O.P. Arora does not belong to the stream of Indian English writers like Vikram Seth, Amitabh Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Suketu Mehat, Keki N. Daruwalla, Nissim Ezekiel or Jayant Mahapatra who have earned for them an international repute but he represents the non-elitist, raw, underdeveloped, mal-nourished, malcontented and the underdog society and has remained aloof from the fake light of worldly recognition or fame. He writes silently for no reward as he thinks his creative energy is not to be wasted for the attainment of material success rather it is for the common and average man who has not still reached to the optimum level of satiety and happiness. The perusal of his collection of poems titled, The Edge of the Cliff gives the same idea.

The collection carries 58 poems chiefly dealing with the themes both personal and social however, his emphasis lies on the social and global scenario as much as he appears to be a poet of protest more than a personal poet entangled in self-exploration of self-imagination. The undertone of Indian philosophy never lets him utter grim or pessimistic despite watching the naked dance of corruption, global terrorism, brutal killings, fascism and other factors responsible for the dehumanization of mankind. One can observe how clearly he admonishes the ugly scene of contemporary life:

                                Technology makes the world

                                A village

Whose people don’t know each other

Suffering and standing next door

Not sharing nor caring (3)

X             X             X

The world

Born in test tubes

No fathers, no mothers

No family, no friends

no religion, no God

no virtue, no truth

no love, no hope. (74)

X             X             X

Since the dawn of civilization.

Man has always turned

Beauty into ugliness

And called it PROGRESS. (10)

While on the other hand, his philosophical self makes him realize that ‘this is a strange game–/ this life’ for sometimes he urges that ‘we must prove / we are better than animals. Perhaps for this reason he advocates the uncivilized and traditional man when he says:

                                He behaves ‘oddly’

But he only behaves ‘naturally’

He has not cherry – blossomed his tongue

Like your hi-fi moderns-

He may be anything else,

But not dangerous. (39)

But above all, he is a poet steeped into the Indian philosophy considering Aham Brahmo Asmi as the basic principal of his life. He knows that ‘civilizations have flourished early perished. / only the ruins, the remains, the traces…’ although, he firmly believes:

I too will be dust

The bubble would burst


The attributes of Brahma will survive… (2)

The poems of O.P. Arora, are the mirror of contemporary life, which is now a monotonous tale of sorrow, dissatisfaction dejection melancholy and alienation. Arnold Toynbee once wrote, “Western iron has probably entered deep into India’s soul.” But the efforts of O.P. Arora are honest innocent and compassionate so much so that he may turn this iron into fragrance of roses, lilies, and jasmine. Personally, I revere the poets who write for the common or the preliterate of Marx as they are always bubbling with the love for humanity. They are not of an age in particular but for all times. Alike true art, they are universal and eternal.