“Things are changing
So is the plot
Language evolves fast
The time is taut!”.....(Kiriti Sengupta)
“Don’t judge a book by its cover”, this is probably one of the most authentic observations the readers may ponder over immediately after reading the last stanza of a camphor like poem “Search” of just eight lines at page 63 that happens to be the last page of his babyish “ The Unheard I”, a literary non-fiction for English speaking audience. The cover looks intriguing but ,at the same time, equally mesmerizing and discriminating is the subject the author deals with so artistically with his power of fertile imagination.
Right from the editor’s note by Donald Randolph Martin, a novelist and author of “The Futuristic Sol” from Tucson, Arizona, the book presents a series of facts and incidents that help the author develop his literary connection and establish his name in Indian English Literary platform as a contemporary English language writer.
The readers are further acquainted with the talented Kiriti Sengupta as a poet in the Foreword so meticulously penned by Dr. Hulya yilmaz, professor of German Language & Literature, Pennsylvania State University. Her brief but judicious commentary on the book in question makes it find a considerable niche in the ever expanding realm of global literary horizon as her following take on “The Unheard I” bears testimony of a quality literary material;
“With the present book, The Unheard I, the author exceeds the expectations even of his most loyal readers. The first chapter, A serious ToF, while it provides a glimpse of his journalistic experiences and reflection, presents the author in a state “of spontaneous overflow of emotion”... to echo here his unsuspecting honesty. For, his interactions with poets, writers, and visual artists... all, contributing individuals from the wide corners of the world to a charity anthology rise far above a mere act of the interview by any definition of the term. The transition from the physical to spiritual, thus takes place. And in a refined manner at that, as the second chapter introduces the reader to Yogic poetry; the Indian heritage.”
ToF: Twist of Fate (ToF) presents a touchy story that brings about an unexpected miracle in the life of the author in the form of his association with a virtual group, on a social networking site, venturing to publish an anthology for mobilising funds and providing moral support to the victims of tornado affected Oklahoma in May, 2013. Till then Kiriti was not a known name even in Indian context, so it was no doubt a herculean task for an aspiring author to get his poems published as a mark of recognition in foreign publication. This section mainly focuses the struggle of a tenacious and ambitious individual who started his writing career way back in 1998 as a freelance journalist along with his established profession in dentistry and finally ended up finding his poems published in Stephen Wilson’s anthology. Kiriti minces no words to admit very unequivocally that the omnipotent God invariably bail him out from his shortcomings as he fondly recollects the gradual developing phases of his astounding creative writing in his own words;
“Many of my friends are aware that I started my writing career way back in the year 1998 as a freelance journalist. This is something I love to do apart from my profession which is dentistry. Journalism has a special place in my heart. I always enjoyed interviewing celebrities, performers, and artists. Twist of Fate, I think, reviewed my spirit as a journalist once again. I decided to interview the contributors, asking intriguing questions that extracted the truth. It was fascinating indeed. I remain grateful to Stephen for this marvellous opportunity.”
The latter part of this section records the author’s role as an interviewer from a galaxy of noted personalities that include Dr. Hulya yilmaz, Jon Tribble, Maria Edwards etc mostly foreign nationals except Ranadeb Dasgupta, a promising poet from Calcutta in West Bengal. Here the author honestly spills the beans that translating is presumably an unsatisfying job that at times he could not help discussing with his friend cum poet Ranadeb who observed;
“Translation is a tough journey as well as important too. Not only because we can taste literature of other languages which we don’t know but also for the reason that a successful translation may convey so silently the inner depth of a writing to the readers of other languages. Here, please note the term ‘ successful translation’. It implies the efficiency of the translator. A good translator must have literary sense and ability to follow the hidden tune of the original writing. But still it is true as you have said; translators are often looked down (upon)”.
“ Probably, a suggestion plays in our minds that a translator is not the creator. I believe that there could be no translation without trans-creation. A translator, when translates, trans-creates simultaneously because there is no such language which can express the feel of another language totally. I must conclude that the view about translators should be changed right now.”
A connection between reality and spirituality can only be attained through self realization according to the author who crops up the subject in the very next chapter titled, Yogic poetry; the Indian heritage. In Indian context, yogic poetry, spiritual in nature, may not have gained adequate dimension and popularity compared to the mainstream modern poetry, so it was a challenge for the author to introduce this new genre of poetry to the modern readers in a unique and convincing approach. In English Literature as the author has truly pointed out, the yogic poetry has not been widely researched. The influence of Christianity and the author’s experiencing “ spiritual baptism” ignited his poetic soul to express his feelings through a verse he eventually composed with conviction;
Relevant indeed - carrying one’s self.
Crucify is Christ-filled.
I remember, and mind turns candle-lit.
They pinned it before, will do that now and again...
No arrangements of incenses though!
They move distant
Life & God...
Translating any work of art requires depth, accuracy and most importantly the originality of the source translated, and if it comes in the form of a spiritual or yogic piece of writing then sincerity and seriousness burdens you to take the bull by the horns. In the concluding chapter, The translator ‘I’, the author imparts emphasis and attention to his role as a translator of poetry from some of the lesser known yet promising Bengali poets. But regretfully here, the readers are deprived of a chance of enjoying both the compositions - original and translated - side by side, as the originals are not made available. One of such translated poems, ‘Sleep’ written in Bengali by Ms. Sumita Nandi, one of the published and award winning poets from Bengal, gave Kiriti a good run for his money to do justice with it to showcase his skill as a gateway to global readers.
It keeps changing with every passing day
The colour of sleep.
Dream surfaces as occurs sleep.
All around the day...
Dreams come hidden like haunted nights
They search for a solution - connection between
The dead mountain with the spoiled moon-light
As day dims, through the colour
Of the frosted glass - appears night
It seems an emptying rice-plate alike
The moon half
It is morning
Huge sleep was in dreams
...And in sleep
A crazy night.
Kiriti’s style and poetic diction in “The Unheard I” along with the treatment of theme arguably attributed to the overwhelming success and acceptance before the global readers who get encouraged to browse through the smooth and soft pages of this tiny handbook enriching the extract. It also put an “The Unheard I” like Kiriti Sengupta on a pedestal of literary glory and social recognition. Not only that, this book will continue to serve as a beacon light and flourish his faculty of self realisation in the journey of establishing him more successful and renowned creative writer in the years to come.