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Pooman Bagai:    The Journey of the Goddess


 Poonam Bagai Founder-President,CanKids…KidsCan,a family support group far children with cancer;  Colon Cancer Survivor;   Vice-Chairperson,Pallium India;  Joint Secretary,Indian Cancer Society,Delhi;  Member,Cancer Sahyog, an emotional support group for survivors and caregivers;  Supporter,Forum for Breast Cancer Protection;  Alumni,American Cancer Society;  Erstwhile Class 1 Officer of the Indian Railways.



  When Rashmi told me about “Journey of the Goddess” it resonated.

On a drive to Agra in August 2006, a newly-met friend remarked, “You are quite the Rani of Jhansi, aren’t you?”. I replied, “Yes, of course I am. She was one avatar of Durga, and I am another!” A remark made in jest, but the more I reflected, the more I knew it to be true. The events that shape our lives – cancer, depression, my husband and best friend replacing me with another… or domestic violence in Rashmi’s… help us reach within, to learn. We learn that “we have the power to change what the experience means to us, and thus change the experience, both emotionally and physically. With each new turn we learn “for learning is the only reason for her journey.” And in understanding this and ourselves, we learn to know that that which is best in us is the Goddess.

I saw death at close quarters, and it made me live in constant fear of dying for a long time. But gradually the threat of death made me more aware of my life. And as I grew better and stronger, I realized that in celebrating life every day and every moment, the fear of dying fell away. As Rashmi puts it so beautifully, “She has transcended both, Life and Death, Knowing them to be the same reality.”

In life’s journey, we draw strength from the men in our lives, our children, our family and friends, and we learn that it is the strength of the Goddess that gives and shares with others. She takes us to people with gifts that we need – of healing, acceptance and joy. She teaches us to give them away. And I found that in giving I received, and still my burden was light. I discovered that my end goal was my own happiness, and that came from bringing happiness to others. I resolved to lead a life that makes a difference.

Rashmi, you have chosen to do that too. In these lovely books, the poetry that gives strength, your words empower. The Goddess in me salutes the Goddess in you.


- Poonam Bagai

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