Silent Days : Poems by Jaydeep Sarangi . Cyberwit.net , Allahabad . (2013 ) P.b.68pp.ISBN : 978-81-8253-396-7. Rs.200/-
By Dr Pradip Kr Patra, Professor of English
Bodoland University, Kokrajhar-783370 , Assam
Silent Days is all about memorable days, sweet moment or otherwise the author’s yearning for the best moment of life. It is quite clear that for the poet the present moment is not as good as the past. But he doesn’t moan over. He gives the impression that the past is as concrete as anything. It is as real as the present. In one of the poems, ‘Flight’, the poet compares the state of being in ‘flight’ with the ‘rock’. It is that status of soaring high which is important, not the lifelessness the rock. For the poet, greater is the pleasure of going above ‘stagnant knowledge’. The poet’s covert yearning for knowledge in democratic spirit is discernible. As a sequel to the said poem, ‘The Guest’ is one of the important poems in this anthology. In a casual manner Sarangi tells the story of time. Through the poem, he tells the story of the individuals who are usually scared of the time moving very fast. Implicitly, the poet expresses the fear of his thoughts having taking him altogether in a different direction because of the acceleration of time . Time may be a big factor responsible for change. But, it is not that time castrates everything. Sarangi has certain moments of life which time cannot erase. ‘The Red Soil Allure’ is one such poem that brings a turning point in the life of the poet. For him, ‘the red soil’ is drenched in emotion. It is the emotion of a son towards the mother that trickles down. The poet has a conflict within himself: of nature and spontaneity in one hand and the process of being civilized on the other. The nature and culture conflict is very prominently portrayed in ‘Missed Calls’. Sarangi compares and contrasts busy and hectic life in one hand with that of the innocence of his child who like the grown-ups doesn’t hanker after anything other than colour pencils. The poet also points out the desire both of grown-ups and children. The desires of children are so simple, whereas that of gown-ups so complex. By choosing the title, ‘Missed Calls’ ( of the poet’s child ) the author rather hints at his own yearning for innocence.
In ‘I’m on your Side’, the poet elaborately depicts what he has portrayed rather implicitly in ‘The Red Soil Allure’. Here is the celebration of tribal village life. The poet’s sophisticated self goes spontaneously back to ‘red soil’, ‘of herbs numberless’, ‘earthen cottage’, ‘cool shade’, ‘small river’, ‘windy past’ and ‘rains’ etc. With heart and soul, he remains in such natural ambience.
As he proceeds, the poet appears to have matured in course of time. In ‘Growing Old with Time’ he acquires greater experiences of life. He has realized what actually time is. He has also had the realization that time is a great leveller: years of isolation and stagnation may end surprisingly. Hence, he justifies the title of the poem, ‘Growing Old with Time’.
It is not just the experiences and realization of life , the poet rather moves towards freedom, not just physical, but also spiritual, the yearning of which even on the part of a prisoner can contribute to the making of history as it is reflected in the poem, ‘Small Rivers of the Mind’.
The title poem, ‘Silent Days’, in a way, is all about the convictions of life. Days keep passing in a sequential manner. It is not possible to cut the sequence of life. Life is holistic. Bypassing a small portion means disrupting the whole. What we consider to be old has its repercussion upon the new. Hence, it is not just the poem, ‘Silent Days’, but also the collection of poems entitled, Silent Days reflects not only the poet’s way of looking at the world, colouring it with wisdom, but also gradual development of his own self. It makes a good reading which will have a positive impact up on the readers and energize their thought process.