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Pensive Poet D C Chambial
|by Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.|
There are some people who take poetry as a mission with a purpose and with a commitment. The Himalayan litterateur, and academic D.C.Chambial has not only been writing poetry but also been running a literary journal for the last two decades single-handedly from the distant Maranda in the distant Himachal Pradesh. He started writing poetry in 1974. His first six collections were published in 2004 in one volume containing Broken Images, 1983; Cargoes of Bleeding Hearts and Other Poems,1984; Perceptions, 1986; Gyrating Hawks &Sinking Roads, 1996; Before the Petals Unfold, 2002; This Promising Age. 2004. Later, Mellow Tones was published in 2009 and in 2010 Words were brought out. Hour of Antipathy, the ninth collection was published in 2014.
There is a poem which castigates the contemporary unresponsive stupor which swallows virtue and honesty.
Jackals, wolves, cats and rats
The pungency and power of diction reveals the poet’s depth of feeling. Betaals are more hateful than devils. Early morning is described as victory over gloom and praised as heavenly absolution.
Victory over gloom
Decay of human values under a stinking and rotten morality is described by this poet in collection after collection in nine books. Cargoes of the Bleeding Hearts is the second book published in 1984. Bleeding hearts are carried as goods.
The Sun’s gone
Chambial reminds us of T.S.Eliot. He has in his mind Wasteland V – What the thunder said.
Where are the words
We the ‘moderns’ are in Christ’s position. The mental condition of Chambial is that of that earlier one. Instead of being dead we who are living are now dying with a little patience. The great self sufferers are Sita and Savitri talked about in the poem ‘ Companions’.
Is it the same that
The condition of women has not improved in spite of the so called development of the country, women’s education, employment and fashions etc. The poet encourages and goads women to be brave and put their foot down firmly.
Rise women, rise!
Chambial’s ‘Shivalingam’ is one of his finest poems of prayer of devotion.
Fill the Earth
Evil, villainous politicians in power and money create chaos. Unless they have money, they don’t win elections. The poet never bows his head to evil of any sort. He says that man is at mercy of evil sycophants and castigates them.
In a plundered land
Hope is the thing with feathers as the American poet said. The poet emboldens and enthuses the week and writes:
Youth a varied-hued-juicy spring
The poet tell his readers that our living nowadays needs a knack to live only ‘successfully’ in the modern world. This is said only to lead the reader to win the so called goals.
To live successfully
‘Perceptions’ is the most captivating collection published on 1986 dealing with an individual’s extraordinary private feelings. These poems need a careful looking into
Let us march, today, hand in hand
It is the spirit that should bring people’s heads together unifying them. There is another poem ‘The Sermon’ about the Thathaagatha’s message. The Bhikhoos went out in all directions to preach the lesson of love. They were asked to teach:
Proclaim O Bhikhoos! The doctrine glorious.
Some times there are poems to make us bold and instil boldness in us as in the poem ‘Fog’.
The wretched fog
This collection is full of feeling, ideas, imagination and the poems are captivating.
You and I
Here is another:
As I dare to peep out
These are indications of the catastrophe that is ahead. All this augurs wrath and pestilence foretelling nemesis.
The poet has a word of advice. Godlessness leads to destruction, annihilation. It’s He who steers the ship from summer to South. This is the most valuable perception of the poet who stands for obedience and devotion to win His Grace. Chambial’s words are impressive and figures of speech attract readers. Cargoes of Bleeding Hearts attracts quick attention. At his age with experience in teaching he captivates readers. His subjects glow with radiance. The following is a case in point, just one for a sample:
I sit and play with grains of sand
The poet being a devout believer never loses hope. However bad things may be, there would come a time when good times come. Light would come emerge from darkness. Night cannot be long is a wise statement. Poetry celebrates and in the same way it weeps about great losses. Chambial bemoaned the tragedy of the Chinese students. who were shot dead when they tried to celebrate the dramatic enthusiasm.
Let’s make hay while the sun
The demonstrators of democracy were killed brutally by the Chinese power. The poet’s heart throbs with love.
You wait and watch
The poet’s heart throbs with love. He is humane: that is the reason he hates and is ferocious. He has soft, godly feelings.
My love! In this pleasant grove
The passion for the sweet heart would ever be the most pleasant. Flowers and love are closely related.
You and I
Man’s aims and ambitions must be high and noble. Life must achieve something worthy. One must achieve nothing lower than heaven. Cleopatras and Helens are worth nothing in the ultimate analysis.
Ride crane-white horses,
In his fifth collection of poems Before the Petals Unfold Chambial wrote ‘Death by Fire’ Hundreds of students and parents celebrating DAV celebrations were consumed by fire at Dabwali on Hariyana. Fire at Baripada, Orissa killed hundreds of students in 19977 assembled at a convention in ‘Nigomananda’. At Mina in
Wounded and dazed lie
The mind goes hither and thither. One needs to make his mark sparkle. The poet uses the trope of anaemia - bloodless to make it to suggest the need for the strength for blood. This is how the poet emboldens:
My back aches, as I foray without
The speaker considers that he is pure as
Would they could
Man’s devilry is growing by the moment, the poet wails.
Here the milk of man is dried
The poet uses many metaphors, tropes and other figures to drive home his point. The degeneration causing microbes are ubiquitous organisms, microbes deadly.
I stood a proud pyramid
The poet acquires serenity and preaches peace:
On this day
The poet takes refuge in Bhagavadgita. “nainam chindanti shastraani , nainam dahati paavakah:” “ paritranaayasaadhoonam, vinasayacha dushkruram” (Neither weapons pierce it, nor fire fires consumes,” (Gita III 27.and “For the protection of the pious and destruction of the evil doers, …(Gita IV:8)
Morality and simple living are the key to happiness.
A beautiful home exists beyond;
Every poet has his own definition/concept and prescription for a good poem Chambial has published hundreds of poems and no wonder he has his own description of a poem. Here is that:
A beautiful babe
There is another distinction in our poet. He writes metrical poetry: there a few capable of penning in metre. (There is only one propagating it and what is more she has been running a journal for more than decades with international members from Visahapatnamm, Metverse Muse, Tulsi Hanumanthu. ) There are some favourite metres for Chambial like Triolets, Villnelles, and Kyrielle. He wrote about great disasters like tsunamis, earth quakes and the like all over the world in several times. For example he wrote about a loss caused by a flood in the river in Arna in Italy in Nov 1966 and many such five. Tsunami spelled disaster for Asia South, some years ago.
The souls who survived the Tsunami shocks
There is a poem “Fantasmagoria’ about fear when rumours in 1905 made people spend rainy and cold nights in the open along with children. There be an earth quake in Kangra District in Himachal Preadesh:
Clouds thundered to frighten the doughty hearts;
“Mellow Tones’ (2009) sings of love of life. Chambial is an admirer of nice living. He describes sapta swaras, seven tones of life. The sweet are lovely and fair , beautiful flowers, a sonorous song, a journey from door to door, a tricky game and a deep and dark sea. He considers death as not an annihilator but a boon to the denizens of earth, an end, a beloved, the best friend and a state of mind. This comes from equanimity of mind and rectitude. He describes a cycle thus:
You ask I give you
However this requires an all seeing eye and a great understanding of the mind. Here is what he wrote in the poem ‘Birth to Death’.
Life, between two doors,
Triolets are this poet’s favourites. They are three line verses which attract lovers of these forms. Here are two on Ice-flowers:
How beautiful the ice-flowers!
Humour is not forgotten by Chambial; here is the conclusion of the poem ‘Cat and Dove’:
With the wink of an eye
Here is the tribute paid to Krishna Srinivas a celebrity who started a conglomeration of young poets in Madras to begin with enthusing the youth. Chambial living in far flung Himachal had his encouragement. He wrote ‘Two Kyrielles’ and here is one:
Gone is the seer, gone is he
The after life is a mystery and so is ultimate destiny. This thought is universal and nevertheless, every one thinks of that at some point of time. In ‘Mellow Tones’ there is a poem on that.
The eighth collection is “Words’ published in 2010. Like an observing, sympathetic and thinking poet, though very disgusted about modern callousness of cultural and humanist values, he has written about catastrophes, floods, earth quakes and heartless bloodshed besides terrorist brutalities. Mumbai terrorist attacks in Taj Hotel shook the civilized world.
It took some six hours to take commandos
Theories about the birth of a poem are usual to be propounded by almost all poets. The following is Chambial’s:
Robert Frost made famous the road not taken. Chambial too is in the horns of a dilemma.
Time is very esoteric,
Mother is an angel and a goddess. Here is Chambial’s description:
She is a vast sea of rollicking love
The tradition in this country is to think of God in everything one does. This Himalayan is basically God-loving. He goes to the Gita very often. In the poem he quotes the sloka which Swami Bhakti Vedanta Swami Prabhupada translates:
In a trance, I leave the earth and begin
The poet levitates, goes high, meditates and perhaps sees God. There is the transformation of the whole personality and the beauties of the whole world are seen. A few poems later:
Look at the beauties:
‘Sweet Violas’ is about flowers when imagination flourishes and goes with sanctity in mind:
Wait vaporizes steadily
Humour is also there, a kind of merriment in talking of women in ‘Kitty’, banter and of course not seriousness.
The women giggle
The ways of the smart world are just the opposite of the nice. Guilefulness is normal and those not are considered ignorant. The wily are praised as wise ones. Hence the poet thinks humanity brands such as the poorest kind.
This is the way of the wisest smart world.
‘The Lascivious World’ drives home the truth of the human-heart mind in such a way that it that it takes out to dry the Sun of all power to freeze balmy freeze. Men of such ilk vilify the good even in the Sun.
All human milk is dried in human heart
God’s powers are mysterious. Nature, the sun and moon and stars make the cosmos so powerful. The skilful poet can make nature hold in position a handful of water in a puddle into cosmos:
Sun , moon, stars
‘Stunned Mirages’ reveals the basic tenor of the poet’s thought process again. He goes often to the Vedas, the Upanishadic expressions and sacred texts, related to God-related thinking. Animal within the soul is the real understanding. Living forms get back into the Creator.
In the autumn of life, shadows broken into small bits, mix and fight. Advancing life fades since it is nine days’ wonder. What is beyond the hill can never be seen.
Life – a nine day’s wonder,
The philosophising poet looks at the end of living. The sun is used as a trope. Metaphorically it is said:
What is to be done is to sacrifice the devils while there is a little time. Ego, desire and greed have to be shed. Then heaven rises out of Hell.
The cuckoo is exasperate in its life-cries
In this hour of antipathy the poet comes to this conclusion. This is logical. Here is a true unification of sensibility, ideas and images. We can just call it an imaginative exuberance or excellence merging into poetic synthesis.
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Dr.Venugopala Rao Kaki
10/30/2016 02:30 AM
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