave words for her student and paid tribute to him in the form of a book ‘Antra’. Her one song in Dogri which is dedicated to Tushar’s martyrdom and how her parents are living with his sweet memories has also been given voice by singer Seema Murti that has touched many lives.
A poetess par excellence, she suffixes ‘Antra’ to her name Kusum Sharma to get connected with poetry. Her first book ‘Parshuram Aakhyaan’ is an insight into the life of sixth Avatara of God Vishnu that also contains poetic explanation of Sanatan Dharam and ten Hindu gods. The second book ‘Antra’ besides having poems dedicated to martyrs with special mention of Tushar Mahajan has collection of her other poems on patriotism, nature, mother, women empowerment and social issues written over a period of time.
Launched by martyr captain Tushar Mahajan’s parents Devraj Gupta and Asha Gupta of Udhampur in Jammu region of Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir, the book also contains complete life story of brave-heart and his martyrdom. A poem with title SHRDHANJALI which was penned down by her on the day Tushar sacrificed his life for the nation was liked by lakhs of people. Captain Tushar Mahajan had joined National Defence Academy (NDA) in 2010 and at the age of just 26 he took four bullets fighting militants in Kashmir and succumbed to his injuries. He was awarded Shaurya Chakra posthumously.
First woman president of Shri Brahmin Sabha, Udhampur, Kusum Lata has also written Shri Parshuram Chalisa. Her book “Shri Parshuram Aakhyan” is an end result of four years of rigorous research. She has written several Dogri songs, ghazals, and stories. An avid reader, Kusum had started writing in her college days but compiled her work of about 80 poems, songs besides ghazals in the form of ‘Antra’ in 2017 only. Ever since then she never looked back and is continuing to write.
Started as a hobby, writing later became her passion and today Kusum owns a her collection of over 5,000 pieces of writings which she plans to get published in the form on six books in near future. Her several poems and ghazals have been approved by Sahitya Akademy. Honoured by Jagadguru Shankracharya Shri Raj Rajeshwar Ji Maharaj at Haridwar in 19th Akhil Bhartiya Jyotish Mahan Sammelan, Kusum has also proved her mettle in Jammu, Udhampur and Chenani for Granth Ratan Shri Parshuram Aakhyan.
Her one best song on monsoon known as ‘Badli’ was animated by artist Medhavi Sharma and sung by siblings Roohi and Juhi. The song was composed by acclaimed singer Suraj Singh. Popular with her songs, she has also written ‘Dogri Bakha’ dedicated to erstwhile Dogra Kings which have been sung by Asha Kesar. Passionate about Dogri language, she also conducts ‘Antra Di Dogri Pathshala’ every week and has also learnt Dogri script ‘Takri’ to help students learn the language as well as keep it alive amongst admirers.
Besides singer Jatindra Singh, Dharmesh Nargotra, Sunil Sharma, Piyush Baghmare and Devendra Thakur have also given their voices to Kusum’s ghazals. While Capt Tushar Mahajan’s sacrifice forced Kusum to pen down her tribute, she also wanted young generation to know about Sanatan Dharma and Hindu Avataras for which she compiled the book ‘Parshuram Akhyaan’ in simple yet impressive words.
Kusum Sharma has completely dedicated herself to writing and never misses a chance to pen down her views on social issues, spring season that she admires a lot and other subjects that interests readers. Kusum Sharma said, ‘poet, like any artist is born and can’t be made. It’s only with the time that her/his talent springs out at right time”. She added that during college time she used to lay more emphasis on lyrics than music of songs which made her understand write styles only to unleash her writing as well.
Her first poem published in a newspaper was ‘Basant Ritu’ (Monsoon) that also inspired her to write more vigorously. During my stint with Army Public School, Udhampur we were made to celebrate Hindi Diwas in a big way. Ever since then I thought of celebrating ‘Hindi’ language everyday by writing, reading and speaking it more avidly, she asserted. Inspired by multiple Hindi writers, she said that she intends to continue writing till readers acknowledge her works and express their love for the language.