Breeze – An Anthology of English Poems by N.V. Subbaraman, Chennai Pearls Offset Printed and Publisher, Goo-oza, p.108, Price Rs. 50/-

N.V. Subbaraman is a prolific bilingual pen, writing both in English and Tamil, with his first volume of English poems Gift of Life (1998) published from C.P. Brown Memorial Trust, Cuddappah, A.P., he took serious entry into the world of Indian English poetry. Though being published from many prestigious journals of India, holding general position like the member of writers from Ranchi, follow of U.W.A. and awarded with Michel Madhusudan Academy (1997) and the Winged Word Award, Subbaraman’s poetry is far away from pretensions, pedantry and self-approbation, whether it is marked with simplicity, spontaneity, expressiveness and meaningfulness. His present collection Breeze carries 66 poems perspicacity resonant with frank generosity and vicissitudes of life. Krishna Srinivas rightly observes–

Subbaraman’s poetry is of phosphorous brilliance. Here are moments of shuddering ecstasy. Here is explosive imagery, torrential rhythm of enchanting writing with adanesque emotion. Here are reveries blazing thousands of lamps in the cathedral of mind.

Subbaraman is poet believing in metrical verses, clear-cut and genius idea. In his own words:

 I believe in the poetry that is simple in structure conforming to the norms of metrical verses to the extent possible, transparent, conveying direct message to the readers who should understand and appreciate the poetry without the help of an English teacher or a dictionary whether keeping ‘nature’ as the theme of the human nature evils in the society or positive features of the world and should be deemed to be good poetry.

The poet, here, in the collection has voiced several ‘evils of society’ in his poems like ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’, ‘Galore of Disparity’, ‘Let Her Sleep’, ‘Strong and the Weak’, ‘Dawn of A Millennium’, ‘Behind the Rich Harvest’, ‘Farther and Farther’, ‘Distant Dream or Distant Reality’, ‘War and Peace’, ‘Whose Fault’, ‘In the New Born Country’, and ‘Question of Tomorrow’ which not only present the silhouette of contemporary social life and scenario but they also put up the question of existence in the future when people would have lost the human values and dwindle in the abysmal darkness of ignorance, yet some poems like ‘Peace and Progress’, ‘Success is Wrought’, ‘A Bright Tomorrow’, ‘Nothing Beyond the Purview’, ‘Peace thy Source’, ‘And Reach the Heaven’ end in positive manner where the poet with spiritual bent of mind remains hopeful for a glowing tomorrow.

Tomorrow

A bright and prosperous tomorrow

Seen through my inward eyes

And is melodic

Heard through my inward eyes!

But for it a joint effort is indispensable:

“Come on let us walk together and work together

To drink that cheer and taste that joy

And bring in peace and harmony, pleasure and plenty. (19)

He urges:

Make the world a heaven of peace

Where all the negatives surely cease! (2)

*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *      

fight with the real

When the cause is clear

With mind without fear

Holding values dear!” (37)
*       *       *       *       *       *       *       *      

To breathe the air of peace and harmony

To foster brotherhood all through the globe

To prepare the people all over the world

Towards progress and plenty, love, and dignity.(41)

*      *      *      *      *      *      *     *

Up, up, up in the sky

Soar, soar, soar so high

Over the hills and trees with joy and ease

And reach the heaven with divine grace. (78)

The poet being the spiritualist out and out is a cosmopolitan who considers:

                The whole world is my home

All creations are my kith and kin

Good and bad not others bring

Birth and death not strange to living beings

Neither extreme joy at success and plenty

Nor extreme sorrow at failure and penury. (80)

        His firm faith in God can be glanced in the following lines where by a beautiful simile says:

Life’s journey takes the course

True at the command of the moving finger

Like the helpless wooden plank that goes

Along the course of the running river. (80)

        According to the poet love is the panacea of the ills of mankind. He supports the slogan of Sri Sathya Sai Baba- ‘Love all, Serve all’ ‘start the day with love, fill the day with love, end the day with love, this is the way to God.’ Besides he also acknowledges the values of truth, peace love righteousness and non-violence. He prays God:

O God Almighty,

Give me strength to stand the stress

And help my colleagues to stay in bliss

Grant me the will to be at peace

And spread that peace to all with ease. (4)

        The poem ‘Heart with Love’ is penned from a Sai devotee’s heart who feels an ambrosial feeling in the divine vicinity of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba the Lord of Putthaparthi. The poet sings:

In the divine presence of Baba

What is front and what is back

What is first and what enth!

He looks at you and passes through

Fortunate ones that a sigh from his empty hands!

Yet His grace and blessings to everyone

Who keeps him in his HEART WITH LOVE!

As you go on the path He shows

You find bliss all your life. (75)

        Similarly another poetic offering of a noted Indian English poet and critic and Ex-president Sahitya Akademy. Dr. V.K. Gokak is quotable here. He questions:

Have you seen Baba

          Who sets cities aflame with longing

And drenches them with the delight of existence?

And he adds:

You‘ve missed the very meaning of your life

If you haven’t seen him or been spoken to by him

Baba is lawn of blue light

With a May flower on top of his hair

And a golden lily on his Cramium

He is the healer of a world in pain

The blue-throated God

That drinks the poison of its suffering

To make it happy and whole. (Appendix, V.K. Gokak’s poem- ‘Darshan’, The Glory of Puttaparthi, by V. Balu, pub. By Shakuntala Balu, S.B. pub. 1-South Cross Road, Basavanagudi, Banglore, 560-004, p. 378) 

He does not wish to ‘shirk his duty’ or to be tempted to dishonesty, or to be a parasite on the society but he wishes to ‘be helpful to all his client’/ be respectful to all his ‘elders’, be sensitive to the needs of ‘his office’/or qualify to go up the ladder. Despite several grim and dismal pictures in the poems, Subbaraman is never harsh or devoid of imagination but is replete with emotional and spiritual ecstasies, for which he deserves hearty encomium of the readers and critics. Thus he is a true poet who is:

One in all, all in one, jointly, severally

Helping mankind live(s) in peace and amity. (7)   

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