Book Reviews

With RK's Wanderer: A Study in Poetry

Wanderer by Rajender Krishan
Paperback ISBN : 978-1-947403-15-4 Amazon ebook ASIN : B08T7VS8DZ
Available on Amazon USA | Amazon India  

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
—— Alfred Lord Tennyson in Ulysses 

Where should I go? What should I do now as time passes it not?  But anyway Rajender Krishan’s Wanderer lies it there and I just see the book and return to where I had been as because I know it, as I have come to feel after flipping the pages, these volumes are not common volumes, but the volumes of Indian thought, tradition, philosophy, religion, ethics, spirituality, metaphysics and you have to be submerged in instead of taking loosely. Well, lifting out of monotonous daily routine, humdrum involved in, let us be with the mystic meanderings and spiritual wanderings of the poet where does he go to with the shepherds and the sadhus on their march to Kailash and Mansarovar, Kabirpanthis to Kabir Matha and to the mathas established by Adi Shankaracharya. His search is a search of Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Marco Polo and he is after the quest spiritually, mystically. Where those corals, rudrakshas of thought and meditation? To read him is to be with the mystic, with the spiritualist and the wanderer. To go through him is to be with Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses.
The opening poem of the book Wanderer in hand, Inexpressible proposes to let the inexpressible be unexpressed as the things muffled in mystery, myth and mysticism can never be resolved. This is but the myth of creation, the mystery of the world. View as a poem is about Saguna and Nirguna Brahmas. Remembrance lives on as the residue of meaning, thought and idea, life lived and to be re-lived and this forms the crux of his poetic discussion in the poem entitled so. The poem, Cordial is all about cordially yours. Mind is all about the composition and constitution of it. What is it? How does it function? What is conscience seated deep within? Take you it in your confidence and this is what he says it in Confidence poem. How the shadows of yours falling, have you ever marked? Shadows tell of presence. 

After saying in Shadows, the poet says it that everything is but a projection of one’s own perception, bound to give an opinion. How to transcend the barriers is the point of deliberation in the poem Creativity? Crux as a poem is a discussion of contents and contexts. What it is more endowing is the insight with which one can feel it the intrinsic bonding with the marvels of creation. 
Flawless is without any doubt one of the best poems ever written by Rajender Krishan and here he bowls us out with his hero, character assignment and finish. After the role one must forget the character assigned, allotted as the things remain are not the same. In the poem Debate, Wanderer appears it again to show the pathway which but lies in walking out, taking the path of life as it is in Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods On A Snowy Evening while his is an American wanderer but that of Rajender Krishan is an Indian wanderer, a Himalayan trekker. We do not know where do the debates lead to or what do they smack of? Perhaps besides ego and hypocrisy there is nothing in them. Is it that we are going to end up as hypocrites? 

Well-done is a poem in which punning has been used in to reveal it that well-done is but half-done. Actually, the pun is around done, undone and re-done. What do we do we actually know it not? Finish you, keep you not any work half-done. Do you your work. Virtue as a poem is but a George Herbertian reminding us of his poem named Virtue. Fire of Life is another excellent poem telling of the emotion, passion of living. The whole poem deserves to be quoted in full. Marriage too is as such that it can outdo others and it can be read and admired along with Marriage poem of Nissim Ezekiel where one may sense the skirmishes between the couple, but here everything is but one of compromise and reconciliation. It is lovely in theme and deliberation.

Marriage arranged in heaven, by a matchmaker, as the writ of destiny as per the fate-lines or through love marriage, whatever be the context here, but saat feras, seven rounds around the sacred ceremonial fire bound by a nuptial knot and the wedding baraat with the band and the dil ki dulhania, sapno ki raani he has not forgotten it so far: 

Wedding is not a chancy affair
like the tossing of a coin. 

It is a lifelong commitment,
a practice of caring and sharing,
beginning with acceptance first
adjustments next, to grow 

Weathering the seasons in unison
resolving the rifts, regularly

By counting the blessings and
celebrating the sacred ritual
of awaking together gratified,
until the final curtain is drawn

The whole collection is almost a carrying forward of the image of the wanderer on the way of the world where we come as wanderers and go away from as wanderers. There is nothing my own, nothing as your own. We have come here bare-footed, empty-handed and we have to go so in the end. We can sum up the work by quoting the poem Wanderer: 

Times are uncertain
Life unpredictable
yet, desires abound
Seeking fulfilment 

Allow me to exert
for one more day
in my attempt to empty
the trunk of cravings 

The new journey
must begin, unsullied,
without any baggage,
to explore the unknown 

Verily all will belong
to the same Cosmos
yet, let me not wonder
as to who will meet 

walk and wander with me
on the new voyage, instead,
I pray, keep me blessed
to be true to myself 

Rajender Krishan a disciple and devotee of Kabir has drunk deep at the springs of Kabirpantha and his poetry has born out of his meditation done in the Kabir hut. The knowledge of the world and the knowledge of the self, clutching them into his stride he keeps plodding on the way, adding to practical wisdom and metaphysics.


More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey

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