By Biraj Dixit :
World Poetry Day
LIKE the soft rays of gallant sun seeping through the darkness of the night, like the harmonious waves of a tranquil sea caressing the dry, shady shores, like the white mountains rising high against endlessness of azure sky, poetry, through all ages, like clear waters of a rippling river, has stirred human consciousness time and again. It is not for nothing that those who nurse it are also called wordsmiths. For, they turn words into gold. As the world celebrated World Poetry Day on Saturday, The Hitavada, reached out to some of master musers who have served this art of poetry writing with dedication and delight to understand its expanse and how it has enriched civilisation.
“It was centuries ago that a certain Kabir and Rahim sprinkled fine thoughts through their verses into our consciousness. Centuries later we still quote them with as much eloquence as ease. This is the magic of poetry that it glides easily in the memory, sits there pretty and keeps stimulating,” Dr Sagar Khadiwala, Nagpur’s own well-known poet and a renowned name in Hindi literature explained thus. ‘Kaal kare so aaj kar...,’ simple words to impress upon an all-time truth! Tucked in memory bank for all times are many such lessons that great philosophers have mused for humanity. Handed down in verses these profound investments are least likely to slip away.
A poet of repute and recipient of Hindi Sahitya Akademi’s Anant Gopal Sheorey Award, Dr Khadiwala has served the art of poetry for more than 50 years. His own lines explain his verve, “Patharon per chhainiyon ka vo safar jinda raha Haath beshak kat gaye, lekin hunar jinda raha, Kyariyon mein jo they sab, jal gaye, murjha gaye Munder per panpa hua paudha magar jinda raha” For many, this art is in fact an easy way to express the depth of their thoughts and sentiments. “Poetry is my heartspeak. It comes naturally to me,” confessed Dr Pronoti Chukerbutty, a revered name in city’s literary circles.
Expressing the gravity of a poet’s work, Dr Chukerbutty quoted a few lines from her own poem ‘Poet’s Quill’ ‘Words can ignite, words can divide Words floating unlinked Until the poet’s quill spreads them On the beaches of our consciousness Expressing our starry dreams in harmonious array’ Dr Chukerbutty, who had the honour of receiving appreciation from India’s former President late Dr Abdul Kalam for her poem ‘Monsoons in the Mountain’ and won the prestigious Editors’ Choice Award in New York, felt that the master musers of the yore, realising how easy it was for memory to absorb versified thoughts, employed this art as a weapon to successfully teach life lessons not to just the educated but to the illiterate masses through our great epics.
“The skill of poetry requires one to narrate an entire novel or may be a deep philosophy of ages in just two lines. Its soul holds the vastness of the universe in the brevity of its body,” explains Sameer Kabir, who has nurtured the great legacy of his father and well-known Urdu poet late Shahid Kabir, with lot of dedication. Himself a poet of repute with many of his verses soulfully sung by newage ghazal singers and three of his albums released, Sameer Kabir, an Assistant Professor in Urdu Department of the University, also has his own verses that contract the vastness of great truths into two lines.
‘Meri vaihshaton ko karaar de, Ye hijaab aapna utaar de’ On one glimpse these may look like simple love lines but deep inside they are invocation to the Almighty seeking His manifestation. UNESCO’s aim behind celebrating art of Poetry through the World Poetry Day was to ‘support linguistic diversity through poetic expression.’ What better place than India to look at poetry through vastness of her linguistic expanse. Sukumar Choudhari, who has been the Creative Editor of Bengali Magazine ‘Khanan’ can boast of serving this cause with elan. For, his verses in English are as powerful as in Bengali. Like musers who see so much in the little, he explains “Know a little, better to know a little We are dimly lit with darkness unlimited... ...The end of the road will never arrive Never will end search of self” For Jyoti Thatte, who, too, often uses her pen to express and encourage, poetry is a wonderful companion in life’s journey.
‘Poetry It liberates me of all the entanglements of this complex thread of life,” she says as her own favourite lines demonstrate, “They will be shocked to know what you are, Flash the smiles and shed the tears as they are, To be true to be real is the essence of conviction That is the truth that consumes all fiction.” For Dr Usha Sakure, Officiating Principal of Manoharrao Kamdi Mahavidyalaya, who is also Secretary of Centre for literary Interaction and Creativity and Secretary of Shakespeare Society of Central India, poetry opens the vulnerabilities of human beings so that entire mankind can relate to one another. On a personal note, she says, “Poetry has helped me become a better person. Poetry soothes my soul.” And that is evident from her lines “Rejoice, for your soul is still alive, Look for the sunshine within and dive To master unruly torrent of life And ready to face the world with strife.”