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December Poems: A Soul-Soothing Feel
|by Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar|
December Poems by Ranu Uniyal,
With her first book of poems “Across the Divide”, popularly well responded by the readers, “December Poems” is the second anthological tour the force of Ranu Uniyal, one of the strongest women poetic voices of contemporary writings in Indian English. With 58 poems showcased in this book, she evokes emotions and feelings in readers as the poems deal with everything oft recurring in and around human life. Uniyal tries her best to warm up the readers shivering in the coldness of the time and sizzling at the same time with frozen and impassioned passion for and the zeal to live in the world. To her “December” assumes symbolical significance. Going through her poems I was reminded of Coleridge's thoughts and ideas expressed in following lines about the times of December. It also holds good for the poems of Ranu Uniyal from all perspectives.
“Come, come thou bleak December wind,
The Month of December is the time when the poet does introspection into the months of the year of her life passed by and the months of hope, joy, aspirations, and dreams, to be followed in a renewed year. “December” is to her-
“A time to celebrate and the time to venerate
It is at the same time ‘Looking behind” and “ Marching ahead” “hand in hand with memories that belonged / To a life.”
“Let us rejoice with seeds of hope our
While there is a pervasive sense of fulfillment in some poems; the melancholy does reflect her tormented self in other ones.
“Aged with envy and unmindful distrust
The poet’s pangs and angst, frustration and sadness can be felt in her poem “A woman has no dream”. In “Woman to Woman”, dedicated to Kamala Das and Judith Wright, she expresses her feministic concerns about fairer sex “with a sense of despair”-
“Are they all the same the men loved?
In spite of all the brutal treatment meted to woman, she prefers to march on with the seed of creation as if “Nothing at all happened”. The modern woman is now strong enough to work shoulder to shoulder with man whether “ at the bus stop” or “ at the post office,” “ in bed or the kitchen”. She is no longer Clytemnestra, Draupadi, Medusa, Ahalaya, Anusuya who had to face the patriarchal blows. Times have now changed for them thanks to her attitude of “kicking her angst afraid.” In “Draupadi” she presents the condition of woman so realistically. However, she proclaims “no stones can destroy me”. Even if faced with myriads of problems and threatened by the storms of times, she doesn't give up her zeal. As a true representative of woman, she believes -
“Life is precious and only love
In her poetry, streams of feministic consciousness flow with dreams and hope, yearnings and longings. Depicting the realistic picture of the yearning of woman with remarkable lines ” like a lovely woman, anxious for company”, she sarcastically bursts out-
“Often I have tried to hide the secret, it gushes out.
So what if she take to task the highhandedness of man, she doesn't retreat and regret to pay tribute to man. Her love and respect for her father is well expressed in some of her poems. “Papa at eighty two” mirrors the pathetic condition of an octogenarian. A man in old age always remains under constant fear, apart from being neglected and seeks refuge in God.“ From a young girl to her father” is a testimony to the fact that to her father is everything. That’s why she gets emotional and says-
“Papa, you have been my one and only comfort.”
Most of her poems are the emotional response to her mood swings at different times. Sometimes she seems to be sad at heart, she is ecstatic other moments, for she is a human being.
“.………It is only they who burn this pride
In the final analysis of Ranu Uniyal’s poems, it must be pointed out that “December Poems” is a “sheaf of emotions” spontaneously mustered from time to time in wake of varied different affectionate, sympathetic, empathetic attitudes towards woman, her friends, parents etc. Nevertheless all the negative impulses, ill-treatment of the times, she has unflinching trust in the power of love, principled to offer reverence to the elderly people. She has in her memory all the good things of life she has enjoyed. As for the bad things, she has transformed and refined them into her beautiful thoughts on life. Along the border of constant changes of times, she succeeds in flowing the stream of her life, love, triumphs, ideas, feelings and this is what establishes her as a capable poet with vast and comprehensive experiences, a seasoned soulful poet of contemporary times.
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