Sunday, December 9, 2007


Shaleen Kumar Singh
The philosophical musings of Sumit Talukdar are based on two major themes of birth and death that have been the source of motivation to Indo Anglian poets of the Modern Era.
Sri Aurobindo says, “Poetry is the rhythmic voice of life, but it is one of the inner and not one of the surface voice and the more of this inner truth of his function the poet brings out in his work, the greater is his creation, while it does not seam to mater essentially or not at the first whether his method is professedly subjective or objective, his ostensible power that of a more outward or a more in word spirit or whether it is the individual or the group sail or the soul of nature or mankind or the eternal and universal spirit in them whose beauty and living readily find expression in his word.”1
The poetry of Sumit Talukdar is his deep meditations that emerge from the remembrance of the things or objects that are formally obliterated and ignored by human mind. Due to the feeling of nomadic stirring of poetic fire, Talukdar seems to scrutinize the whole environment and mix the emotions and human touch; he puts these short verses before us to make us feel with same agony and intensity with his two remarkable collections Words Silent Words and Poems Pleasant and Poems Unpleasant. He is journalist by profession who looks closely the social disharmony and traumas, his poetry breaths the fume of social awareness and consciousness. Nevertheless the poetry of Talukdar has a strong touch of spirituality, philosophy and metaphysical meditation. There are two inexhaustible themes that run into the poetry of Talukdar that are social consciousness and philosophy of life and death. There irresistible and dominant themes so much overpower the poetry of Talukdar that his poetry which is sometime pleasant and sometimes unpleasant, evoke as vocal ‘Words from silent word.’ His journalistic eyes discern the wrongs happenings here and there in the society and the silent eyes gazing them, all of a sudden became vocal in the form of silent works:
“Words, silent words to say something
So long were they suppressed
In a coffin of yellow pages. Now
Time to arise again,
Sitting before you, face to face.” (WSW 24)
His poem ‘An Orphan’s Cry’ gives bent to painful note of an orphan, who takes birth accidentally and remains unfostered and unfondled. The truth evincing the indifference of the people becomes macabre and pathetic:
“When I was born, nobody celebrates it,
Like they had no time,
Were busy to cleanse their bodies
And secret parts.” (WSW 5)
Another picture of modern modes is portrayed as follows:
“Raped and murdered
Dishevelled hair
Blood-smeared lips,
Other women are busy
In par lour and saloon
In party and bedroom.” (PPSU 8)
When the poet muses over the reasons of such critical mishaps he finds none but man responsible for all this:
“Man has made breads
And bullets of a gun too,
He has created beauty.
But restores it over a bomb of ugliness.” (WSW 15)
The poet believes that these uncontrollable wrongs can be controlled through the strong faith and indomitable will power.
“Let came your Kali, Chandi or Durga
The feminist warriors with terrible weapons
And cut my throat, but from each drop
Of blood, must be born immortal faith.” (PPSU 9)
The stoicism of the poet who has renounced all worldly pleasures, assumes a silent composer when he says:
“Desolation has taught me like a saint
To be dumb and quiet,
Unnoticed to every earthly attraction
Charming, sensuous but fake,
Kamsutra-model-like hallucination,
Like golden musk-an eternal thirst.” (WSW 14)

Like everyone, he tries to elevate his pains and sufferings:
“Nobody is here to hear me. The wounded soul
Cries out the whole night. What is
The real sound of pain? Sweet, noisy or
Like Bhajans of Meera?
Everybody has some own pains, mine too
I try to console my wounded soul
Exchanging hearts with a Barbie doll.” (PPSU 12)

The warp and woof of his pain is nothing but disparity and disappointment of human heart. The poem ‘The Twin of Us’ shows poet’s pain of communalism, castism and wrongful division of boundaries. In the poem ‘The wall’ he symbolically narrates the division of two nations:
“The wall divides as like a & step-mother
It is born from our jealousy our hostility,
In the mom birds come and sit
On it, but instead of singing only pass stool,
And fly away like deadly missiles at once.” (PPSU 15)
Sumit Talukdar knows the job of a true poet who is the mouth-piece of social wrongs as well as a generator of feelings of values and love. In the current era Dr. Rosemary C. Wilkinson’s comment is worth mentioning, “If we poets/writers/painters/musicians/composers remain silent to all this will be responsible for no change entering Third millennium and cause the very stones to cry out, or will we work to change the world-it takes only a few of us to do so.”2
Plato if we recall, would have banished poets from his ideal Republic because poetry was not in his view conducive to the shaping of good citizens. Thus, in this way, the poetry of Sumit Talukdar stops our madly-running human race to think, rethink and act accordingly.
A number of Sumit Talkudar’s poems are philosophical and have ineffable expression. The imagery and symbolic statements of the poet bespeaks of his metaphysical meditations and experiences. One can easily listen to the echoes of eternity in many of his remarkable poems. ‘The Puzzle’, ‘After Death’, ‘Language of the senses’, ‘Our Birth’, ‘An Eclipse’ and ‘Death’ are some poems that deal with the philosophy of ‘Life’ and ‘Death’.
In Indo-Anglian Poetry the theme of death is the most dominant factor that can be smelt in the poetry of almost every renowned poet. Dr. P.S.Kasture considers the themes of Love and Death as the most prominent ones in the Modern Indo-Anglian Poets. According to her, “The full answer to the problem of existence lies in the achievement of interpersonal union in love on one hand and the apprehension of the essential alones of death on the other.” She adds and says, “No author can write about life and ignore its end. Due to this juxtaposition of love and death in life, they are ever present in literature.”3
The poetry Sumit Talukdar reminds us of our ultimate end of life but it does’nt picture us as something terrible or painful rather it is welcomed as some loving guest are bore with mildly and gently. The poet says:
“I want to wear your death
Like a nuptial garland next to my heart,
Your moon-lit face – A total eclipse.” (WSW 10)
The poem ‘Death’ portrays the upcoming of death at the door and her indifferent behaviour to man’s oblations and ovations. In our Hindu scriptures, death is not taken as something to mourn or afraid of rather it is soul that is immortal not the body that is mortal; Man changes his clothes at the point of death. As Bhagvat Gita the says:
Okklkfl th.kkZfu ;Fkk fogk;]
Ukokf.k x`âfr ujksMijkf.kA
rFkk “kjhjkf.k fogk; th.kkZ &
U;I;kfu la;fr uokfu nsghA4
Like a person discarding worn-out clothes and putting on new clothes, the embodied self discards the worn-out body, and enters a new body. The poem proves that the poet has pragmatic applications of welcoming the death which is based on the fundamental truth that man is not his body but something else which uses the body as its temporary and temporal habitation. It also mirrors that the poet has prepared fully for death. It happens only when a man treats both life and death equally. “Death is”, Laurence J. Bendit says, “No morbid memento mori with its common menacing implication, but it arises when one’s philosophy is such that it includes both life and death as equal and complementary, neither existing in the larger pattern of life without other, any more than do light and shade.”5
The word used for poet’s own self like an anesthetic patient points out the indifference of the poet towards death. Though his heart is fearful and the night is dark’, yet the poet ‘takes up the lamp’ and ‘opens his gate’ and bows to him (death) with folded hands, with eyes full of tears. But omnipotence of death is portrayed as:
“At last spread my ragged scary
Over the floor, but he doesn’t lie down
Only smily and looks at his wrist-watch.
Time is up, he warns me with low accent.”(WSW, 20)
In the poem ‘Our Birth’, the poet puts horrible image of death and its haunting instinct since birth:
“Our birth is dying cry, death haunts life,
No hope, no certainty, foggy more,
Poisonous dews fall from the polluted sky,
Mothers behave like step-mothers
Happy with fashions and health
Never forget to take contraceptive pills at night.” (WSW, 7)
On the other hand, the poet paradoxically opens another gate of light when he says:
“Look the sun still rises in the East
The eternal light whose smile kindles the universe,
Desert laughs, flowers bloom, birds dance in glee,
Peaceful everything, embryonic-
Happy with our powerful silence.” (WSW, 9)
The former part of the poem exemplifies the apathetic attitude of man towards death. It can be compared to O.P. Bhatnagar’s poem ‘Man is Lived.”
“The Man
Whose dear one dies
Is bereaved.
Others keep sun in a bag
And distribute grief’s
Dipped in moon water.” 6
The phenomenon of death is not as powerful as life so a man should be rewarded and should be given proper due during life. The poem ‘A Posthumous’ hints the fate of a poet who is rewarded after life:
“The audience is curious-who is this guy?
A happy ghost on an unhappy poet in deep?
They clap with big hands the honourable minister
Confers a shawl and certificate to my photo graph.” (PPSU 14)

But the personal assertion of the poet is that the soul of the man is immortal. For the poet says:
“After death still I exist,
Look hence there grows grass, flowers smile,
Wind blows.” (PPSU 2)

There are a thousand other portals after death to be unfolded by the poet. Death, being an inevitable reality in life, has been pondered over by innumerable critics, poets, authors and writers. Sumit Talukdar like Plato and Aristotle finds it as an essential stage to reach God, but several glimpses of Indian philosophy can also be seen in the poetry of Sumit Talukdar.
To sum up, it we may concluded with the comment of Manoranjan Das, “Sumit Talukdar, the glowing poet of India writing in English, has the real ability to refresh the surrounding through mobility where consciousness, time and philosophy are extended.”7
His poetry is replete with deep philosophy and social consciences and leaves a deep impact on the minds of readers. The future of Sumit Talukdar’s poetry is glowing and bright because the themes and content of his poetry is universal as well as philosophical undoubtedly, he will carve a distinct niche in the domain of English poetry.

1 Sri Aurovindo, ‘The breath of Greater Life’, The Future Poetry. Pondicherry, Sabda Pub. 2000. p- 243
2 Dr. Rosemary Wilkinson, ‘Spheres of Influence in Literature’ Poet. Vol. 40. Nov. 1999. p- 62
3 Prof. P.S. Kasture, ‘The fact of Life: The Concept of Love and Death in Contemporary Indo-Anglian Poetry’, Chap. Vi, Love and Death in Indian Poetry in English. Ed. S.N.A.Rizvi, Delhi: Doaba House, Ist Ed. 1989. p- 51
4 The Bhagwat Gita, Ed. Prof. P.Lal [2:22] Calcutta: Writers Workshop. 2004. p- 48
5 Laurence J.Bendite ‘Preparing to Die’ The Mirror of Life and Death. Adyar: The Theosophical Pub. House, 1965. pp- 186-187
6 O.P.Bhatnagar, ‘A Stylistic Analysis of O.P. Bhatnagar’s ‘Man is Lived’, By Prof. G.D.Barche. Indian English Writing. Ed. Prof. R.K. Singh New Delhi: Bahri Pub.. 1987. p- 126
7 Manoranjan Das’, ‘Consciousness, Time and Philosophy in Sumit Talukdar’s Poetry’ Indian Book Chronicle. Feb. 2005. Ed. B.Hooja. p- 15

Efflux of Esoteric Philosophy in the Poetry of D.C. Chambial
- Shaleen Kumar Singh

“Esoteric Philosophy insists that beneath the manifold world of our experience there is a single reality, the source and cause of all that ever, is and is to be”. (Hoskins, 13) Another exponent of Vedic tradition, Sri Shankaracharya, affirms it in simple manner: no matter what shape may be given to the moulded clay, the reality of the object remains always the clay its name and form being but transitory appearances. So unlike other Indo Anglian poets, the poetry of Dr. D.L. Chambial, with beautiful decked words, deft use and stilled portrayal, directs the readers that all things, having issued from the one supreme, are themselves that supreme in their essential nature. From highest to lowliest from vastest to the most minute, the infinite phenomenon of the manifested universe are the one, clothed in name and form. His poetry is the revelation of ultimate truth and teaching of fundamental unity which is the hallmark of his artistic approach. Dr. Atma Ram also opines the same as, “His is the poetry of life with an inherent incessant urge to unfold the ultimate truth.” (CP blurb) To a large extent Dr. Chambial has gained success in his effort to voice the ultimate reality in words for he has firm faith in the Bhagwata Gita where the law of Karma is evident spade a spade. He considers himself merely a performer, performing duties without any Aasakti i.e. attachment. He admits:

“I am an honest person, believe
In sowing the seeds, not reaping the harvest:
I think: it is time to seed the seeds.” (CP 67)

Acknowledging the radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in nature from earth to sky, Dr. Chambial exhorts:

“Crimson to Crimson:
Through white blaze a bridge
To bridge here and above.” (CP 170)

The eternal light that is enkindled in each individual is deeply experienced by the poet who continuously sings a song of eternity:

“A distant source of light
Tells in a voiceless voice:
I’m you, you are me,
the eternal source : the basic truth.
Sing the song of eternity-
Brahmoasmi ! Brahmoasmi !” (CP 90)

Emphasizing the spiritual life that consists in bringing about an inner transformation certain interstate where worldly life does not exists; Dr. Chambial accepts the intrinsic value of Atma, and its perpetuity:
“You and I
Shall forever be
All, all alone
Swinging up and down
The bulging hills,
The low lying vales
Full of Hyacinths.” (CP 138)
The first fundamental axiom of Dr. Chambial’s assertion is this metaphysical finding that there is one Absolute reality that antecedes all manifested, conditioned being. This Infinite and Eternal cause – dimly formulated notion in man’s mind is the rootless root of all that was and all that is and ever shall be. It is of course, devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation to any manifested, finite being and is beyond all thoughts and speculation but always visible invisibly;

“Visibly Invisible
Invisibly Visible
Eternal.” (CP 122)

Scuttling across the oceanic surface of Eternal Ecstasy, the poets sometimes go mystic, searching and seeking the self - in the world but admitting the undeniable University of that Eternal Truth the poet manners with a question:

“Who is the third man
You and me?” (CP 124)

But answers with a calm voice and says that it is:

“Your very self
In dark see
Tat Twam Asi !” (CP 125)

The Universe is Brahmana and Brahmana is in every Atom so each and every particle of earth is omnipotent, boundless and immutable. From ‘Ashes’ to spark generate and sparks to ashes end, that’s the Evolution:-

“A spark
To ashes
Ashes spark
A star
To Night
Night dawns” (CP 38)

The Eternal journey of man from Amoeba to Anthropous one thing is constant changeless eterne, imperishable and amaranthine and that is Truth and Love worthy of feeling and Being –

“Come, sit by me
That we may talk of love and Truth:
Truth: that was
Truth – that is.” (CP 84)

Behaving the like an ignorant voyager who has lost the path midway, the poet reveals the goal and sole aim of life which is nothing but possessing the treasure trove of divinity and attaining ‘Parabrahma’ but pathetically man is ensnared in eddy of Materialism, oblivious of the celestial Karma which he has to perform during his journey on Earth. He exclaims:

“Soul! you, too, trapped
Busy in an unending bid
To catch at anchor – hold,
To snap the steely strings,
To build a bridge, to reach the home.” (CP 150)

After going through the terse books of metaphysics i.e. Hans an, Jung, Kwoong Ikku, - the Kyounshi and even Zen, Ch’an and Dhyan Chambial comes to a final standpoint of realization that Nothing is different and the same essential truth of lotus budding forth from mud and a rose in a jungle exists only. He prays the lord to advent and show the path:

“Let Malyaja spread
Fragrance of heaven
Light show the path,
To the great Beyond.
Above the clouds,
Above the sun
Above Everything.” (CP 150)

Life too is a divine opportunity for committing purified actions and contemplating on ever - widening horizons of Divinity for progressing gradually towards perfection of soul. A ‘Prajnawan’ or enlightened one who leads the life rising above the dimensions of cause and effect in which the law of Karma acts, can reach ‘Nirvana’ the home where we reside earthly and a heavenly above exists beyond our perception and each has to go and live.

“A Beautiful home exists beyond
Without roof and without floor.
Before coming. We have all lived,
Shall again to go to live there
When our part is fully played
After the short sojourn.” (CP 14-15)

Symbolizing life as a dance attuned by the lord and man, the dancer dancing till the mercy of the Master i.e. God. Man, ‘the cog’ in the wheel of time has to act and dissolve willy - nilly. But death may be an exit to Enlightenment for the poets says:

The beginning
One continues to race in maze
Ignorant about exit
From this Chakranyuha
Till the light
Leads out of dark…” (CP 153)

D.C. Chambial acknowledges the gradual evolution of man who has passed through every element form of the phenomenal world and has acquired individuality by self - induced and self - devised efforts from highest to the lowest. Madame Blavatasky clarifying ‘Esoteric Philosophy’ says to her students, “The pivotal doctrine of the Esoteric Philosophy admits no privileges or special gift in man, save those won by his own ego through personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and reincarnations.
Today in the present age, the literature is written in a way esp. the philosophy that we can call staid, is also supported by Dr. O.P. Bhatnagar when he says “May be our philosophy is so staid that there are no challenges in that direction may be religion, is too much with us and less of quality philosophy to guide our conduct and thought.”
But the poetry of D.C. Chambial is exception to the statement, it deals with building a ‘bridge to reach the Great Beyond, leaving the behind the desert that surrounds us, i.e. the worldliness or material world passing through the valley of ‘Eighty Four lakh Yonis’. Therefore, it is no wrong to quote R.K.Singh about his poems, “Most of the poems are marked by apparent philosophical musings prompted by life and circumstances around him.”
So, the esoteric philosophy of Dr. D.C.Chambial is a motivation to the man to tread the higher path of consciousness and prostrate only before the spiritual Guru, the Brahman, the Vishnu or the Mahesha and learn to stand serene and etched the things that come to us both of pain and pleasure, and lead a life full of divinity, ecstasy and eternal euphoria.

Works Cited

Bhatnagar, O.P., ‘The Indian Poetry In English:The Contemporary Situation’, Ed. Dwivedi, A.N. Studies In Indo – English Verse, (A Collection of Critical Essays on Male Poets) Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 1984
Blavatasky, H.P. ‘On How To Study Theosophy, Adyar: The Theosophical Pub. House, 2000
Chambial, D.C. Collected Poems: 1979-2004 Maranda (H.P.) Poetcrit Publication, 2004 (abbreviated as CP in the text of the article)
Hoskins, Ianthe, H. – Foundations of Esoteric Philosophy. (From the writings of Madam Blavatasky) Wheton: U.S.A. 1982

Shaleen Kumar Singh
M.A. (English), M. Litt.
Sahitya Ratn, LL.B., Ph.D.
Sai Neeharika, Patiyali Sarai
Budaun (U.P.), India
Pin:- 243601
Phone No. 05832-222972
Mobile Nos. 9219894200