(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal
Devoted to English Language and Literature)
Majumder, Pronab Kumar. Poetry Today. Kolkata: Bridge-in-Making Publication, 2016. Price: Rs. 300/- Pp.88. ISBN: Not Acquired.
Reviewed by Madhubala Saxena
Pronab Kumar Majumder’s Poetry Today is a reflection of the variety of aspects of contemporary society of mega cities of India. It includes 61 poems which deal with themes like Time, Life, Death, Poetry, Politics, Philosophy, Nature, Ecology, Humanity, Love, Peace, Patriotism, Violence, Relationships.
Poems like ‘My India is Great’, ‘India Not A Spark but Continuity’, ‘India Today’, ‘Save Mother India’ are an embodiment of Majumder’s love for motherland. In them he seems to support mission of our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. He never favors bloodshed and war but believes in creativity and construction in the field of science and technology for the progress of the country like Modi ji. His heart desire is to consider India “lady with the lamp to succor / the suffering siblings and pour peace as blessings /…..India is great, My peoples are the noblest / Truth is the crown” (82). He considers the present government “vibrant, verdant.” In “Left Incomplete”, he compares India of 75 years old when there were prevailing love, peace, satisfaction, co-existence everywhere with India of modern age in which all these are disappearing.
Time has changed or it has changed everything. Even the cremation system is changed. There was a system in which the body of dead father was cremated with all social rituals by the son but today a son arrives at the time of cremation by air and soon goes back to his work place by return flight (‘Songs of Time’, 57). Change comes under impact of changed situations .A tree looks beautiful in sunrays but looks grotesque in moonlight. Time brings chances in human values, morals, cultures and thoughts.
The poet is of opinion that a common man cannot free himself from petty practices. He cannot break the fetters of pettiness in his thoughts and actions and therefore he has neither holiday nor holyday. Only persons like Vivekanand, Ram Krishan Paramhansa, and R. N. Tagore were great holy persons who in spite of having no formal education had boundless wisdom. They were more pious than the holy persons of the temples.
War demolishes the old established civilizations but its horrible results bring change even in the cruelest personalities as the war of Kaling brought in King Ashok. Now-a-days peace of the world is being disturbed by the terrorists. There is prevailing corruption and terrorism everywhere. Females are molested on the roads in the darkness . The poet is of view that twenty first century science and technology have turned humanity into inhumanity. The man of today has become wilder than the wild beast. Has the twenty first century science and technology / Impacted human mindscape and thought process / Negatively so much so that humans turning beastly more / Than jungle beasts?” (76) The child killing is rampant in every corner of so many countries of the world. Soldiers are tools and toys in the hands of paymasters who are not supporters but crushers of peace. “Peace is a sweet chime of the ball in the hands of crushers of peace.”
Poets are the most wonderful creatures as he says, “Poets are the most wonderous Heritage.” Whatever is said and written is inherited by the posterity. But in ‘caves of Fire’, a poet is deprived of his treasure i.e. his composing material by realtors of blooming real estate business. He confirms that poetry is born of grief and soul. “But no grief can kidnap poetry from your soul” (Blood Tears and sweats are synonym for creativity, 41). Again, he writes that “Out of pains, pathos and pangs, poetry emerges whether it is accepted or not.” A real poet is always lost in the deep of dreams, thoughts and imagination that produce poetry and creativity of other genres. The poet too believes like others, poetry lives in every man. “I don’t hesitate to say Poetry leaves / Indelible marks not to be washed away / Nor to be forgotten like million moments gone” (59). The poet loves poetry and poetry loves him. He cannot separate himself from poetry.
God is omniscient and omnipresent. In God, the poet has faith and belief. Other poets accept it or not. His poetic creations are proof of his faith in God. God is great. God lives in graveyard, crematorium and in the smile of a child. The poet seeks nothing from God except SHANTI that is the ultimate destination of life.
In one of his poems, the poet portrays the present system of judiciary as “Not fair”. In current system of judiciary, a criminal is set free while an innocent is put behind the bars. Prisons are considered as ‘Correctional House’ but correction is not done there better than what family can do (For Justice, 34). “In the buzz of market serious criminals sometimes run away scot-free, but a petty criminal rots behind the bar”. A poet can do nothing except shedding tears for peace and welfare of the people.
Politics is not work of all & sundry. It is not a permanent seat. It is like an old wooden floor that may collapse anytime. Anybody however low he may rise in politics but one day he may fall like Napoleon Bonaparte (36). The poem ‘Vote for’ lights the condition of the poor citizens who are not provided necessities of life by the government. They are still semi-naked and half-fed. So for what they vote? This is grim reality. No political leader pays heed on their condition after being elected by their vote.
A real picture of India has been outlined in Poetry Today. It reveals Majumdar’s deep study of Indian society, judiciary, philosophy, mythology and literature. Being an administrative officer, he possesses experience of all fields. His poems leave a message. He recommends a change in the mind set-up to annihilate the vices prevalent in the society. In brief, Poetry Today deserves a place in the almirah of every lover of literature. Its cost is under the budget of every reader who wants to get the glimpse of the contemporary society of India and abroad.
Dr. Madhu Bala Saxena (1953) worked as Professor and Head of English Department of IFTM University, Moradabad and Associate Professor and Head of English Department of M.H.P.G. College, Moradabad, U.P. She is M.A. in Sanskrit and English and her doctoral degree in English is on ‘Treatment of Human Relations in the Novels of Somerset Maugham.’ She has been writing research papers and book reviews for various journals and magazines and guiding research scholars of English Literature for the last thirty five years. Her main interest lies in Indian Literature in English, particularly in Indian English Fiction. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.