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,
That was the first time
your conspicuous eyes
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.