Published On : Sun, Jun 25th, 2017

Vijaya Marotkar: Award winning teacher, popular Poet, Writer, Columnist – meet this multifaceted woman!

Vijaya Marotkar

Nagpur Today.

त्या फुलपाखरी वळणावर
तो तर उभाच असतो पोरी
आपला मार्ग आपणच
जपायचा असतो पोरी


“कुठून कसा त्याला माझा
नम्बर कळ ला माहित नाही
त्याच्या सांज सकाळ च्या
sms मध्ये मी कशी अडकले
माहित नाही.”
आता कुठे त्याचे खरे रूप
मला कळले होते
माझ्या सारख्या कित्येकिंना
म्हणे त्याने आजवर फसविले


Losely translated –

He will be standing there, on the rainbow turning of your life
You have to tread with caution and decide your own path my dear daughter!

“I do not know how he got my mobile number,
but then every morning began with his ‘morning message’
and the day did not end till there was no good night smiley from him
I didn’t realize how I kept getting ensnared in the web of his sms
Till he got from me just what he had really desired…

Now I see his real self
and understand all his games
I also see now that
Alas, I was not the only one!

When Vijaya Marotkar finishes her hour long public performance of ‘Pori jara japoon’ (Girl please take caution!))
there is pin drop silence in the huge audience. There are many teary eyes as well, and the overwhelming emotion
that why had someone not told this before? She has outlined in poem form how the mobile phone – which
parents will give even to 10 years old daughters – can be a trap for an innocent girl; by the time she realizes
it, she is ensnared, her life is disturbed… in some cases even destroyed. It is up to the parents and family
elders to explain this but they are often so occupied with the daily struggle and strife of life that
their precious daughter starts finding her friends, and then this one particular ‘guy friend’ her dearest
and closest person in life. She keeps getting attracted, addicted even and finally even begins meeting him
clandestinely, giving in to his demands of intimacy. Till she soon realizes she is not the only one, he
has other fish in his net and to him it’s all been a game!

Vijaya has strewn this ‘menace of mobile phones’ and other issues that affect young girls beautifully in poem
form and not a day or a week goes without she being called to deliver her message publicly, in schools,
social organizations, community meetings and even village councils. Yes, mobile has penetrated the smallest
of villages too. No one is safe.

Vijaya is by profession a lecturer of a Junior College, by passion a poet, writer, biographer and journalist too,
but she now feels her real purpose in life is to be a ‘mother’ to all girls out there and caution them about
all the pitfalls they will encounter in the path of life, the care and the caution they must take to come
out unscathed… and achieve their real goals. (She has only two sons, no daughter herself!)

How these performances have changed her own life, she has expressed in poetry form too –

लेकींच्या अनुत्तरित प्रश्नांचे
मजला उत्तर होता आले
मनामनात मग दरवळ पसरला
सुगंधी अत्तर होता आले

🚶🏻‍♀थरथरलेल्या कुण्या एका
हरिणीच्या डोळ्यात पाहता आले
निराश हताश त्या नयनांमध्ये
पुन्हा स्वप्न पेरता आले

🚶🏻‍♀चला एकदा ग़ाऊ गाणे
जगणे सरगम करता आले
हरवलेल्या त्या सप्त सुरांचे
पुन्हा संजीवन करता आले

🏃🏾‍♀लेकी माझ्या कित्ती गुणाच्या
मजला त्यांचे होता आले
“पोरी जरा जपून ग “म्हणतांना
लाखो लेकिंचि आई होता आले

🏃🏾‍♀”पोरी जरा जपून” म्हणजे
माझे अस्तित्व होऊन गेले
प्रत्येक सादरीकरण मला
एका उंचीवर घेऊन गेले

(Replying to unanswered questions in their doe-like innocent eyes, holding their hand, understanding their predicaments, helping them come out of their problems and go on confidently with life… I have achieved all this with my talk-sessions of ‘Girl, tread with caution’.

I have become their mother and this work seems to have become my main mission in life, says Vijaya here.)

How did her own life journey take Vijaya on to this path?

Her life journey has been dramatic too.

Vijaya Marotkar, nee Dubale, had many extraneous happenings decide the course of her life.

Including the story of her name! She was born in an Army Hospital in Belgaum and her Army dad got a promotion the day she was born. But the most interesting part was the date of her birth, 15th August. So without consulting even her mother, her dad named her ‘Vijaymala’ and entered the name in hospital register and her birth certificate. (Later, her husband changed it to Vijaya saying ” she already put a garland round my neck when we got married so now I don’t want this permanent ‘Mala’ in my life!)

Vijaya, since her childhood always was fascinated by the profession of Chartered Accountants and dreamed of being one. A good student, she had soon finished B.Com and then M.Com, topping the University in M.Com. She had planned to pursue CA soon after but fate planned otherwise.

Vijaya’s outstanding academic performance and her smart and pretty appearance had come to the notice of many in the ‘Marriage Market’ as she calls it today. She began getting many marriage offers from families of prospective grooms. Her father was an orphan who had been brought up in Mojri’s Ashram and was a self made man. He had no relatives to turn to for advise, so he decided that his Vijaymala should get married without any delay.

One family from Wardha was very persistent and following up the marriage proposal tenaciously.

“Every Sunday someone from this family would drop in at my parent’s place to ‘see’ me. They never confirmed the alliance but soon began taking the liberty to suggest, advise and then dictate the course of my life. When I passed my M.Com they said, there was no point in doing CA now.

I should go in for B. Ed. and become a lecturer. I did so …I felt I really had no choice.”

And then 6 months later, this family canceled their ‘proposal’ because of ‘commercial reasons’ – they had found a richer family perhaps who would give a good dowry!

Vijaya was shattered and decided she would not marry. Then she was invited to her home town Mohpa, near Kalmeshwar, for a felicitation. The politician who was to be chief guest did not turn up, but her future husband, an M.Tech and lecturer in LIT, Nagpur was among the audience and he was made chief guest instead. He was so impressed with Vijaya’s persona and the way she replied to his congratulatory speech that he ended up proposing marriage then and there.

“He was from another caste altogether and his family not known to us at all. But my father said ‘ go ahead, marry him’ what has caste done for us?”

And so Vijaymala Dubale became Vijaya Marotkar. She also had by now a job as a teacher and her husband thought life was set. (The initial period had seen Vijaya quit 7-8 jobs till she finally settled in her present 9th job as lecturer in New English Junior college.)

But soon the poet and the literary person in Vijaya was stirred and came to life. She had already been writing and compiling her work, friends pressured her to publish so she came out with her first book of poetry. It was met with high praise, the foreword was written by none other than Ram Shevalkar. With this initial success, a lot of her work began getting published. Vijaya became a known name in literary circles and her husband began getting uneasy.

He did not want Vijaya going out, except for work, and did not want anyone visiting, even her women friends. Not content with this, he then began urging her to quit her job. He said he would also do likewise and they should both go and settle in their village Mohpa, where they had first met.

“It was completely like the story of Amitabh-Jaya film Abhiman! Only, I was strong and did not give in. I had decided that no one else was going to decide the direction of my life anymore. Plus I had the future of my two sons to look out for. ‘I will give you up but not my job and my life in the city’ I told him. But he still went ahead and shifted to Mohpa. In a few years he understood the fallacy of his ways and came back….but soon after ailments and an untimely death snatched him away from me forever.”

A Model teacher too

Though she was a prolific writer, Vijaya was completely devoted to her job as a teacher too. Her student related activities got her the most coveted Swargiya Mamasaheb Kshirsagar Acharya Smriti Puraskar few years ago.

Last year, 2016 – 2017 Vijaya has been at the zenith of her creativity. She has published eleven books in this one year. Her interviews have been carried by Doordarshan.

Newspapers like Sakal, Punyanagari have had women related columns run by her.

About this success after so much struggle, Vijaya writes … through a poem ofcourse

सारे काही हळूहळु.
झाले मनासारखे
पावसा तू यावे
आता पावसासारखे

(Whatever my heart desired, I have slowly got…only one wish now, rain please come as rain!)

About scanty rains this year, she has challenged RAIN itself

तुरळक तुझ्या येण्याचीही रे..बातमी होऊन जावी
अशी कशी रे नामुश्कीची
वेळ तुझ्यावर यावी

(Even if it drizzles it becomes News! What has become of your reputation – O Rain?)

But as far as Vijaya’s life is concerned, it just hasn’t drizzled, there has been an outpour…her two sons did very well academically and are settled in excellent jobs now, she has a big community of students, women and other literary luminaries who appreciate her – what more could a woman want?

Her father would be happy to see his dear daughter, born on 15th August, to finally be garlanded by Grand Victory…Vijayamala indeed!

I would like to leave the readers with this final poem, on travails of the Tur farmer:

किती आशेन मी औंदा
पेरली हो तूर….
दिसा मासा न कशी रोज
वावरी फुलत होती तूर

माझे सारे दैन्य आता
होणारच दूर…..
पाहण्या ते दिस किती
झालो होतो मी आतूर….

कधी नव्हे अस पीक घेऊन
अंगणात अवतरली हो तूर
ज्याच्या त्याच्या डोळ्यात
आता फक्त आनंदाचाच पूर

पण भरमसाठ पिक पाहून
जणू झाली नियति फितूर
भाव त न्हाईच् न्हाई पण
खरेदी पण राहिली दूर…..

साऱ्या बाजारात आता
पसरली तुरच तूर…
पाऊस का आला त…..?
कशी वाचन हो ही तूर

जो तो बळीराजा दिसे
आज घरोघरी चिंतातूर
दया का कुणा येत नाही…?
कायम हीच हुरहुर

विचारवंत ही थकले
उठले विचारांचे काहूर
नाफेड, बारदाना ,आयात ,निर्यात
अशा चर्चेतून भयाण भासते हि तूर

—Sunita Mudaliar (Executive Editor)