Multidimensional Treatment of Love in “Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart”
Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar’s collection of poetry “Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart” does explicate the concept of love from various angles, perspectives and point of views. Love is explored in this collection in a stark and apt manner without losing its verve and strength. Here in this anthology of love poems, the love as such is dealt with in a microscopic way taking into consideration the different aspects of it one after the other. The main characteristics brought forth through these love poems are the divine love as the predominant love present in this world, the bliss that is derived out this spiritual love, love as an eternal and interminable feeling, the love one does have for oneself and others, the incredible emotion innate in love, the real meaning born out of love, the elixir of love, the incidents and events culminating in the final consummation of love, the enduring and endeavouring side of love, the description of love as a gentle breeze, the suppleness of love, the regenerative mode of love, the oasis in the desert sort of love, the love that is conducted with the domain of silence, the relentless and restless kind of love, the rejuvenating reaches of love, the love for the beloved overflowing directly from the heart, the emotion recollected in tranquillity and quietness type of love, the imaginative love intermixed with aestheticism, the love that takes place transcending above barriers, boundaries, borders and limitations ,the bewitchingly glamorous aspect of love, the love related to yearning for the beloved in the loneliness of the night, the love that is enacted in the domain of serenity and peace, the trials and tribulations associated with love, the universal love, the gestures and movements born out of love, the recollective and reminiscent mode of love, the reinvigorating sensation called love, the sparks of love created within the interiors of the heart, the love of past pedigree, the done and dusted element of love, the mutual and bilateral love, the reciprocal and one on one sort of love, the clandestine love, the most defining idea of love, the difficulties and obstacles inherent in a love relationship, the all pervasive love, the unselfish love, the all encompassing love, the most visible format of love, the serenity related to love, the poetic love, the aesthetic side of love, the intellectual love, the refreshingly well-versed kind of love, the love that goes on within the framework of isolation and alienation, the lamentations and despondencies which are the hallmarks of love, the heart wrenching type of love, the love that bestows upon us consolation and consolidation, the location of the love in nature, the genuine love, the bleeding love entanglement, the physical love, the in-depth love, the internal love, the externality of love, the new dawn of love, the love that is blended within the institution of marriage, love as a holistic and comprehensive reality in this world, the love of the divine as well as the world and love as the beginning and the end.
This poetry book is put through the scanner of analysis with respect to ten love poems in it which are reflective of the multidimensionality of the theme of love described here.
The Godly Love
The most important love in this world is the love towards the divine. It is also the purest form of love, in the poem titled “To Goddess of Love!”. The specialty of this love is given sum and substance extensively. The Godly love is the most purged and cleansed sort of love, there is a rare beauty in it. It is a love inclined towards spirituality all the way. It is the most elegant and trustworthy form of love in this world. This love enables us to wipe out all the dark influences from this world, this love ejects out ill will and enmity and this love does have the capability of weeding out the nauseating aspects innate in the minds and hearts of the people. It is a love furnished with good feelings, it is also a sacrificial kind of love wherein even the life is sacrificed at the altar of love, and the Muse of the heart is kept intact without falling into pitfalls owing to this love of substantial nature. The divine love is able to drive away all lustrous emotions and violent tendencies from the heart. This love also brings final redemption to the self stock, block and barrel:
O Goddess of Love !
Glowing on spiritual throne
Brimming with splendid elegance
Dispel the darkness of hatred
From heart and mind of the ignorant people
And burn all weeds of their impure and lurid desires…
The Interminable Love
In the poem titled “Oh, Eternal Love!”, love is characterised as a wholesome experience which can never ever wither away or wilt out. Love in fact never wanes or fades. Once it is initiated, love is to be had in such a perennial manner because love is the centre of this universe. Such a constant love is present in all particles of this world. In fact love is the overwhelming emotion in this world. Without the presence of love, this world is a useless and futile place to live in. The eternal love is blended with peace and tranquillity present in this world. Such a love of unending nature is the foundation of the good aspects of life here on this earth. The poet pleads:
In the earthly sheath
Of monotonous moments
Let me be
From the weary
And dreary times
The Real Meaning of Love
In the poem titled “Definition of Love”, two diametrically opposed formats of love are perused: one is linked with worldly scheme of things born out of love and the other is the spiritual love which is a love of evergreen nature. The worldly love is encircled with lusty intentions and carnal desires. Here the individuals do have that orientation towards insatiable needs of the flesh. The sacred nature of love is discounted here. This love of materialistic nature is surrounded by fickleness and pure fantasy; there is no solidity adduced to it. It comes and goes by the drop of a hat. It is in fact a quicksand sort of love. When the physical needs are fulfilled, this love becomes so unbearable and problematic. It is a love of clandestine kind carried out to humour the flesh. This love is solely linked to the ways of this world. Within the format of this love, all unsavoury things do take place such as promiscuity and lascivious behavioural patterns. Love is not something that should be given a shabby treatment. It is not the consumption of the flesh; it is not something to be taken in a non-serious manner. It shouldn’t be confined to an insignificant arena, it is not a down and out emotion whatsoever, and it shouldn’t be treated with disdain. Instead love is the most overwhelming emotion touching upon everything in this world. In fact love is all about life and the various aspects related to it. Love acts as a panacea for all the aliments affecting this world. It is something that spruces up our soul. Love is the highest form of poetry in all the senses of the term; love is a journey and the final destination of it is the divine abode where eternal peace is truly encountered by us all. He avers:
Love is life, philosophy, art and religion
A discipline with transformative power
That ennobles us and elevates our souls;
Love is poetry : the abstract of bliss
Underlying between and beyond the lines,
A facilitating means to an end for soul
That ultimately melts into the eternal ocean
Of peace, bliss and the union divine.
Love : As a Foundational Principle
In the poem titled “Fountainhead of Love”, the concept of love is narrated as an emotion having everything in it, a heart that is filled with love does have bliss, joy and happiness in it. A true loving heart can never ever hold any ill will in it; a loving heart bestows us with contentment and satisfaction. When true love takes sojourn or residence in our hearts, we are elevated, ennobled and heightened to a dawn of immaculateness adrift of all worldly desires:
for love alone elevates
our soul and mind
with lofty thoughts and ideas,
taking us to ecstatic heights
of peace and tranquillity
beyond the horizon of desires…
Love of Solitary Pedigree
In the poem titled “Serenade of Solitude”, love is seen through the prism of solitude. There is love within contemplation and reflection. The solitude is a higher level of love wherein love does have that surging journey without getting bogged down anywhere. In the format of solitude, everything is remembered and reconciled with, as a result of which life moves on with the feeling of love intact at the heart. When love is perceived as a peaceful thing, then it spills over into our thought processes and entire self; when love is integrated with the self, nature and love go in tandem and conformity with each other building up this world on the common platform of sustainability. The poet reveals:
Sullen, I brood within soul
In contemplative solitude;
Amid serenades of Nature
And feel soul-felt beatitude.
In the poem titled” Healing Power of Love” ,love is termed as a comfortable emotion for the body and the mind. The individual here is in the whirlpool of the emotion of love. Here love lives on within the self with all the grandeur and viability. When life goes through the inhospitable terrines, love brings succour to the self. When the world and the self are broken into pieces, love is the only thing that binds both of them together as one consolidated entity:
Love never stops at one station
Until it carries and ferries us all,
Soulful bonds and loving ties,
Breaking fetters of gloomy heart
Locked in cranky casket of life,
Love consoles the unheard sobs
Healing the deep wounds of life..!
The Transcendental Love
In the poem titled “Metaphysical Lovers”, love is elucidated as having a higher purpose in life. Here love is seen not in a worldly perspective rather from the angle of cosmic reality. We all have short-lived life here and it is a temporary phenomenon altogether, but the only emotion that allows us to break free from all stratifications of life is love. Each and every moment of our life is to be lived to reach one step closer to that fireball of love, in which everything does have the ultimate end. Love as such can’t be imprisoned rather it should have a free reign all the times. The poet talks about:
Loving each other over there
In the cozy igloo of thoughts
Like a pleasant rendezvous,
With blissful comforts for souls in love
On the delta of romantic times
Beyond the horizon of territorial desert!
The Nostalgic Love
In the poem titled “Down Memory Lane”, love is associated with one’s own existence from cradle to the grave. The bygone love takes the centre of gravity here. The lovely village where the individual lived in brings up memories of enticing and alluring prospect to him/her. Today such a serene landscape is gone with the winds in the life of the individual. Instead he/she lives in the concrete jungles having to deal with the negative aspects of urbanisation trends such as pollution of the air, contamination of water, inhuman attitude, commercialised dealings, the stifling atmosphere, the feeling of alienation and artificial/mechanical ways of living. Here love takes a backseat, still everything is not lost. The remnants of that motherly love of the past linger on unabated even in this cauldron of inhumanity. The individual’s earnestness to get connected with his/her native land and its lovely ways is still alive and kicking:
The veil of terrestrial distance is blown off
From my heart and mind
Uncovering my deep love for
The flora and fauna, the native people,
Arousing and reviving in me
A refreshing nostalgia time and again!
The Melancholic Love
In the poem titled “Sad Saga of Love”, love attains a melancholic tone and tenor. The individual here undergoes sufferings due to loneliness, suppression, oppression and compression. The unloving environment prevails here in an obvious fashion. Here the individual doesn’t have an option but to be in the shackles and clutches of that unloving arena. The quest to break free and in love is there but that is unattainable at present. The rupture from the beloved takes her into an abyss of despair. She does have to do away with taboos, stigmas and inhibitions to reach that plain field of love. She is restricted and constrained and remains chained into that dark corner without the services of pure love. He poignantly describes the plight of a beloved:
With someone’s absence in proximity,
Her intimacy gropes a friendly pillar….
Love cries in cuddled tears of darkness
To transcend a barrier, age long taboo
For her freedom and salvation forever…
The Floodgate of Love
In the poem “Elixir of Love”, love is explicated as a lost and found thing altogether. Here love is weighed down by that romantic overplay and over smartness, that doesn’t bring these loving souls together. Here distance is also an irritant, so the loving union of the hearts must be promoted and nurtured. Although these lovers can not have that smooth sail with respect to love, even then they would like to have that mutual understanding and one on one relationship in the field of love:
Though we cannot dive together into
The unfathomable depth of worldly love
Surging in the sea of our bosom,
We keep feeling through our wavelength
The romantic ripples and the sweet whirling
Of heart-throbs in mutual bower of the unified soul…
The love poems of Bhaskar Jha do have plenty of gumption and inner vitality in their composition. The cardinal thrust that is seen through these poems is their ability to sway the readers into having that rumination regarding the various dimensions of love so prevalent in this world. These love poems are so life altering experiences. These poems can be guidelines and reference points in terms of how the love poems are to be composed and cobbled together because all these poems have all the ingredients related to the composition of love poems and emotions arising out of the concept of love.
As far as the technique of the poet is concerned, the following extract taken from the Foreword by Dr Amarnath Jha is noteworthy:
“The poems are rich in the use of figurative language. The figures, such as simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, paradox, apostrophe, metonymy, allusion etc. have been frequently used. The linguistic devices of polysemy (e.g. ‘The flood of tears tears the heart’ in “Sometimes I Feel” (No.43)) and functional shifts have also been applied very significantly. …………….The cohesive devices used in the individual poems make them stitched together in the overall framework of the volume for the sake of coherence.”
Let this poet of tremendous quality thrive in the future by producing such poetic ventures. My best wishes to him from the bottom of my heart.
Cijo Joseph Chennelil Kuravilangad.
Head of the English Department,
Kristu Jyoti College,
Soothing Serenades : Straight from the Heart (Collection of Love Poems)
Poet: Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar
Publisher: Authors Press, New Delhi
Publication Year: 2018
Pages 114, Price Rs. 250/- $12