Tuesday, February 09, 2010

M.D.MELWANI'S READING OF SEXLESS SOLITUDE AND OTHER POEMS

At first glance the 99 poems brought together in Dr R.K.Singh’s Sexless Solitude and Other Poems resemble one of those specimens of modern art where color, shapes and even body parts are splashed on the canvas in a haphazard fashion. But as one continues to look at the painting, the underlying unity of the painter’s vision becomes apparent. The technique Dr R.K Singh employs in these poems is similar to that of the modern painter.

Since the themes covered by the poems are many, we will concentrate on Dr Singh’s general approach

Here is an example of the similarity between a modern painter and Dr Singh’s technique:

Plastic flowers couldn’t keep time
Moving in his house

Here is another:

But nightmares trimming
The sun and the sky
That could never be

The poems reveal a social conscience that is disturbed by the corruption prevalent in modern life.

We cover our hells with roses
And fear foreigners digging deep
Into our glorious projections.

Dr Singh makes his points through irony, as in the following excerpt:

Human Rights activitist
Discuss eradication
Of manual scavenging
And the contruction of
Wet latrines in villages
….. before seeking provisions
For rehabilitating
Liberated scavengers

The strains of modern life are revealed in the following lines:

His colleagues envious
of his foreign jaunt
with the UN
and earnings

in dollars


Though seemingly addressed to a person, these lines can apply to an idealist who shares a dream of a better word:

I may create space
for you to stand but I can’t
become the legs

The same line of thinking is apparent in the poem called “Shrinking into Itself”

I can’t turn my inside out
Nor know life’s weight when weightless.

Dr Singh reflects on social hypocrisy with satire as in the following lines

Of awakening in group
They jump and lie on each other
In the name of sadhana

Dr Singh also has a word of advice for the so called defenders of morals:

Culture is not repression
But sublimation through expression

There are many poems that reflect on mysticism. Here is one beautiful extract

When seeking nothing
Experiencing nothing ;
Stillness become divine

The subjects of the poems are many and wide ranging. A review like this can only point to the salient qualities of a collection. The poems have to be read to be enjoyed. After all, one can wax eloquent about the sweetness of sugarcane but the other has to drink the sugarcane juice to savour the taste.

--M.D.MELWANI

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