Where ‘I’ is A Noun by P.K. Majumdar, Kolkata: Bridge-in-Making Publication, July 2008, price-75/- pages 44.

P. K. Majumdar, a retired special Secretary to Govt of W. Bengal and an editor of a reputed literary journal Bridge-in-Making has been creatively involved in the world of poetry and literature and has published eleven collections of poetry in English and seven collection of Bengali till date.

Previously there were two major themes of P. K. Majumdar ‘Life’ and ‘time’ to which the poet has observed and tackled in a more comprehensive and wider perspective than other contemporary poet of India and world, but the present collection is centered to a different theme of Autobiography where ‘intimate objects both tangible and intangible speak of them and for them in this collection’.

The present collection carrying 44 poems of autobiographical nature are steeped deep in philosophy. Basically Majumdar is a philosophical poet whose poetry breathes aroma of both the Eastern and Western philosophies. He sometimes, in his poems, seems playing a major role and at the other time he seems watching his own self playing the part.

In these poems he like Kazuyosi Ikeda’s Songs from the Heart of Creation feels and experiences his being living in world and its things and people while he remains cautions of his real self or the Atman. The poems like ‘Computer’, ‘Traffic Signals’, ‘Dustbin’, ‘Room’, ‘Clock’, ‘Lamp post’, ‘Rainbow’, ‘Wheel’, ‘Tree’, ‘Memory’, ‘Pond’, ‘Death’, ‘Tomorrow’, ‘Key’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Effigy’, ‘Mask ‘and ‘Peace’ are fine examples in which Majumdar has attempted to make ordinary to extraordinary, or earthly to heavenly and philosophical. These poems have covered almost all the major philosophical notions which usually rise an inquisitive mind but the poet, clear-in vision has answered each and every query of such inquisitive nature and has proved that poetry is not merely an aggregation of imaginative exercise rather it, after its long flight of imagination comes back on earth with some eternal message to enlighten and guide humanity. For example one may take the poem ‘Tomorrow’ in which he personifies ‘Tomorrow’ and says to make its definition clear:

                                I always stay before today

                                Never do I stay back they say (27)

And he does not stop to limit it to definition only, but gives a message and says:

                                I arise immediately ahead I am tomorrow

                                But all I have from yesterdays I borrow

                                My embryos were born on yesterdays

                                I know I am omnipotent but another phase (27)

While in another good poem ‘Tree’ the poet raises the issue of pollution and he gives its clear picture in the words of the tree:

                                Human friendly, I am friendly neighbors

                                No animosity against man I had ever

                                Hi-tich man is playing games of fool

                                Killing me is the teaching of his own school (27)

Or the poem ‘Shadow’, when he personifies: Shadows Souls and says

                                One cannot touch me, smell me

                                Loved is not me but the body figure or tree

                                I cannot be killed my masters can be

                                I vanish with the leaving of object body (35)

Or in the poem ‘War’, when he takes the historical and psychological aspect of war and says:

                                I was never born but done

                                By no other than man himself

                                Sometimes I am used as a fun

                                Though I cry, keep me away to be safe

                                X                             X                             X

                                I am primitive impulse in human kind

                                The stronger ones always look for an excuse

                                And I am an handy find

                                For playing victory muse (44)

After the close perusal of these poems, one can easily feel the philosophical depth of the poetry of P.K. Majumdar who is now a veteran voice contemporary Indian English poetry. It is hoped that the present collection will again be discussed seriously by the poets, reader critics and reviewers of India and abroad.

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