Book Reviews

Real Resonance; The Unreal Mind

Real Resonance, The Unreal Mind (A Collection of Poems)
Poet: Chandra Shekhar Dubey’, Publisher: Shambhabi Imprint
ISBN: 9789384180287, Number of Pages: 50, Rs. 150

Chandra Shekhar Dubey’s “Real Resonance; The Unreal Mind” is a collection of twenty seven poems that wonderfully presents a spectrum of myriads of themes like love, illusion, humanism, spiritualism, and some topical, social issues of contemporary times and opens up a new vista to the subtle philosophy of life in all its shades. The resonance of consciousness, cosmic or otherwise, of divinity and beauty is real, ubiquitous and ever reverberating for drawing attention of a poetic mind towards the ocean of inherent lore and learning, profundity of spirituality and philosophy and deepest mysticism of micro and macro, subjective and objective worlds of thoughts and feelings, with no physical, terrestrial and artificial garb as such.Immense power and enchanting beauty of his poetic resonance and subtle cadence is utterly ubiquitous in this anthology.

Off the illusory sheaths of mind, Chandra Shekhar Dubey, the sensitive poet, delves deep into affairs of life and meditates upon different shades of emotions. All the poems contained in this compact anthology are thought provoking, insightfully penetrating, haunting and reflective and above all, candid expressions of social realism with a pinch of bitter satire. Beautifully crafted with a penetrating insight into life as it is, they evoke into us a sense of celestial resonance, divine vibration, philosophical palpitation, metaphysical musings, and romantic exuberance with overwhelming preponderance of love and heart over mind and his abiding sympathy for the commoners.

In the very first poem ‘Muse’, he makes a wonderful invocation to his ‘muse’ ‘hidden in his thoughts’, who has guided and inspired him to create literary work of art resonant with her presence. He happily harps-

“I sing a song that touches your heart
cutting across the barriers

which knows no art,
but flows eternally from strings of heart,
the lyres of lips, soft, supple streams,
streams of thoughts buried in ruins
of lost love, humane loss,
tales of sagacity and worldly wisdom.”

With a contemplative bent of mind, he expresses his subjective approach to his poetic writings with a wonderful objective reflected through these revealing lines

“I sing you in many disguised rhymes
Courting the muse in you
And you in the muse.
I create, and recreate you.
I sing, I sense and sound you.”

His poetry exhibits his intense feeling of love- love of the distant past with fond memories and love of beauteous and bountiful nature, and successfully creates symphony of ‘wisdom and essence of life, mysticism and spirituality captured through images and word pictures’. His romantic exuberance , heartfelt dedication and loyalty to his muse is resplendent with subtle beauty of soul with eternal impact wonderfully expressed in his poems that present a riveting word-picture of his expression, thoughts and wisdom woven in concrete words. He presents a comprehensive definition of love that is expressed in many forms. To him, love is -

"A small gesture, smile and shared moments/ Filled with fragrance of feelings candid and warm" that finds expression in many languages-" In language of desire, lost words and shimmering silence."

He further gives a metaphysical twist to the definition of love and remarks to validate his point of view on Love –

“Love is living longing pargeted in flames of divine firmament
where desires melt into a river of light
Radiating the world filled with a voice of harmony."
(Love's Language)

Romantic imagination with exaggeration of deep feeling of love explicit with kinesthetic imagery is at its best in the poem “A Splintered Idol”. With the appropriate use of oxymoron and paradoxes, he draws out attention to these sensuously remarkable lines-

“Your silky hair, snowy cheeks, curved lips
Bending on the circles of my face
Weave memories and dreams
Into a symmetrical patterns of unknown length.
The alleys of those contours leave me
Like a cold, corrugated captive
Whose freedom lies in his servitude.”

His poems portray the picture of beautiful nature with vivid and excellent imagery. Wonderful description of nature in all its hues, with the physical and geographical beauty finds a spontaneous expression in some of his poems like “Patches of Clouds”, “Clouds”, “Frozen Space” and “My Lost Old Home”. His keen insight into the Greco-Roman-Indic mythologies also adds some pristine beauty of glorious past to make his poetic credo more powerful and quite readable. Capturing the floating clouds symbolic of memories, passions, dreams, desires, his thoughts also get a free flow to show uncertainty of life and death. He is apprehensive of mysterious aspect of life when he remarks-

“knowing no their destinations
will they (clouds) reach Atlantic
or fall in Pacific on their way to Arabian
no one knows
or float like Hermes
to save some Odysseus
in sea of perils at Zeus’ command” (Patches of Clouds)

His poetry contains a great deal of sarcasm and bitter irony. With elements of severe resentment echoing his strong protest against the prevailing system, his poems also have a veiled satire on the political conditions. They are soaked in past memories with realistic portrayal of the society. The world, where ‘a meal prefixes a deal/ and a deal suffixes a meal’, is in helter skelter, everything being topsy-turvy. He longs for making it up with peace that” comes from within’. His political satire is very pinching in Parliament of Owls. He caustically remarks-

“…………. Parliament of owls meets
In the dense, dark groves,
Hooting the mundane politics of the forest
…… jungle raj , justice lost to jugglers..”
where “the meek and the weak”
are suppressed and helpless.

Gender issues find a brilliant manifestation in his poetry that sings the perennial glory of woman as a primordial force not only of creation but also of sustaining the fluidity of mankind and humanity with her manifested personality. He is saddened to see the deplorable condition of woman in male-dominated society. Through the mythological reference to Draupadi, he highlights woman’s plight in true sense. It is a hard reality that woman has to live her life of subjugation’ in the ‘shadows of suppressed conscience’ and the ‘dark shadow of a decaying order’. The poets stands for her and proclaims-

Draupadi, you live through the ages
the agony of all battered souls,
shames of culture, justice unveiled
truth overshadowed by cryptic values.” (Draupadi)

His hard-hitting poem ”Another Nibhaya” is a condemnation of the shameful act of rape committed in Delhi, that had rocked the whole world and shattered the heart of humanity. ‘the eternal flame of her sacrifice’ is a reminder of ‘the bestiality locked/in sordid human forms’, ‘with dark passions’. Every day some Nirbhayas are being ‘ plucked by the bloody claws of monsters’. He resentfully cries out-

A country is doomed that cannot protect
the hands which rock the cradle, feed the mortals.”

The poet does not rule out the resurrecting caliber of woman who, even if faced with multi-cornered troubles of life, has the ability to rise again. This is evident in his poem “Voice of a Woman" -

“I was in the beginning of creation,
I shall be in the end too.
I am not a plaything.
I am source of creation,
I wield the forces of destruction too.
I inhabit in all things beautiful,
sustain all things virtuous.
You put me on the margin for ages
but I bounced back to the centre.”

His poetry reflects deep agony of the poor and marginalized the suffering and the neglected people. His sympathy for the tribal women and the poor people of the country lends a universal outlook to his poetry. Concerned with the social problems and economic maladies, he holds the democratic set up of the country responsible for the pitiable condition of the marginalized that’s mocks at “the ‘democratic propaganda’ of ‘equality, fraternity and liberty’. His description of these neglected people is heart-wrenching and awful-

“A dark, snivelling shape
primordial, frail, a demographical
number in government’s statistical register
melt into soggy contours,
a shape without symmetry
splashing bony cheeks, fused eye balls
in dark cavern.”                                 
(Tribal Woman)

He goes to the extent of making mockery of government’s so called initiative for their uplift and sarcastically compares Parliament to the sagging breasts of the tribal woman. The poet taunts-

“In her sunken eyes,
I see the hollowness
of woman’s empowerment.
And two august houses of Parliament
hung from her sagging breast.”  (Tribal Woman)

His “Lesser Children of God” is another heart touching poem that sufficiently throws light on the sad plight of beggars stalking around ‘ red lights, pavements, metro stops in rough and fine weather’ in search of ‘two bare meals’. The poem shows the dichotomy between two classes of people and this social inequality seems to be tearing off the social fabric of harmony, with a rift in humanity. It also shows the cruel treatment of the rich people who vent their anger at them, ‘hurling silver coins, empty beer canes, leftovers, glossy wafer packets with gummy eyes’.

Chandra Shekhar Dubey’s poetry also presents heartfelt lamentation over the loss of humanitarian sense and humane values- familial, social, moral, and purity of innocence in a city life. He cherishes fond memories of his village, his childhood days spent there with all fun and frolics which are very rare to be found in big cities. He is nostalgic about those days that keep flashing before him ‘like a frozen ocean filled with memories/ sweet and sour, a distant dream/wrapped in innocence'. However, in spite of the child in his heart, dancing to 'the tune/ of myriad whistling plants’ of his courtyard 'in windy, rainy days’, he is sad at heart to see that his village was ‘lost/ in to the sprawling jungle of concrete.’ He calls a city 'Stony, hideous, heartless.’ Depicting a realistic picture of the city, he vehemently comments-

“Here the vast stream of anguished faces
float with frantic strides against
speeding, honking cars, sirens of ambulance.
Here there are no green, winding mazes.” (My Lost Old Home)

The same feeling of lamentation lingers in another poem “Delhi” where ‘ all men good and great/ lost in stone’ are very insensitive. True, his poem “Delhi”, used as a metaphor to unveil this cruel, harsh and stern reality, has ‘a painful history’ burring in his heart ‘Tombs, castles, minarets’ reliving ‘death/ of kings, emperors, and hapless destitute’. With an appropriate use of paradox, he caustically reveals the maneuvering nature of the people here and says that it has ‘learnt the crafts of politics/ From Chauhans, Sultans, might Mughals/ And those whose sun never set’. He questions-

“Delhi, you have survived
The attacks of marauders,
Will you survive the agonies?
Of the poor, maimed and unhappy lots?”

Chandra Shekhar Dubey is a poet of love and peace. He condemns the violence and bloodshed. He advocates for universal brotherhood and social harmony and global peace. His poems also deal with the theme of mass killings of innocent people and animals. While “Brutal Killing” centers on killing of 20000 dolphins in Japan in the name of merrymaking as ‘slothful feat’, the penultimate poem “Phantoms of Death” contains his resentment and his reactionary spirit. He is disheartened to see around him ‘eternal silence in this feast of fury’ as ‘innocence downed into river of insanity’ and ‘innocence massacred/ is innocence lost to the ocean of humanity?’ He vows to complain to God against this cruel act-

“When we go home, we shall ask God-
Why you gave us life, dream and sudden blows of devils?
Give them a soulful sense, eyes that see and heart that feels
The sad satiety of parted souls and wailing loved ones.
Oh! Almighty we washed their sins in our holy blood
So that you could bless them with a loving heart to spare the rest. “
                                                                                (Phantoms of Death)

Other poems like “Void”, “Illusion”, ‘Delusion”, ‘Wisdom’, “ Resonance”, “Silence” and ‘Peace” contain his insightful, reflective, spiritual, mystical and metaphysical speculations exhibited with great subtlety. Aphoristic and axiomatic expressions enhance the poetic beauty of his poetry with greater intensity. They are well expressive of his ‘vision that sees beyond time, space/ and naked stupidities.’ His expressions are so awesome and beautiful that they automatically arrest our attention to their nuances. He seems to be oft quotable due to the beauty of his axiomatic thoughts- ‘fool is one/ who gives/ the doles and are doled/ by their own/ webs of illusion.’ Bemused with ephemeral epiphany, he is aware of the cosmic, temporal and sustained creation of life.-

“the womb of the present carries the germs of the past
like the lost resonance in some dead deep valley.” (Resonance)

The concluding poem of the anthology, “Peace” embodies his lofty and profound ideas on peace. This short yet profound poem sums up his poetic creed and the essence of life through the beautiful definition of peace, presented with an all-inclusive approach. Profundity of thoughts lies in the redefinition of peace. He is quite right in reiterating that ‘ Peace comes from within’, it is ‘a truce of the self with the warring minds’, it is ‘ world of love in godly virtues and saintly words/ which flows through Krishna’s flute, and Nanak’s words/Mira’s madness, Kabir’s vani and Gandhi’s gospels.’Peace is journey of self through a sea of troubles’, also ‘’purgation of self through the rivers of fires/ an art of living with self for home and hearth.’

Chandra Shekhar Dubey’s “Real Resonance; The Unreal Mind” mirrors his philosophical exposition, poetic vision, social realism, humanitarianism and has the elements of modernism and its pessimistic shades. It is resonant with his varied feelings, moods and his attitude and approach towards life. It also reflects his minute and keen observation of his surroundings and society, with intensity of his feelings and thoughts of perennial and universal significance that successfully enhances the poetic and aesthetic beauty, his love for the poor, the suffering and the marginalized. Grappled with a great range of thoughts, he has presented a word play of imagery, and emotionally and powerfully charged diction to convey his message. He is straightforward, sometimes sarcastic in expressions often coupled with extraordinary and evocative images. His poetry unveils the stark realities of life , ungrips tight, hard  and cruel clutches of dark politics, wipes woman’s face off their tears of agonies and thus truly strikes a note of sympathy for the poor strata of society. To have a comprehensive view of life, his poetry provides insight into the vagaries of life, love and society, human relationships, universal joy and sorrow, spirituality and mysticism of life as a whole for soothing solace to battered minds and soul.

The book is very strongly recommended for all the lovers of poetry across the world if they wish to spread the message of love and peace- personal and universal, and thoughts of global harmony and non-violence, and to ‘decipher the meaning of the world through shared consciousness’.


More by :  Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar

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Views: 3410      Comments: 1

Comment A brilliant review,penetrating analysis,exploring thematic lines,sublimity with richness of details and deftness of pen.Thanks BHASKERJEE! Some quotes need to be proof read .Superb! Scholarly!Critical!

04-Oct-2015 12:09 PM

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