Sheikha reviews, Igniting Key, a collection of poems by three eminent poets, Pramila Khadun, Dr. A.V. Koshy, and Dr. Bina Biswas for Different Truths.
Igniting Key by Pramila Khadun, Dr. A.V. Koshy, and Dr. Bina Biswas, Authorspress, New Delhi, 2016, ISBN 978-93-5207-267-5. $21.95
The book Igniting Key promises readers the precise dose of Pramila Khadun’s opening lines of her first poem, Call it by any name
You call it obsession
And I call it seduction
It proceeds to lock us into a world of (practical) fantasy, where the real meets the unreal and swirls up a concoction of Love’s Jaded City.
Since the book is written by a trio of notable writers that have acquired an eminent standing in the contemporary literary world, the poems have been divided into three sections (one by each author), embarking the reader upon an airborne (surreal) journey of spiritual, passionate and idyllic imaginative fields of grounded and precocious writing.
Beginning with the first section written by Pramila Khadun, winner of the 2015 international Reuel Prize for excellence in writing and literature, her use of language is unique in the sense she intermingles the classic with the contemporary in spiritual settings between the passages (stanzas). At the use of the Bodhisattvas in the same breath as Marlene Dietrich in her first poem, the reader is instantly impressed by the intellectual understanding of pairing paradoxical opposites with idealistic efficacy, which she manages to maintain throughout the course of each of her poems in different characters and their behavioural sciences.
Her poems manoeuver to subjects of humanity and ignorance in Gone with the wind and A learning curve urging for the awakening of kindness and compassion that seems to have drowned under drudgeries of life. This is well depicted in the lines
O man! Drink from wisdom’s spring,
Be not a harp without string.
Just like the preacher and the righteous
Cannot fly beyond the highest
She lives the ideals of a serene world through the poem My dear Reuel in which she confesses coming alive from seeing through the eyes of an autistic child, the lines
Together, we reach phenomenal heights,
A déjà vu panorama of past lives
And we enjoy the quietude and peace
Of the monks in the Tibetan causes,
While your silence speaks volumes to me,
So smoothing, so eye-opening.
It depicts the inspiration she imbibes from watching the child deal with the world with seamless innocuousness. Khadun’s poetry is spiritual, therapeutic, stirring yet calming, exalting poets and showing them the purpose of their craft.
The second part of the book dives into a sea of intensely intricate observations/experiences of the many shades of love in seismic ripples. Dr. Koshy A.V. adopts a play of a human’s hidden love fantasies in colourful and fragrant garbs to morph dark pleasures of obsessive tendencies into artistic realities, which would normally otherwise be blatantly denied in admittance. The poems are brave, honest and unfettered of acceptable norms. Lines from his poem Gandhara unequivocally express
one fifth of your essence—
in return for my one seventh,
petal by petal of you, rambling rose, squeezed out and
drops of rose water and drunk
by me, to fulfill
the tale of love from your side too.
The hazards pre-stated of a love that offers no promises of eternity, but of a cycle nonetheless.
The section proceeds to a breathtaking mass of emotions mourning the indifference of the world towards the helpless, the assaulted and the unyielding spirit in poems Eyes we dare not meet in dreams, The Christmas after the Connecticut killings and Africa. Dr. A.V. K connects with readers through simple tools of imagery sculpting complex expectations. His works are both symbolic and realist.
Dr. Bina Biswas embodies the third section of this book, beginning with a sense of bondage
I love you because I had loved you
Although reading the poem would insinuate an unrelenting voluntary submission to love, but the beauty of the simple lines probe readers to consider a second voice that may be of want for freedom.
The first poem Eve and Adam is a sharp and uninhibited onset of what follows, especially in the poem Poetry in action: The game of dice that narrates in unapologetic and forceful tones the gamble of a woman at a game of dice played by men in powerful posts. Dr. Biswas makes no mellow introduction about her voice of reason. She takes readers into her concepts of hope and optimism, using techniques of sound and sight, teetering on wishes and wills, trying to find a balance in order to own both worlds, distinctly projected in poems The love that wasn’t and Coincidence.
Her words are direct in their demands as well as objections such as in her poem The mundane woman
when it rained
I was drowned in floods
Rains were my food, my harvest, and
answers to my prayers
Collecting all the rains from
Igniting Key is a well-threaded trellis of poetry, the common feature being in their approach of inserting religious and classical figures throwing readers into a pool of ruminations about the Universe and Nature. A considerable portion of the book manages to dwell on womankind’s rise/ fall / sustenance / deterioration / recovery / resurrection in a plethora of metaphorical, lyrical and philosophical expressions either venerating or censuring their choices and actions.
The concepts of humanism, societal discretions and defiance, love and companionship, and rebellions have not been left to suffer by the pens of these powerful word-masters. The book engages readers by an amusing, exciting and awe-striking manner of storytelling for illuminating human psychological tendencies towards the unusual or tabooed. The trio convinces of the magical realness of sensual romantic fantasies and attainment of harmony for humanity by enveloping them in a cloak of plausibility.
I end this review with lines from Did you see the poet? by Pramila Khadun
‘Did you see the poet?’
The flower danced in glee
‘Where he is, you see him not,
Yet we see him,
Playing the violin
Deep inside your heart.’
Igniting Key is reminiscent of the good, old earthen classical verses and the importance of the written word.
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