Book Review of Uma Trilok’s The Song I Left Behind. New Delhi: Sabhya Prakashan. 2012. ISBN: 978-93-83785-24-7, Pages 120, Rs.600.00/US $ 12.00
Uma Trilok is a person who writes extensively in both English and Hindi languages. Not only a poet but she is a recognized author, a script writer and a painter. Being a prolific person, she is trained in Indian classical vocal music and Kathak dance and has performed on various stages, Radio and television. Her earlier publication, Amrita Imroz, a love story was published in three languages simultaneously by Penguine and was very well accepted by the readers. The Song I Left Behind is her sixth poetry collection enriched with verses which touches your heart.
The anthology, The Song I Left Behind has 45 poems on myriad themes. The very first poem, Friendship as the name indicates is based on friendship; the next in the series is Silence which speaks about silence in relationships:
Accompanied with the desire
I let the droplets of silence
Seep into the spaceless
In the poem, Trilok has portrayed the silence existing in a woman’s life who is pining for her lover to bring happiness in her life by removing loneliness existing in her life. Silence II is a highly philosophical poem dedicated to God, the creator. She has expressed her gratitude to God comparing His presence in the earth in various forms. Journey is also a philosophical poem based on the harsh realities of life and Prayer is about the importance of prayer.
There are some poems based on tender feeling of love; No Title, Love Poem and Secret.
The song I left behind reflects an intense love of a beloved who wants her lover to express his feelings for her, as the lines indicates:
Looking into the eyes of the song
You may Say; what you want to say
While The post card I received is symbolic poem revealing the desire of a woman waiting for her lover. This intensity of passion and eagerness is further carried in Wait also.
In her poem, I Left behind she speaks about nostalgia of an old woman who is abandon by her family and living in an old age home. She is recollecting the memories of her yester years of her life at her home where she has spent sixty years of her life and feeling nostalgia. Leaving her home, she left all her feeling; joy, desolation, love, gloom, care and concern there and brought disregard with her. Here, poet has expressed her concern on the reality existing in our society in current scenario. In Tomorrow, she is dealing with the issue of birth of girl-child in those families where it is not celebrated. These two poems are revealing her social concern and her responsibilities towards society.
There are many other poems based on various issues relating women; I am special, I am special II, My share of the earth and Deemed suitable like being a woman, hardship faced by women and social norms disrupting her progress. All these poems reflect her belief in strong womanhood and the spirit of being woman.
Memories are unforgettable for every individual; keeping this in mind she has composed some poems taking memories as theme viz; Making Memories, Somewhere, A temple in my poem, Dream, Rainbow II while Unbearable Pain, Lilies and If only are about pain experienced by human beings. The lines from the poem, If only reflects a love for humanity:
If only I could
Read the voices of the heart
Through the dew drops in their eyes
In the toil lines on their jaws
Hope is a poem written on an optimistic note about expectations of a ten years old child. This feeling is also reflected in poems, Whisper and Search but I don’t want to be God is a poem based on pessimistic note. Expressing her love for Indian classical musical she has composed some poems like Raag Yaman and Raag Vasant based on music raags, yaman & vasant.
It seems she has a deep love for nature as there are some poems based on nature; The Tree, Rain, Mango Tree. In poem, Knot she speaks about bond existing in family between various relationships. Dialogue is about the value of communication in an individual life and A bird to a man; a dialogue is an imaginative poem where a bird and a man are communicating with each other.
It is obvious that most of the poem has love as main theme but mostly they depicts pinning and eagerness of a beloved to meet her lover. In some of the poems she has expressed her social concern. All the poems are enriched with passion and intense emotions. She seems to believe in emotion rather than intellect. Almost all the poems in the collection are written in free verse. All the poems in the anthology highlight poet’s sensitive nature, intense feelings, social concern and mystical attitude reflected in the form of beautiful verses.