(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal
Devoted to English Language and Literature)
Pravat Kumar Padhy. The Rhyming Rainbow: A Tanka Collection. New Delhi: Authorspress, 2019. Pp.58. Rs. 295/-. ISBN: 978-93-89110-09-8
Reviewed by Abnish Singh Chauhan
Contemporary Indian poet Pravat Kumar Padhy, who witnesses “the colours of hope and a world of joy of living in the temple of poetry” (15) in the preface of his tanka collection— The Rhyming Rainbow, efficiently writes poems of poetic science, music, memories, animals, birds, butterflies, flowers, trees, gardens, fields, forest, deserts, hills, valleys, rivers, ocean, sea, sky, stars, moon, sun, fire, rain, water, wind, winter, summer, autumn, spring, agony, tears, ignorance, darkness, beauty, love, light and happiness that always give him poetic insight, delight and encouragement. It seems as if he regularly sits under the Boddhi tree where he contemplates and composes his colourful poems on the grave issues of life and meditates on how to turn within to discover “reflection of sound and light” (34).
The poems of The Rhyming Rainbow are not about some imaginary world. They are the poems from the real world that emanates natural-beauty, natural-wonders and natural-colours of life— “Gentle wind muses/ songs of springs to the far off fields/ angel of beauty/ visits the land of rainbow/ birds clap flapping their wings” (19). This music of wind with clapping sound portrays the paintings of smile, love and laughter. The gentle touch of the breeze and colourful landscapes drain “all agonies” (21) of the suffering mankind and fill its life with fragrance and friendship. The poet again delivers emotions, thoughts and imagination springing from his beautiful heart that live and sustain them in his own lucid manner:
blossoms in the garden of life
the moist breeze
swings on the wings of butterflies
unveiling the early morning dream. (28)
The collection offers an account of his long journey “through twilight shade” to simultaneously experience darkness and light of his “inner thought” (44). These experiences become a great gift to him in visualizing the imprints of “tiny footings” made in the life-journey of so many active and hard-working people of the society, which “remain as the image of joy” (44) in the memory of the soft-hearted and strong-willed poet. But, this is not an easy task as it requires a lot of effort at physical and intellectual levels to understand, love and appreciate others:
A flow of music
in the rhythm of rain
recounts its memories
under the bamboo tree. (28)
The rainbow of memories does not allow the poet to take rest as it continuously reflects in his mind. Subsequently, the poet finds anomalies around him, observes unpleasant things and hears fuming voice in today’s communication— “I adjust to live” (20), “I listen to my loneliness” (27), “The wrath of fire/ burns everything”, “He talks/ with angry voice” (29) and “Argument after argument” (54). Such experiences do not let him down as he is always ready to “burn the garbage/ as snow covers the night” (54). He silently keeps his faith, gently broods over the problems and nicely composes kindhearted messages for the masses of modern society— “the words/ I rearrange to compose/ a kindhearted poem” (29). This is just a process to get started, to take the steps, to unite the threads, to weave the thoughts, to alleviate the pain and to forgive and forget the things in the life-journey:
Sprinkles of memories
essay the rainbow of union
the tender lips
urge the swollen eyes
earnestly for your forgiving. (29)
The multihued poems of this book are marked by Padhy’s longings for optimistic perspective, healthy development and humanistic approach— “Tomorrow man may/ fly to Mars and beyond/ I wish all to settle/ and flourish as human alone-/ no caste, no religion” (52). His poems are tender like flowers, vibrant like sparrows, warm like sunrays, animated like waves, firm like stones and resilient like Nataraja. They are deep, effective, progressive and sublime in contents: “Early dawn/ with tender sunrays/I wish/ light to reach the huts/ of the slum-dwellers” (30). Consequently, the rainbow of love, compassion, wish and hope, as created in these poems, are signatures of his art and his creativity and erudition can be enjoyed through his socio-cultural, natural and rational journeys in the world of poetry.
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 a Professor and Principal, BIU College of Humanities & Journalism, Bareilly International University, Bareilly. He has authored a number of books including Swami Vivekananda: Select Speeches, Speeches of Swami Vivekananda and Subhash Chandra Bose: A Comparative Study, 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.