Reading Man Nature and Environment: Constructs and concerns from 'The World of Mavie'

Breez Mohan Hazarika

Abstract: The World of Mavie is a rare collection of poetry, a good fit in the category of Children’s Literature. An innovative and commendable contribution, it is so fresh and unique in serving the appropriate stuff to be sung and enjoyed by the children in their growing years. This collection of children’s poems presents a platter of colourful and delicious food for thought that nourishes children and their brain with the mind boggling beauty in nature. It speaks volumes on precious moments in the childhood where the children learn to be cautious with the ways of the world.  The World of Mavie, which is the third collection of R.P. Singh in Children’s Literature series, offers a beautiful rainbow taking the colours from life, environment and ecology. The present article offers a reading on the trajectories and traces of The World of Mavie.
The Chips and the Crax, the halves and the contracts in kids’ utterances, and their language/style/ register that solely belong to them, communicate the power of imaginations, fantasy and the mysterious world of joys and beauty. It is beyond comparison and stands unparalleled with any other variable, when the kids with their world of multiple and colourful images shape and narrate a number of concerns facilitating happiness and creativity to the world of art and literature. A sketch of two flowers, with a bud in tender stems attached to curved leaves  on inner cover and dedication page of The World of Mavie opens before the readers , children in particular, to come in terms with a character - speaking bright with spiky antennae-ant and standing blue eyed grasshopper, who is  perhaps Mavie . It is little Arya’s companion in her tender years to which the author dedicates his book with the title The World of Mavie.
Mavie, the seemingly protagonist, in the work, is a green grasshopper that seems to behave gently with the fellow creatures around. He is the ruler of his trajectories, and has known to make up a balance between the good and the wicked. In the words of the author, he is “eager to help all/those who are good/and also pinched those-/the wicked too.”(p1). An ideal king, in its own terms, Mavie is a good lord whose grace is sung by the little kids who find him singing with them to spread happiness all around. The first poem ‘Mavie’, reflects upon the virtues of a king personified .This gentle grasshopper stands competent and apt to attract the interests of the young minds. The series in the collection The World of Mavie proceeds next with a character Khesar Pillu, who is a little serpent. The serpents   often give  goose bumps  to many a kids in their tender age , however here this creature giggles plays , sings , jumps to demonstrate a game show taking all fears of the kids away , and they , then realize that it is the story and perception  that defines the creatures to be bad and wicked. The poem is a lesson to the kids where they learn to find, “we should watch/and we should weigh, /and only then we should say/ what’s good, bad or no (p4). Children, therefore, find truth in Khesar Pillu’s gentle behavior who perhaps wants to pass a message that, “think over the virtues creatures possess” (p4), establishing a friendship with everyone around where the kids unscarred find it as a loving friend.
 When it comes to ‘Kopal, a little Flower’, the readers associate their sensibilities to the days back in their childhood when flowers used to be their first attraction. This ‘Kopal’, however, takes one to a distant land, uncared and  unnoticed by the world of humans ,which is finally blossoming beautifully by nature’s automatic functional birds and animals , elephants specifically who could carry lot of water to sprinkle with its trunk , nourishing the mother plant . The poem, in its expressions, speaks, “the birds and elephants on errands /they brought water and sprinkled /fragrance wafted always new /Kopal grew …/many seeds and fruits …” (p5). In the context of the poem, the children seem to be aware of the flora and fauna in the deserts. A few cacti with flowers on yearly basis remind of the beautiful imagery that the poem tries to treasure in some subconscious growing minds of the young ones. It is true to speak of- how the swaying wind sings the songs of human minds all across the land on earth.
It is “The drops …” that has always gained attention of the children .They may be seen often amazed at speaking water of the raindrops, water in the river, where they want to feel the pulse of the life and the feelings they enjoy in coming with its contact, perhaps, that is why, the children are worried for the generations to come when “land was terse / creatures puzzled /plants were dull / everything sad .”(p7). The poem is a serious concern with a message to the people exploiting the natural resources- air, water and so on to be preserved for the generations to come, similar is “A Tree” which, “  was dense /with branches vast /stem was round/and leaves green./It was a tree /none so ever heard /quite long in history.” (p8).
Evidently the children can be seen observing centipedes , millipedes , bugs , worms , crickets , flies , fatty, skinny , shining , round , flat , long , mysteriously colourful insects with beautiful limbs all across the pages of The World of Mavie. They are often scary pinching through which the ‘kinder’s world’ is given the tunes of lives’ song, helping children in their growing years in enjoying their company. A Tree which is, “so old-you know” has witnessed the glory of mankind and its existence since time immemorial. It now, therefore, deserves respect and gratitude from the coming generations, who greets, “hi” to “the tree …” (p9), and soon inspired others who too, greeted “… they sang” (p9).
The world of children is always so colourful, so beautiful and mysterious and so charming. Apparently, of and on, they bubble, giggle, hop and blow the unknown. For many of us it it yet to discover the meaning that exists in their unique morphological structures as ‘Poca’, Koka , Toka, Boka , Doga , Goga , Likki , Pukki , Nikki, Tikki, ‘Zanda’, Boga , Sanda , Xanda, Baga , Eka and  Ela , ‘Azznan’ and Bagan ,so on and so forth ,that carry magical powers to make them happy .One such ‘Poca’ is a cool rabbit in the children’s world , in one of the poems of The World of Mavie  titled as ‘Poca’. Poca runs a funny school where even the “homework” becomes “sweet”, whereas  in another poem titled ‘ Zanda’, the protagonist  ‘Zanda’ “is a hefty cruel bison”, shaping the children’s imagination with the goodness in the physiology of the insects . In the spirit of the bla- bla, it is ‘Aka and Ala’ , who become close friends of children. “Aka a zebra so big and tall,/Ala  but a tiny insect./ Aka preferred to walk on grass /and Ala on Ala’s back”(14) which a kid might got confused to speak of Ala on Ala’s back. That’s how one can understand children’s stories constituting a language of their own.
While learning F for fox, they named is Azzan, whose, “tale is silky/ furs brown and small/her voice is sweet / and manners decent” (p15) in children’s world narrates them the stories from “Paris and ‘New York” bringing the entire world close to their heart. They find centipede sleek and lazy, and “Deadly scorpion” smiling and dancing where lays a greater fun. They know the “Velvet mite”, and want to play with them switching suddenly to, “a beautiful hyela there /swinging on the big Chinar.”(p19). Parrots and ‘Brown Little Birds’ have their own stories to share with the children. We have all learnt a  famous nursery rhyme, “Jump a little, hop a little”, and they quickly make friends with tender frogs when, “A crazy hyena comes that way /Tender frogs were there to say /their dazzling skill  /to the beautiful rain.” (p20)
Many a times, it is a beautiful and unforgettable sight to look at children speaking of the world of amphibians, jumping, flying and swimming like them embellished in the disguised attire composing and shaping structures that sing the songs of a little turtle who, “found a safe /quite safer spot”(p22), and the big ones that have survived the history of man and environment .Parents have been enjoying those beautiful growing years of their children when they are reminded of themselves being chatter boxes . Similarly, one little lamb is called Sheebu in a poem titled ‘Sheebu’ in The World of Mavie. Sheebu, the little lamb, is a chatterbox, who has shown strong hold on the psyche of chirpy kids, and makes mountains out of moles . The poems observes that, “Sheebu - the chatter box /moves up and on /goes and comes /this way, that way./Sheebu the little lamb/ Sheebu the chatter box!(p 24, 25).
Darkness in the children’s world has a space of its own , and they have spoken infinite riches , opening doors to the world of mystery with fun and frolics ,scary and fiery too , creating some “baboon” and its image of “a friend” when “It was dark around” them. Many a story in the world of children are inspired ,shaped and moderated by their grannies ,and ,therefore, “ Granny’s Place” becomes a warehouse , a workshop and a power storage of history ,culture and mythology , traditions and customs prevalent in our society , from where they pick and choose to branch and grow thoughts of infinite dialogues to bind themselves with man nature and environment . The poem, “Granny’s Place” are the days for those beautiful moments when, “Granny was mum /in thought she rolled,/me too was there /with thought a lot !(p29).
The World of Mavie by R .P. Singh is an extraordinary collection of thought provoking, smart, genuine, intelligent, appealing, knowledgeable stuff for the children who come in terms to share a bond with man, nature and environment. Everything in the world around looks beautiful in the poetry of R P Singh. It is an innovative and commendable contribution that presents a platter of colourful and delicious food for thoughts that nourishes children and their brain with the mind boggling beauty in nature. It speaks volumes on precious moments in the childhood where the children learn to be cautious with the ways of the world. The World of Mavie is a rare collection of poetry that is so fresh and unique in serving the appropriate stuff to be sung and enjoyed by the children in their growing years. It seems that the author is able to associate with the children’s psyche , their language, their threats and  fabrications  through which they make up for the big stories that have power to elevate the heart and soul of any reader, young and adult.

Works cited and consulted:

Singh , R.P. The World of Mavie. Jaipur : Sublime Publications 2020.
--- --- ---Adventures of Funny and Bana. Delhi: Gutenberg.2018.
--- --- ---Cloud, Moon and a little Girl. Jaipur : Sublime .2017.
--- --- ---The World of Mavie. Jaipur: Yking. 2019.           

Bio: A Senior Associate Professor in the Department of English, DCB Girls’ College (Jorhat-India), affiliated under Dibrugarh University and a doctoral research scholar in Assam University. I have submitted my PhD thesis, “Corruption, Crisis and Consciousness in the Plays of Vijay Tendulkar” in the last week of June 2020. Besides publishing Interface: A Text Book for English Communication (ISBN: 978-93-82267-25-6) for Under Graduate Students, I have authored eight research papers in reputed peer-reviewed journals. Four scholarly articles have also appeared in edited volumes. Indian Writings in English, particularly drama, is my area of special interest.

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।