the monument speaks
through the guide
to the old pipal tree--
I talk to myself
Otata 23, November (Ed. John Martone)
Resonating Ripples of Poetry
by Pankajam K
Ripples of Resonance by Pravat Kumar Padhy
Authorspress, New Delhi
ISBN 9789352075478, Pp 100 / Rs.250, $ 12
The book ‘Ripples of Resonance’ is the fourth collection of poems by P K Padhy, a petroleum geoscientist by profession. This book contains 77 poems, mostly short poems in unrhymed free verse form. Thorough observation of happenings and people around, a poetic mind that finds stuff in mundane subjects, unique expressions and originality seem to be trade-mark of the poet.
‘A Lost Human’ is a poem on the evolution of the earth and is didactic in nature, no wonder the poet being a geologist by profession.
Morally the less intelligent divides man
Into blindfold cracks.
The hope of tranquil stars
Behind abhorrence of the dark clouds.
Perhaps his mental calamity
Awaits to swallow himself. (p.14)
‘Old Age’ is a look back at times bygone and the speaker of the poem reminisces about his/her footprints of strength which are stored as memories.
Under the dusty sandstorm
To sink me behind the twilight sun. (p.15)
In ‘Denouncing Death’, with suffering, pain and grief when the inevitable or the predictable end converges to the darkness of death and at this the humans’ struggle to surpass it is the subject dealt with .
The grief reads the alphabets of past
As time awaits to snatch away the living image
Denying the wind of hope in the battle.
Within the immovable wall of silence,
Death tries to extinguish the flame of light.(p.16)
‘Slaughter House’ is a multi-layered poem where the readers can read between the lines and interpret their thoughts to events or occasions according to their own understanding or analysis.
To what length the wisdom of sacrifice
Drains the blood so pure.
I wonder if it ever could lit
Candle of softness
To conquer the darkness
Of the graveyard
Overriding the vicious void. (p.19)
‘The Social Artifact’ is a poem which shows the pathetic picture of poverty and neglect in no soft words. It is hard to miss the poet’s eye for the sufferings of the poor and the influence of money in all and everywhere.
The body, lying in the slum,
Breathes his last agony.
The Himalayan silence sleeps
In this noisy social crowd
As money manuscripts
The Mantra to thrive. (p.21)
Life-II is a poem that depicts the wretched state of a woman in peril, who surrenders to the vulnerability without any option, which puts the readers’ senses to grieve.
The devilish face plants
Loud mischievous smiles.
In the Dooms-Street
Her womb sprouts another life. (p.22)
In poem titled ‘Economic Disparity’, the subject matter as the title indicates is economic disparity itself. As we all know we live in a country where there is huge difference between the haves and have-nots, who live side-by-side. The poet subtly puts it like this: .
The rich sings the songs of flow,
The poor carries the muddy
Pebbles of cries. (p.26)
Poem ‘Broken Bangles’ , I quote in full here The poet equates broken bangles to the lost dreams of the lady in the poem.. This is a poignant poem which quietly transmits the protagonist’s state of mind to the readers.
She stands like a wall
Veiling silence in her face.
Her voice dries out
Under the mid-day grief.
The branch is severed,
Hopes in the growing plant shed
Unseasoned tears of falling leaves.
In white shades, she gathers
Her broken bangles:
The lost dreams of her memories. (p.28)
The over-indulgent money making attitude of modern day people put all the relationships at stake. One cannot miss the mockery in the poem titled ‘For a Better Living’.
If there is any substitute
Of the modern money
For a better living. (p.33)
‘A Way of Searching’ is about rampant corruption everywhere. The poet states that the authorities ignore or just forget to examine the roots, instead they just cut-off the leaves and fruits, which is inept to eradicate the origin.
Seeds of corruption
Grow into elephantine trees.
We examine the thorny fruits,
Test the tawny leaves
Under tight security.
With intense care
We dissect the reasons
But forget expertly
Where exactly the root sleeps. (p.35)
Even though some subjects are written endlessly, they don’t lose prominence nor become superfluous. One such subject is feminine woes, especially that of widows. ‘The Widow’ here is a sad poem where the poet explores the mind of a widow.
How much deep the tear drops
Only the void of separation
The loneliness she inhales
Only absence can sense. (p.45)
‘Integrity Lost’ reflects the universal truth when the poet says:
Beauty lies in one’s inner mirror
Reflecting the original
So much pristine and pure. (p.46)
‘We Divide’ is a powerful poem on fragmentation of the society based on skin colour and the poet says that it is better to be born as an animal rather than human. (p.53)
In poem titled ‘Life Circus’ we see the enigma of a labourer who detaches himself from his erstwhile dogma in search of a new ray of light dawning the realization that he is alienated from the economic structure, which prompts one to think of the nucleus realities hidden from the phony layers of illusion. The poem ends on a positive note:
His life circus slides
A new screen
On the stage of his LIBERATION JOURNEY. (p.62)
‘The Living Lines’ is a poem most of the writers, especially poets, can relate to as they converse with themselves most of the times. The conceived subjects/themes run at the back of their minds till they mature enough to be converted into black and white.
To myself I converse often
Carefully translate my feeling
Into some stretched lines
That incessantly struggle to live. (p.71)
‘Idleness’ is a short poem giving a piece of advice to keep us brisk, so that we stay young and energetic forever.
Quite often I feel
I am lonely inside.
As long as I am busy
Even for a while,
Curiously I tighten the time
When blankness wraps around,
Ageing me away. (p.72)
In poem titled ‘If I Were An Ugly Girl’, the poet tries to redefine ‘beauty’ and asks: ‘Won’t moon look more beautiful ornamented with black spots on its face?’ This poem in first person is a fine piece of writing.
I would never mind for it
As beauty comes from within,
Nectar secretes not from outside
But from the unseen inner inn.
I would make a mirror of myself
And watch until I make my
Quavering inner self mingles with it.
And he goes to conclude the poem with:
“Dust is the vision of dawn
Odd is the beginning of even
Imperfection is the part of perfection
And vacuum is the venue of accumulation” (p.77)
In poem ‘Contrast World’, the poet tries to show two different worlds, one of poverty and the other of affluence side-by-side and concludes the poem with the following lines:
Money is for wine and life,
To enjoy beyond its meaning.
For them the sinking life of poverty
Is an unknown metaphor of the script. (p.91)
In poem ‘The Heart Speaks’, we see an old mother grieving over her only son’s death who laid his life in war, glorifying the sacrifice of our Jawans.
Submerged with tears
As the old mother
Over the tomb nourishing
The wounds of war
Of her lonely son. (p.95)
Space Deficiency, The Burial Ground, Daily Labourer, An Orphan, Street Sweeper are all poems on mundane subjects reflecting the social concern of the poet and his empathy for the down-trodden and the marginalized. Investing in a book of poems like this will not be without gain to the lovers of poetry and I wish Mr. Padhy a worthy poetic journey ahead.