Sunday, August 25, 2013

BOOK REVIEW                          

“Silent Days” by Jaydeep Sarangi. Cyberwit, Allahabad, India 2013, ISBN 978-81-8253-396-7, price 200 Rs.

    Silent Days by Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi is a coronet, studded with fifty venerated gems of aesthetically stupendous poems, at the forehead of Contemporary Indian English poetry. The book was launched by Professor Dennis Haskell, the Director and reputed poet, Westerly Centre, UWA, at Australia this year in, the last week of May. The book is dedicated to ‘his loving daughter’, Titas. Lakshmi Kannan very aptly writes into the foreword that ‘Jaydeep Sarangi’s poems touch you with a simplicity that is invaluable in any writer, be he a poet, novelist or a short story writer. For it is important that a poem should communicate clearly before it sets out to work on our consciousness the way poems do.’
        The boundlessly astonishing consciousness of the ‘Bard on the Banks of Dulong’, establishes him firmly as a connoisseur of true beauty of nature and his social milieu, on the pages of Silent Days. The book is the perfect specimen of his exceptionally creative sensibility and fecundity. He wishes to ‘stretch the windy wings’ and ‘dance the stormy play/As the withered leaf.’ Only he could wish to get his wings ‘drenched in the sky-rending monsoons’. He can successfully ‘arrange the dreams/ Of Indian Youth/In indigenous ink’. Natural scenes/images, and colour symbols from an indivisible and mesmerising part of this collection. ‘Red heart’, ‘red soil’, ‘blue mountain’, ‘deep blue’ sky, ‘colourful and bright’ dreams, ‘red and green’ signals, ‘history with the white’, ‘blue turf ’, ‘white eyes’, ‘green paradise at the Perth’, glittering ‘red clothes’ of goddess Lakshmi, and ‘green stories’ after the monsoon of hope’, open the ‘red key to future planning’. ‘Deep green/Fancies and arguments die hard/On a placid rock’, ‘blue whispers of the sky’ with all the above mentioned colours make his ‘imagination shine with colours/Red and Blue’.
        Tenth poem in the collection is ‘A Rose is a Rose’. It reminds its readers the bitter memories of ‘Delhi Gang rape’. Sarangi has woven the poem with extreme care and guardianship.
Blue wings of my imagination
Run wild among my ruined terrace
Of sad history of women in our country.                 
       His sensitive heart weeps at the agony of women in India. A father’s deep concern for his loving daughter clearly peeps through following lines:
I am a man too
I too have a darling daughter
And I fear, the world where she is a flower
The sky is deep blue today
But, we never know what follows the next day.
    The recurrence of words like ‘silence’ and ‘silent’ reminds me of Life Signs by Jayanta Mahapatra. Poems like ‘Cricket Australia’, ‘Chessmaster and His Moves’ and ‘Out Swinger’ give us a clue to his sporting nature. The pangs of Dalits find not only a margin or corner but a colossal space in this collection.
The margin is unfamiliar like any wild flower
Unseen and not named yet
Though we are struggling
In our long walk to the spotted discourse.
We stay together.
    All the poems of this collection display new and vibrant shades of his personality. For Mahapatra ‘voices lapse into silence’ and he too uses silence in a creative manner when he writes ‘out of silence we look back now at what we do not know’. And for Sarangi silence becomes the positive catalyst in the chemical process of fabrication of a poem.
Chatting and mingling
Who knows when bonding condenses
It grows unnoticed , Silent is its swell
Like dahi in a fair bowl

Suddenly one day
The pen’s demand awakens-
Poems of easy bonding seek expressions,
Feelings of sheer love!
           Besides the title poem, my second favourite poem in this anthology is ‘Bilingual Bard’. The poem has also been translated into Italian by Antonio Casella. Sarangi never takes ‘an artificial mask’ in his poems, for him ‘poetry is the window of hope’.
My language is the free flow of soul
When my heart is lit up
With bubbles of anxiety
My life invites me…
      Last poem in this collection entitled as ‘Going to a Holy Place’ continues to sustain the charm of preceding pages. He crosses ‘the corridors at times and joins the ‘voices of silence/sculpted with finer touches’. Philosophical perspective enters quietly into the grand palace of diverse moods. In the concluding poem he writes:
Mind has its own place to
Lead the self to the ocean
Where rivers of differing length mingle
As pure bath
For men of several Indian caste and Creed at Varanasi.
                     Silent Days is a collection of fifty fascinating frames of fantastic frescoes on the wall of Contemporary Indian English poetry. His keen eye catches the dreams, experiences, vision, sentiments, hopes, fears, and chariot of fleeting time with an unparalleled poetic adroitness. Jaydeep Sarangi’s Silent Days is undoubtedly a feast for the minds of the readers and critics.
                                                                                                     Reviewed by
                                                                               Dr. Kalyani Dixit
                                                                           Assistant Professor in English
                                                                             DAVPG College