"Well, there is no such thing as success. The priest can't hope to become a saint- or else it's an illusory dream which vanishes with time; the writer can't hope to write a book equal those of Tolstoy, Dickens or Balzac. He might have dared to believe in the possibility at the outset, but his books always carry a flaw somewhere."
Very early in his short career, BSM (1909-1956) knew he was a good poet, a special talent perhaps, or maybe even more.
Why do I say that?
"गेलॉ विदूषक जरी ठरुनी सुहास,
कोठे तरी स्वमरणोत्तर भाग्यकाली-!
हाही विचार न कमी मज शांतिदायी."
[poem no 15, "शिशिरागम" ("shishiragam") from "मर्ढेकरांची कविता" ("Mardhekaranchi Kavita"), 1959-1977; courtesy: राघव बाळ मर्ढेकर (Raghav Bal Mardhekar)]
("Even if I pass on as a grinning joker,
company of Dante and Shakespeare in proximity
somewhere in my good fortune after my death-!
even this thought is no less consoling")
Remember, in 'Shishiragam' collection, BSM is NOT the poet we now know. There, he comes across as some one following his idol Madhav Julian (माधव जूलियन) or English romantic poets he studied and later taught.
But then he is already thinking of life after death spent in the neighborhood of Dante and Shakespeare! It's like after playing just one season of Ranji trophy cricket with some success, you seek the company of Don Bradman and Garry Sobers in your afterlife!
If you do that you are either a pompous fool or you must be really good and confident about your creative future. For me, Mardhekar was the latter.
What might have happened when rather young BSM met his maker?
Artist: Arnie Levin, The New Yorker, May 29 2000
courtesy: the artist, the magazine and Bob Mankoff's blog
(Now, user name and password are confidential. No one is supposed to ask them to you, especially very openly. But then where's the problem if it's perhaps the last time you will ever need them?)
Mardhekar was perhaps ushered in without this formality and shown his dwelling next to Dante and Shakespeare! I hope so.
Or was he?
"आलो क्षणिचा विसावा म्हणून;
तो तूंच हटकलेंस 'कोण' म्हणून
आणि मनांतले शिणलेले हेतू
[the last and unnumbered poem of the section 'Kanheen Kavita' from 'Mardhekaranchee Kavita', 1959/1977 ('कांही कविता', 'मर्ढेकरांची कविता')]
("I came to rest momentarily;
touched down feet:
At once you confronted with "who"
and the tired aspirations in the mind
turned to shit")
Is "who" in the poem above refers to "Username and password?"