Ms Vibha Mishra, the renowned theatre personality who passed away quite young, reminds me of Shelley’s verses:
Where art thou gone?
Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,
This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?
Ask why the sunlight not for ever Weaves rainbows o’er yon mountain-river,Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown
Why fear and dreams and death and birth Cast on the daylight of this earth Such gloom, — why man has such a scopee
For love and hate, despondency and hope?
Bharat Bhavan has lost an excellent artist and Children’s Theatre its good fairy. Despite indifferent health, financial difficulties, Vibha nourished and nurtured the histrionic delight of the little ones. For me it is a personal loss for I lost a friend who was a loving human being.
After her most unfortunate ordeal that left her temporarily disabled, she stayed with us for a year or so. I had reasons to be happy that even though in a very small measure, I contributed to her happiness: I encouraged her friends and well wishers to visit her often. She soon regained her confidence and was on her own. She was a brave girl.
She always sent me invitation for her plays, but I saw only one: blame it on Antrang, that claustrophobic, blackhole in Bharat Bhavan, where plays are performed. Vibha concurred with me and commented that it is a stifling place (Let Bharat Bhavan authorities note) where many a time artists fainted during rehearsals for want of proper ventilation/AC.I am feeling sad toady because I could not fulfill a promise made to Vibha. I had promised her to translate into Hindi one of the plays of Lord Byron entitled, Sardanapalus: She was led away by the theme of the play.
Not knowing that she was lying in hospital critically ill, I rang her mobile. Vibha replied: “Zamir Sahab, dua kejye, main bahut beemar hun”, and hung up. When I asked her close friend, Vrunda Manjeet about her condition, she confirmed my worst fears that her case was desperate. I did not go to see her for I wanted to preserve the image of a doe-eyed, beautiful, simple, unassuming girl, whose memory I wanted to cherish.
Zamiruddin, 4, Professors’ Colony, Bhopal