Abhay K. has espoused a novel method of narration of his poetic thoughts—instead of expressing his musings about his subjects in the first person, the poet allows his subjects to tell their stories themselves to the listeners. This method truly takes us along on a ride to the life and times of the past and present along with the subject. The pride that the Delhi City and its monuments—or, rather, symbols—has of its past opulence, the pitiable state that they have been transformed into by the egotistic and gluttonous attitudes of the present, and the predictable desertion and forlornness that is foreseen by them, are laid worn for all those who care to have a look.
True to the core, like the musing of the City in the opening poem—Delhi, “My smell/my nakedness/entices”, despite the utilization and maltreatment, Delhi has not lost her charm. She is still enticing all sorts of human invaders from near and far alike. But unlike in similar situations where the prey lies below and eagles and vultures perch above waiting to embed their beaks and talons into its flesh, here the prey—the city of Delhi—symbolically, the soul of Delhi, hovers above and beyond the reach of her looter, unhurt and distant, watching uncomplainingly and unemotionally, the eagles feasting below on its riches and abundance.
The poet’s concern, love and above all worship for this great city are abundantly revealed when he laments how Yamuna is “draining darkness/from Delhi’s soul” and how Connaught Place is becoming “full of flesh/garbage/and machines…Nearby stray dogs, silent, in slumber”. The poet’s style of narration leaves room for a lot of speculation and imagination on the part of the reader about the transformation of the landmarks of the city of Delhi.
If ever one goes around Delhi and its landmarks—be it for the first time or a hundredth time—if it is after reading this collection, he is sure to pause a moment longer to turn over in his inner conscience what he has read and savoured about the city. He will be able to envisage them with a better viewpoint.
I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #5 from 10th – 16th July 2016
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