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|Post-Exit Entity in Dr. Shaleen Singh's 'Proprietary Pains'|
|by Prof. R. K. Bhushan|
I would like to deliberately skip over the linguistics and stylistics of the Japanese Haiku used and practiced by Dr. Shaleen K. Singh in an honest attempt to give a controlled release to the deluge of his formidable emotions, sentiments, and thoughts during the 13-day traditional but solemn and holistic mourning of his beloved and revered father, a dedicated English teacher and a profound scholar, in the present book, Proprietary Pains, presented in sober and graceful fascination by the wonderful poet-artist in the missionary medical practitioner, Dr. Amitabh Mitra.
Shaleen knows his gem, his flower; he has inherited its “purest ray serene” and its “sweetness” and is proud of his legacy though the pain of his inability, with his honesty, to repay the debt is unendurable.
Shaleen has very intimately drawn a life-like portrait of his father’s life as a self-sacrificing gentleman suffering and enduring the pains of thanklessness from his near and dear ones and the son watching in helpless silence. He says -
Shaleen views this life of sacrifices with sheer empathy when he says -
Shaleen has exercised himself to the full, and also to the best, to acquaint the reader with the sterling worth and lasting value deeply rooted in tradition of not only his father, the progenitor, the sustainer, the teacher and the gentlemanly guide, but also of the fathers, then and now. However, today when the father-son relationship is reduced and denigrated merely to a biological identity, which may also vanish as the things are moving fast in directionless directions, Shaleen has forcefully asserted the social and moral sanctity of this relation sounding a warning and conveying a meaningful and optimistic message amidst grave apprehensions. He says -
How painful and packed is this haiku -
Shaleen is unassuming and unpretentious in the expression of his love for his father and the memories of his presence come crowding in the time of mourning and he philosophizes over what his father gave and what he has received. The poet feels that his life is full of blessings- a bounteous fructification of his great dad’s prayers into blooms and blossoms. The remnants of those prayers have become -
A blind Homer will continue to sing this saga on his dead father’s flute! The poet is badly bruised and broken and feels himself a forlorn haphazard wreckage -
Here ‘You’ with capital ‘Y’ deserves a special notice as it has a new personal and poetic significance. It is not a reflection of the moment but the poet adores it as such even today.
Sri Aurobindo’s generalization, more metaphysical and supra-mental, richly metaphorical, defeats the designs of Death in Is This the End? when the sage-poet of epic dimensions says -
No, no, no and never! The song will never hush even if there is pandemonium. Shaleens will continue to sing as a challenge to the Valhalla of Death and it will ever ring its rhythmic tune in the Museum of Life for the curate to explain to posterity what to idolize and adore in all humanity! This is the post-exit identity in Proprietary Pains assuring a lasting venerable entity!
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