Peace of Silence by Tapti Barua Kashyap- Juripar: Punjabari Road, Guwahati 781-037

The future of Assamese Poetry can be foretold as a golden for it has some promising poets like Tapti Baruah Kashyap and P. K. Mohnan. When we journey through the seminal work Peace of Silence by Tapti, we will find her more and more vibrant in her emotions as well as thoughts. Rightly Mitra pukhan says:

Silence can be many things to many people. If for some, it is ominous for others it is blessed, it can be a welcome break from the tensions of everyday living, a prelude to tranquility, a sine-que-non for reflection and quiet repose.

            Peace of Silence by Tapti Barua Kashyap is her ‘Maiden venture’ and ‘a small collection’. Dedicated to Deuta and Maa, the collection is totally ‘the work of a poet who eschews stridency’ is well remarked by Mitra Pukhan, a renowned columnist translator short story writer, singer and the writer of foreword of the book. He adds:

But quietness in her case does not mean effacement. She has a calm sense of self, sometimes punctuated by self-doubt. These pieces are, essentially, an exploration of the self a deep searching inwards, rather than event-based. Even people figure in poems in terms of the reactions they evoke in her. (III)

            And it is so for Tapti Baruah Kashyap, the young poet with a quiet reflective voice. The collection Peace of Silence carries 38 short poems with long and deep ideas in which ‘I’ has been a predominant theme and the feminine sensibility mingled with modernism remains recurrent. Born in 1067 at Sapekathi Shivasager, Asam, Tapti is presently teaching in Beltola college Gauhati. She is a noted writer and poet writing in Asamese and English both and for English poetry she started writing 12 years ago. And now she is the life member of poetry society Indian and other prestigious institutions. The book Peace of Silence is beautiful both in design outwardly for the cover is beautifully designed by Nani Borpezari and the book is meaningful and deep inwardly because the poems are mostly subjective and based on meditative bent of poet’s mind. Some 19 poems are previously published in journals like the Sentinel, eastern Clarion, the North east son, the journal of Poetry society of India etc. rest all the other poems are unpublished. The poems carry a verity of themes like isolation, feminism, social consciousness, life and death, nostalgia, nature, dejection, hope and aspiration. An spring of self-doubt runs through the veins of Tapti and feeling of disquietude fills the void of the poetess but this feeling of restlessness again takes the from of poetry when she says,

                        I feel and see everything

                        The murder, the bloodshed and

                        The loss of innocent lives,

                        I know the truth

                        Yet I seldom react to it;

                        I have crusted all the truth,

                        Became dumb

                        As it is the only way

                        To live a life in my time. (1)

            The poetry of Tapti is a mixed saga of pain and pleasure, in pain she becomes a true singer of agony who feels with the utmost and in pleasure, her joyful thoughts know no limits. But the undercurrent of indomitable will and sanguine hope again remain predominant. When the poet has a vis a vis with the stark reaction and gross truths of life, his reaction sometimes becomes violent and sometimes becomes silent. And her silence overpowers all.

            The tone of Tapti is meditative as well as morose. She looks thoughtful when she says so:

                        Nothing comes back

                        If lost once

                        Memory remains hidden

                        Like the shell of snails

                        To blame others is meaningless,

                        Faults tend to fade away

                        As soon as one rethinks. (11)

            Human life is always in the lack of something that comes from his consciousness but the tragedy of his life flows when he does not decipher what he lacks;

                        Suffering is my disease!

                        My whole being remains stagnant

                        No air, no water,

                        I feel for something

                        I don’t know what it is! (3)

            In a philosophical manner, she finds nothing valuable in life. She compares the life with a shadow vain that leave even no imprint of its existence.

                        Life is an empty shadow!

                        Under the sky of nothingness

                        Where mortal beings reign, (5)

            Her optimism co-exists with other thoughtful themes of the present times. Even on being stumbled through the rough ways of life, she still hopes for better future at hand. The poems ‘Hope’ is the best example of this fact where she thinks that ‘peaceful days will come again’ when she will come across/those evils, those situations. At times, she becomes meditative too. In her musings she says:

                        Nothings comes book

                        If lost once,

                        Memory remains hidden

                        Like the shell of snails

                        To blame others is meaningless,

                        Faults tend to fade away,

                        As soon as one rethinks.(11)

            ‘I am still here’ is a discourse on soul in which the poetess sees the soul as separate entity unaffected to the changes occurring around her. She beautifully says:

                        I am still here

                        I am the one,

                        For whom change is an unknown word

                        Everything changes around me,

                        Though not myself. (14)

            According to the poetess, the person. Who sees things transparently is regarded as lunatic in the world.

                        Life is vibrant, death is, static,

                        No one could push death away

                        From its beginning!

                        Should I try for its change?

                        Im I a lunatic in the lost world? (P-18)

            The title ‘Peace of Silence’ mirrors the concept of silence and its importance in human life:

                        Gusty winds have been blowing

                        Over the earth,

                        Making everything silent,

                        My, pride too.

                        I now realize the price of my existence

                        Losing freedom for peace in silence. (24)

            Some of the poems bear the reminiscences of the poetess like ‘Lamentation’, ‘to my dear friend’, ‘A day in Bihu’, and ‘Pangs of birth’. In ‘To my dear friend’ she remembers her friend Junuka who is no more she says:

                        Death has brought solace

                        To your spirit

                        Now we are here,

                        To recollect those memories,

                        Which will never fade away (27)

            Most of her poems appear as the search of the self. She wants to make nexus between her existence and consciousness, her dream and intensity of impulse. She brings out philosophy out of the trivial incidents. In ‘The Broken Watch’ she sees philosophy in the trivial incident of watch that is broken and says:

                        She tried to stop the rhythm of time

                        Still it flows on

                        An object breaks dawn not the time itself!

                        My time…

                        Her time…

                        She can break which I cannot! (32)

                        The collection has ample of thought perceptions. It has the firmness to know the self and consider the right and holy. Poems are written in quite a simple language without the impediments of complex world. It bears the flow of thoughts. Through her poems, we see, are the divine nature of the human being. The collection will certainly be fruitful to the coming generation. I congratulate Tapti for introducing us to a nice collection.

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