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Time Whispers in My Ear
|by Rob Harle|
Time Whispers in My Ear
Time Whispers In my Ear is an evocative title for this latest collection of wonderful poems by Aju Mukhopadhyay. The title poem honours the relentless workings of nature – never still, never looking back, forever ebbing and flowing, coming into being and passing away.
I sense a further, underlying meaning, perhaps unintentional, and that is, that time is running out for humans and the natural world. The first few lines of Fall of a Habitat
Many of Aju’s poems are powerful, hard hitting observations concerning the destruction of the planet, and decent human values by the unbridled greed of the rich and powerful – time is indeed running out for us.
But in the Either Saint or a Ganja khor poem Aju questions the motives of some “wandering monks” or “sadhus”, cautioning us that this type of life can only be lived correctly if it is a “true and honest calling”.
When Aju’s poems are not keeping us spiritually honest, or asking us to respect nature they often expose various states of the ‘human condition’. As I mentioned in my review of Manhood, Grasshood and Birdhood (2), Mili is one of my favourite poems. This wonderful, gentle poem comments on the timeless and inevitable transition from innocent childhood to adulthood. I found this poem very moving and the line, “forgetting her lollipop days” captures perfectly the passage from the carefree innocence of childhood to the responsibilities of adult life. Here's the bitter-sweet poem in its entirety.
As a poet Aju is fearless in tackling the “big questions” he contemplates and ponders the nature of existence. A friend once remarked “great poets are seers not only concerned with their personal petty concerns” Aju's poetry certainly fulfils this criterion. His poems such as Structural Violence (p. 59) Nuclear The Evil Force (p. 84) express disgust with the boasting of the “World’s richest chairmen of companies” all worth several billion dollars when the children in places like Haiti are starving to death. Referring to these insensitive greed mongers Aju says:
In the poem Nuclear The Evil Force Aju offers hope in the last few lines
It is interesting to note that even though many of Aju’s poems call our attention to these inhuman acts of violence against each other, and the earth (our mother) the poems themselves are not particularly depressing or angry. I think this comes from Aju’s spiritual nature and beliefs, tending to state the case as it is but offer hope and solution. Also he often posses a rhetorical question which increases the reader’s interaction with the poem and gives the reader hope and that the reader themselves can help bring about positive change.
1 - Manhood, Grasshood and Birdhood by Aju Mukhopadhyay pp. 88. 2014. illus. b&w. Prakash Book Depot, Bareilly, India ISBN: 978-81-7977-521-9
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