Monthly Archives: January 2016

Dr. P.K.Padhy’s Songs of Love: Romantic Celebration of Life

3rd Vol , No1 (January2016)

Dr. P.K.Padhy’s Songs of Love: Romantic Celebration of Life
Dr. P.K.Padhy’s Songs of Love is a beautiful collection of love poems dealing songs-of-love-400x400-imadhhzhwmzpjcmgwith different aspects of human love, intense romance and profound philosophy of life. Awarded by international bodies such as Poet bay (USA) and the Writers Guild of India,Pravat Kumar Padhy, professionally a Petroleum Geologist, is a significant poetic signature with his presence in the contemporary scene of haiku writings. As a poet he is highly published both nationally and internationally. Thanks to the style of his writings, he has been accorded international recognition. All the poems contained in this book are emotionally engaging, fascinating and exhilarating and they brilliantly capture human emotions in all its shades. Beatrice van de Vis, Editor, The Four Seasons of the Haiku, from UK has rightly commented- “P K Padhy’s Songs of Love is an epic celebration of love and life, leading the reader on a lyrical and memorable journey through the cycles of life.” Dr Padhy himself reveals-

We walk down
The garden of life
Reminiscing
The poetic sublime.
Wind whispers
All the songs
Of our poetic flight.
Our journey
Is an extension
Of the boundless voyage.
However, in the present anthology he appeases our heart, touches the emotional strings that make a melody of romance and songs of tender love filling life with joy and happiness. Simplicity of expression and its presentation is another feather added to it. The poet derives pleasure in the celebration of life, even though faced with myriads of challenges. In the very first poem ‘Songs of Love- A Celebration”, he himself introduces it

Wings of aspiration
Muse the music of shyness
Collecting vibrations of
Meandering rhymes.
Our amazed maiden meet
Manuscripts sonnets of
Different verse
Back in our mind.

The poet is emotionally so matured, romantically pure and metaphysically insightful that he paints love with rainbow of his feelings ennobled by trajectory of experiences and truthful realization He describes love in newer light and drapes his thoughts of love with the emotional refinement. The melodious rhythm of life lies in fantastic flow of love-

Our love is a ceaseless
Melodious celebration,
Our love is the lamp
And we are its brightness,
Our love is a song
And we are its rhythm..

Sensuousness is an important aspect of Padhy’s poetry. Exploration of sensuous realm of life through the purgatory process of love or love making is quite palpable in his poems of love. He lets us peep into the secret chamber where love culminates into an inexplicable unification of soul on the ecstatic bed of life. He reveals-

I sink myself
Below your neckline
And inner self silently.
You surrender
At sea-bed near the shore
Under the roaring tides.
Passionately we search
Each other closing our eyes.
Intensity of passion along the journey of love is very important to carry on a romantic life. The poet takes great care to intensify the feelings of heart to such extent that bodies entwined lose their sense of physical existence and souls locked inside witness the vast ocean of pleasure and floods of lights of eternity. In consummation of love, he recovers himself by realizing the sacred purpose of the creation, and for that matter procreation-
In your cosmic love
I search the
Cause of the creation
And wish
I could discover
Adam and Eve.

Romantic imagination is yet another characteristics of Padhy’s poetry.Like Romantics, he takes flight into the vast realm of fancy and fantasies and captures the experience of soaring aloft with his beloved. In this journey, he befriends clouds, hill tops , birds etc.

I take you
To different peaks,
Like birds
You wish to fly
Over the hills
And beyond
The bounds of the sky.
We sketch differently
To measure the love
And it is still deep enough
When you glance
From the top.

His thoughts on love, romance, longing and yearning shift from physical plains to metaphysical zenith. ‘I’ and ‘you’ become ‘ We’ through the sincere journey. The gradual evolution of self and soul provides a spiritual and metaphysical dimension to his poetry. Inner progression transgresses the materialistic aspect of passion and herein lies the universal appeal of his poems. Let us see here –
The warmth rejoice
Of the sacred celebration
Carries
The nostalgic memories
And reaches out to the sun
Of a new bright light.
In the open
Ecstasy quaintness sky,
On the cosmic path,
We continue to walk
With the evolutionary smile.
Realizing the perennial significance of love and melody in life the poet croons out melody of soul in the valley of life. All those in love, in the loving embrace of lovers get a beautiful feel of it as their life is filled with joy and pleasure, soothing comforts and peace. The poet romantically captures those moments as sweet memories and also get us feel and realize the unflinching power and healing impact of love-

Memories are preserved
In the tiny pebbles
Of the meandering flows.
Songs of love scintillate
On the colourful edge
Of the living span.
The caring warmth
Of our creation
Nurture us to rest
In the evening hours.

Togetherness in life, facilitated by love helps the people to tide over all the troubles of life. Love sprouts hope and with this weapon they succeed in beautifying their life. That’s why the poet himself reveals-

Life is a wave
Of joy and sorrow.
Harmonically it swings
In the high and low.
I collect the grains of hope
By the side
Of the completeness
And wish
The waves of our creation
Would breathe the zest of life
For the longest time.

Love is eternal and beyond the clutch of Time. Despite passing ages, the feeling of love is always there and this is what finds an apparent treatment in the following lines impregnated with metaphoric excellence and the poetic skills.

Time transgresses
Over wealthy age.
Lamp of love
Still continues to burn
Behind the eagerness
Of perennial urge.

In a nutshell, Dr. P.K.Padhy’s Songs of Love sprinkles some spontaneous, sensuous, sonorous and sweet showers of love and romance on the loving and affable readers of love poetry. The poet has taken special care to portray Love in its varied hues, with acme of intensity and passion, with rainbow of feelings and emotions, in view of its perennial significance in life. The language and diction is quite remarkable for its simplicity and clarity of expression. Apt usage of metaphors and other poetic devices lends extra beauty to this extra-ordinary, lyrical and wonderful casket of love poems.

Happy reading!
Writers Workshop, Calcutta 2012
Poet- P. K. Padhy
ISBN 978-93-5045-029

Reviewed By Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar .

Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar is a review editor of Asian Signature.10801644_10204637325948678_9145761407248314636_n

Rashmi Jain’s Kaleidoscopic Visions

Rashmi Jain’s Kaleidoscopic Visions

Kaleidoscopic Visions is a collection of 31 innocent and beautiful poems by Kaleidoscopic Visions Rashmi Jain cover pageRashmi Jain who is a Research Scholar, Department of English and MEL, University of Allahabad. She is an emerging and promising poetess, one of the feminine voices. With this book of poems, she has made a bold, brave and brilliant beginning of her poetic writings. In this debut anthology she explores, the kaleidoscopic experience of life. Memories, childhood, mother, soul, love, nature, role of woman, dreams and hope, dowry, life and God, socialism and humanism etc are the major themes of her poetry. It showcases “weird and varied moods of life” with “amalgam of ideas and expressions”
.
Rashmi Jain’s poetry is poetry of life, of joy, and celebration. In the very first poem “Memories’, Rashmi Jain expresses her celebration of life “With lots of memories”. She gives a glimpse of life with its fleeting passage of time. Her craving for the beautiful life is well reflected in the following lines-

Turning over the pages,
I found the glimpse of life
A life which is spent and gone,
A life I crave for and mourn
A life that is colourful in its essence, efflorescence.
“Childhood” is another beautiful poem expressing her exultation over the lovely and lively celebration beautiful, precious moments of live as well captured during her childhood days with all the pranks and naughty acts, fighting with siblings, for some candies etc. She opines that the days so spent are unforgettable as they have the innocence of childhood that paves way for the vitality of youth and in times of old age they revitalize our life and enjoy much and more. She unravels the undying idea of enjoying each and every moment of life within the limits of time available with us-

Unforgettable precious moments of life, rapidly flies
Capture them somewhere in the corner of heart
Unlock them in lonely hours
To relive it, and
Revitalize life once again. (Childhood)
Rashmi Jain is a poet of keen and minute observation. She takes into account even the small things of life, in and around. There is a penetrating observation of life with her romantic perspective on love . She talks about soul and mate and their unification for inner journey for bring about a sense of complete being in the poem “Soulmate” :

Soul shows purity and mate gives direction to life
Soulmate together makes one finite, to survive in
its own lifestyle

Since Rashmi Jain a woman, she is well aware of the plight of woman in male-dominated society. With some social concerns veering around woman, she sees to it that woman’s condition improves. Though woman is believed to be a source of joy, comfort and sustenance, yet the poetic heart of the poet is aggrieved at the sad plight of woman and her status in society. Her feminine sensibility is at its best when she gives a poignant portrayal of woman in distress. “Changing Role of Women” presents poignant and deplorable condition of woman. Despite ‘Designed as semi divine/Worhipped as Mandakini, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Kali/ But her position is still deplorable off papers, Crushed and crippled as tissue papers “

Calling her the second sex just shows the subaltern attitude
No one can deny that she is Almighty’s masterpiece.
His masterpiece! with unique qualities.
It’s true! It’s true! It’s damn true that women role is
changing through centuries.
It’s changing…

She is also a poetess off reactionary and revolutionary zeal. As a poet of revolt and revolutions, she expresses her socio-political concerns in her poems. She accord due importance to the concepts of ‘catharsis’ and ‘purgation’, being the crux of thoughts on literary analysis. She arrests our attention:

But inspires the collective unconscious
It’s a purgatory fire, with
Catharsis as its true production
Revolutions brings regeneration
It might be social, political or mythical
Largely depends on integration
It leads to new formulations,
amidst the turbulent evocations. (Revolutions)

Hers is poetry of hope and determination, of sanguine attitude to human life. She sparks and splints a hope of light in the darkness of despair and disappointment in the frustrated heart of humanity. Her positive words mesmerize the readers and exhort them to resort to the right and virtuous path of life, despite all the inevitable hurdles human life is faced with. “Paths to Follow” is one such an inspiring and motivation poem –

Yet I am ready to walk on the path of mankind
Twilight doesn’t matter,
As I know there is always a hope of light

She further reiterates the same theme in her poem “Hope” that hope does wonder in bringing about the realization of true self. The following lines are the outcome of her profound brooding over the positivity of hope and its significance-

The adventurist attitude
A unique blend of emotions, visions, and reflections
Exists in the inner temple of human body
Feel and it retrieves
Deep in heart it always resides, like a pearl
Pure, colourless yet,
Colourful and bright.
Illuminous, extraordinary,
A faith in god
A note of confidence
A blessing in disguise
Hope: a magical expression.

One of the most distinguished features of Rashmi Jain’s poetry is the realistic depiction of social and familial reality of contemporary times. There is a note of bitterness in her description. She is socially alive to the myriads of social issues. She touches upon some of them in her poetry. Dowry is one such a grave issue with its diabolical repercussion on a woman’s life. This monstrous dowry system has taken our society under its strong grip and hold. It is a social stigma for the Indian society. The verbal description of the victimized bride is poignant, heart-rending and nerve-shattering. In “Say ‘No’ to Dowry” she laments-

Marriages are made in heaven
So why this heaven turned to hell?
The brides hopes are dumped into well
Her dreams are broken and shattered.

Hence, she as a poet of exhortation with a strong message urges all of us-

Listen! To the inner voice
Say no to dowry.
Just imagine a future without girls,
How the generations will survive without her
She is the real future
The true source of life-spring.

Ecological concerns of the poet also find beautiful expression in her poetry. One such poem on nature is “Nature” where she speaks at length for the preservation of trees and all that. As she is of poetic sensibility, she is saddened to see the exploitation of nature. Like Romantic poets, she also believes that nature sustains and maintains mankind and humanity. Both of them have inseparable rapport with each other. She highlights the dual aspects of nature- constructive and destructive forces:

Beware! Beware! There is still time to be aware
Support nature to survive
And in return it provides aid to humanity,
At every step of life
So, listen! to the call of
Nature! Nature! Nature! (Nature)

Some of her poems contain her metaphysical broodings and philosophical speculations over life, death, mysteries and eternal concept of Time. She is of the view that time teaches us all the eternal lessons of human life in due course. Life is full of surprises and uncertainties, several hidden topsy-turvy, bouncy and wavy waves and tides of troubles. However, what man is supposed to do is keep marching on and on with smiling face and courage in heart. Her idealism lies in this very idea as reflected in her poem “O Life! O Life!”
Time the master key of life
Unfolds all the mysteries of life.
O Life! Don’t be weird
O Life! Be an asset and bring some cheer.
She holds her own philosophy of life. She believes in the continuous flow of time and life with confidence and courage “ a supreme eye is always following and keeping vigilance”;

Life is to travel on
Continuous and unending
Full of mazes, crosswords and jigsaw puzzles.
Puzzles remained unsolved,
Mysterious mazes and unending path;
Life is to move on, to keep up the pace
Life is a race which is hard to trace
Life unfolds the mysteries, evolutions and revolutions. (Life is to Travel on…)

The same theme of life is also carried forward in yet another poem “Whenever”-

Life is full of music, vision and contradictions
Still the serenity of love, life and lust always lingers
Witness the softness of life
With an attitude full of positive vibes
Enduring, emancipating and energetic.
Rashmi Jain’s poetry also presents a world of dreams with varied hues and scintillating sparkles. Her perception and conception, and perspectives on dreams is awesome. “Dreams” is a fantastic articulation of the poet’s ideas about dreams that colour different poetic moods-

Dreams are full of colours
Half true and half manipulation
Dreams the innate wisdom
Beliefs, visions and re-visions
Dreams are like flying kites
Which drives one to the unexplored territories
To explore, and
Turn dreams into reality. (Dreams)

“Butterfly” is poetry of metaphor that’s exhibits the play of free will. She compares a girl with this beautiful creature and makes contrasts in terms of freedom enjoyed. In the case of women or girls, freedom is confined and limited. She calls for total freedom for girls as the butterfly enjoys-

Don’t kill a life, let her survive
The world is beautiful,
Let her fly.
The vibrant colours she scatters around,
The aroma of happiness their presence fills in the ambiance
O butterfly! O butterfly!
Wherever you go,
Let me assist you to the world you fly

She writes ‘A Letter to God” requesting Him to take avatar and redeem life, safeguard humanity and dispel darkness from the world. Global vision of peace, fraternity, prosperity is well reflected in this apt poem. She highlights-

The omnipotent force,
The creator, preserver and the destroyer of the universe
The trinity,
Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh and
Lakshmi, Kali, Saraswati
Goddess of wealth, death and wisdom.
As a poet of love, Rashmi Jain wonderfully touches upon multifaceted aspects of love. Love is tender, intense and intimate feeling of human life. It makes life enjoyable, pleasurable and humane and intensifies the longing to cherish more and more- the love-filled moments of life. To the poet, love is; transcendental’, ‘an emotion of delight ‘’’an infatuation’, ‘a magical enchantment’, ‘ a flame of passion’, ‘yearning’ , ‘ deed of worship”. In fact, it is encompassing everything soft and tender. Love is a comprehensive word which means many things to many but for her-

True love is an eternal love
With the spiritual self or the universal self.
Love beautifies life and life gets its beauty from love and both form a beautiful and soothing realm for soul to rest on with joy and peace. Her concept of beauty reminds one of Keatsian concept of beauty. Beauty

The world is endowed with magnificence of beauty
————————————————————-
Old age has beauty of experience.

Rashmi Jain is also a poet of humanism and humanity. There is a preponderance of humanistic sense in her poems. Her humanistic approach to life is quite remarkable. It is this characteristics of her poetry that her creativity wears a global and cosmopolitan vision- her central poetic concern. Humanity forms a greater theme in her poetry. Topical and contemporary issues find an excellent articulation in her poems calling for global peace and love. She is saddened to see the brutalities of fanaticism, brutal killings of the innocent in the global strife, in the name of caste, creed and sects, the ego clashes among people. Hence, she calls upon to inculcate the human values for safeguarding humanity and the feeling of brotherhood all over the world. She questions-

Why people fight every time
Sometimes on name of religion, custom
Sometimes the cause is ego and pride
Humanity is the greatest need of time.

Her poetry is a beautiful portrayal of mother who is an apostle of humanity and the primordial seed of creation. She sings gloey of mother in her poem called ”Mother”. She calls her “Beautiful, bounteous and divine/ God’s grace to mankind/ The originator of life,/ Who nourishes and nurtures humankind”. To the poet, mother is “The embodiment of love,/ The symbol of sacrifice,/ The fountain of inspiration”. Her subjectivity is well reflected in the wonderful lines of the said poem. She expresses her indebtedness to her mother for what she has done to her. However, she is scared and very much apprehensive-

But I wonder and fear the future without mothers,
As increasing number of female feticide scare me. (Mother)

Rashmi Jain’s poetry is ‘soft flowing emotions’,’ Imaginative or realistic’,’ Sketched, framed and presented infront of the world’. Her poems are both aspects of meanings- connotations and denotations. They embody her ‘inner feeling and thoughts’,’ Like pearl in an oyster shell,’ ‘Collected and stringed together like/A necklace.’ She reveals the true purport of poetry-

Poetry is like rain
Comes spontaneously and uninterrupted,
full of emotions and imagination.
Poetry gives soothing effect
to heart and soul.
Poetry a gift in disguise
To pour out and quench one’s desire. (Poetry)

In view of the foregoing discussion and analysis, we see that Rashmi Jani’s Kaleidoscopic Visions deals with a rich variety of themes as resorted to in her poems, in varying shades of intensity. All her poems are honest, innocent, candid and sincere expression, though weighty with thoughts, of her childlike heart. Grammatical errors such as “When the mother lull me lullabies’ (page 13), Soulmate are the abiding force of one’s life/ Making one feel complete of its kind (14), Shadows that speedens and flickers (page 15), The winds blows and revolts/ The waves rolls and revolts (17) The winds blows and revolt/ The waves rolls and revolt (page 18) The shadows of life//The mysteries of skies/Makes me aware why do I survive (19), It doesn’t leaves one alone (20), Dark Lady do exist (21) could have been averted and avoided. The proper pruning, linguistically semantically and stylistically, could have been done for proper presentation of poetic thoughts and vision, for proper clarity of thoughts and expressions.

However, the best part of her poetry is that her poems are far away from romantic fantasies, and extravagance of sentiments. They are simple and spontaneous and not only convey the message to embrace love and life, accord due respect and honor to woman and humanity but also call upon us to contribute to growth of global peace, amenity and fraternity.

BHASKARANAND JHA BHASKAR10801644_10204637325948678_9145761407248314636_n is a review editor of Asian Signature.

NIGHT SKY BETWEEN THE STARS

USHA KISHORE :NIGHT SKY BETWEEN THE STARS

Book Reviewed by Asra Mamnoon
Usha Kishore Night Sky Between the Stars Poetry Collection Allahabad: Cyberwit India, 25 January 2015 ISBN 978-81-8253-566-4 Pages 110 | Rs 200

A Star in All Its Radiance
Manifesting her concerns over Indian womanhood, the Indian born Britishn writer, Usha Kishore smiles at us with another anthology of beautifully carved verses, Night Sky Between the Stars. The fierce femininity of Draupadi, the virtue and silent strength of Sita, the devotion of Mira and the loyalty of Gandhari: Kishore has magically rendered the many facets of a woman into poetry. After having carved a niche with her debut collection of poems, On Manannan’s Isle, Kishore’s second outing, Night Sky Between the Stars can indeed be a very rewarding intellectual and fulfilling experience for lovers of poetry. Night Sky Between the Stars is a sea change from the postcolonial palette of language, culture and identity of On Manannan’s Isle towards a more feminist discourse, drawing on Indian mythology and Sanskrit verse.
With a cover photo of the epitome of woman power, Goddess Durga, the book catches one’s eye in no time and with every turn of a leaf,Kishore’s poems give voice to Indian women who have long since been silenced under masculine supremacy. One realizes that the idolization of women in Indian culture is perhaps a myth and their marginalization in the present era is solely a continuation of the past. Though the poet draws heavily from ancient Sanskrit lore, myths and legends, she does not celebratory in her stance; instead, her poems are reactionary, which shake the very roots of Indian values. In keeping with the Indian tradition, Kishore begins with the Gayatri mantra, the mother of all Vedas and challenges the lack of patriarchal acknowledgement to chant those mantras which had been solely reserved for men.
The collection includes poems which deplore the excessive humiliation faced by several women in Hindu mythology. “Draupadi” is a poem of boundless emotions of a highly self-respecting wife of the Pandavas, who put her integrity at stake in a game of dice. Her pleadings to Lord Krishna are extremely heart rending-
Honour the piece of my torn sari that once bound your bleeding hand Clothe me from eternity to eternity and save womanhood from ruin,for a tale to be told until the end of time.
(“Draupadi”,25)

Not often have we heard queen Gandhari’s dejection at her own fate of being shorn of her physical vision and also of her inability to stand against her blind husband and unjust sons. One can hear Gandhari’s own voice through the poet in this eponymous poem. Kishore also speaks of Indian wedding rituals which have bound women in their knots, since times immemorial. The poem, “The Henna Ceremony”, is about the feelings of a bride-to-be who is to marry a man whom she has met for only a couple of hours-
……….Before my henna fades,my husband would fly away and I would watch the colour dulling in my palms, wait for my visa and pray to the eternal bride for a land of dreams.
(“The Henna Ceremony”,21)
The idea that the universe operates on the unity of Purusha and Prakriti or the male and the female energy lies at the heart of Indian philosophy. In the event of this balance being disturbed, everything goes awry. Kishore lays emphasis on this balance and of the equality between men and women. Her feminism is quite distinct-
My ecriture feminine does not chain itself to lamp posts or wander around, waving placards, shouting in loud voices. It is more subtle;
(“L’Ecriture Feminine et Indienne”,75)
The title poem, “Night Sky Between the Stars” is an epitome of that Female Force which extends itself to time and space and declares-
I am she-cosmic soul, dark warrior, fecund earth, making love to the sky… ……………………. I am no goddess, I am a woman, birthing gods, like bubbles in the sea;
(“Night Sky Between the Stars”,45)
Through the poem “Five Virgins”, Kishore invokes the Pancha Kanya hymn from Indian epics. There is a footnote to this poem, stating that the recital of this Sanskrit hymn can redeem sinners. How ironic!
Kishore’s diasporic bipolarity finds expression in poems such as “Writing in Exile”. This one would remind the readers of Nissim Ezekiel’s poem, “An Exile”, as Kishore finds herself unable to pass a day ‘without thoughts of home’. “Translated Woman”, also a personal favourite, is another poem, bringing out the poet’s existential angst-
My insides are a tug of war between East and West, Who keep their trysts in darkness;
(“Translated Woman”,71)
Poems such as these sprout postcolonial displacement and nostalgia for home and hearth. To talk of Kishore’s poetic diction, she creates a kind of diasporic Indian English tinged with a Western seasoning by using words from languages such as French. Like many contemporary Indian diaspora writers in English, Kishore plays with words and uses the English language in her own unique way.
The longest poem in the book, Ode to the Monsoons, is exquisitely romantic and rich in beautiful imagery. It makes one delve into the evanescence of a beautiful dream as Kishore finds herself reminiscent of Indian monsoons ‘in exiled tears’. The book contains a section entitled ‘Prerna Poems’, a part of the poet’s Ekphrastic project,‘Prerna’, in association with Sandhya Arvind, an artist of Madhubani and Warli paintings. These depict traditions practised by Indian women: “Palaghata”, “Lagna Chauk” and “Radha to Krishna” to name a few. Furthermore, in the section entitled ‘Gendered Yearnings’, Kishore takes inspiration from the passionate palette of the renowned Indian painter, Raja Ravi Varma. Kishore has captured the many moods of Indian womanhood in all its sensuality, in her own poetic hue. Poems such as “Ahalya” and “Descent of Ganga” are sure to wring a poetic heart.
Kishore’s poetry has a confessional note attached to it, much like the feminist proclamations of Kamala Das. The all-encompassing ‘I’ manifests in poems such as “Translated Woman” as the poet confesses of keeping ‘liaisons with many tongues’. Kishore speaks not just for herself but for the entire womanhood. This theme may not be new to an avid reader but it is its amalgamation with Sanskrit verse, Indian mythical figures and a native consciousness, which gives an entirely new freshness to contemporary poetry. This is what makes Kishore’s poetry unique and innovative and makes it one of the brightest stars in a sky with many stars of diasporic writings. It won’t be justifiable to consider it a drawback, but this poetic anthology is more suitable for an informed audience. Though the collection is meant for a global readership, one is expected to have a good enough idea of Indian culture and mythology in order to appreciate and draw out more pleasure from these extremely beautiful verses.
Night Sky Between the Stars, a book of some 109 poems, concludes with the very inspirational, “Tired of Being Coy”. It is an epitome of Usha Kishore’s L’Écriture Feminine et Indienne, where one can hear the echoes of many subjugated women saying, ‘No more’. Kudos to Kishore for such an enlightening gift to her readers. Feed your brains with this one, for it will leave you richer while making yo look forward to another poetic endeavour by the exalting poet that Kishore is.

Book Reviewed by  Asra Mamnoon.she is currently pursuing her Masters in English from Universityas of Lucknow, Lucknow. Born and brought up in Lucknow,she is a voracious reader along with having a wanderlust. She has diverse interests in reading and apart from Literature, Philosophy is where her interests lie. She also likes to write randomly on anything which makes her think.She wishes to be a Professor in English and share with others what she has learnt from her subject and life.

Dr Kumarendra Mallick

3rd Vol ,No1 (January2016)

A New Dawn

If beauty lies
in the eyes of the beholder,
kind and soft words, for sure,
shall lie in the lips of the speaker
and sweet melody, the nature is so full of,
shall find its way into the ears of the listener…

If I receive such riches,
I wonder what shall I give in return.

A silent whisper prompts,
‘Are you not the merchant
who hoards love in your heart?
unlock, open its door,
share and distribute…
Never make it ever stale.

Be quick, make space,
for the angels are on their way
to fill your heart again,
this time with love’s new fragrance!’

‘Love begets love’,
soon dawned upon me the realisation.
My lost heart left buried in ice-cold vast ocean
I dived deep soon to regain…
In You

In your deep brown eyes
where the restless eye lashes
swing as the stems of lotus,
I get the vision of an unending vast universe
By your shapely hands – soft and tender,
I wish to be tightly clasped forever;
and how I long lovingly to surrender
on the battle field of your cheeks – nothing to remember!
In the cloud cover of your silky tresses
I have lost my path and all the directions,
except the black mole below your chin
nothing is visible to me and nothing is seen!
On the bank of your shining lips
attracted by the turbulent swirl of your love
I have leapt into the deep dimples of your passion
that has in my heart created an uncontrolled commotion.

 

Calcutta to Kharagpur on Road

With the crimson sun
setting on the right
we raced down
on the highway – wide and neat,
leaving behind on the both sides
paddy fields that reach
where the sky and the earth meet

In a peaceful sky
patches of clouds
wandered seemingly without any aim,
as the people disperse from the stadium
after their team’s miserable loss…
but birds appeared cheerful
on their way back home

The farmers carried
headloads of paddy stalk,
behind them their spouses
and the kids as usual with balloons:
their cheers flow steady
notwithstanding the wind blows from which side

They return
to their thatched houses,
where the light is dim
but the joy is at its prime,
their cattle they shall feed –
happiness is there
where small is the need.

Ripples of ecstasy filled my heart,
visions of my village
and my early school days
soon returned as a flashback—

 

The Sun Wishes Not to Set

There are days in everybody’s life
when the sun wishes not to set…
I had one such day when on a late May
there was light drizzle
and I stood under a white rose bush
in our balcony to get wet
After the passing cloud moved away,
I watched the drops of water
dripping from the leaves;
I shaped my fingers in the pattern of a bird
with the index finger as its beak to sip.
I repeated this with each finger except the thumb
till mother’s terse word admonished,
‘It is enough, get in, untimely rain is not good.’
When I look back this day,
I do not see the passing cloud,
the rose bush has been removed, too,
in their places mother’s words
appear so sweet and sugar-coated
and the flowers of her memory
far whiter than any rose blossom in my heart
The sun of that evening has not set yet…

 

Dr Kumarendra Mallick is an IIT Kharagpur graduate and a Shanti Swarup 383274_252114538189502_1250167007_nBhatnagar Prize winner in Earth Sciences. He is a scientist by profession and writng is his hobby. He retired from active service on Dec 31, 2001 from National Geophysical Research Institute. At the time of retirement he was holding the post of Scientist (Director’s Grade). Thereafter he was an Emeritus Scientist there for five years. He was a visiting professor at the university of Naples, Italy and a visiting scientist at Univ. of Karlsruhe, Germany. He was also an Associate professor at IIT, Mumbai during 1979-83. He has authored three books on geophysics.Recently in 2009 a book of verses with the title, ‘Letter to an imaginary pen friend and other poems‘  has been published by him.

Aju Mukhopadhyay

Man fumbles with Nature’s Bounty in Sundarbans
1
Mother India sits with Himalayan crown on head
washed by the seas, her feet on water rest;
on her east is the Bay of Bengal
replete with Natural history
on her west is the Arabian Sea
replete with human activity.
Ganga Brahmaputra Meghna at their estuaries
meet the Bay of Bengal with creeks and tributaries
gifting billion tones of sediments to the wide wide sea
which forms the islands in earth-water alchemy.
Huge tidal waves enter the water-woven islands
depositing some silts, washing away portions of the lands.
New mudflats rise up, fragile islands disappear;
none can predict the movements of tide and time, as they are.
Crawling crabs in shadowy sunbathed banks and shore
sundari, mangrove, tiger, deer, crocks and snakes, fishes galore;
from time immemorial all these make the Sundarbans
with Bonbibi, the deity of the world’s largest estuarine forest
at its head. A biodiversity hotspot with foods aplenty for each;
woodcutters, honey collectors, animals, trees and fairies
live, as if in symbiosis.
With 10000 km of land, 70% of it in saline water,
India and Bangladesh share it at the rate of 40:60,
a political division of natural heredity;
it is the world’s largest delta, largest mangrove forest,
a global identity.

2
About 250 years ago, man began living here
with mud embankments
to stop the ingress of saline water; to cultivate.
Man can live as part of Nature, in tune with it
but he intervened in its functioning, restricted silt deposit;
river beds swelled causing water level to rise as of the sea
due to global warming; water flowing above the level of the boundaries.
Besides warning, Cyclone Aila 2010 was a harsh marine reaction;
razing four lakh huts, killing 300 humans
and breaching about 1000 km of embankment asunder;
nature and ecology disrupted, millions of lives are in danger.

3
The latest scene of Nature’s dance would be performed
if man’s pride of subduing her by money-brain power
is not abandoned.
Replacing mud embankments by brick-mortar-concrete
high boundary walls
using heavy machines and heterogeneous materials
like polypropylene sheets to bind the earth and water
is a faux pas like trifling with the vast and unpredictable Nature.
All ill-gotten costly plans, children of the
politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus
have not gained an inch of success
due to inherent weakness.
Earth water sky air and fire have their own symphony;
it would be best to meet them in their terms, in their territory.
Experience and science prohibit execution of such plan;
Instead, making an entire mud boundary would be a better action.
The best perhaps would be to come out to let Nature live on its own.

Insect’s Nest
When it came and built the frame
on the wall,
briskly I bruised it
by a finger.
Twice it came again
I ignored it then.
Now on the wall it has a shelter
at the back of my computer;
a frail one inch hollow tube
upside open downside closed
clipped to the wall.
It’s a tiny wasp
may be with family it lives;
they come and go.

Ain’t all the great constructions
like insect’s nest
brittle and fragile
sure to go
today or tomorrow
measured by time?
Why bother about any mark made of lime?

The paper boat
The paper boat
I set adrift
In my childhood
On the flooded road
Of a metropolis
Has just arrived
This rainy evening
At my doorstep
Under full sail
Inviting me
To set out on it
For a nouvelle
Adventure.

Flower of the Future
Unknown and uncertain
Are the results
Of the mystic bud
Blooming unseen
While shimmering hope
Is rising up
From the luminous vast
That the flower of the future
In harmony with nature
For a Divine purpose
Has been opening its petals
From age far behind
Towards a time
Peaceful and glorious.

What is Impending?
Is it the shadow of a growing dark cloud
Over the pond in a moonless night?
Is it the voiceless echo of a sound
Flashed in the dark announcing the flight.

Aju Mukhopadhyay, the poet, critic and biographer, is a bilingual writer of 61846_452240424520_6917571_nfictions and essays. He has done some important translations on his way. He has authored 30 books. His works have been recognized with awards by such bodies as The Writers Bureau, Manchester, Poets International, Bangalore, International Library of Poetry, USA, Excellence in World Poetry Award, 2009 by the International Poets Academy, Chennai, Lucidity Poetry Journal, Sugar Land, USA and others. His poems topped the list of some e-zines and websites like asianamericanpoetry and poetsindia. Earlier he edited three little magazines in Bengali.

Smita Agarwal

Indian Parliament, circa 2015.

A set of dentures.
Teeth no longer alive.
Unable to bite, chew or grind,
Unable to help the body-politic
Digest;
Diminishing the country’s health …

India, a doddery old fool
Full of bluster,
Unable to hide the fluster;
Spitting in its own face
Because of its loose
Set of dentures.

Ode to a Saijan Tree

O saijan tree, O saijan tree,
Why you, no longer in abundance, we see?
Your little green leaves that you shed completely
Before gifting us danglers of
Drumstick, thin and crunchy?

O saijan tree, O saijan tree,
Is it because in our unholy city
Those old bungalows with their
Acres of estate have disappeared?
And with them those ayahs
Who carried us baby-log on their waist
To the ahata at one end of the estate
Where the servants lived?

And there you flourished
And there you grew
Along with the seemul, the ber
And the jungal-jalebi.

You were not allowed the front garden.
The aangan, the ahata and the roadside
Were earmarked for you.
For, you shed your leaves and littered the lawn,
Encouraged the girgit to scamper all over you,
And we baby-log were dead scared
Of that nasty creature that turned
From yellow to red to blue …

Those estates have now made way
For cramped apartment blocks,
Which can barely squeeze in a bush or two,
And perhaps, a single, slim, at-attention ashok.
And like all shrunken, clogged spaces
Have no room for
A heart, a hearth and you!

Notes:
saijan — drumstick tree
seemul — silkcotton tree
ber — ziziphus mauritiana
jungal-jalebi — pithecellobium dulce
ayahs — maids
baby-log — girlchildren
aangan — courtyard
ahaata — servant quarters
girgit — the chameleon
ashok — saraca asoca

I Love You

Babli Pandey says “I love you …” to Bittu Sonkar.
The campus is agog …
A high-caste girl, Brahmin at that,
Wanting to wed a Backward boy …
Babli’s brother, gets his act together.

He and his gang, with
Cycle-rickshaw chains
And crowbars, beat
The hell out of Bittu,
Who, for a month, lies festering
In the town’s most
Infection-riddled zone,
The Govt. Medical College.

Miraculously, Sonkar survives.
And, but naturally, after full
And final recovery, collects
All the Backward caste warlords
Of every out-house locality
And seeks vengeance.

Siege-like conditions prevail
Around the university’s SSL Hostel
Where Pandey and his chaps
Are holed-up …

Meanwhile, Babli, willingly
Abducted by the Sonkar gang,
Under the banner of the progressive
Arya Samaj, marries Bittu;
A scene-from-a-movie like exchange
Of garlands in the presence
Of the liberal intellectual, Prof. Das …

24×7, the mofussil town’s single tv channel
Blazes footage of Babli weds Bittu.
For the bristling brother and his goons
Attention is for the time being
Relocated from Bittu to Dr. Das.
Next morning, Dr. Das takes
An extra class on “Break, break, break …”
And discusses the forthcoming Freshers Function
In room # 8, where he shall encourage
Boys and girls of postgrad English
To dance to “Tera, tera, tera suroor”
And “Beedi Jalaile” …
Exhortations over for the day
Dr. Das leads the way
Down a flight of stairs
Where Birju Pandey
And his hoods waylay him …
Residual decency cannot make
Birju punch the don in his face.
So he pulls out a matchbox,
Strikes a match, waves the flaming
Stick, menacingly, three times,
Under the paralysed prof’s nose
And growl’s “Last chance, saar …”

Prof. Das clutches his heart and collapses.
The girls of the class let out a collective
Squeal and beg forgiveness for his lapses …
Tension is temporarily dissipated.
Mofussil India’s struggle
With modernity, abated.
The Babli Pandey, Bittu Sonkar
Saga, by these unforeseen
Circumstances aided and abetted,
Postponed for the next
Bright, new day …

 
Poetry

This Sunday, once again, I come back to you, love,
All my cares cast aside – the child struggling with his O levels;
My dreamy, difficult husband; the old man who said,
Come child, come, then pushed me down the hill …
In the light rain, I walk down Giles Lane to St Stephen’s Hill,
And take the footpath to Little Hall Farm, Eastingdown, Alcroft Grange …
Squelch over fallen chestnut and oak leaves till I come to Little Hall Pinetum
And see conifers, green sails in a sea of brown dead ferns …
Am surprised by a white Citreon Romahome with trailer,sitting
Patiently outside a brick house with Tudor beam façade,
The house quietly smoking in the rain, in winter …
Sheep-come-near-the-fence move off, turn around and stare at me.
I walk on to where the single track potholed road turns into a path,
Wind my way on till a neighing unsettles me … I see it …
Big, black, powerful, nostrils smoking … It snorts. I make a move
Towards it. It shakes its mane, neighs again and walks till it’s behind
A bush from where it watches … What does it see, dear horse?
An oddball in an anorak with an Eskimo hood?
I’m just as nervy … What if it breaks out and tramples me?
It’s to you I return, tired and hungry … It’s with you I wrestle …
Like a man I shout at you … , when you lay down the wrong preposition,
Dish out a difficult verb, throw a tantrum over a metaphor I’d spent so much
Energy inventing … Yes, we quarrel. You fling your history and pedigree
In my face and I say, Get out I don’t want you …
It’ll go on for hours, won’t it love?
Till we’re exhausted and my fingers ache?
Hopefully, by then, the weather will have cleared …

 

Smita Agarwal  is a poet and professor of English  at  Allahabad University, smita maamUttar Pradesh, India, since 1983. In 1999, she was writer-in-residence at the universities of Stirling (Scotland) and Kent, U.K. She also is a Hindustani music vocalist and has performed on All-India Radio. Her poems have been widely anthologized and her critical work has been published in journals such as the Poetry Review (London) and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature (UK). Agarwal is also an editor and translator for Plath Profiles, the Sylvia Plath online journal, published by Indiana University, USA.

DC Chambial

Love Lasts Eternity

Love, a sentiment of oneness:
comes unknown all at once.
Known to soul since eternity.

The flower charms the eyes,
fascinates and tickles the heart;
scent exalts senses till eternity.

Breeze blows quietly,
stirs slumbering spark,
lights path till eternity.

The bud grows young with
Sun’s stride around the globe;
lives ever young till eternity.

Fire once lit never dies. Boldly faces
many a blizzard and storm. Burns bright ev’n
while crossing the gate past eternity.

A river deep flows afar:
safely swims to light at the other shore.
Eyes set firm on blissful eternity.

Ah! The mellifluous ambrosia
trickles down from heaven to glut the soul:
ecstasy this lasts till eternity.

Stoic Stance

Jatasyahidhruvomrityu, janmamritasyacha … [The Gita 2.27]

Life and death
Complement each other
Like day and night,
Morn and eve,
Heaven and hell,
River and bank,
Earth and sky.
Inseverable!

Why the fear of death?
Why the joy of birth?

Let’s welcome both
With stoic stance of a seer!

Beyond Memory

Birth and death,
The entrance and exit
Of the puppet
Designed from
Panchabootas*.

It’s the one
Who lives within and
Makes heart palpitate,
Lungs breathe.

It was, is, shall ever be
Eternal as He.

Act as judiciously and naturally
As the blood and breath
In each body.

Let the unsolicited
Fear and concern
Be buried
In blackhole
Where memory and life’s dross
Don’t trouble at all!

*five elements –earth, fire, wind, water, and void.

Unanswered Questions

At this hour
Of antipathy,
Who is answerable:
The ruler? The ruled”
The killer? The killed?
The perpetrator? The perpetrated?
The oppressor? The oppressed?

My questions
Put on rhetorical orbs.

The time moves on
Without any nemesis,
Without concern for any one
Like the sage
Detached and poised.

In this melee of selfishness and egos,
All wallow,
Like the pigs, in muck.
None stops to contemplate
Even for a pico-second.

 
An Ant and I

I saw an ant
Carrying a cargo
Many times heavier than it.

I pressed the cargo
Making it toil hard.
Harder and harder it did.
When failed to move it further,
Eased its grip on the cargo.
It climbed, instead, up
On my finger
And stung it hard.

I sensed the ire and desperation:
The anger,
The agony;
Of those who suffer and undergo
Day and night.
And realized
Why they harbour hostility against those,
Who make it hard
For them to live their life.

The bite is genuine;
The anger, true.

When will the sun dawn
To make us live in harmony,
Realize the merited right
Of equality in life
Instead of colour and creed,
The shape and size,
The gender bias?

When will these all
Melt into a uniform whole —
Humane HUMANITY?

 

CA DC Chambial has taught English language and literature for about 37 years in various schools and colleges in Himachal Pradesh. A recipient of many honours and awards for poetry and CV appears in many international biographical publications. An established poet with 10 books: Broken Images (1983), Himapaat (1984), The Cargoes of the Bleeding Hearts & Other Poems (1984), Poetry of Himachal Pradesh, edited (1985), Perceptions (1986), The Gyrating Hawks and Sinking Roads (1996), Before the Petals Unfold (2004), Mellow Tones (2010), Words (2012), Hour of Antipathy (2014); also included in a dozen anthologies. Edits Poetcrit (estd. 1988) – a peer-reviewed biannual literary Journal.

Bhadauria Manish Singh

Railway Bridge
A century breathes beneath
rusted railway bridge.
Sabarmati’s shallow stomach has many secrets,
waiting under layers of inertia.

Tadpoles of time
still waits for metamorphosis
All those coins offered long ago,
kissing her tired breasts.

Shanta; that rag picker lady
again find herself behind pillar,
to know more of a man and of hunger.
Her daughter waits near small puddle
watching beheaded lord Ganesha;
staring the limbless may sky.

 

Wintery Curtains
The lord of seven horses
stood; sluggish behind wintery curtains.
A blanket of fog covered; Reality and Nudity
City caressed in the arms of slumber.
Yet, good wife gathered herself
to unending calls of chores.

In an illegal hut
knees digging deep the vacuum of stomach.
Fingers googling life on fire,
consuming plastic and stale news.

Across the road at temple,
Surprises waited for lord Shiva.
Pandit; appeared in full cloth
A familiar tea stall kept on selling;
shallow, sweet quaffs in saucer,
Cricket and politics hooked in naturally
like that pair of leper eyes
staring pot of boiling tea
desires simmered and overflew.

 

A Balloon  Boy

A twelve year Boy Man; Ramu
alone with a hollow companion,
leaning deeper in skinny shoulders.
Swollen spectrum gropes air on the top
like sobbing breasts of his widowed mother.

Untamed feet pit-pat streets of the city
measuring the golden bridge,
where a horizon claims an impossible
Two ends meeting where the sun sinks.

The boy in the man meets his father’s blood,
a spot holding his father’s last shadow
And pieces of a precious wind screen glasses.
A heap of questions reverberate his pockets,
but this unaware city remained tongue-busy
Sucking and licking own wounds and bruises.

A known trespasser rattled my doors.
Water kept coming in to my existence.
Face of the morning bears new dark circles,
just above its swollen muddy dimples.

Dampness had seized my only ironed shirt on hanger
leather of my day feed new saprophytes.
Tiny umbrellas peeping out of logs
Outside my airless window lie more evidences,
ready to be consumed in muddy canals,
made on the breast by rubber giants

A cup of tea waits for me on the desk
I lift it to discover; a wheel
a symbol of progress on the table top
where a puddles of stagnant dust clinging
desperately .
To my silent days of inactions.

 
Dawn at Bridge
The yellow moon over Gandhi bridge,
swollen face and deep scars; looking absorbed.
A revolt about to break in the eastern territory
An alone Abhimanyu made a fissure,
in dark Chakravyuh; fog breaking at last.
Heavy wheels of Municipal trucks
shook hefty shoulders of sleepy roads.
Following them was a light hearted rickshaw
preaching “Love is a Sweet Poison”
Two rag picker women burnt their wealth
comfort of fire let them talk their heart out.

Suddenly the passive wind found playmates
Four disposable glasses, a soda bottle
with emptied bottle of Royal Stag.
Beneath the bridge flows the darkness.
Old Sabarmati stretching its limbs
To touch boundaries of an Ashram
where a Hridyakunja waits for a Vishnava

 

Flutter of a Torn Kite
Flutter of a torn kite diluted intense,
Noon of a May.
Naked branches of Neem remained reluctant.
Toll of new casualties had covered the grove
But..no one came to count and compensate.

At a government bus-stop
a blind lady sat
with basket of bottled water
‘Has she ever tasted those minerals?’

Infrared touch of the sun sauntered,
gazing new pimples surfacing.
An assassinated man stand there
waiting for his birthday
A tug of war was on display
crows had found a loath of meat
His stony lips must have spoken,
to dove on shoulder
‘Nathuram killed me just once.”

 

Eunuchs on the Train
Languid air of third class compartment,
suddenly transformed in to Lead.
Cheap scent of those shaved armpits;
Ignited many sluggish senses.

The train kept on it course,
unaware of castrated assaults.
The big Palms started their affairs.
Clapping, Begging and Threatening

The blessings came rather tersely
Out of lips lying somewhere;
under the thick coat of lipsticks.
To some their demands felt burdensome
like grafted breasts pushed in
forcibly in to those blouses.

Some lion heart remained reluctant;
Unmoved…Unaltered
inspite of all those delicate touches,
right in there again and again.
But fallen down at last,
to an old trump cards,
They stand tall lifting their saris high
Incompleteness was on display.

I was there,
right there; all the time.
Like all those silly fans of the train,
needing a strong jerk to move on.

 

Bhadauria Manish Singh is a poet, short story writer and educator. He hasbm published two poetry collections called World Inner and Outer (2012) published by Cyberwit India and Jasmines of Desire (2014) published by Nazar Look Romania. He is frequent contributor to numerous poetry journals and reviews. And he has recently completed his doctorate on Indian English Poetry of Jaynata Mahapatra

Jaydeep Sarangi

Stories by the Tea Stall

Each time I carry the bag
Each time I travel by that street
Leading to metro station
Each time I wait for my brother to return
After a long absence
Each time I cry aloud
When India loses a game
Each time I smile
When Ranchi’s golden boy hits a six.
He is a savour, great warrior
Each time I eat momos
And wait for the rain
Each time I’m wet
I stop by that tea stall
For a cup of sugar free tea.
Stiff jaws are opened
Day’s hard toils relieved
In a sip. Life takes a fresh guard.
Each time I stop
The stall is overcrowded.
People debating over hot themes.
Each time I stop for a cup of tea there
I watch the tea seller growing old
Minute by minute. Talking to an old pillar.
Each time I go there
I have a story to write.
Each one over there
Is a character. A protagonist, perhaps.

 
Who is My Master?

What language should I speak?
Bangla
Hindi
Sanskrit
English
Brahmin
Dalit
All possibilities are wide open
Like open market for trade.
I move between
The language of the poet
And the translator,
Reason and effect
As if one will die without the other.
Someone told me when I was a tinny boy
Forgotten her name
May be a shadow
“Language is a master.”
I didn’t understand
I was too small.
Now the sky is clear to me
I see things through its language
I read my master through his code.
A coat made on the banks of the river Thames
Is not that will be living for ever.
Small sprouts are visible on the banks of the Ganges
And near the banks of the Yellow river.
We are holding willow branches. My old master
Is to leave behind his earthly abode soon.

 

My Temple of Delight

Since the days
I heard stories from my grand mother
Events from the great Indian epics
I planted a sapling on the breasts of my mother,
Of my tradition. I ride on my family name.

I live with small rivers of the mind; my mother
Rivers for whom nobody has written anything
No pious mind offers puja
No state policy bother them.Only my mother.
Only people living on its shores know
Its importance, count the “pauses” of loss and death.

My land is my mother
To whom I return each day
In deep silence.
I’ve seen their faces
Heavenly smiles. Taking goats to the field.
My Dulung
Is a reservoir of my tears stored for years.
It has seen me growing up
It offered me a sword
To take the world on my side.
Its muddy water
Medicinal plants on both sides
Old temples
Form a bridge. My forefathers look to each other
Waiting for me to perform.

I remember …
My father had a cow.
Lakshmi and I were friends.
She was my first friend.
I copied many subtle things.
I worked on them. Shaped my bionote.

My brother lives in me
Though I’ve forgotten his sweet face
His blood was polluted.
It was a cruel blow on me.
My white clad grand mother
Tried to tell me so many things
I was too small a child to follow her signs.
I remember them all; count them
One by one…
When night falls
Stars bell my days.
My diabetic bones ache.

I search for a pillow
And a shroud. Dulung flows near me.

Jaydeep Sarangi is a bilingual writer, editor, translator and author of a PHOTO JS (6)number of significant publications on Postcolonial issues, Indian Writing in English, Australian Literature, Marginal literatures and Creative Writing in reputed journals/magazines in India and abroad. He edits “New Fiction Journal” (ISSN 0978 – 6863) and one of the Editors of “Writers Editors Critics”,the Vice President of GIEWEC (Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics, head office at Kerala). Sarangi has delivered keynote addresses in several national and international seminars and conferences. Widely anthologised and reviewed as a poet,he authors five poetry collections in English and one in Bengali.His latest book is translations of Manohar Mouli Biswas’ autobiography Surviving in My World: Growing up Dalit in Bengal(Stree-Samya,2015).He teaches English at Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri College,Kolkata.

Bhisma Upreti

River
When I behold this river
I am both cross
and sympathetic.

In the flood last year
my parents were lost to the same river
and they were subsumed in it;
I, the ill-fated one, survived
being away to my maternal home in the other village.

Since then, I have haunted its banks
stared vacantly at the river
and listened to the sounds—
like Mother’s, when water strikes water
like Father’s, when water strikes a rock
When water washes off a stone
I feel, it’s Mother wiping sweats from Father’s forehead
and the white foam therein
is to me the smiles they displayed.

I see my dreams and future
flow seaward in the river
and stare in loss.

When I behold this river
I am both cross
and sympathetic.

Sleep
Wealth,
fame,
a car,
ambitious plans,
bungalow, bed,
and a beautiful woman.
I have none with me.

But I have sleep
and that is truly sweet
and comforting.
If I lie down on a tattered sack,
by the road, in the portico of a house,
under the shade of a tree,
that comes all by itself
and touches me softly
like affectionate fingers
of my mother.

I do not know
whether those who own
all other things,
do have sleep.

Commonality
A caravan of mules
just went past this way
stirring dust as lovely as longings
and now,
a band of weary porters
is scaling the trail in the same way!

Both have pain
piled on their shoulders;
both have had no time for a bath;
both are hungry and tired too.
Cold has been tickling both;
no dream decorates their eyes.
A foul odour fills the nostrils of both.

What a commonality!
The two share the same exhaustion.

Perhaps, you have been to the Himalayas too.
Have you ever noticed any difference
between the mules, and the porters?

Grandmother
One day
news sailed to me
riding on telephone—
My grandmother suddenly
emerging out of human body
entered a frame
and became photo.

Reaching home in panic
saw it all and wondered.
How could she move in photo-frame
just abandoning the
ninety-year old human body!
didn’t she have feelings for us?

For the last chance
I looked
with a heavy heart
and offered garland
burned incense
and bowed!

Thought–
Oh, how sad
this human life
leaving the world
loved for so long behind
so glibly becomes a photo!

Love Song
Wished I were away from them
Who treat woman a pair of shoes
Just goods
And manipulate her for fun

Your arrival at dusk in my life
Slowly on your wings
Close to me as if I were the tree with your nest
Asked my wishes
A woman too harbors desire
And a colorful dream
Lo, you are the first man.

You are not someone I should miss
Like warm and intoxicating dream
That I should carry you as my womb
But your visit on my memory makes me think twice.

The dance of your curly hair with light breeze
Your way of humming love songs
I have started to care
In the light of your eyes
I see the route to my last destination.

Come
Feel these soft and warm hands
You are yet to realize
The difference between a statue and a life.

 

Bhisma Upreti  is an award winning Nepali poet and wuriter. His 8 books of poetry and 6 books of essays have been published. His works have been translated into English, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Serbian, Slovenian and Tamil and have appeared in various international journals, magazines and anthologies.. He is Joint Secretary of PEN Nepal and also a Coordinator of Writer’s Peace Committee under PEN Nepal.
He lives in Kathmandu with his family