“Victory alone

Would not do

Defeat should

Add to it too-

Victories and defeats

Are Life.”

(The Wings- ‘An Effort’)

Sugam Babu’s Wings, a bilingual anthology of poems translated into English by David Shulman is a book of both victories and defeats of life that poet affronted throughout his career. Being a poet of bare realities, he does not soar in the flight of imagination or fancy but he feels, “Life is not an exaggeration and, hence poetry too should not be an exaggeration.” And the collection,, in his own words, “Wings is a new genre in the modern poetic forms. It is a new form, elegance and fragrance. It could be symbolized as a journey, a restless journey through varied stages of life to a relentless search for truth and peace. It is a journey from general realities to reach the extra ordinary.” According to him, poetry is nothing but the bundle of hope, joy, sorrow, fragrance, bitterness and sweetness. He says that to ‘know/values/we need to know/life because many colours merge into white’. These short poems of six lines mirror the reflective and meditative mood of the poet who merely watches the life indifferently in a philosophic manner:

“Life

Will pass

Laughin

Or crying-

We

Watch.” (66)

For him, ‘there must be a reason’ of any good or bad or ‘some foundation’ or their must be some foundation o f’happiness and suffering.’ His justifies his questions and gives the answer of our confusion:

“Can a mango grow

On a Neem?” (p. 62)

And at another place, he says aright:

“Every man’s life

Is a mirror

Explanations, supporting arguments

Are futile-

Reality

Cuts like a plough.” (49)

The poet Sugam Babu is an incessant quest for identity in the world of darkness and din because ‘hope/worry/these two make our life’ where we come with empty hands and go with empty hands. Poetry is nothing but its reflection. What the poet has done and experienced is worth nothing!

“All these years

All I have done

Is to look

For me”-  (42)

The poems of Wings which are densely compressed, meditative flashes unfold the mystery of life and time as well as make us stop and ruminate over the tiny but highly philosophical issues on which we seldom even think. The poems of the collection pronounce the philosophical, meditative and an emotional bunt of poet’s mind who sometimes watches the phenomena of life outwardly and sometimes gets indulged and suffers to the backbone. The poems of the collection are tinged with the colour of mysticism, spirituality, innocence insight, melancholy, paradox, symbolism and straightforwardness. Time, the most striking theme of Sugam Babu, is intermingled with the element of philosophy and meditation. Consider some poems given below:

“Happy music

On stage,

Behind the scenes

Lament-

Life

Is twinned.” (20)

“You may be

A hero

Or

A coward-

Time

Listens.” (24)

Life

Will pass

Laughing

Or crying-

We

Watch.” (66)

In an age of rising corruption, lies, deception, illusion, falsity and moral decadence where the tender voice of such kind of poetry is always in jeopardy. Here when none listens to anyone and the poet’s ‘efforts’ to remove the illusions remain left in the lurch, the poems of Sugam Babu’s may guide the human generation if they are properly read and mused over.