Saturday, May 7, 2011

But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep….Ranjan Ji celebrates his 22nd Recovery Birthday!!

‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.’ These were some inspirational words by the renowned poet Robert Frost in his poem ‘Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening’. However, my reason for remembering these famous lines here, today, is the strong resemblance of these lines to what Ranjan Ji has achieved on this 20th of April 2011, marking his 22nd Recovery Birthday. A perfect time to review, reanalyze and to rejuvenate as to what he has lived through all these years. This was his perfect day to take an inventory of what he has recovered during these 22 years to make his life a total bliss. And I know as I say this, there would be many inquisitive minds flabbergasted with a question, “Ranjan Ji... A recovery addict?”
Celebrations started from the midnight of 20th April, as people started calling Ranjan Ji to wish him the very best on his Birthday. There were many grateful lives that Ranjan Ji has healed (and is still healing) with his dream project, Shafa. There were recovering addicts who have wanted, all their lives, to be like the legend, himself. There were people from all genres, non-addicts, families and friends etc. who wanted to wish him success. People are crazy about him and his effervescent ways. And mark my words when I say this, the Ranjan fan league is big, irrespective of age, sex, cast, creed etc. He knows the way of ushering people into true happiness by fine tuning situations, which often makes people idolize him.
Amidst all the celebrations, the Shafa family was eagerly waiting for his sharing. It seemed as if we were celebrating some national event.  Though, he was going to Jammu the same day, he made it a point to come to Shafa and share his feelings with the family members. He said, “I can only celebrate my recovery birthday here, because people outside don’t know what recovery birthday’s are.” He was heartily welcomed by the family members who were more or less carried away on this auspicious occasion. With snow spray’s and flowers all over it looked as if Ashagrah had suddenly turned into a paradise. Every beating heart had a euphoric feeling, a feeling of love, respect and lots of expectations. Ranjan Ji shared as to how he bridged himself back to life. He shared some interesting instances from his past which gave him strength to come such a long way. He shared as to how, after deciding to leave, he returned to his counselor and told him that his survival in the outside world was impossible. He shared as to how, in the Sarai Rohilla centre, he used to look out of the window and miss his family.
At a point during his sharing, he also reminisced about his father, Sh. M. L. Dhar, who passed away a couple of months ago, and for the first time ever since I’ve met him, I saw a tear in his eye. It was a very weak moment and every single person in that room became emotional. Everyone listened to him with great awe as not an eye blinked while he spoke. His sharing was a big boost for the youngsters who have just entered the treatment. I can very well imagine how some of the residents would have changed their views about the treatment that day and would have thought of spending a life similar to his.
With such a long time in recovery and that too just serving people and being amongst addicts day in and day out, his recovery undoubtedly speaks  of his significant contribution to the society, saving life’s of addicts and their families, making it all a true life time achievement. Here it also makes it necessary for me to tell you that, I, myself have been with Ranjan Ji since I came into treatment, and quite like the inquisitive minds I mentioned earlier, even I never believe that he is a recovery addict or even has got anything to do with addiction. And even if he has, this is just his 22nd recovery year; he always needs to remember Mr. Bill from the Big Book of AA and that he needs to strive harder as he himself has unending miles to go in Recovery!!