R.K. Bhushan a teacher of English blends his experience in life and knowledge of literatures of East and West to create enduring, inspiring poems. Reading them is a rewarding experience The poet presents varied hues of life in a fascinating manner in his poems. His awareness of different facets of life, diverse faces of evolving stages as one proceeds along the path and variegated experiences one comes across in the journey are all captured captivatingly in several lines of the poems.
A story of dreams undone. [Number of Silence - 2]
Life’s pearly shell floats
On seas perilous and bound less;
It hears the music and melody
Of the harmonies from afar; [Life’s Pearl]
I love laughter for life
Also life for laughter.
Laughter is the song
Laughter is the love of life;
Life is the song of laughter.
I sing! I laugh! I live!
With no cares mad,
And no moment missed. [Give Me Laugh on Lease for Life]
Extensive teaching experience, exhaustive erudition inherent and acquired admirably through incessant interaction with peers , seniors and voracious reading a hallmark of his simple yet significant life, enable R.K. Bhushan the teacher and poet display his commendable command over the language and literature in the most astounding presentation of names, habitat, characters and situations in the whole gamut of literary studies available to a man.
Hera and Zeus, Aurora and Tithonus,
Helen and Paris, Circe and Odysseus,
Bice and Dante, Formina and Raphael,
Harriet and Shelley, Fanny and Keats,
Barret and Browning, Maud and Teats,
The love common and the King,
Diana and Dodi -
Apology for the unnamed
Such miracles from life real
And countless creations adored
In the shrines of literature. [Finished Art of Unfinished Love]
This poem may rank as the rarest gem among numerous sonorous and spellbinding poems penned by the poet. Thomas Hardy will certainly bless this energetic and enthusiastic poetic tribute ever paid by one of his admirers.
They seek desperate remedies
Through a pair of blue eyes
Under the green wood tree
Far from the madding crowd -
This is the return of the native.
The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess
Also comes Jude in full glory.
To enliven the screen brilliantly appear before the reader various enchanting characters created by the immortal Wessex novelist.
Stephen and Swancourt, Dewy and Day,
Yeobright and Diggory Venn,
Giles Winterbourner and Grace Melbury,
Seargent Troy and Eustecia Wye,
Oak and Bathsheba, Henchard and Lucetta ,
Alec, and Tess, Jude and Sue,
There are others too
Among the enticing winds and marauding beasts,
Bullied and threatened to the marrowbone.
Then R.K. Bhushan beautifully paints the poignant lives they lead , driving home the point that they are the real people who face the rough edges of life stoically and emerge victors on account of their undaunted fortitude and invincible spirit, though apparently they seem to have been bashed up by an unrelenting malevolent ‘Destiny’. Thomas Hardy is an optimist, in spite of the crushing blows and bruises his protagonists receive and endure. Their challenging fight against the onslaughts of a seemingly formidable ‘Fate’ establishes beyond doubt that their creator Thomas Hardy is an optimist. Perhaps, this poem and the views expressed there in, provide a precious key to unlock the innermost secrets of R.K. Bhushan’s heart and craft.
The reader is reminded of P.B.Shelley, as one goes through the poem ‘Rustling Leaves’, which is incidentally the title of R.K. Bhushan’s second volume of poetry. This poem is as impressive as ‘Ode to West Wind’. The last two lines of the poem help in assessing the philosophy of life of the poet. ‘Lover’s Anxiety’ mirrors his world view.
Stagnant ponds can never merge
Into the rivers;
Hungry rivers can swallow the seas.
These ponds and rivers feel happy
In the harmony they create and assert.
Ponds pollute and rivers rule
And redeem their rich routes.
The rivers weave tales that sing
Of passion and purity,
Progress , peace and prosperity. [Swollen Sights]
Then, the poet declares at the end of the poem:
Yes. Losing to gain
Is the essence of life!
The same stoicism is witnessed in the last two lines of ‘The Glory of the Pride’.
Suffering is the common fate
Also of godkind!
This realization lends immense strength to a grief stricken soul to survive and locate beauty and peace where ever available. Hence, one is exhorted to forget painful incidents and carry on gallantly.
R.K. Bhushan a pragmatist and powerful poet paints the spiritually satisfying scenes during ‘Ganga Arati’ as one goes to Hardwar on pilgrimage , which delineates the endearing charm of the poet’s creativity objectively. The last three lines convey profound philosophical truth in simple yet alluring words.He has an extraordinary ability to maintain a sort of clinical objectivity, though his poems look subjective most of the time.
The most striking future of Bhushan’s poems is their subjectivity; his poems come straight from his heart. In him, the man and the artist cannot be separated. Most of his poems are about his personal experiences, from adolescence to maturity, his mother and father, his musings and reflections about things and experiences which shaped his life and art, his emotions colours almost everything he writes about. [Introducing R.K. Bhushan’s Poetic Artistry, 2]
The poet radiates warmth of love and compassion, while painting pictures of poverty, need and hunger of man.
This is the city
Where people plan,
And even conspire,
To bring down the sun
With money and gun.
They remain disquiet
And run to consult
All the wiseacres
Lumbering and strutting
In the chaotic crowd
Daily fun. [I Saw The City In Flourish, museindia.com, 2009]
The poet honestly confesses:
Long ago I composed such a poem This is the City of the Dead. This poem was especially appreciated by Jayanta Mahapatra for its honesty. The theme is almost the same woven round different images and situation. This is the real city, may not be of Eliot, where I consumed my life to the last with least satisfaction. So the conspicuous reference, not oblique, is to Konark, the Temple of Sun God, the giver of Light and Life to this world of ours. May be SUN also feels helpless to help such people of the real city. [museindia.com, 2009]
One notices the poet asking:
Is it the design
Of the dark
Or the run,
Down and out,
Of the lark?
Let the verdict
Till the wit
Leads them all
To Konark! [I Saw The City In Flourish, museindia.com, 2009]
There is an underlying current of melancholy in his poems. But he is a robust optimist like Browning. His wisdom and experience do help many a soul.His grasp of literature and significant characters and incidents is amazing.
The end of Socrates,
And the whole lot.
The end of Faustus and Tamburlaine,
Dido and the Duchess of Malfi,
And those who sought
Beyond their lot.
How Beckett and Galileo died
And St. Joan was burnt alive
For their message of light.
All my own
And look forward to its end
In the same vein! [I remember, museindia.com, 2009]
Subtle humour renders his poems eminently enjoyable.
With all totally changed,
Have-nots and have-notes,
Haves and have-mores,
Have-lots and have-rots
In the circus and jugglery
Of know-not, know-more
And know-lot;. [Twists of Time, museindia.com,2009]
Kalpana Rajput has written an excellent review of the first volume of R.K.Bhushan Sentinels of the Soul. She opines:
According to the poet, R.K.Bhushan, the mind which seeks sensation through experience becomes insensitive, incapable of swift movement and therefore it is never free. But in understanding its own self-centered activities, the mind comes upon this state of awareness which is choiceless, and such a mind is then capable of complete silence, stillness. [Kalpana Rajput, museindia.com,2008]
R.K. Bhushan succeeds in handling diverse themes deftly and delightfully. The poem ‘Designs of the Dark’ deals with terrorist attacks and perpetuators of naked violence. The poet declares:
Terror tactics terrify not
The zest for life
And the Conscience of mankind!
His flair for alliteration is a distinguishing feature of his craft. It may not be deliberate to impress the reader; but as the poetic ideas unfurl the peacock feathers, joie de vivre of flurry of ideas echo in rhythmic bonding of words. For example:
History is a museum
Of the dead,
Of the sagacious and saintly,
The virtuous and vicious [‘Spinning of Destiny’]
Like Walt Whitman, here too, the poet uses the metaphor of spinning though he does not use the symbol of Spider. Instead he addresses Destiny. For him Spinning never stops. The on- going drama has to be continued.
He retained healthy thoughts, healthy outlook and healthy laugh that sustain him and his creativity. His robust optimism exudes supreme self-confidence and an innate infinite fecundity to face any kind of situation in life. His abiding love for life is reflected when he says:
But life is reflected
Who dare and live. [Poems Purely Personal - 2]
For the poet, life is not a lullaby, nor a hymn:
but a war song
To be heard and sung
With martial tunes…. [Song of Life]
Poems like ‘Lost Dawns’, ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ reveal one’s utter helplessness in the face of cruel games played by unscrupulous elements. Quite a good number of poems dealing with ‘Death’ and personal loss look highly subjective. ‘I saw the City Flourish’ is about the city of Konark, where the marvelous temple of Sun God is overshadowed by frozen frames of copulating couples in sculpture inviting popping eyed votaries of carnal desires. This poem has, in fact, evoked empathy and high praise from Jayanta Mahapatra who complimented the poet and his craftsmanship.
An ardent Sai devotee R.K.Bhushan expresses his unflinching faith in the ways of his Master and declares:
Flowers and blossoms
With a lilting dance
Amidst breezes, winds and storms… [‘Ecstasy of His Will’]
He advises the anguished and the agonized:
Why blame any one,
Least of all, Sai,
For the mess in life
And around? [‘In All Fairness’]
The poet who trusts Time continuum and infinite life wonders:
How can this all end
In a handful of dust ? [‘A Journey to Infinity –Unawares’]
Trust in the mysterious ways in which Saimai manifests Himself and His inexplicable and highly experiential manner, infusing His Infinite energy, and blessings, enables one to steer clear in the ocean of life with eddies and surf, to sail safely amidst unfriendly current to reach safer destinations. In essence, R.K. Bhushan the poet inspires the crestfallen, hapless lone rangers to carry on their crusade with unswerving faith in ‘self’ and the ‘supreme self’ in order to redefine ‘love’ and ‘life’ in this world.