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|by Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.|
Mohanty Bijay: Moored to the Shadow, Writers Workshop, Kolkata, 2012. Price Rs.250.00
A trained engineer, Bijay Mohanty walked into the Audit and Accounts Service and intellectually emerged as a distinctive poet. His poetry defies labelling in ‘isms’ like Dadaism, Surrealism and many an other ‘ism’ of English and European poetry. He is a totally indigenous poet expressing himself in English. It is strange that matters of designing and execution of building/making activity should lead one to write with deeply intense cerebration and expressive eminence. Readers, mostly new and youthful ones, may consider these as emanating from middle age blues. Bijay convinces the serious reader that he is a self-disciplined litterateur, psychologically an avid thinker and a poet par excellence. son of a committed freedom fighter he imbibed the desire to discipline himself by thinking as per his heart’s dictates and expressing not with any delicacy but with power and gumption.
A shadow is infinitely more
This poet’s work reveals his intense mental activity impressively called cerebration. It is so intense and tightly squeezed that it leads one to Eliot’s Waste Land which was understood and appreciated when explications came out. Sometimes poets need explicators. Waste Land is linked with Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough and Jennie Weston’s From Ritual to Romance, Arthurian legends and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and helped readers to understand and appreciate Eliot. Perhaps in the coming years the poet himself would do something to unravel the mysteries of his thought processes.
I have flown with the crow and
Once, in the distant past, a devotee resort of Shakti worship, vaamaa chaara, and yoni puja (we were told that there was human sacrifice too) the hypaethral temple is the site which makes one think of the enigmatic mystery of the man-divine intimacy and harrowing experience not of the life here but of existence later.
Shall I measure you at all?
The two poems ‘Father’ and ‘A Man’s Life’ are about the poet’s parents, their remembrances. They draw tears more painful when they don’t come out.
Tears would not come
This is a harrowing memory of the remembrance of the father’s suffering. Mother theme is there in ‘A Man’s Life’:
Poor mother, never learns
The poem is a scan of the poet’s mind:
A man’s life has ceased to be
Mind is an important and recurring theme in Bijay’s collection
Not much difference between
The degradation and the squalor of the present times is all bad blood and ‘syphillization’ in modernity. The poet is both angry and helpless. He regrets:
Old or new, Gods have
The same is the feeling in the poem about Puri:
I stand before you with
‘Barrenness’ is about the dilapidation of morals and values. One can’t help thinking of the waste land.
Nothing will ever grow
There are seventy-five poems in one hundred and thirty-one pages. A hardbound book it would stay long. It is not possible for a reviewer to be a serious critic too. But the work demands and deserves appreciation. The poem ‘Curls of Space’ is very beautiful and can immediately be identified as the poet’s best. Hence it needs to be quoted in full at the end:
A woman on her side
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