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Two Indias and Other Poems
|by Prof. R. K. Bhushan|
This collection of poems, Two Indias and Other Poems, has shown the amazing growth of the poetic vision and poetic craftsmanship of Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar. This is functional poetry embracing the working and movement of life in its entirety and the poet’s honesty and seriousness in understanding the urgencies of life are suggestive and expressive of his convictions and maturity. This is an intensely lyrical expression of the poet’s deep sensibilities, political, religious and social tensions, pains, agonies and genuine concerns. His canvas has widened and encompasses all that happens within and beyond time and space to sensitize the reader about what damages and disgraces the harmony, goodwill, fraternity, peace and the laughter of everyday human life.
The closing of the poem awakens us to the conscious moral and spiritual collapse wherein the devils dance in mad glee amidst willful confusion caused by the intellectual cunning, hoax and hoodwinking-
These lines have a loud echo of W. B. Yeats. This cacophony of crooks about the welfare of the masses, alleviation of poverty, development, prosperity, nationalism, vision of a new India, deafening songs of sympathy for the deprived, depressed, destitute and helpless to wonderfully improve their plight has deafened , disturbed and angered the real poet, Bhaskaranand Jha. He says-
The poet is not only rues and critical of the performance of politicians but is sarcastic and ironical about offering bouquets of flowers to them. And he is absolutely right when he says that only very few deserve these bouquets even when they die-
Even today, India “divided into several pieces” remains ”scarred, stabbed, butchered” and is still haunted by the English past, writhing and groaning, born blind to the great sacrifices made by our forefathers and their “soaring zeal of patriotism”. This youthful patriotism of this gifted young poet is simply astonishing. We can hear the shocking cry of his soul in these lines-
The poet’s eyes are wide-open to see this disgusting show with tears welled up in his eyes, his soul benumbed and the glorious poetry singing its functional statement. “1947” is a striking metaphor for the selfless endless sacrifices of our great forefathers for freedom to fulfill dreams of brotherhood, understanding, peace, harmony, love, happiness and prosperous growth of posterity. And what we have done, what we are doing and where we have landed our beloved Mother land adored by the noble blood and sacrifices?
All their hoarse declarations of idealistic and ideological standpoints lost in hollow promises and shallow performance, their values of humanity, morality, nationalism, “exemplary commitment, spectacular dedication” and even “their patriotic loyalty to the nation”-
Not only this, the poet is painfully aware of the dubious bloody games played from across the borders against our land “of love, compassion and humanity.” The “untrusted masquerading face” with blood-smeared hands engaged in back-stabbing since long and exposed globally is a potential danger to our beloved motherland whose cries rant the skies. Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar is at his poetic and patriotic best in his short but very eloquent and rhetorical poem, “Cries of the Country”. He tells us how India is confronted with the savage dread and dangers from the people and powers beyond-
The poet is using this as a double-edged sword to daringly expose the barbarian irreligious and unreligious bloody tendencies of “deep-rooted bigotry, fanatic hatred” gone mad to drench every page of the Book of Life with detestable steaming blood! In “Hounds of Politics”, the poet tells us how these beasts of prey have laid a long trap from which the victimized poor have no escape. In “Dance of Democracy”, he tells us that elections in democracy simply change the people in power with their soaring greed maintaining the status quo and leaving the general populace to roll and rot in their deplorable pitiable plight. The evil curse of hunger troubles and teases and haunts the men and the cattle. In a short poem of rhythmic beauty, “Hunger”, the lyrical closing leaves the reader dazed-
Still he breathes in “the billowing fragrance/ lingers in the gusty winds of hope” in “Bleeding Roses of Kashmir.” (P27).
Humans have become beasts, brutes and savages and the yahoo is ferociously out to rule. The poet says that in such a sorry and dreadful state of affairs-
These are times of mass exodus also and Poll Dates, Holy Cow, Republic, Award Wapasi, Have and Have-Nots, Happy Beggar, Indian Demagogue, Political Brouhaha, Smiling Buddha Bleeds, Freedom is Chained, Sobbing Sita, Sex Vultures, Demon is Reborn- all tell their tale when there is the Festival of Colours in the Hues of Life and the Hands tying Rakhi , Mother Goddess arrives and the Goddess Durga is worshipped ceremoniously. Still the Railway Platform tells a different tale in the new and refreshing poetic images, idioms and metaphor. The poetic personality of Bhaskaranand Jha takes a whirlwind tour of the length and breadth of the Mother India. This is the India where “Survival of the Fittest” is the high sounding message for all. Zeal to survive in the world of turbulent times alone moves us forward. This zeal is essential to be the fittest in our game of survival. Here is the stark realism the poet emphasizes-
This is the “sole motto and dictum”, we must carry on to pull ourselves through these painfully troubled times. The poet understands that our society is not only morally deteriorated, debased and decayed but also dead. This teaching and moralization are the most urgent need and ought to be the top priority of those who run, govern and guide the affairs of the country and society as-
These poems pierce through the heart of the reader and the poet has successfully fulfilled his mission as a poet in highlighting the cancerous ills that afflict our beloved Mother India, society and humanity and cause writing pains day and night; he has also suggested meaningful effective remedies to cure and restore the health of the Glorious and Resurgent India!
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