(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal
Devoted to English Language and Literature)
K.V. Dominic. Musings on Covid Pandemic and Beyond. New Delhi: Authorspress, 2021. Pp. 86. Price : Rs. 295/- (Paperback). ISBN 978-93-90891-46
Reviewed by Abnish Singh Chauhan
A look at the title of the book— ‘Musings on Covid Pandemic and Beyond’ by K.V. Dominic, directly displays the readers why the poet has selected this most sensitive topic for his work and gone beyond this for the depiction of other basic human problems. It simply means that the title, through its nine poems on Covid-19 and thirty four poems on other relevant subjects along with its skillfully crafted foreword, has the capacity to capture the attention of the readers and develop their interest to unfold its communicative pages filled with sad narratives of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease and some other critical issues of the present-day world.
The Covid Pandemic has been instrumental in causing irreparable loss of human life and inculcating an unparalleled challenge to physical and mental wellbeing, food cycle and work culture globally. Hence, the first poem of the book— ‘Coronavirus, Mightiest Wizard of All Times’, developing into twenty segments, enables the readers to beat and pump their blood of thought for keeping themselves healthy, wealthy and wise. In this impressive poem, the poet unpacks his heavy heart and registers his tragic notes in exclamatory forms— “Oh human beings,/ mightiest of all creations!/ Most intelligent!/ Emperor of all beings!/ How impotent you are!/ How imprisoned you are!/ How swept away you are/ by too negligible/ and invincible coronavirus!” (27)
The first poem presents deep concerns of the poet by using some expletive words—‘mightiest’, ‘most intelligent’ and ‘emperor’ along with ‘impotent’ and ‘imprisoned’ in order to remind man of his actual position before Nature; however, it also reveals his non-preparedness and negligence to handle such life-threatening conditions, particularly during COVID-19 outbreak. The root cause of this problem, as the poet addresses himself, lies in man’s “greed for wealth and luxury” (29), which can make even a smart man a dull fool— “Why did you trespass/ coronaviruses’ habitats?/ Isn’t your greed/ that opened the Pandora’s box?” (27). This intractable and self-interested attitude of man compels Nature to limit “human numbers/ through its powerful weapons” (27) used in its own way and accidentally leads it to flow and purify the environment, defiled by man himself, for making the earth a better place for the sustainable living.
The poet modestly observes the other side of the Covid Pandemic. He finds it a “blessing in disguise” (31) as it changed the scenario of public health, food habits, security measures, employment and labour issues and living style and apparently made history on earth— “Before Covid-19 (BC)/ and after Covid-19 (AC)” (37). He is sure that a new world is going to take place, but he is not sure if this change would be fruitful or not for human beings and non-human entities. The reason behind this is very clear— humans and non-humans are still suffering worldwide due to ‘forest fire’ (49), ‘plastic pollution’ (50), ‘bleeding river’ (51), ‘radiation’ (53), ‘slums of the world’ (53), ‘traders of religion’ (56), ‘walls of religion, race, caste or nation’ (57), ‘most inhuman diabolic crimes’ (61), ‘sobs of farmers’ (62), hunger and exploitation (67), ‘murder of nature’ (68), ‘chronic disease’ (72), ‘double standards’ (77) etc. Accordingly, the poet wants to develop long-term practical plans to address such problems of the present world and to build safe corridors for our joyful and peaceful journey on this planet earth, realizing “God is in Nature and Nature is God” (69).
About the Reviewer:
Dr Abnish Singh Chauhan (1979), the editor of two online journals– Creation and Criticism and IJHER and a Hindi magazine– Poorvabhas, is presently serving as Professor and Principal, BIU College of Humanities & Journalism, Bareilly International University, Bareilly, U.P., India. He has authored a number of books including Swami Vivekananda: Select Speeches, William Shakespeare : King Lear, Speeches of Swami Vivekananda and Subhash Chandra Bose: A Comparative Study, Functional English, The Fictional World of Arun Joshi: Paradigm Shift in Values and Tukda Kagaz Ka (A collection of Hindi Lyrics). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.