A Review of A House Within by eminent poet Sri Pradeep Biswal

Review by Namita Rani Panda

Author: Sri Pradeep Biswal
Title of the Book: A House Within: An Anthology of Poems
Publisher: Authorspress, New Delhi, India
ISBN: 978-93-87281-83-7
Price: ₹ 290 / $12

It is my immense pleasure to go through the brilliant creation of Sri Pradeep Biswal A House Within: An anthology of poems that comprises 38 poems on diverse themes. Though it is his first anthology in English, I am sure, it can carve a niche in the hearts of the readers for his simplicity, clarity, brevity and proficiency in words and imagery. It is imperative to mention here that though highly qualified and is a senior officer in the Indian Administrative Service, nowhere its trace can be felt. In the preface itself he has written, “I believe in simplicity and a poet ought to be simple and innocent like a child.” His poems are the testimony of his philosophy.

Pradeep Biswal
But though written in simple language, his poems are in no way less profound in thought.

A House Within is a kaleidoscope of experiences in varied hues like nature, love, life, relationship and social issues.

The poet is a great lover of nature, a mystic and a minute observer of even infinitesimal objects in nature. The beauty of a tiny wild flower could not escape his sensitive eyes. Surprisingly enough, he can see the whole universe in a wild flower.

"I held it in my hands
Watched it closely
It's soaked with morning dew
The bright rays of the dawn
Beauty of the rainbows
Mysteries of the divine.
A mere tiny flower
It contains the whole universe."

Namita Rani Panda
His love poems are extremely passionate and exceptionally soothing and soulful. As depicted by him in his lines:

"But somewhere
A melodious symphony
Spreads its wings
Like a morning breeze
That touches
Our hearts and souls
And we intensely long
For each other
Is it called love!" (Between Us)

To him love is as natural as the blooming of a flower:

"With a graceful smile
On her face
She left silently
As she had come
A shower followed
The morning looks fresh
A flower bloomed last night
Nobody had noticed." (A Flower Bloomed)

But he has not turned his attention away from the social evils prevailing around him. His mellow heart aches and bleeds for the sufferings of his fellow beings .As a responsible citizen he is deeply concerned for them which is brilliantly depicted in The Art of Living:

"Drops of blood
Settle down
In the corners of the eyes
Like pieces of ice.
The children fall asleep
With cold touches
Of death
And the lullabies
Hang on the lips
Of the mother."

Similarly in his poem He Has No Dreams to Share he poignantly describes the tormenting hunger of children of daily wage labourers

" He knows well
How to remain happy
With an empty stomach"
"Life is enchanting for him
But his eyes are blank
And he has no dreams to share!"

Moreover he is very sensitive to the problems of common men like The Liftman:

"He receives all
With a smile
Never being rude
Bread and butter
He knows well
Come with a tag."

The two poems that I love the most, To My Son and Yajati, are based on human relationships that flow generously from the tender heart of a father. Like every father he is also optimistic about the success of his son:

"I am sure
One day you would be able
To map the whole sky” (To My Son)

"The eternity
Is yours alone.
My son
It's yours alone!" (Yajati)

Some of his poems brilliantly focus on the sophistication and hypocrisy prevalent in the modern society, how still a Brutus lives to stab from behind and how the modern men make futile efforts to conceal venom in heart with a lovely smiling mask.

"History repeats
The sagas of treachery
Still a Brutus lives
In our life
To backstab
Your innocence
For his selfish end." (Brutus)

"Can a mask cover
The evil mind
With venom and vices
Hidden in his heart?" (Mask Man)

In A House Within he has superbly described a universal truth. Each house has many houses within it, each having its doors and windows, dreams and despair and lights and shadows.

"Each house has
Its lights and shadows
Few dark corners
An air of its own
Each house
Is divided within." (A House Within)

Maybe due to betrayal or untold suffering the protagonist in The Lost Smile has forgotten how to smile:

"I don't know
When I lost it
But it's lost anyway
Never ask me
To smile again
It may look
Something else
Other than a smile." (The Lost Smile)

However, the most important tone prevailing all over is the tone of optimism. His optimistic voice is strong in the following lines:

"Dreams never dry up
With flights of time
It awaits celebration." (Dream Again)

"Sure we would meet again
Sometimes before the sun sets." (When We Met)

In his foreword the poet in sublime words states, “Everyday poetry is born, so also a poet.” And truly a poet is born, a significant poetic voice in Odisha is born to be acclaimed for his simplicity, precision, clarity and his skillful use of words and lucid imagery. As a sage he announces, “At the end of the day, I am delighted that I played the game, whether or not it earned me a medal.” It reflects that he has the heart of a true creator who goes on creating without expecting any reward unlike some present day poets who run after medals and accolades.

He may not have expectations. But I’m sure, his creations will win the hearts of many. Let many more lines flow freely from his pen to enlighten the readers with his worthy creations.
Wishing a long life to his pen.

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।