Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Suggestions to a poetess

I read your poems and they are very sensitive and beautiful. You asked for reviews and suggestions. I tried review a few and found it very difficult. Here is the sole suggestion.

Your poems talk of utopian love, longing, silences, loneliness, pain, tribulations of an unquiet mind and the journey within. It is said beautifully. In fact this is the origin of poem as told by Shelly and Pant (quoted below):

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
---Percy Bysshe Shelley (Husband of Mary Shelly of Frankenstein fame)

वियोगी होगा पहला कवि, आह से निकला होगा गान।

उमड़ कर आंखों से चुपचाप, बही होगी कविता अजान॥

To be a poet you must have experienced pain. If I put it in engineering lingo, having experienced extreme emotional pain and having a compassionate, sensitive heart is necessary if not the sufficient condition of being a poetess.

हैं सबसे मधुर वो गीत जिन्हें, हम दर्द के सुर में गाते हैं
जब हद से गुज़र जाती है खुशी, आँसू भी छलकते आते हैं

Poem is like tear drop which comes out of your heart and not mind. That’s why it is so different form prose and very difficult to fully understand for others unless the poetess herself explains it. And you need equally intelligent and sensitive audience to be able to understand it, otherwise you will just get cool, awesome, beautiful, poignant, god bless etc type reactions.

One of my favorite poems on pain is ‘Aansoo (teardrop)’ by Prasad:

जो घनीभूत पीड़ा थी
मस्तक में स्मृति-सी छायी
दुर्दिन में आँसू बनकर
जो आज बरसने आयी।
ये मेरे क्रंदन में बजती
क्या वीणा? - जो सुनते हो
धागों से इन आँसू के
निज करुणा-पट बुनते हो।
रो-रोकर, सिसक-सिसककर
कहता मैं करुण-कहानी
तुम सुमन नोचते सुनते
करते जानी अनजानी।
----प्रसाद जी की ‘आँसू’

So you fulfil the necessary condition of being a poetess. But is it sufficient too???

I guess not. Your poem can be safely categorized into Chhayawadi (approximated in English as "Romanticism") or Proygwadi (experimentalism)  camp of Hindi literature. Being a huge fan of Jagjit Singh a listen him a lot and marvel at the imagination and sensitivity of Shayars. But these is something missing. Because all the Ghazals and Nazms just talk of broken heart and alcohol. Similarly these poets of above camp are talking about their own misery, angst, existential crisis, anxiety, apprehension, worry, perturbation, foreboding, trepidation, malaise, distress, mid life crisis etc. they are prisoners of their own mind and their own little problems. Ageya is their leader and they are followers of writers, philosophers like Jean Paul Sartre (Existentialism), Friedrich Nietzsche (God is dead and men is free) etc.

Thankfully your writing is not that depressing. Your writing is about journey within, spirituality and being comfortable in your own skin even if it means being alone. Keep doing that.

But sometimes the cure of unknown pain and longing you feel is not within but without. So expand your creative reach. Write on diverse topics which pains you from without. It is your prerogative to choose topics on what to write. Not everything moves everyone. And unless you feel deeply about something you can not do justice to your poem. But still sometimes it will be nice even for you to step out of your comfort zone and write of things which ails society at a macro level. Being a woman you may write on feminism, female foeticide or being an Indian you can write on Dalit issues or poverty. It will give you more satisfaction as a creative person.

Everyone sees the same thing and then goes on with their lives. The difference between a poetess and an ordinary person like me is that they have the God gift to see what is unseen, hear what is unheard, and feel what is not felt by persons like me because of the gift of sensitive heart and sharp intellect. And secondly they have a gift of gab. They can express themselves eloquently, coherently, beautifully and cogently so that it strikes a chord with the audience. Even if person like me is moved by something close to his heart he can not express it because he does not have a way with words.

I can think of two writers like you. Mannu Bhandari and Dharamveer Bharti. Mannu Bhandari wrote extremely sugary romantic novels. If you saw movie Rajnignadha (Vidya Sinha, Amol Palekar), it is based on her story ‘Yehi sach hai’. But then as a break she wrote a political novel ‘Mahabhoj’ and it is superb. Bharti also was in Proygawadi camp but later on he become disillusioned and wrote “Suraj ka Satvan Ghoda’. It is still a romance but main premise is that “love is conditioned by economic factors”. Read my review here and watch Shyam Benegal Movie too if you already have not. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18759957-sooraj-ka-satvaan-ghoda?ac=1&from_search=true

To quote from the novel "The Love which cannot contribute to social progress and individual development, is not love"...... You made that point in one of your poem also.

So go ahead. Expand your horizons. Write on diverse things. Not always but maybe 1 in 10 or 1 in 20. I think you can do it.

Freedom of expression is nothing without freedom to offend. Use your gift to jolt the conscience of ostrich like mango people who are so ensconced in their selfish, mundane routines that they can’t see anything beyond their offices and homes.

With great power comes great responsibility (spiderman ;)). So use you god gift for greater common good. I don’t say it. Dushyant Kumar says:

हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी पिघलनी चाहिए
इस हिमालय से कोई गंगा निकलनी चाहिए

आज यह दीवार, परदों की तरह हिलने लगी
शर्त थी लेकिन कि ये बुनियाद हिलनी चाहिए

हर सड़क पर, हर गली में, हर नगर, हर गाँव में
हाथ लहराते हुए हर लाश चलनी चाहिए

सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं
मेरी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए

मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही
हो कहीं भी आग, लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए
--दुष्यंत कुमार