Reflective Images is the collection of thirty short poems by Binayendra Chowdhuri, a poet and teacher by profession. Chowdhuri has won several awards for his poetry writing and dedicated services to E. Railway Secondary school, Asansol. As principal of school, Binayanendra is prolific writer who has to his credit many collections of poetry, and novels both in Bengali and in English. He has been writing poetry and fiction for years and a number of his poems have been broadcasted from All India Radio.
The present collected Reflective Images is a salad of philosophy, emotion, imagination and everyday experiences that poet encountered during the course of his life. As Binayendra has been away from any razzmatazz or race for fame and adhered to the path of noble writers who silently write and forward their poems to a few journals innocently unlike their counterparts who are always indulged in attaining the dazzling but mortal light of fame. But Binayendra writes for the sake of his self and he deems it as his duty to express that which is impalpable.
Most of the poems of Binayendra are subjective in tone and are drenched in ink of philosophy of life. The nature plays an important role in his poems because a close reading of his compositions leads one to the fact that he enjoys each moment in the vicinity of nature and even he seems absorbed to the extent of union. For example, one can see:
I am listening to the roaring of the dancing waves
As if hurrying feet of the swaggering water
Flowing over my body
Like the bulldozer.
Pulverizing the ribs of the heart.
I am lying inert.
Frequent bestial whistles of the engine
Dashing my ear-drum
And I am counting the second, minute and hours
When to get back the Sand-dune path. (7)
The poet has witnessed the real colour of life. Therefore he writes:
Life has no odour
No new colour-
Blind are the colony dwellers
Oxen of the oil crushers;
Still they struggle
And live in mud-filled stream,
Life to them is nothing
But ‘an empty dream’. (20)
The images and symbols of Binayendra are Indian. Reference of the Ganga, Laxman Rekha, Kaurava’s, Magh Month, Aswari, Malkosh, Om, Kurikshetra, Adhirath, Karna, Kunti, Vijayadashmi and Devi Durga enliven the Indian set up captured by him. Besides, other Hindi-loan words used by the poet defy the colonial influence or any linguistic slavery of borrowing references from the English mythology.
The diction of Binayendra is simple and unpretentious. He avoids verbosity and bombastic expression. Spontaneity, lucidity and ease are the hallmark of his poetry. The poet has amply used alliterative phrases so that he may add the charm of his expression ‘furnished furniture’, ‘nude noon of June’, ‘faintest’, ‘feeble frost’, ‘cheerful carefree childhood days’ and ‘Tinkling tea cups’, are such fine examples of alliteration.
To conclude, Reflective Images fulfills the need of those poetry lovers who wish to enjoy the real joy of poetry, which is beyond sense and perception. Kudos to Binayendra for sharing such nice poems with his readers!