Rajiv Khandelwal’s latest collection 21st Century Love Poems- Love is Lot of Work as the title suggests is the book of love poems that carries myriad hues and fragrance of multiple types. To quote Reginald Massay’s words, “The verses of Rajiv Khandelwal speak to today’s technocrats in a language that they will comprehend and to which they will relate mostly readily”. The collection contains poems of fresh imagery, symbols and figures that appeal directly to the “new generation of the new world.” Besides, editor of the book Bhupindar Parihar has tried to define and justify the title and work of the poet by terming it as “an attempt to reconcile with spaciousness of the post-modernist world” and as an attempt to “Break the word and free the thought /Break the thought and free the thing.’ (Editor’s Preface, iii)
Rajiv Khandelwal is not just a poet with ample promise but he is a multi dimensional personality. He is a self-employed manufacturer and a bachelor of Electric Engineering whose interest transcends scientific and commercial boundaries of material world and lead him to the world of art, literature and cinema even. He also co-produced a documentary film Visit India, Discover Agra that testifies his personal love that requires a lot of work too.
These hundred poems of love have an appeal to the lovers of new generations as the simplicity of diction and the usage of familiar terms mirror the tackling of love in an upto date manner. In the first love poem of the collection one can mark out poet’s post-moderns thoughts:
Like Beatrice Portinari
Like Dante in church. (1-2)
Another title poem ‘Love is A lot of Work’ is a fine example of common modern modes exhibited in opening verses when we read:
It is irrelevant
Gave me intense pleasure. (3)
He continues that it is “Immaterial that HBO / Beamed Romantic comedies Like ‘Runaway Brides’ or ‘the daily news channels/ spoke about politicians’ insensitivity…’ but for a lover the thing that torments most is another:
What is of dying importance
She did not communicate
Most of the poems carry romantic grandiosity of lovers, fragrance and grandeur of flowers- like hearts of romantics, lyrical elegiac and even silent appeal of longing hearts. These hundred poems are monument of poetic heart of modern poet. The poems are touching to mind and heart of a lover so the present collection will not dishearten the lover of poetry readers and for a serious lover of poetry, Rajiv’s collection will surely appear as a kaleidoscope of modern modes and images that will consequently establish that love is for all ages, time and place.