Book Reviews

Madhumita's Pebbles on the Shore

Pebbles on the Shore, Madhumita  Ghosh,, Allahabad, 2013, Pp 61, Rs 150/-
Poetry ushers in a whirlpool of fresh ideas and a new zeal for life. It is like rain drops showering from  a monsoon cloud. Madhumita Ghosh’s second collection of poems, Pebbles on the Shore is a timely addition to the world of poetry that is vibrant and continuously over pouring and appealing. Kolkata  city poets  are essentially urban and they write about their poetic reaction to metro  life around them. Anchored in Kolkata, Madhumita’s poems dazzle with universal appeal that engages sensitive readers.
The title poem of the volume ,  ‘Pebbles on the Shore’ is  rich with veritable images  like ‘ salty wind’, ‘adoring spumes’, ‘rocky past life’ and ‘a diurnal ebb and flow’. The images are palpable and apt to sweet cadence of the poems:

“Pebbles on the shore
Each with a story
Of a rocky past life(.)”  (page 08)

‘Strangers’  is an interesting poem about strangers in life. Comparisons are sharp and sensible. There is a brooding concern which envelops the poem:

“We’ve forgotten
There’s a ceiling
Over our heads (.)”  (page 11)

The powerful pull of this image culminates later in another poem in Random Thoughts:

“I lose myself everyday
In the sunbathed greens(.).” (Page 46)

Her poetic lines seem to echo from life itself, from the pauses of loss and vacuity in life’s daily acts. I’m amazed by the poet’s logical arrangement of poems. ’Strangers’ is followed by a poem titled, ‘Life’. Poets’ commitments are in multitude. For the poetess, life streams from lived moments of ecstasy.  The cloud ‘basking in wanderlust’ ushers a full promise of limitless joy.  She looks beyond the final biological experience of man: Death. Madhumita engages a reader in her mystic experience of that fuzzy zone of in-betweenness.    
Madhumita’s poems are short but sharp. There is always a trajectory of poetic truth in her poems. For example, ‘Shadow’  and  ‘Sun and Shadow’. They ignite our grey matter. She  makes the reader see shining light out of dark, life out of death and  happiness out of sorrow. The collection  is marked by sheer vigour and sincerity with which the poems explore variegated  facets of human life where daily acts roll us on. The poetess seeks to act as a voice of conscience against the gross vulgarisation of morbid social issues and metro consciousness. Most of the poems included in this collection are short lyrics in free verse written in deceptively simple style which is highly conversational.
In  some poems Madhumita invites and embraces a ray of hope in ashes of pains:
“I walk alone
Along the shore
My tired feet kissed (.)” (page 51)

Simple images grasp deep meaning inMadhumita’s poems. They  pose a genuine tension that reaches out to the reader, arousing in one a sense of need that will not be satisfied. The essence of Madhumita’s  poems is a struggle about her own ‘Self’. As the self, female self, in her takes different sociological roles :“I became a shy mistress, waiting to be caressed (,)” (page  30)  In her honest poetic lines  she advocates  the rights of women in a very subtle manner.
Madan Gandhi, a senior educationist and litterateur in his Foreword to the volume   rightly exclaims, “She is a gifted poetic voice, a lute-tongued warbler of songs.”  Madhumita explores tangible spaces between objects which cause our hearts to nearly burst from moments of trajectory of sadness and the objective beauty immaculate by which we live our life. Madhumita’s poems in this volume remind  me  Archana Sahani  who  is  also candid and honest in her self-exploration. Madhumita closely scrutinises loopholes of   traditional patriarchy and the modern society questioning concepts of gender and associated forms of power. Her poetry defines a tangible boundary and sensibility with the metaphors of conquest.
Madhumita’s well-crafted poems arouse a sense of social and aesthetic commitment among the readers. Her engaging haiku section   makes the readers sit and read the poems again and again:
“Leave the windows open
For yesterdays to rush in
To kiss me goodbye.” (page 58)
The above-quoted lines articulate some of the bitter-sweet tyranny seen through poetic eyes. Her poetic mode ranges from the meditative to sensuous where the subtlety of arrivals and departures get suspended.
An indomitable gusto and liquid cadence mark Madhumita’s poems in this collection as we are whisked from one poem to another.  This new collection is a welcome addition to poetry in English by urban Indian writers and a worthy entry to the bookshelf .


More by :  Prof. Jaydeep Sarangi

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Views: 3506      Comments: 1

Comment "Pebbles on the Shore is a timely addition to the world of poetry that is vibrant and continuously over pouring and appealing"Excellent book review by Jaydeep Sarangi Sir.This is the first time I am reading a review on Madhumita Di's poetry book..a great poetic voice.....Knew a lot about her poetry and poetic world.enjoyed it..

Santanu Halder
03-May-2013 13:37 PM

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