Romance over Coffee, by L S Rathore

Jaydeep Sarangi
Romance over Coffee
Author: L S Rathore, Allahabad
2019, Pp 185, ₹ 750.00 INR

Reviewed by Jaydeep Sarangi

Poetry as Laxman Rathore outpours home of thoughts in a language that is beguilingly soothing, sedative and lucid. His pen voices life’s true colours and shades, small things of our being. Rathore’s maiden collection is a pledge for tomorrow’s sun. His magic box is veritable wonder. When we whisk through his poems we notice many hues and colours of lived moments. Do all impressions have a soul? Senses make out their mates. Rathore counts them one by one, leaf after leaf
“The saffron rose is lighted by the rising sun
While the cherry ones vie with it in beauty --one by one.
Three little hearts too want to run the race
Join with little bulbous stars to transmit grace.”
On meeting the beloved the lover's joy knows no bounds. The poet feels as if he has been gifted with world's riches,
“Things which possess external glitter
Rivet our attention sooner than later.”
While on one hand poems by the poet are narratives on the poets’ identity, roots, life-spring, dreams, passions, commitments and analysis of the remotest nooks of their mind, these are also explorations of specific relationships, relationships in general, as well as inward relations. There are some moments of self-discovery, but still more, of metaphysical quest into where we are headed, tinted by a super-sensitivity towards the parameter of time. The spectrum is wide and varied. Every artless wish is a full song in emotions recollected in solitude. Like a coy mistress, all heightened sensibilities experience waiting, a promise of renewed and hope. However, at a close view, there are perhaps some common threads running through the collection. Some of these are: a feeling of cultural celebration, sensitivity to nature, an indefinable sense of longing, and hope, both personal and social.

Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow of the mind. Rathore has the expertise of delving deep and presenting the rich literary and cultural tradition of India in the most splendid way. He is a keen observer of life around his and the world, which seems very strong in her verses in this collection. Small things keep happening in Rathore’s poetry as he outpours his home of thoughts in a language that is beguilingly soothing and lucid. His sweet-flowing and liquid cadence is attractive for the excessive use of liquid consonantal sounds and there is an indomitable gusto that engulfs our sensitive mind to read his images more than once,
“Today's coffee stirred my imagination
So it craves for speedy recognition.”

This timely collection attempts to stitch together a lot of subjects under one roof just as life and its different shades is a whole made of very disparate parts. It is very daring in the power of positive imagination, full of practical wisdom, and simple truths of life’s daily acts in a language which is inviting and sensuous!

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. Rathore has beautiful words and images for it:
“No-one knows who will embrace
Whom, the gaze which intoxicates us
Would bring us to our senses
The world may be lost in other things
But I am engrossed in my beloved’s charms.
Shall we spill the goblet of wine?”

A good poem is a contribution to sensibility. Love is the poetry of the senses. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it.
“Friendship works on mind, body and soul
And transforms our being as a whole.
The way it affects is holistic
And at most times therapeutic.”

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. Laxman Rathore has this rare gift. To us, art begets art. Laxman Rathore is a poet of wakeful sensibilities,

“She draws towards her even deer
Filling their hearts with cheer,
Even the animals feel magnetically drawn
To her and pay her fawning admiration.”

Whisking it page to page is like basking in the evening cozy light. Poetry make things happen with vibes and it resonates in the mind for a long spell. It spills over white pages and glitter with dignified cadence and rhythm.

In Romance over Coffee poetry and beauty are always making peace. Rathore tries to make out peace by licking his imaginative tenderness:
“I will entreat her to take the first lick
Only then will l every drop sip.
Lo ! even before l touched it
It gave me a delicious kick(.)”

Poetry is an act of reviving memory of silence, slow rain. Rathore is a member of this rich tradition in India. For Rathore, dreams keep dressing up. Here he stands out of the ordinary. Every artless wish is a full song in emotions recollected in solitude. Like a shy lover she embraces the poet:
“After taking only two draughts she passed the cup to me
That too because I made to her an entreaty.”

Waiting is like the seed imagines its further growth. Rathore makes us wait. The poet keeps her not to part with the selfie. Readers wait, faithfully. In this collection the poetic soul has urges to speak the time of being alone and happy. The poet returns to his wordy pool each day. His poems record minute details of senses, daily sounds and sights, enclosures and limits:

“We hardly notice flowers blooming in deserts
Though they surpass in beauty others.
The camel Thistle is such a flower
That draws even a spider to suck nectar.”
Clouds pile on clouds. Images rain in our mind. Rathore makes flowers bloom in deserts. These smart and engaging poems fill up our empty moments. When we read this fascinating collection we realize how important is these rare moments of life. Refreshing pictures add extra flavour to the poems. His pictures set us free from bonds of mundane acts. The result is that we sail freely and happily.
Rathore is a rare gift who enjoys a sublime sense of commitment and integrity with a caravan of images drawing from different source. His poems are worthy reading as he makes the reader sit and enjoy reading them again and again, ‘era after era’.

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