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Fractious Mind : Voice of Love and Humanity
in the Kashmir Valley
|by Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar|
Fractious Mind (Collection of Poems)
Fractious Mind is the debut collection of seventy six poems by Perveiz Ali, a sensitive poet and philanthropic educationist who has won ‘considerable appreciation not only in his nation, but internationally also’. A vibrant poetic voice from Kashmir, Ali’s poetry touches upon varied themes- from personal to impersonal- thoughtfully wrought with stirring imagery and comprehensible diction. His poems are fractious thoughts swashed out well from the innermost depths of the poet’s complaisant heart, with a lyrical cadence that finally soothes his fractious mind. He is ‘a writer of (my) conscience, sowing minds to cultivate excellence’. He stands ‘to rise with no fear of falling hard’. His poems are indeed ‘deeply clear-sighted introspections’ and reflections on ‘ the daily situations and issues’ he explores in Kashmir. As a sensitive poet, he not only expresses his genuine concerns but also projects in true lights the landscapes, and their beauty, varying moods in the changing scenario, fancies and dreams of love and more importantly voices quest for identity. Tragic circumstances of his motherland are the sanguine and genuine blood coursing through his pen. He seems to soothe the people suffering in the valleys of chaos, heal their wounds, deep within, with his poetic symphony.
He is aware of his responsibility and duty for the betterment of his society and its people. In the very first poem ‘Who Am I” he clearly reveals his civic sense and poetic motive –
His poetry is marked with precise perception on the creativity and creation of poetry as an art. In some of the poems, he touches upon the theme of poetic process and underlines its power and significance in view of its cathartic effect.
“In Forget me not” he wishes to be remembered forever. Love and longing with fond memories, are all well expressed in his poems of love. Some of them have the best of romantic exuberance imaginative precipice of passionate and surging urges and wistful woos. He calls his beloved ‘a reason for drafting a poem’. His “Soulnappers” is a romantic declaration that bespeaks of ‘divine order’. The poet writes :
His “Daily Gift” is beautiful message to the world. Love is an ocean of kindness and compassion. He Love knows no boundary as such. We should love one and all, come what may:
The poet highlights the fact that there should be transparency in love. A heart has to be open to another to see the immensity of warmth in life. In “Naked Love”, he urges his beloved to be true in love:
Furthermore, he wants no conditions or hidden agenda between two souls to achieve the perfect bond of love:
He highlights the power- healing and uplifting- of love in his poem “Love Sailors”. He believes that love can help the lovers withstand all tempests of life provided they are faithful and loyal to each other:
He holds that sincerity and loyalty is an indispensible part of love. Purity of emotions refines our sensibility to realise the worth of divine love. He time and again emphasises the importance of purity, thus adding divine and moral dimension to the comprehensive concept of love. It is apparent in his beautiful poem “Tenets of Love”:
Highlighting the cardinal touchstone and principles of love, he further reiterates in the same poem:
He perceives in love a divine element that refines and refreshes comforts and delights souls in love. This is the reason why he gives a metaphysical twist to the definition of love and validates his inclusive perspective on this most delicate form of emotion. In some of his poems he repeatedly tends to take the side of moral values in life. In no circumstances, he wants to forego the path of ethics.” A Stir Within” he says-
In the same poems he avows-
He wants to stand ‘for purity,/In thoughts and acts in public and private?" His “Introspection” contains his avowed resolution-
Other love poems are “Shadows of Love” about a lamentation over lost love, “My True Love” expressing personal love, “Soulnappers” describing his muse as an inspiration. “You” and “Enthralled’ are significant poems on love and beauty, while ‘My Valued Muse” is his idea on love and life. ‘Unseen Bridge” talks about bliss of love, “Beloved Sleep Sound” is equally a remarkable poem of love. Cravings, desires, longings, passions, dreams are characteristics of his love poetry.
“Honour Her” is a remarkable poem calling for total emancipation of woman. It looks down upon the co-called forced ‘purdah’ system for her. Here, clerics are criticised, perverted thoughts of male towards female are satirised. He, as a real sympathiser of woman, accentuates her significance, her worth and value:
Besides, there are also some other poems about woman and her emancipation. “Eve Emancipation” deals with the plight of teenage girls and woman and questions the provision of government made for her emancipation. The poet declares:
Voice of Protest
Perveiz Ali is a strong voice of protest drawing universal attention to glaring issues of Kashmir, tormented and terrorised since long. Long ensuing conflicts and strife have wrecked havoc everywhere in the paradise valley. It is quite natural that his poetry poignantly reflects the sorry state of affairs of Kashmir of contemporary times. The poet observes the pungent panorama and makes an attempt to voice against those responsible for defilement of beauty of the valley and loss of lives. At the same time he pleads for restoration of love and peace there. He is vehemently vocal against the prevailing system that has almost snatched the rights of the common people of Kashmir. In “Social Cannibals” he describes himself:
His poetry is some sort of protest and revolt against the stagnant political system rotten to the bottom. “Vote for truth” is an expression of his angst and ire against the political stricture that has cordoned the lives of the people, crippling them forever. Be it the political, to bigotry or dogmatic ideology, he spares none. He satirises all for pushing the state in such a quagmire of never-ending struggles, and disgruntlement of the people as ‘All participate in denying freedom. In this perspective, his “Spring Denied” is an eye opener.
He raises fingers at the electoral system fostering the political gimmick He disapproves the political leaders as their ‘rahnuma’; they are rather ‘oppressors’ who ‘serve their own interests’. Kashmir as a land of agony rather a treasure trove of beauty and wealth lies ‘raped’, ‘destroyed by mayhem and greed’ is realistically portrayed. This poem is a dismal panorama of sufferings of Kashmir. His next poem ‘Ruminations’ is a severe criticism of ‘Politicians’, ‘Bureaucrats’, ‘Media’, ‘Intellectuals’,’ Teachers’,’ Administrators.’, and ’Social workers’. He writes an elegy oh his ‘Paradise Lost’ and mourns and prays ‘for recovery of lost glory’. Telling his pathetic tale, he wants:
His poems dealing with Kashmir issues very aptly bring to the fore not only the travails of people, but also the atrocities on woman with bitter satire on National jingoism and religious bigotry. The people of Kashmir, as he says, are sandwiched ‘between the parables of deceits.’ His poems are Symphony and Euphony in the cacophony of Kashmir. His “Chinar” is a symbolic poem of hope and joy. Another important poem “A Victim” reflects his thoughts and devotion and love for his motherland. He says-
“Justice Denied” and “Kashmir Delirium” are equally sensitive poems highlighting the cause of the common people of Kashmir. “Dream in the Prison” is a poem of strong determination and powerful protest:
His poems are replete with scathing lines of his social and political revolt, calling for communal harmony, love and peace to be restored in the troubled valley.
Poetry of belief and religiosity
Objects of nature, like rain, sun, earth, mud, winter, darkness etc as reflected in his poems are the symbols that embody subtle thoughts of the poet.
Contemporary world is in total chaotic state. Everything is topsy-turvy. The heat of the world is scorching as the poet feels. He turns to the supreme power for succour to his soul. ”Thou Metamorphosed Me” is a penetrating poem of hope, faith and belief. He avers-
“Regret” and “Unbidden Destiny” are other important poems of strong hope, determination, and resilience. Appreciation of God for everything, subjective and objective is also palpable in his poetry. Despite the degeneration of the world, he wants his soul to be illuminated. In “Regret”, he reveals-“I regret not/ In dying thousand deaths/ For the candle of untainted soul!”
As a poet of contemporary reality he highlights the grave issues of hunger, poverty, inequality, social and political injustice, materialism and greed, cow vigilantism, jingoism. Through his poetry he is voicing against the forces of brutality, injustice, and oppression reigning and ruining the lives of Kashmiris. With the realistic portrayal he bemoans in “What of Earth?’“-
Poignantly rendering Kashmir’s pain to the outside world his “Fallacy” assumes and exhumes
However, he never loses hope and believes in the same poem-
Beauty of Nature
The anthology under review is also remarkable for the beauty of ghazal it contains for the readers.“Sand Grains”, “Life Cycle”, “Inner Secrets”, ‘Abandon Disparity” are beautiful and soulful ghazals for humming to souls.
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