On Musings of a Sanskrit Scholar

    Sri Nityananda Mishra published this piece on 02nd June, which he says…

    Sri Nityananda Mishra published this piece on 02nd June, which he says was a note he made decades back while in Kolkata. My reaction and reading of his musings were sent to him; he responded saying, Bharadwaj thanks. Now I understand who makes a poet out of a scribbler.”

    What humble words flow from the mouth of an eminent scholar in Sanskrit like him! The reviewer here prays for the writer’s mercy while trying his best to do poetic justice to these eloquent renderings.

    The day I first noticed
    an array of amazing wrinkles
    embracing the solitude
    of your innocent eyes,
    I mused.
    That was the first time
    your conspicuous eyes
    resembled mine.
    Now with the new
    and young companions
    cuddling them from all sides
    will your eyes ever cast
    a wishful glance
    at my eyes again?”

    When a scholar reveals in poetic expression the extra foot height that the logical faculties of the brain have above the emotional faculties of the heart does not diminish. That one-foot-long spine gets clothed with flesh and blood and ornamented with the divine seat. You have indeed made a Honey & Cinnamon punch.

    The images that you have created are probably the ripples created on the face of a dancer concentrating to give life to your words; they are as if someone is trying to pull out your muffler from around your neck in a fashion that a magician pulls out a yard-long silk through the slender neck of a bottle of Sulah (1st stanza).

    But, there’s a drop of pain here and there splashing a few dots of powder vermilion. Anyway it’s always with man that the secrets revealed blatantly on the head don’t register, but they earn secret importance when hidden behind objects, subjects, nouns, verbs, adverbs, and especially competitive adjectives (3rd stanza).

    But you reached a kind of Sufiana door with your reflections of yours’ in all that is yours (2nd stanza). It’s anyway a scholar’s musings – unparalleled in the scope it provides to imagine the width and depth it would have consumed before the bang. You make the reader a swirling darwesh.

    My best wishes to you on letting the poetic space in. It brings in pictures of days when one read Visconti’s ‘Empty Space’ a chef-d’oeuvre, a magnum opus on the space of European theatre and cinema. It reverberates Sankara writing the Jagannath Bhakti Staba. The Sanskrit scholar grounded a hundred feet in logic and grammar making a Jonathan Livingstone flight of feelings is awesome.

    On 04th June the revered scholar left a small sharp sticker in Sanskrit, self-translated into English thus:

    “Arrows break apart
    their targets due to sharpness
    but the arrow
    that was a glance of the charming damsel
    joined my broken heart.”

    Lord! So little I know of meters and mantras!! But your expositions, so stupendously and serendipitously rendered, remind me of the Gitagovinda chaanda. Intellectuals – with all regard and love for them – should buy a little salt from illiterates like me – by the way, I don’t filter the sands of time to make salt for a living, but I do filter the ocean out of my taste for the tinge – and join me in rejoicing the rhythms of love than dissecting it on the disinfected steel stretcher of grammar. Let’s get stung, let’s get infected – this virus is rare, it’s the call of life.

    Here, now, this reference to ‘Arrow’, as well, reminds me of the Modern Greek master of words, Nikos Kazantzakis:

    “Lord, I am your bow:
    Soul I: Lord, stretch me, lest I wrought;
    Soul II: Lord, stretch me, but tender, lest I break;
    Soul III: May it break, Lord, who cares.”

    Mercy, O scholar, for any intrusion and beg for your blessings in return…

    II Author II

    Bathing Ghat at Kotipalli and Other Poems, Published in 2012

    Farewell to Kalpana Saikia, Published in 2020

    A banker by profession and lives in Bhubaneswar.

    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra, 1975 Odisha born, a Delhi University Post Graduate in Social Sciences, with a professional career in banking for around two decades, is engaged in creative writing and with film society. As on date he has two English poetry collections published, “Farewell To Kalpana Saikia” (Author’s Press, New Delhi) and “Bathing Ghat At Kotipalli” (Athena Books, Bhubaneswar). He has published English Essays, Poetry and Short Stories with English language magazine of Kendriya Sahitya Academy, Indian Literature and few others. He also does English subtitling for Odia language films. He is single and lives with his parents in Bhubaneswar.
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