SOOTHING SERENADES – STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART
“Soothing Serenades – Straight from the Heart” is a collection of romantic and love poems penned by poet Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar, a well-known trilingual poet (Maithili, Hindi and English), short story writer, critic and reviewer, based in Kolkata. Having known Bhaskar Sir since 2013-2014, when I came across his poems on facebook and some poetry websites, one of the things I have observed is that he possesses a remarkable enthusiasm, dedication, and creativity in expressing his thoughts and feelings through his poetry on various themes and topics.
Once I received the book, I thought that it is surely going to make an interesting read and I must write a few things about how I feel about this work .In fact, I see his poetry as coming straight from his heart.
All the 62 poems express different aspects and the power of love interweaved together in Soothing Serenades: Straight from the Heart. Surely it is not going to be possible for me to write and express my interpretation of all the poems in the volume. And believe it or not, I am here on my laptop, getting really confused and undecided about which poems I should talk about. That’s because each one is unique and has so much to say and express. Yet, finally, after going through, I have picked up three of his poems (it took quite some time to decide which three poems!), on which I will proceed to say a few words.
The volume has a befitting beginning (first poem) titled “To Goddess Of Love”, focussing on universal love, spirituality and divinity. His appeal resounds here:
“O Opulent Love!
Muse of hearts
As divine as Christ
Come and heal the global wound
Of violence, lusts and all ailments of hearts
With comforting and curing touch of divinity
And replete the world with your resplendent grandeur!”
With time, somehow mankind has gradually isolated itself from these divine principles of love through ignorance, greed and materialistic behaviour. The poem is an appeal and an ode to the “To Goddess Of Love” to bring back and restore back all the grandeur that has been forgotten and lost in the darkness of hatred and lust. Indeed this world can surely be a better place and a paradise to live in, with the blessings of the Goddess of Love.
Moving on to the next thought-provoking poem that does justice not only to this volume, but also to the interest and curiosity of any reader is “Love”. Love is such a complex entity, that it is as good as impossible for anyone to be able to really describe and explain in all clarity, what it is and what it means and what it signifies. The interpretation of love can be different in infinitely different ways since, the word and the topic relates to feelings. Feelings are different and unique for each one of us. Hence what one thinks about what love is – will be invariably different from how another interprets this emotion called love. Yes, I am talking about the poem titled “Love” over here. In just four short stanzas, through a precise choice of words and lines, poet Bhaskar Sir has succeeded in his attempt to capture and captivate the essence of this complex emotion made up of four alphabets l-o-v-e that we simply and freely use so often – love!
“Love is an enigma
Beyond the understanding
Of the body and the mind
But within the realm of soulful heart
Tempting the youths of all ages
To understand and measure its profundity.”
The third poem that I found very interesting is titled “A Secret Love”. In my life I have come across people who reply with an emphatic “no”, when I ask them “have you ever had a secret love?”, or “have you ever been secretly in love?”. I do not believe them!!! (Well that is my opinion – you may have a different opinion!). I do not say or accuse here, that they are lying, but I would say that they are denying and refusing to acknowledge a universal feeling. Some say that the human life time is very short, but let’s be positive and say that it is quite long – sufficiently long.
Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar
And in this sufficiently long life time of ours, all of us, at one time or the other, at least once, we all surely have had this feeling of “A Secret Love” for someone or something. The beauty of this poem is that, for this aspect of love, a parallel is also drawn with what happens in nature and with what happens in humans. When clouds of secret love cast their magic spell, either upon us, or in nature – as in the lines that say “passionate petals, camouflaged In close camaraderie, hot drops of desires glitter on the leaves of love life…”, that does make secret love beautiful. Let’s see
“‘A secret love
In my heart
With passionate petals,
In close camaraderie,
Of desires glitter
On the leaves
Of love life,
She is endowed with,
With her youth,
With sheer ecstasy
Into my thirsty soul…”
Since time and patience may not permit the reader to read more of such analysis, where the poems themselves speak volumes, I guess, I shall conclude my thoughts here with best wishes and success for this book. Before I conclude I must quote Dr Amarnath Jha’s remarks in Foreword, on his metalanguage skills employed in his poems:
The poems are rich in the use of figurative language. The figures, such as simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, paradox, apostrophe, metonymy, allusion etc. have been frequently used. The linguistic devices of polysemy (e.g. ‘The flood of tears tears the heart’ in “Sometimes I Feel” (No.43)) and functional shifts have also been applied very significantly. One poem is entitled “Semantic Fiasco” (No. 41). The cohesive devices used in the individual poems make them stitched together in the overall framework of the volume for the sake of coherence.
All my thoughts shall always reach out to Bhaskaranand Jha Sir and his poetic creations that will be coming up in his future endearing volumes of poetic works. I must conclude with his beautiful lines from the poem “Growing and Being”:
“Let love dive in
With an intensity
To explore –
Nuggets of self.
Light will embrace
And your soul
On the seabed
Serenity and bliss.”
My best regards and wishes to Bhaskaranand Jha Bhaskar Sir.
Vijay M. Vaghela
Ex-Lecturer (Selection Grade)
St. Xavier’s Technical Institute,
Mahim, Mumbai 400 016