Book Reviews

The Second Great Himalayan Poet: DC Chambial

The Song of Light and other Poems, 2017-2020,
Aadi Publications, Jaipur, Paper Back, 104 pages, Price Rs.195/-

The great Himalayan poet P. C. Prem wrote in the blurb of the book: Every poem is a ‘Food for thought’ that nourishes and enhances the texture of life. Nothing is outside the glorious thus the cycle of creation, preservation and destruction continues in eons; here Hindu thought of creation of Manvantaras reveals, possibly, what occupies the poet’s mind, in many lyrics, he stuns and one just sits astounded and watches the voyage of the poet, Chambial, to the far beyond, a yearning to unite with the Supreme. In the Foreword Prem writes further, he wrote that this book integrates life’s anxieties on earth and beyond in totality

A deep thoughtfulness makes man to deep wistfulness making him humane and sometimes super-human too. Faith came into being with Man thinking deeply of matters relating to Birth and then the inevitable end, Death. The immediate insight was that everyone born should die one day. Death has always been defying understanding and it shall remain an enigma forever. This led to the belief that there must be something, which is beyond surmise, which would perhaps be understood intuitively with some kind of deep and committed envisioning.

When Good and Bad are posited, primarily the sense of right and wrong through a specific sense we call religious sense, the Divine Supreme is posited. With that Good and Bad came to be understood in depth leading to the insight that in after-life, that is life after death, the being which has had a span of life would be assessed by his/her deeds in the broad and never ‘scientifically’ defined’ categories, Good and Bad. The seers left judgment to the Supreme Being.

Great sages and seers, ‘drashtas’, as they are called in Devabhasha, language of gods, Sanskrit, wrote out long and inspired visionary experiences to reveal to us what they envisioned in an inspired effort to illumine what is dark in the likes of us. They invariably believed in a Supreme Being and showed time and again in their envisioned narratives what should be viewed as Good and what its dangerous opposite is. Belief and Faith are aspects of Theism. Theism is the dynamics of thinking, which believes in these intriguing concepts, intriguing because of lack of basic understanding. This cannot be served on a platter and this is where the concept of intimate one-to-one relationship with God through a mental state and contributory way of living called Bhakti emerged.

When bad is done, wrong is committed, it would be brought to book. It would be punished. This belief acts as a deterrent to bad deeds. While asking people to cultivate belief and have faith in God, the sages and seers went on to explain the consequences of bad deeds, also called evil-doings. This is what we now call a two-pronged approach to instal Faith. Now to the poet D.C. Chambial. I take up a few poems, one by one in the order of the text.

The poet is very devout and thought deeply about the devout and Divine and goes on explaining his thoughts.

1. How to Tear Away Self

The poet is basically a deep believer, a spiritually oriented thinker. This poem reveals how he deals with the male in his writing. He is right, too. His is a pious, astoundingly right and philosophical mindset.


Bark of a dog, meow of the puusy cat,
Ring in the clouds, all lost in limbo that.
How to long, to live in this state of dream
And feel the chilly warmth of tasty cream! (p.19) (How to Tear Away the Self)

From dog and cat to the sky to the lucid love makers. This is the fine frenzy the poet enjoys/ or suffers, as you are blessed or cursed!

One thought leads to another and plunges the poet into a deep whirlpool

2.Sitas and Savitris

These are extremely devoted women held in the highest esteem by us all both men and women and things take their own stride in human life by providence. Maadri is Madari. We know how his voluptuousness and spring-flowers cost the sequence of events in our Mahabharat.


Kama’s soft arrows hit Madari in forest
In her romance, full of Spring-flowers
Enticed she Paandu with curse on his head
Caused his doom: herself too plunged on pyre. (p.20) (Sitas and Savitris)

The poet considers the mental condition and moral depravity of the males (MEN) proudly and castigates that stupidity.

The Spirit of the Age

Typical male mentality is described here and it is attributed to the spirit of the age.


Men consider their women possessions
Not their equals in His purpose of Earth
They throw them at their whims like stones:
Use them like bottle of sweet winy wealth. (p.23) (The Spirit of the Age)

1. On the Face of the Sea

There are ballads too in poet Chambial’s compositions which contribute to the poetic finesse.

Hear thrilling song from her zither
And capture it for monuments free
When I suffered melancholy
Here, away from the sea. (p.26) (On the face of the Sea)
5. Ordain
God is thought of seriously, very seriously with humility and devotion. God ordains even the lesser happenings.


Bliss embraces
At the slight touch:
Existence, actions
Due to Him.
Only a bubble ….
Panchabhootas …
May burst at any moment
At His Will:
Ultimate fruit
Of life on Earth, (p.27-28) (Ordain)

7. At the other End
Believers who worshipfully pray think of ‘OM” as the creator of peace, Sahanti.


The sweetness of Shantih settles in soul,
When sonorous sound of OM
Silently envelopes what is foul
Slowly and slowly the gale rests in OM. (p.32) (At the other End)

8. Sweet and Sour Tales
Here is poem of peace, peace that is sweet which passes understanding in sluber.
Merry Earth in its blanket shadowy
Of slumber till the nest daybreak.
The world seemingly swims in the sea
Full of daring, devious brilliant dreams
The air so silent lets the soundless sound
To the farthest greens of a pin drop flee. (.34) At the Other End).

11. This Maelstrom

A maelstrom is a great whirlpool which washes away all. The most dreadful is last line!!!

Human heart
Green sensitivities
of human milk.
starve in the maelstrom:
me and mine
Luster of the fake. (38-39) (This Maelstrom)

12.Eernal Dive

Some things are wondrous! There are things surprise even the Almighty!!!


In light
one sails across to an ocean
beyond the caves
sensual charms,
left far behind
eternal dive
into the ocean
of no return:
Moksha! (pp40-41) (Eternal Dive)

14. An Island
Some times man is dumbfounded. The poet says that God Himself is amazed. He seems to be ashamed of his creating man!

God Himself dazed
and speechless
cries out in dismay;

how foolish in thinking,
I have created man
As My own image!

I’m utterly ashamed
at his quest for matter,
money and the lewd.

Humanity in desperation
Awaits His coming!
For paritranaya of the good and noble. (47), (An Island)
The poet Notes: “The Second Comin” and Srimadbhagavadgita Ch.4, Sloka 8.

19.Song of Light

Bepuzzlement occurs when man finds himself dumbfounded. Man feels los in a maze. T truly, natural t situation in human life. The answer seems to be in Faith, Devotion and worship. The poem is to be read several times for one to calm himself.

He read the Gita
and wept
in his heart of hearts

The answers
to his queer questions
lay scattered here

Like one trapped in a maze
Moving, after the entry
without any exit. (p56) (Song of Sight)

25. In Duty

The poet feels that duty and trust in Him would be the solution and path to salvation


Life is a rare gift! Gild with fruitless karma,
Body blessed and let the soul in joy roll.
Weave nest golden on the terra-firma.
In duty, like the sun and moon, stroll. (p.65) (In Duty)
28 Tension
The poet is a believer and as on who has great and deep trust in the Divine suggests that belief is the panacea for usual tensions and any tension, unbearable!

A state of mind often incapable
To think, apparent or stretched, one.
Lurks in limbo, one falls short of table
ultimate end, right from wrong, to discern.

What lies past human acuity, try to learn,
What’s beyond one’s head, try simply to spurn. (p69) (Tension)

30.. The Elixir of Bliss
Bliss is not easy to find or experience It is elixir for one who is in misery, or great amazement as to how things are turning out. One should trust in God.
Meditate upon One:
Who creates and who annihilates,
All beings and things
emerge from Him,
at the end merge in Him.
He the centre,
all move around …
Come and go without me and my
keep the equipoise. (p71) (The Elixir of Bliss)

32. The Bullet* (For my grandfather)
This is my one of the poet’s best poems. It has a lesson for all. It is not grief but adoration for a fearless fighter. Winning the battle, whatever be conditions!!!



One after another, four went in his body
on the right side, from head to leg;
went on with his task, till evacuated by a buddy.

Later when sent home with honour and land,
often he bemused with his fellows and the youth
Proud he was of having done his duty to his best.

Proudly, he would show bullet scars to all
on his head, arm, hip and leg
Bolster the boys to be brave in life, ere they fall. (p.76) (The Bullet, To my grandfather)

34. Flowers

This is lyric for the fabulous experience of sweet fragrance, which no fanciful bought, perfumes.


The aroma takes one
to the seventh heaven
of joy
where one lives like an ‘opium eater’
never willing
to step out of the domain
of languor
and longs to drink
at the window of blooms
in such a torpor. (p79) (Flowers)

38. Vultures on a Dead Tree

Even vultures on a dead tree mock the humans. OurThey have a sense of duty. Our poet
Makes a portmanteau neglictard neglect dereliction and disregard!!!
More conscious to duty perhaps.
brood and laugh on humans
neglect, dereliction, disregard
of and for the teachings
of the sacrosanct text’ (p.85) (Vultures on a Dead Tree)


Kathmandu is the city of the child goddess in the cultured capital of Nepal.


The bank puts on a holy ambience
at the fall of day with the Lord’s Arti,
chanting of Shiva-stotra and Shiva-stuti
in the mellifluous tune and cadence
that reverberates in the city and sky alike
to make the earth and heaven melt into divine. (p.86) (Kathmandu)

41 Neo History neo history


Cosmic rays
from pulsars and quasars
the collision, fusion, diffusion …..
into a new history
for man to envision
the strength of MIND. (p.89)(Neo History)

42 In the New Light


Welcome the new dawn
of the new Heaven
donning dress of varied tinges
in the eastern horizon
with sheen of Brahman –
unseen, unheard and unknown
to the physical means –
to mend our ways,
shape our days
in the new light
of the New Year
for sarva dharma sambhava
and service,
cherishing love for Humanity. (p.90) (In the New Light)

44. EMS

This is a poem of Ego, Mind and Soul, a clever composition like the word portmanteau used earlier in neglect, dereliction. And disregard. Chambial is fond of word play which requires gumption!


When E and M
shrug off vanity,
a Heaven dawns
on the Earth sheltering soul.

As man wakes up
to this reality,
he is on his way to “imminent
and inevitable future” (p92) (EMS)


More by :  Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.

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Views: 3345      Comments: 1

Comment Observations are true, genuine and intense. Chambial is a poet, who reveres silence and solitude and suddenly comes out with a blazing flame ...Dr Sahib has been so engaging in his remarks.

P C Katoch
30-Jan-2021 17:20 PM

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