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Metaphor for Woe


Shalini

PAANI KA DUKHDA (WATER WOES)
By Vimal Kumar
Vani Prakashan, Delhi, 2009, Rs. 900.00

VOLUME XXXV NUMBER 2 Febuary 2011

Vimal Kumars third poetry collection, published by Vaani Prakashan in 2009,the litany of woes of water becomes a metaphor for the woes of the modern man with his surroundings, with the world at large. There is nothing new or revolutionary in a poet talking about the deterioration of values, erosion of trust or corruption in practically every sphere of life but in Kumars hands the treatment of those oftrepeated subjects takes a new turn. He creates ingenious ways of lamenting the same sorrows and miseries of life that have been there for ever. In most poems there is one invisible accused symbolizing authority and power on one side, and the rest of the crushed humanitycrying, cursing, rebelling, questioningon the other. The very first poem Ek Jalte Hue Shahar ki Yatra pulsates with the pain of crying children, wailing women, butterflies whose wings have been crushed and houses which have been torched. Having witnessed the rousing reception accorded to visiting politicians in Gujarat after the massive riots in 2000, Kumar takes refuge in the common mans last resorthe picks up his pen and writes. Adept at careful selection of words specially suited for poetry, as evident in his popular satirical work Chor Puran, Kumar makes good use of his vast journalistic experience to throw light on a range of issues like the hollowness of the news medium itselfParivarthan and Rone Ka Vigyapan and the emptiness of modern life. Having seen the functioning of Parliament and the strategems adopted by parliamentarians, to safeguard their interests, from close quarters, particularly scathing is Kumars commentary on politics and politicians. Just as the audience sitting in a cinema hall claps with glee at the thrashing that the villain gets at the hands of the hero, the reader here virtually claps at parliamentarians being referred to as members of the canine family in the poem Sansadiya Garima or equated with beggars in Naam. The world that Kumar inhabits is a world full of hypocrites (Mukhauta), where a Radhacaught between the travails of life both inside and outside the housedies a thousand deaths everyday (Rasleelaon Ka Fareb), where every voice raised against injustice is crushed (Hatya, Film aur Jevan) and where fraud, deceit, lies always win, where honest Pujari Laldasalways dies in the end. Its a cruel world, where while the sensitivity of a poet can find poetry even in a man selling groundnut (Iraada) or an old ...


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