Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Cyberwit.net (July 5, 2013)
Review by P C K Prem
A journey into the ‘inner world’ works as a tranquilizer to a disturbed man the poet avers. Rajender Krishan, a product of Delhi University, a marketing professional since 1968, solemnized inter-religious marriage and is now, settled in New York, USA. Before migrating to USA in 1989, he worked in poultry farming, advertising, and eventually entered sales and marketing. Since 1989, he is engaged in work relating to antique reproductions and consultancy in Real Estate. Settled in USA, an admirer of Kabir, a great Hindu mystic, he believes in the freedom of expression. Poetry, photography and visual art are passions. Unpredictable destiny of man and society, and its predicament worries him. He inspires writers through famous website Boloji.com, a notable endeavour.
A maiden poetic venture ‘Solitude and other poems’ a collection of more than fifty poems, he communicates experiences with intensity, notices every incident, watches man’s movements closely and gives aesthetically pithy and perceptive lyrical treatment. RK’s curiosity in mysticism and philosophy amazes as he looks beyond worldly limits. Understanding of mysterious power determines human life and destiny he believes in a straight and forthright manner.
He believes in the indestructible inner self –soul/ Atma and realizes that ‘the ethereal/apparently caged/ behind the skin’ is eternally free. A thought of oneness with the world grants freedom when one abandons incarcerated existence. Eagerness to probe the mystery of life continues even in routine acts, ‘That’s why /on a chosen path the lines on the soles/keep treading and digging /the labyrinth of life /-Maya-/in quest of Nirvana (salvation) 12 Wholesomeness in acts grants freedom minus sufferings.
Inner self is a mirror giving true image of the central man and reflects individual interior and exterior, ‘with a motley/ of pretenses and beliefs/ wearing different hats… cannot conceal /reality from /the mirror’s revelation (Mirror 42) The nature in fury, thoughtfully offers glimpses world’s origin and the ultimate end. The principle of creation and devastation with inkling of lethal inundation in ‘Deluge’ as if sage Markandeya witnessing the spectacle of devastation is quite apparent. Anarchic life after the great creation, preservation and the ultimate dissolution is the eternal divine plan of the Lord a man should understand. ‘Deluge’ and ‘Realization’ 14 unfold a cosmic plan. Solitude is transitory and ethereal but saves a man from a distressing existence and he says –
…cannot let go
this singularity of life
where I experience
the essence of freedom…
of you perpetual presence. 4
Invisible power is the fountainhead of energy outside worldly subjugation without dogmas and thus, anarchic living no longer disturbs, as identity is integral. Unhealthy, sordid and detrimental living conditions make peace illusive.
Without ever thinking salvation beyond bondages, a man lives within the limits of self-dictated rules of life. What a tragedy and contradiction! Despite chaotic living conditions, man can live a better life if he understands the message of nature.
If a man comprehends ‘self’, he knows God’s (divine) plan. Living in silent areas of existence, bestows serenity. He is conscious of life’s rationale and transience but forgets the eternal truth of life and death. Past does not enlighten but distracts growth. A wanderer’s life infuses meaning, for it is away from the feelings of ‘dead yesterday’ and ‘unknown tomorrow’ and tries to ‘Look beyond /the dichotomy of life.’ 40
A man should comprehend the celestial design and utilize inherent energies realistically without gridlock. Nature reveals ancient wisdom. Man must understand the intrinsic energies, listen to inner voice, know the ambiguity of inscrutable existence, choose the right path, pursue a principled life, live in harmony and it will lead to a wisdom phenomenon and so he tells,’…awaken and arise/ Listen to your inner voice.’ To know self –who am I, ‘A naked Self /clothed by masks /of thoughts, relationships /…the dual of opposite/what really I am?’ 27 is an eternal question and a journey perturbing a man and answer leads to freedom ushering in renaissance.
Cleanliness, truth, dignity, right attitude bereft of hate and greed give purpose if a man follows teachings of virtuous saints like Buddha, Christ and Kabira, and wise people. A man goes beyond confusion of ‘this or that’ with the power of ‘self preserving silent prayer’ as quietness of the imploring words soothes, creates understanding and infuses resolution and faith.
Knowledge of social realities and system grants identity and existence to man and he moves towards a collectively predestined objective. Questions on destiny and life, creation, annihilation appear disquieting and efforts to get out of ephemeral joys and sorrows fail, for man’s choice is incorrect. Man suffers from ‘great insecurity, permanent crisis and the absence of any kind of status quo’ says M. Sturmer, ‘We do not know where we are going. We only know that history has brought us to this point…if humanity is to have a recognizable future, it cannot be by prolonging the past or the present. If we try to build the third millennium on that basis, we shall fail. And the price of failure, that is to say, the alternative to a changed society, is darkness.” (Age of Extremes 585, London: Abacus, 2002)
The poet shows awareness of the social deadlock where man has uncertain joys and sufferings abundant. Embedded in the eternal plan, hunger, material hunger and greed are born of desires unlimited but the man fails to satisfy the inner man.
with the sensory cessation
leaves the corpse
moves into a new abode
Hunger is the cause of human activities, joys and sufferings insatiable, for the mortal frame does not recognize satisfaction. It refuses to accept truth of hunger and the singularity leads to sufferings where conflicts govern. The poet is disturbed at the multifaceted hunger a man nurses, for it is the origin of unethical life and living rejecting a virtuous and principled life. Mother earth is immaculate in its movement, and moves in a fixed free pattern but man refuses to recognize the phenomenal truth of freedom and loves to work under restrictions. He loves living in ‘society/hoodwinked/ and disillusioned’ discarding ‘universal freedom’. 94
Man philosophizes on life but fails to restrain feelings and thoughts, prefers ubiquitous, disgusting and appalling social system. Russell said long back, ‘The modern-minded man, although he believes profoundly in the wisdom of his period, must be presumed to be very modest about his personal powers. His highest hope is to think first what is about to be thought, to say what is about to be said and to feel what is about to be felt; he has no wish to think better thoughts than his neighbours…’ (In Unpopular Essays 66 London: Unwin Books, 1968)
‘Politics’ enters human relations and hurts warmth, gives birth to distrust and lies. Politics and lies in relations sow seeds of dishonesty. A modern man manipulates relations and consequently, it results in hatred, loss of confidence and faith. Relationships also suffer in an appalling and rash materialistic contemporary structure and credo of earning and amassing. A tragic and biting ‘Irony’ it is where parents are apathetic. Parents are the elders who should guide and teach youngsters the art of life or else –
Mutates the toddler
Into a disgruntled person
Discarded to live a life
Stuck in the grooves of
Coercive and manipulative societies 102
A lackadaisical attitude of parents destroys children’s future. Elders must offer quality life to children. He feels upset, for the American society has little hopes to offer to future children. Apathy of parents and American society shocks bringing psychosomatic disorder in the children.
… dead children
Devastated parents; grieving
How to console them?
The surviving children
Still in their formative years
Are they doomed to swallow
the venom of traumatic afflictions? 112
A deplorable and perilous living pattern is also entering Indian society, and he cautions against the lethal ambush.
Questions of life and death perturb, and the poet falls into metaphysical ponderings. The self-righteous thought of merger of ‘self’ and ‘the inner self’, the image of the Supreme Lord assures as he finds deliverance and harmony in solitude, and discovers fresh meaning. He is sincere and frank, and anxieties about existence seem strongly genuine. In an unobtrusive way, he establishes a mute relationship with every lover of verses, and it speaks of bona fide elegiac power and still stays away from moralistic perspectives.
You can check out the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Solitude-Rajender-Krishan/dp/8182534143
An author of more than forty-five books in English and Hindi, P C K Prem (p c katoch) a post-graduated in English literature from Punjab University, Chandigarh has brought out nine volumes of poetry besides books on criticism in Hindi and English. Katoch Prem is a poet, novelist, short story writer and critic in English from Himachal Pradesh, India