Manab Manik’s Dreams Shattered and Other Poems: Discernible Musings Intermixed with the Naked Realities of Life

Manab Manik
- Cijo Joseph Chennelil

Mr.Manab Manik's poetry collection book titled "Dreams Shattered and Other Poems" evokes a flurry of everyday realities gleaned from Indian social, political, economic, religious, moral and ethical life fair and square. The poems in this book is a combination of Indian ground impulses literally couched and aesthetically expressed or delineated with a style which is down-to-earth, subtle, straight-forward, intense and lovely candour.
These poems do reflect the minutest aspects of life mainly focusing upon the manifold struggles of the common men in every nook and corner of this country of diversities, pluralities and many peculiarities. There are certain features so apparent in relation to the poems of this book which can be outlined as follows:

(1)Reflection Upon Indian Social Realities:
There are a number of poems in this collection which delve deep into the intricacies of Indian social life in a stark manner. The contentious and controversial issues brought forth by these poems are the orphaned children and their struggles to eke out a living as mentioned in "The Untold Tale", the woes and miseries caused to the social framework through floods and natural calamities as dealt with in "Life-Battle", the killing spree resorted to on frivolous issues even on a law enforcement officer as inherent in "Thou Went Away", the ethnic cleansing and extra-judicial executions periodically committed on hapless people as innate in "To the Rohingyas in Myanmar" and the dangers encountered by girls in the hands of a gentleman of daylight traction as put forth through "A Few Lines from Trishna's Suicide Note".

(2)Political Realities of India:
There are two poems which obviously bring into the forefront issues such as the sorry state of affairs prevailing in our democratic system wherein the corruption is rampant, inequality is a well-pronounced thing, injustice gets well-entrenched in the body politics, freedom is denied to the most deserving ones belonging to the backward sections of the population of India, intolerance is crept into all walks of life, truth is a redundant entity and general uneasiness is seen in the very political arena of India. These aspects do come under a close scrutiny in poems such as "Democracy Destroyed" and "Thy Clay Pot Broken".

(3)A Fervent Plea Against Gender Discriminations:
Today, India is a country which does have the dubious reputation of her female children getting eliminated in the wombs of their mothers through the process of female foeticide and infant girls are liquidated through the act of female infanticide. The young girls also face many challenges in a patriarchal and male-dominated Indian society such as sexual abuses, physical exploitations, harassment, lewd remarks in public places, trafficking for the purpose of flesh trade, molestation, rape and wanted advancements in the workplaces. These crucial issues get adequate and apt representation in poems such as "The Cry of an Unborn Babe" and "A Few Lines from Trishna's Suicide Note"

(4)The Importance Accorded to Traditional Crafts of India:
The poems in this collection also accord prime importance to the traditional occupations of India such as cap making, pottery, cobbling, pulling Rickshaws, mining and weaving. By composing poems on these jobs, the respectability attached to them is put in a higher trajectory and these poems also highlight the trials and tribulations faced by the workers in these fields due to the commercialisation, liberalisation, privatisation, marketisation and globalisation trends and tendencies existing within the domain of Indian economic system. The poems which dwell upon the issues concerning these jobs are "A Cap Seller's Dream", "Life of a Weaver", "Coal Miners", "Potters", "Cobblers" and "Life of a Rickshaw Puller".

(5)The Projection of a Technology Driven World and Its Adverse Consequences:
Today, the world is enslaved by technology. All the fields of life are mantled by robotic intelligence, artificial intelligence, mechanical ways of life and automated modes of functioning. Even simple tasks such as calculation is carried out by the power of technology. We, human beings depend less on our own abilities and more on machines which would cause unemployment and a society of indolent people. This very point comes under apt examination in the poem titled "Where Are They?".

(6)True Reading of the Meaning of Poetry:
The theme of 'what is poetry'? is perused in a microscopic manner wherein the true definition of poetry gains momentum. Poetry is described as a creative, genuine and aesthetic venture travelling on the wings of imagination with myriad emotions, feelings and sentiments sprinkled around in terms of its development and full-fledged redemption. This cardinal point related to poetry is brought forth through the poems titled "What is Poetry?" and "I am in the Palace of Poetry".

(7)Spiritual Preoccupation:
The prayer to the Lord is made to bring about a world of peace, progress and prosperity wherein human beings co-exist with flora and fauna in this world. A world of cherished principles such as love, truth, trust and faith is envisaged through this heartfelt prayer raised in front of a Lord of everlasting sum and substance. This point is brought into the surface through poems such as "Heart-Rending Appeal to 'Allah' " and "Appeal to my Lord".

(8)Environmentalism Reiterated:
Today, the world is in the cusp of major changes in terms of environment, climate and ecology. Unless and until we have an ecocentric attitude towards life, the nature as we see it today is gone forever. It is high time that we respect our fellow creatures in the wild and also live a life in tandem and conformity with nature. A sustainable way of life is the need of the hour rather than a life of excesses and transgressions by us human beings. We need to promote an egalitarian and eclectic way of life than anything else. This aspect is highlighted in the poems titled "Trees' Tears" and "Forestal".
The poems in this book also shed light on the salient points such as the life of the voiceless, the resilience amidst plenty of problems, the wanton killings, the light at the end of the dark tunnel, the despicable suffering of the people and migrants, the battered and bruised mental framework and thereby life itself, the spontaneous style of rendition, the world of illusion, the loopholes in our democratic system, the destruction of a multidimensional society, the urbanisation and its negative impact on rural life, the unacceptable practice of murdering a female child in a cold-blooded manner, the typical geographical scene of India, the final judgement meted out to a soul, the keen observation on the creatures around us, the premature and untimely death, the abuse of an innocent child, the supreme sacrifice for the nation, a plea to God, the advice given to students, the building craziness in the landscape of India, a loyal companion, the demise of a businessman, the caging of freedom, the theme of nostalgia, the common occupations of India, the isolation, loneliness and alineation felt by the individual, the struggles of the workers, the hard realities of life, the sleazy side of life and the tremendous value connected with art.

The poems of Mr. Manab Manik touch upon all conceivable arenas of human life and its various hues and colours. The poetry churned out by him is of top class quality inclusive of everything that is realistic, authentic and original in tone and tenor in the context of India. Let his poetic journey go on to scale more summits of creativity and artistic merits in days to come. My best wishes to him all along.

Cijo Joseph Chennelil.
Head of the English Department
KCMT College, Changanasserry, Kottayam, Kerala, India. 

About the poet
Manab Manik, poet and short story writer, has published his poems in different magazines both online and print. Some of his poems have been published in BTR(a magazine in Australia), Leaves of the Poet Tree(an anthology from Canada), Modern Reviews(from Bankura, West Bengal, India), Sahitya Anand, Fragrance of Asia(published from Viswabharati Research centre in India) and so on. His debut volume Dreams Shattered and Other Poems appeared in the beginning of 2019 with critical applause. He is now teaching English at Mugbasan Hakkania High School about 70 miles away from Kolkata.

No comments :

Post a Comment

We welcome your comments related to the article and the topic being discussed. We expect the comments to be courteous, and respectful of the author and other commenters. Setu reserves the right to moderate, remove or reject comments that contain foul language, insult, hatred, personal information or indicate bad intention. The views expressed in comments reflect those of the commenter, not the official views of the Setu editorial board. प्रकाशित रचना से सम्बंधित शालीन सम्वाद का स्वागत है।