Invisible Embodiment, K.Pankajam, Authors Press, New Delhi 2016, pages 80,Price Rs 250/- $ 12
Pankajam, a poet who has gone up high now on the ladder of fame, has published earlier six collections of poems “Look Beyond” “Echoes”, "Whispering Waves", "Sum And Substance" "Salutations" and "Portrait of Inner Sight. The book under review is her seventh collection of poems. Her poems have been included in the anthologies “Roots & Wings - An Anthology of Indian Women Writing In English, Fancy Realm, Poetic Bliss, The Enchanted World, Dance of the Peacock, Suvarnarekha, Epitaphs, Poetic Prism, Happy Isle,”
This established poet chose a title which is misleading and even befuddling to some. The Invisible Embodiment is a collection of 57 poems. “Amo ergo sum” is well known as an expression of the essentiality of love for living and existence. Her preface begins thus: “It is my wish to bring out a collection of poems on spirituality for quite some time. Spirituality is our first identity. And a life without identity is difficult… I am not intellectually equipped enough to analyse or say which of the two schools of thought, the dvaita or advaita (duality or non-duality) is correct. However, I believe that there is a super-natural force that guides all of us… the poems in this are my sloppy attempts on spirituality based on the missives of my inner self with the cosmos about the sanctity and cohesiveness related to the nifty phase body-mind-soul-spirit which transpire and make me realise that ‘I am the Alpha and I am the Omega’ (which means ‘I am the beginning of the end.’) theory holds stuff. This subject being vast and my knowledge limited, I have no tall claims to exhort and what stirred my mind have simply found expression.”
Pankajam’s ideas expressed are thought provoking, They are sometimes about puzzlements and confusion in persons with those puzzlements. The poems are enlivening for the thinking minds of serious readers. Conclusions are not drawn and each reader is taken into the wide gamut of thinking.
The poems make the reader ponder over the human condition and the purpose of life. “Invisible Wealth” takes the mulling to divine force and things like the concepts of Jnana and Karma. These are concepts emanating from thoughtfulness according to one’s own wisdom
The poem makes on think:
the conceptual and intellectual wisdom
merged with experimental one
attained through Jnana and Karma
which they left behind
makes learning of unlearning possible
integrate theories of divine force. (p.13)
Understanding the poem ‘The Soul’ is a matter of belief and faith. Nobody can say what it is. The body must go. But the soul is broadly and almost universally accepted phenomenon.
None detected it yet
… … … ..
and once it (the soul) abandons the body,
its temporary abode
its journey in the search of another ‘yoni’
when our identity is shed
and “I” becomes no more valid. (p.15)
The poet calls the Omniscient-Omnipotent-Omnipresent we call God the Infinite Being and tells us that souls merge in the Supreme.
The Infinite Being
fragmented us to give us forms
we flow on the wing of time and space
when the souls merge in the Supreme
thoughts intact, that’s when we realise
we are everywhere, we are everything. (p.16)
Life is there in a formless state and the evolved realize this absolute fact. Only the believer with immense Faith in the all-embracing oneness comes to this state.
BEING reigns from a formless state
As water, as plant, as human
Each one to realise the invisible form,
To execute, merge and flow as one. (p.18)
Living is construed and expressed in a trope – a day which has morning, midday, evening, twilight and night.
Mornings are calm, cool and colourful
followed by bright sunlight
filled with youth, fun and pleasure
Midday brings straight sunrays
hot as they, life too remains
Evenings are meant to rest
Twilight needs support for many
I welcome you night, accept my salute. (p.20)
The realization of His omnipresence is foreseen as absolute truth.
The Supreme is in everything and everywhere,
It lives in me, in you as well
as oxygen in our breath
helps sustain life through an obscure state,
invisible, intimate, yet we feel it,
the ubiquitous existence, true and real,
wish if I could be born as a tree,
the provider of Praana, enabling
the flowing flow from beings to Being.
…. ….. …….
As the same air exists in us
We too exist in each other,
Our body may differ in forms
yet the throb in us is one and the same, (p.21.)
The poet goes into evolution too. She concludes the poem ‘Evolution’
Everything is a circle
Everything on the move
None, an exception.
None left out, (P.25)
The poet as an evolved being preaches telling the readers in the poem ‘Seek God from Within’
I close my eyes
watch my thoughts in silence
search my soul from within
more, more and more,
to visualise the divine presence,
find the songs of inner joy,
that penetrate deeper and deeper,
discover the hidden splendour,
the root, the cause and the effect,
of anything and everything there. (p. 34-35)
There is the trope of a kite in the poem ‘Invisible Hands’ which suggests a little boy flying a kite and the poet goes into rhythmic rhapsody.
cautiously cut and shaped
fitting festoons fastened
make tides of joy in minds
….. ….. …
An invisible hand at the back
determines their peak and path;
the power of the hand hidden. (p.36)
Pankajam adds in this collection a poem from her earlier book and calls it Soulful – An Epitaph. This indicates the depth of her feeling and sensibility.
The sun naps or moon hides
the good soul hat you were once
lay here gloomy amidst dust and dirt
my eyes wish, they could bathe you clean
hence shed tears to make you restful
I stand here with soulful prayers
“May you be peaceful forever” (p.37)
Hinduism believes in the power and glory of the Guru next to Almighty God. The poet pays a tribute to the Guru on the auspicious, holy day Gurupurnima:
On the day of Ashadha Purnima
I seek guru Vyasa’s blessings
who prompts me to introspect
my spiritual growth so far,
those to be achieved further
to change my life for the better
to transcend the bondage of sorrow and death,
and experience the consciousness of reality. (p.76)
This collection makes the believer and devout reader feel that the poet is very near the state of maturation and crystallization.