Glittering Shadows by Manish Ranjan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It has no form-no shape- no definite identity.
But still it has a specific identity- because it differs from person to person.
It does not have any death-it does not have any decay-it does know all.
When you like at the night sky-your mind wings to fly thousands of light years away- away from the milky way- away from galaxies-to the kingdom where zillions of stars sparkle like diamonds.
Are you really up there to the kingdom of stars?
But your wish has the speed to beat light- beat anything-to propel your shadow to the kingdom where there is no death- no decay!
In the words of the Gita
na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato ‘yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire
(For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.)
So a point comes where philosophy and imagination coalesces- where there is everything ‘ satyam ,shivam ,sundaram’.
It is all utopian-you may say! These are all dreams-you may say!
It is all imagination…..
I will say it is imagination-that is why it is beautiful. And truth is beauty- beauty is truth!
Glittering Shadows by Manish Ranjan is dedicated to the imagination of human soul. in writer’s words_”far beyond this realm there is a valley of roses, a river of peace, a mountain of serenity, an ocean of hope, and air echoing my words of perpetual love, a world of my dreams, where it is just you and me; a word where the days are bright with positivity and nights filled with festivity; a world where even pain has a love; a world where shadows glitter.”
The slim looking book is divided into three sub sections- love and be loved, life and reflection and womanhood and her crisis. In most of the poems dedicated to the first theme-love and affection is the central theme. That Old Banyan Tree is such a poem. The poem began with a poetical narration of a old lonely tree- rising high above all for ages-witnessing the story of the life flown around it-a silent spectator of many a drama of love ,pain, happiness maybe tears that were acted around it.
“It was aging, but it still had the majestic presence.
Its thick branches were spreading wide, as if willing to embrace me.”
Suddenly the narrator discovers the signs of an unfinished love story that was once acted around it. The unfinished etching of a love sign that displayed only the girl’s name has taken him to the past. The sign is now hard to read-probably due to time and perhaps like the characters who have played the protagonists of the story once. Or maybe it is silent love where the boy has expressed his love-and the girl never knew it?
What was the end?
“Did the girl herself engrave it? Or her lover anonymously professed his love?
I sat under for a while, thinking about the mystery and someone’s stupidity.”
The poem ended in optimism-optimism for a better world-optimism for light-where he found the name of the boy. Where?
It is the climax of the story-an eternal story that found its way on the pages of book!
Her tears are like the perfect shaped pearls of time-valueless but invaluable. It is a pain disguised in a smile-a mystic smile-that spoke a thousand words. Sometimes silence is more golden than words. Her ocean blue eyes are now moist with the sign of an incoming storm-in her eyes there are depths of Pacific Ocean.
“Those beautiful blue eyes now looked heavy, attaining scarlet,
Tears gripping together, composing an ample, ponderous droplet.”
Will her effort to conceal her pain will be concealed-or her trembling lips will say it all! Can our narrator-wipe away her tears?
‘I find these droplets special; it’d have taken an account of love full of swirls
To belong to that beautiful plaintive soul, and its turbulent vastness.
I envy them; I wish your pain belonged to me, withal those dropping pearls,’
Multi dimensional poems are true reflections of different layers of writer’s thinking. It is a story book-where the stories have been told in poems. Every poem speaks of a story- a story that is sometimes riddled with pain-sometimes smiling with joy.
Just like the story of life- because poems are the true reflections of life,
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Rang Leela by Piyush ‘Jayant’ Arora
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The surface of the lake is so gentle-so smooth-so plain that at first glance you may think it is not water-but a mirror.
Mirror –as gigantic as your imagination can behold.
The mirror which has a reflection of the surrounding on it- the blue sky, the emerald green forest, the bright yellow deer-all have been imprinted on the surface.
The image changes- with time, but never the mirror- you will wonder-perhaps.
If the mirror has a heart-it will store the impressions of the images.
Impressions saved from the dawn of creation-or perhaps when the lake has been created.
Then in front of your eye-a stone from somewhere does hit the surface-and the silvery silence of the mirror is broken.
A ripple originates-then two, then three and one point of time you will lose counting.
Ripples will grow bigger and bigger-until bounced back by the land-and then after a while-everything disappears.
It is silence of the mirror once again!
That is how our life is. Rang Leela by Piyush Arora is a collection of poems –poems that are like the images of the mirror- snapshots of the moments of life. The life, which always has a quest towards incompleteness to completeness.
The quest, the journey imparts a dynamic property to our lives- dynamism of ripples.
The life is like a thousand shades of colour depicting different moments of life- some are shades of bright dazzling colours-some are shades of grey, black and white. But the artist has always painted them on the canvas of life with minute precision- to create the masterpiece-the masterpiece of life.
And the artist is the crazy child-whom we call in different names. God, truth- in whatever name you call him-nobody can match his skill. The creative mind can only try to replicate his creation-sometimes on canvas, sometimes on paper.
Let us see to what extent Piyush has been successful in recreating the creation of the master painter on paper.
The book of poems has been divided into three sections- the first contains poems in Hindi, the second part contains couplets (with transliteration into English) and the third part contains English poems by the writer. In this slim looking anthology- different shades of human emotions have been canvassed on paper. Let us start our discussion with a poem from English section-Someday somewhere.
After so many nights-you suddenly meet somebody-somebody you know since the dawn of creation. Somebody you have already met- perhaps in the royal court of Asoka- perhaps in a stormy night on a ship that has long been sunken-or perhaps billions of light years away in another r galaxy. Who perhaps will look at you-and will speak to you –‘where were you all those days?’
Thirsty life will be content-in the architecture of her face you will discover the forgotten saga of romance and hatred-joy and tears, hope and despair-perhaps. In the words of author
“Left alone miserable in the rain
Having lived through that pain
You ask that person
The reason for the treason
You wait with baited breath follows a silence harder than death
Far away you hear some bells
Come back to reality the dawn yells.”
Sometimes so few words speak so many. The poet has left it to the imagination of his readers-to make a figure of that somebody-who may be the most desired…….
Jaane Kal Kya Le Jaye (what tomorrow beholds) is the uttering of a philosopher-is the realization of life. Life is a collection of moments-over which we have absolutely no control. Nobody knows what the future beholds us-so life is nothing but a sum total of moments. Success and failure, happiness and depression all are momentary. so you should live the life to the fullest-try to touch all the colours of the rainbow of life- living the life of a free bird-circling high above all narrowness of life- eyeing all that the life has in store of us. In the words of the poet
“Jaane kal kya le aaye..
Jaane Kya peeche choot jaye
Aaj hi sab kuch hai…
Sab kuch aaj hai…
Who karo jo tum karna chahte ho…
Jaane kal kya le aaye.”
Reminds me of the uttering of Aitareya Brahmana –the dynamism of life
“Charanbai madhu vindati charantsvadu mudambaram.
Suryasya pasya sreemanam yo na tandrayate charan.
Life should always be in motion-should always go on. And throughout the book- the saga of life-the beautiful life has been enchanted.
Which make the book a memorable treasure to read –again and again!
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There was darkness everywhere.
And then the creator has commanded-let there be light!
And light it was-darkness was evaporated! From then on human species is afraid of darkness- and all through the life Homo sapiens makes relentless quest for light- from darkness…
Or rather the human conscience tells the soul to strive for the light!
Sometimes it remains unheard- sometimes it is heard-but the whisper is relentless-deep within the soul! It is the eternal journey that had prompted Orpheus to fight with death for the life of Eurydice- it is the eternal journey that had propelled Jesus Christ to be crucified for the human soul- it is the eternal journey that had empowered Mother Teresa to live a lie for the cause of others.
It is the greatness of eternal human soul that on the face of dying of thirst amid a desert, donates his last drop of water to his thirsty foe, saying-‘Thy need is greater than mine.’
This may be an anthology of poems-but it is also the manifestation of life- the beautiful journey of life-from all perspectives and from all angles.
It is a saga of that immortal soul.
The book is divided into eleven parts-deaths, grandmothers, spirits, love and marriage, children, America, sanctity, angels and monsters, aesthetics, immortality and hope.
to him, death is not an object of fear- rather death, when coming in his silent feet- will rest the tired soul into rest and make a transition from the life of grief, despair and pain. Only the creation will remain and will help him memorise-
“When I finished playing
I felt personally utterly free,
Devoid of any grief
Loss of mystery.
I now fully comprehend
The things he left behind.”
A new perspective- a new dimension has been imparted to every object around us- and narrated with utter simplicity. Abstract ideas are not there-it is realism all the way. Aesthetically all the poems are conveying true to life mirror of the world. but sometimes there is a faint hint of Romanism-like this poem where the poet memorises his friend- a friend who is no more-and a friend who should have lived some more moments on this beautiful world-absorbing the aroma of this wonderful creation
“You should have been here tonight.
You should have danced with Claire.
You should have noticed the deer
Silently listening beneath the oak.
You should have seen them there.”
And who is that you? It remains unanswered-it may be the time in which we all live, it may be the life, it may be the long friend of the poet or may be the poet himself. Here the reader swings between yes and no- like the pendulum of a clock-only this epoch has no definite path!
A certain section of the book is dedicated to the grandmother of the poem. But what is amazing is the use of plural here- it is grandmothers. Why the plural-when the section memorises some moments of solitude, some golden moments, some priceless moments with the grandmother. again we get no answer- only we have to imagine-may be the poet assumes every moments as a different grandmother- revealing a different trait of her character or….
She will return again and again- to this mortal world-to this earthy world of flesh and blood-to look after her darling grandson- her spirit may come again and again. The free spirit bound by the attraction of love. What a lovely feeling-is not it? when she tells
“After this body is burned
I will come to visit you
I will look in on you
To make sure you are ok,
To make sure you are fed,
To make sure you are appropriately
Cared for and loved.”
It is noteworthy that the poet has assumed a picture of Hindu rituals-burning of bodies and coming back as spirit-all ideas embedded in Hindu customs and penning down a beautiful picture of the return of the departed soul.
Poems are like discovering the moments of realization-when life takes us to a point of understanding. This book is a chronicle of transition of this eternal human soul- immortal- no pain, no grief, no despair-but a transition to the bigger truth of human soul- a soul that tells that life may be fragile-but the human will is indomitable.
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