Thursday, March 1, 2018

Each Day is a Song Somehere

Title of the collection of poems: Faithfully, I Await (2017)
        -By Jaydeep Sarangi

--Reviewed by Daya Dissanayake, Srilanka

Jaydeep Sarangi is a poet I have admired for many years, ever since I came across his writings but I met him in person much later, and realized he fits the image I had of the poet I had met in cyberspace. I admire him for his writings and translations of the plight of the suppressed and oppressed classes, and taking Indian writings to Australia, building a bridge between the two countries. His poetry has been acclaimed in many countries across the world. As a poet who has unlocked his own heart, through cleverly constructed word patterns he subtly unlocks the hearts of those of us who reads his poems.

To Sarangi,  “poetry is a holy and beautiful dream”,  a dream he shares with all of us ever so skillfully. In his latest collection of poetry, aptly titled 'Faithfully, I Wait' which are poems on rain, thunder and lightening at Jhargram and beyond. In the poem titled Love and Longing in Jhargram, he takes us all to Jhargram many decades ago, where; Beautiful sunsets need cloudy sky,
history walks through the corridor
of uncertainties, after the October rain.
The images he created came alive to me even while I read it at my home in Sri Lanka. Even before I read the line that explained what Jhargram means I sensed that it simply has to be, “where everything ends with love”.

Sarangi identifies himself with the rickshaw puller, the sweeper, the angry Dalit, the thief and even the writer by the name of Bengal “all are me”. 

What wall awaits us, Giddy?
Slaves drifting, dalits piercing,
rhyming with the wind and chance (Leaders Trading)

I’m a squatter in a group of poets in Kolkata, Bangla poets.
Evening gatherings run deep in my blood
Joy makes no joy. Teesta floods blood. I write elegies.  (A Caretaker)

This empathy we find in all his writings, as only a true poet could make the reader too become the rickshaw puller and all the other victims of a society suffering from empathy deficit.

He is in search of a literary consort,  as well. ““Write on” moves my heart to Write for a literary consort somewhere, words move towards words”. When words mingle with words, the readers too mingle with the other readers, through the poet.

Where there is food, there is violence”, he writes, and sums up in that one short line the entire violent history of mankind, as it is food that made man greedy and envious, explained by the Buddha in the Agganna Sutta in the Digha Nikaya. But a poet would never be hungry.
A poet has no home, Only a quest— Waiting, faithfully”, because his home is the whole wide universe, the sky is his roof. And here too we find how hopeful Sarangi is. The greatness is to express that in so few words.

One tree is one new arrival, of fresh living, on the fields of the dead. A tree is green hope, for dying rivers and drying minds” Sarangi takes us to his old Jhargram and the little river and reminds all of us  through his poems, that “Green ways saves life, saves rivers, oceans and dreams”.
Though he says, “I need a key. It opens gates of borders. Between minds, hearts,” Sarangi has already found the key to cross all borders, physical, racial and political. He continues in another poem, “My poems are doors, You are my guest, from the country of hope”. In most of his poems we see this hope, the hope for a better and wonderful world.

After so many years my boat is free.
It takes to its own course
Under the alien sky, gardens unseen.

I believe that we should translate Sarangi's poems to other languages so that 'each day is a song somwhere' to all of us on planet earth.

The book is available via online stores: