Monday 2 March 2020

Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar's "Two Indias..." - a book review of collection of poems

Pleasant breeze are yet to blow afresh!

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The ages in history comes and go. But the common men remains almost at the same place- big in mass but internally a hollow entity who can be driven by the rulers to their whimsical designs of actions. But this is not the whole story. History has proven that it is the very womb of a hoi-polloi that has given birth to the most of the game-changers in the world. They not only overthrow the whole structure of atrocities but also challenge the way roles are defined for the classes in the society. And Bhaskarand calls it a "Midas touch" - the ability of common people in a democracy to touch any Tom, Dick and Harry with ballot and make him a King of the land -
Of the Democratic country
Being a democratic asset
Have a Midas touch (pg 37)

From "Soothing Serenades" his first collection of poems to "Two Indias" his second poem book, Bhaskaranand has gone a long way to metamorphose himself from an introvert love-seeking youthful creature to a tough minded, environment-conscious, social man who thinks minutely about every phenomenon around him. Bhaskaranand is a prodigy and has been bestowed upon with several gifts by God. He is a good poet in English, Maithili and Hindi. He has been a remarkable blogger on Maithili Cinema and had been running a flagship blog in the domain. Possessing a very pleasant personality he is very soft-spoken and affable man who is he is a well-acclaimed blooming poet on the horizon of Indian English poetry.

His present book deals with a motley of different burning issues focusing primarily on political and social issues. The atrocities faced by the fair sex in particular and the whole society in general make him unrest and he opts not to flinch from expressing his uncomfortable musical notes of his psyche.

Taking a bird's eye view the poet is able to see that the nation is infested with a whole host of menaces and the most glaring among them is communal disharmony. The loving heart knows the language - only of compassion where caste, creed and religion has no role to play. A  poetic mind is always rebellious on these diversionary turfs.

Bhaskar's views are truly independent and he damn care of any duress once he holds his pen with his fingers.  He is essentially a poet of conscience and is guided by it from the first word of the book till the last. He is undoubtedly a fearless fellow who bows only to the justice and no one else.

Nothing can be more deplorable than killing of the believers of a belief whose forefathers gave their blood for the land to become a sovereign country -
In utter pain and deep anguish
When sporadic communal flare-ups
Blood-smear her milk of human kindness,
While mass killings of the her people
Whose forefathers paid her
With their blood (p.23)
Though the poet has presented the picture of 1947  riots, it is needless to say how relevant even on this day.

And in this most unfortunate scenario he presents the feelings of Bharat Mata (Mother India) who says with a whine -
O My warring children
Stop now
Stop spitting venom
On each other
As verbal flares roast me
bruising my soul (pg51)

And surprisingly he is not a fanatic one even about his secularism as well -
Exchange of heated words
In the name of so-called secularism
Socially flares up the fire of volatile communalism (p65)

The disenchantment of the poet from the socio-political fabric of the nation even after the independence of 72 years is quite obvious-
Chronic chains of aeonican slavery
Are yet to be unchained 
The sun is still to rise up
On the horizon
With rays of boundless joy
Pleasant breeze are yet to blow afresh!

Surprisingly this man of immense energy and talent has no high-ambitious for himself. Whatever he wants to achieve is just to give back to the society.

Though a number of words used in his poem sometime look esoteric still the usage of them are of much more thanm merely ornamental one. The poems are in freestyle some of them also have rhyming effect.

Bhaskar keep a vigil over all the happenings in the country either good or evil and never minces his words over it. In the post-independence scenario of our country whosoever got the throne behaved autocratically to some extent or more.
The best become the worst of all
 The worst do prosper in full swing
An innocent heart lacks all convictions
 A tactful mind shrewdly robs like a king  (p.19)

So, he says that the independence is in fact a farce and all are even now like under the Biritish Rule. The legacy of oppression persists in some form or the other -
India under the democratic rule
Still sobs and heaves
For her people are divided
Indulged freely in spree//
....// In our independent country
English past still haunts the present (p.22)

This poet is basically a lover poet who is smitten by the scenic beauty of our big island ruling in the middle of the Bay of Bengal. The metaphor used by him novel in which his eyes are watching the island as if casting staring look on the most catchy part of the body of a nymph -
The blue sea water under the canopy
Of the azure sky, spreads like an umbrella lies
With islands bulging as seducing bosoms
With cleavages of oceanic flow (p.28)

And he knows well that the women either exist as an adored nymph merely in books or as carrying several scars of oppression in a male-dominated society -
Hands that Ties Rakhi 
All promises are broken 
Nullified as proven true lies
The bonds and bondage
Cemented in one section
Are sadly shattered by another (p.32)

Atrocities on women cross the limit even what someone can imagine -
Sexual Assaults 
Nirbhayas, Nancies and Asifas
Must be murdered
As a punishment to be born
A mere helpless girl?
Unprotected, all unsecured
In their own volatile turf
Be it home, society, state or country
Until their society gives birth (p. 34)

And the hero of the sullen epoch of the society can only be a cunning one  joining hands with some unscrupulous powerful personality -
Cent percent
Of the demagogues
Seem scented serpentine
They can make a fuss
Anytime, anywhere
Kiss the powerful hands
At the right time (pg61)

In the perverse phase of the history - 
But when wrongs tend to be a a right
In an intercourse with vitiating time (pg93)

And it is because of the fruits of the unmindful decisions of those erring people that -
The goblet of grief flows
Handful gains heaped up
Hearts have deadly blows (pg71)

I have already mentioned that this poet is keenly watchful on each and every dimensions of the life nowadays. The root of poet belongs to Mithila and that is why he identifies himself by a person born in the land of Sita and he is amazed that she even though been a pious and sacrificing lady of her time has been forgotten by now and the adoration has now been shifted to Radha keeping in tune of national trend-
A wife
Who laid her modest life
To teach her husband a lesson of repentance
A name
Defeated in her own lad of birth
By Radha, a trespasser from a distant land (pg73-74)

And we must know that though only those who keep a watch over, mourn over all the gloomy scenario around him and yet remain hopeful for the better are good poets and Bhaskar is one of them.  The poet is of the belief that the killers will not survive as they are been cursed by the peace -
Those who stab
Into the back of humanity
will no longer survive
in the world
for peace curses them
to death

One of the most prominent dilemma of modern development is that the villages are forced to cuddle a town culture losing their quintessence. The weakening social cohesion is diminishing fast in the village-
Village life rolls on the booze
Mutual relations lie low and sight high
Down the discordant alleys of drifting rifts (pg89)

I have no qualms in saying that at far as this book is concerned the author has tapped more of his mental faculty than the forceful waves of his heart -
In week psyches of human beings 
A superstitious worm makes
A dent and long niche
Weaving its cobweb
Where His greatness grows 
In dead darkness (pg96)

Religiousness is worthless unless we take it in it's real sense. On each Dussehara, the Ravana is killed but really? He says-
And Demon is reborn
Each time we think ill of others (pg105)

In a system marred by nepotism and corruption  the success in career is neither a function of merit nor of one's own effort. It is in fact the heavyweight personalities in power who dispenses the success and failure as per his whimsical choice. Very adeptly the poet is producing a running commentary of the crowd rushing into the train -
Some successfully do get in 
Some are forced inside 
While some fall in the senseless line
Only to be thrown outside
Or get crushed under the wheel 
Of speeding time! (pg109)

Mob lynching is the most heinous crime in the history of humanity and surprisingly there are approvers of it living on this earth in the open sun  unscathed untouched. But a person who has a heart and a poet who has a higher lever of sensitivity cannot bear this. The cows are not only those milk-giving animals but also are those men who posses a heart like a cow.
Bestial lynching
A Cow by heart is moved
At Donkey's rumour

On reading the whole book would So succinctly it can be said that the vision of Bhaskaranand is very wide and he transpires the whole crux of the matter with his 360 degree vision. The reader is also expected to be as well adept of the national and global scenario the poet had dealt with in his poems. 

For coming out of the fortified walls of youth age romance and entering deep into the harsh realities of the environment around him is a matter of wholehearted appreciation and it is a great relief for the common mass readers of  that there is still at least a poet known to him who has girdled up his loins to take on all the anomalies, disparities and injustice for them.

Name of the book - Two Indians and other poems
Author of the book - Bhaskaranand Jha 'Bhaskar'
Publisher of the book - Authors Press, New Delhi
Price of the book - Rs. 295/=
Review by - Hemant Das 'Him
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