Silent Days by Jaydeep Sarangi, Cyberwit, Allahabad, India 2013, pp. 68 ISBN: 978-81-8253-396-7
Jaydeep Sarangi's recently published volume of poetry, Silent Days will make a great addition to the libraries of all lovers of fine poetry. His poems have an ethereal and at times enigmatic quality which is difficult to nail down.
Perhaps this is a characteristic of all good poetry. Sarangi juxtaposes simple commonplace items and events with complex human situations. From the gentle flow of an insignificant river to the plight of women and the Dalit in India. His gentle manner makes these poems even more powerful than a heavy handed approach.
Brutal within is voiced
When her innocent body crumbles
As the nation under a colonial rule.
Our youth is touched
With blood at their mouth.
(A Rose is a Rose - p. 20)
Like all accomplished poets Sarangi utilizes metaphors in surprising and fascinating ways. His poems are like the sun's rays warming a cold heart - not emotionally heavy - just a gentle warming of the heart. This paradox of - gentle power - is the best way I can describe Sarangi's beautiful poems.
I sit under a banyan tree
I read Arjun Dangle aloud!
How nice it is to think, time is ripe
Things to follow as history completes the full cycle.
My silent pen becomes my sword.
(From Homeless in my Land - p. 40)
As I mentioned in my review of Sunil Sharma's book Golden Cacti, India is undergoing massive change at many levels. Part of this involves copying or aspiring to develop many aspects of Western societies. I only hope India is wise enough to embrace the good things and leave the bad things alone. India has a magnificent and enviable history of literature, mathematics, philosophy, spirituality and architecture. I think it is time we from the West abandoned our insularism and started seriously reading the literature of India both pre-colonialisation and now in the first decade of the 21st century.
Most Indian scholars and writers are bilingual which is to our advantage as they can translate existing literature and present India today in English – which for good or ill seems to be the prominent language of the academy and Internet. Both Sharma and Sarangi are playing an important role in educating and forging new ties with those of us in the West who are open to their brilliance and kindness.
Silent Days is available from Amazon and as I mentioned will make a great addition to your personal collection or school library.