Enchanting world of infants by Dr. K.L.Chowdhary

BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS


Enchanting world of infants by Dr. K.L.Chowdhary
Book Review by Bilhan Kaul


Format: Paperback (Edition: 2007)
Size: 9.0" X 5.8"
Pages: 240


 


 

Publisher:
Peacock Books, (India).

 

 

Language: English
ISBN 81-248-0154-1

 

 

About the book
(Review by Bilhan Kaul)

One of the major problems with a reviewer is to confront a dilemma .-What is good poetry.? This is made all the more difficult when there is no consensus and that too in a country like ours which remained enslaved for a long spell of time. Thus for us standards were set by English poets and critics from Britain and elsewhere.


But to our big relief that will no longer hold true as now we have our own hero of English poetry. And that name is Dr K.L. Chowdhary who needs no introduction . Having already proved his mettle as a prolific writer of verses in his two earlier books Dr. Chowdhary has ventured to write third one. The name of the collection of poems is 'Enchanting World of Infants.

 

As a man well past his sixties, Dr K.L. Chowdhary is gifted with unique features. With a receding hairline drooping shoulders, acquiline nose. Dr. Chowdhary could easily have been impressive Vedic teacher in ancient Kashmir giving Vedic sermons .But appearances are deceptive. Instead, he is breaking free to occupy a top slot in English poetry. It is futile to compare him with English poets of a Britain and India.

 

A poet seeks particular in universal and he seeks salvation in the bargain. A poet is not swayed by the topic. He should feel the topic, in other words, there should be soul;, Soul and sensibility are found in Dr. K.L. Chowdhary's world by first observing an infant, toddler or a child. That he succeeds in writing poem after poem for them is no easy game. In choosing the title "Enchanting World Of Infants" Dr. K.L.Chowdhary like many artists is again reliving his child hood. As a poet, poet seeks and creates. 'An artist wrote, Albert Camus, 'lives a double life'. Writing poem after poem for infants and toddlers need different type of inspiration. Because watching wind blowing a leaf in an autumn afternoon is leagues away from watching sclerotic movements of a toddler. It requires rigorous observation. And that observation has to be complimented by depictive talent. Enough to say, Dr. Chowdhary has enough of that. Any poet worth his salt is lesser talent until he diversifies his talent. He should also be in tune with reality and be contemporary. After penning verses in "God, Men and Militants" and portraying mayhem and destruction in Kashmir, Dr. Chowdhary portrays a different type of reality in his fresh venture by observing toddler, infant or a child. To pick one poetry from collection is futile but I will pick one for sentimental reasons. As a man who missed snows of Kashmir and then comparison with new born

 

Nausheen the new snowfall
born of the snow dreams of home
of cosy huddles and cuddles
in Kangri – warmed beedings
of water chest nuts baked on Iron stones
of long boots, pherons and pull down caps
of fish beans and rice
you come to us virginal white
landing so soft so quiet
on out withered memories in exile.

and then to Dr. K.L. Chowdhary fresh snow is reminded of his grandson whose name is Nausheen.

Nausheen the angel from the skies
you bring the sweet fragrance
of a forgotten Winter's delight
a morning of divine sigh
supernal ,serene, white
Soft, smiling, bright.

Poet should have skill to lift his poetry to new heights.

Mother
There us timelessness
between you and we
that goes beyond my birth
and then
I do not know your calendar
of hours minutes and seconds
of working days and weekends
I have patience for months and years
for me what matters is time we share together.

In his poem "Learning To Crave" the poet is once again showing his Immense skills.

Pivoting on his belly
head high eyes focused
but, a stranger to the secrets
of gravitation and locomotion
in trying to move forwards
to catch the ball he only seems to go rearwards

 

One of he mistake that many reviewers and critics do is to look at technique than the end result. Result should matter.
Prof. R.N. Kaul in his review says that Dr. Chowdhary uses harsh, guttural sound in Lullaby like blubbering, screaming demanding and commanding. At first glance this is extremely reasonable position to hold. But no writer whether he writes prose or poesy should be slave to language. Language is only medium to convey. Reality also has to be said. Awkward moments in child's life should be depicted in that way only. Also like a batsman on cricket field may feel some boundaries timed more sweetly than others, it is natural some poems will not have desired effect.

 

We should remember poet rigorously tries to create a new Idea, a new word and a new feeling.
In the peom "One year's progress report" it seems that physician's observation has served the poet well.

One year back when you were born
blue at birth through cord prolapse
the result of obestrical lapse
that led to an urgent caesarean
you defied the low Apgar's score
to be on course in minute four.

 

It is difficult to spell out One poesy among many gems. The book is not small one with 213 action packed poems. Dr Chowdhary is also aware of poetic technique but is no servant to them. A writer should convey a new word wrote Dostoeveisky. In a way, same is true for poetry. Poet should create fresh expressions. In that direction, Dr K.L. chowdhary has served us well. It is hard work for him too. For we need not forget seeking Inspiration day after day, week after week, requires smoothing else than mere inspiration. It requires discipline and purpose and it requires fire .Dr. Chowdhary has plenty of it.

 

Dr K.L. Chowdhary is poet of English language but to us he is man from Kashmir who happen to write in English. There is danger, writing as he is in English, that we cannot reclaim him like Lal Ded , Habbha khatoon and Mehzoor Such temptations should be resisted. He is poet of Kashmiri sensibilities as is his Brahmanical Visage. We celebrate with him, for him and raise a toast. An artist is effective when he registers in our soul slowly and steadily. Dr K.L. Chowdhary has progressively become a better poet. He has reached a stage when no man from Kashmir can complete with him in English poetry writing. One of the more Conspicuous traits of Dr. Chowdhary's poems are that they are full of energy. Same can be said of Lal Ded. Dr. Chowdhary is sure to have made deep Impact. Let me assure, the reader with his flowing but thoughtful poetry reader, they will not be savored by our generation only.

About the Author

*Dr. K L Chowdhury retired as a Professor of Medicine, Medical College, Srinagar. Presently he is the Director of a charitable institution, Shriya Bhatt Mission Hospital and Research Center, Durga Nagar, Jammu.

He is a physician and neurologist, a medical researcher, poet, social activist. He writes on diverse subjects – medical, literary, social and political and has numerous research papers to his credit, his pioneering work being “The Health Trauma in a Displaced Population” which was presented at national and international conferences.

He was declared Shehjar's 'Kashmiri Person of the year' for 2007.
 
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