Book Title: Mantram Beach
Author: Arun Kumar
The 2020 year has started with a lot of poetry reading, both in English and Hindi. Since March and the lockdown period was though tough, books have made my mind calm and settled. With rich poetry, I have somehow swum the hard days. This book stands on a very different peak. I have exposed myself to speculative poetry and realistic poetry but never tried reading Dark Poetry and that too Dark poetry in realism.
Mantram Beach is a collection of 30+ poems that touch various aspects of living, lifestyles, feelings, and virtues. The book is divided into four categories. Each category describes life in it, be it the people or the places or the animals or the natural forces(as mentioned).
Printed in a classic and attractive font, every page allures the reader with a different view of every poem. Each poem is rich with vocabulary and poetic that will straightly prick the brain to comprehend it and touch the heart. Every poem has its impact on an individual’s perception of poetry. One of the striking points in the book is the uniqueness of the title of each poem. The author has given the liberty to the readers to conceive the title name with their reception of the poems.
The poems in ‘Mantram Beach ‘ as mentioned oscillate between various things. The poem named ‘ Visiting the old hometown ‘ all describes being nostalgic. The readers are unaware of who is talking to them; hence the poem is in third person’s narration. The lines ‘Speak of victories and defeats.’
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Other streets, of years of visits to dentists and pediatricians’ explains how life turns different for each one of the people who studied in the same college or university. Here, what I infer is that the poet tried to explain the discrimination in various forms and layers in a person’s life.
Another poem, ‘Shwedgoan Pagoda ‘ is a fault-finding approach towards the new age spiritual camps or retreats. There are many cases that in the name of Spiritual Path discovery or retreat centres or meditation centres, many are exploited physically, mentally and financially. Fewer lines in a poem that describe a set-up and the atmosphere gives a fearful feeling on how such activities go haywire. In one of the line, the poet also comments that people clad in saffron take selfies and share on the social media, and this is the only purpose on gathering over such meets. These lines might not appease some people, but there are incidents which prove it is the truth.
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In a poem titled, ‘Kamal das Grave ‘ the poet here explains the great poet Kamala Surayya or Kamal Das, her personality, her life as a whole in a mere of 8 lines. The line ‘ In the grounds of the mosque ‘ indirectly explains that she converted to Islam and the line ‘ And still breaks the rules, ‘ explains her personality as a woman with strong character and diction, and her fearless attitude and her expressive and explicit writing that created tremors in the years of 1950s and 60s.
In this manner, every poem though rendered in a few lines, has got a more profound meaning inside every word, line and expression. It is very uncommon that a newbie to poetry likes to come across such intense poetry. I thank destiny for giving me this opportunity. Every poem evolves the moment I re-read it.
These poems also shed light on the dark sides of life in which the soul wanders like an orphan. Reading these poems, it is very apparent that they are written by driving all the emotions from the heart straight to feed one’s mind. In this juncture, I would like to quote the writing skills of the poet, Arun Kumar, who with his excellent and probably one of the best professional experience has contributed to the world of Indian Literature.
Check out the micro review and other book reviews in Storizen Magazine October 2020 Issue!
How good is the poet’s writing style
The choice of the words, the syntax, the expression, and the narration of the poem looks as simple as drinking a glass of water. But, while gulping what is read, there comes the essence in the form of a choke. I use this comparison because I felt such while reading some poems.
These poems in Mantram Beach are like a mantram or the divine hymns to wake up the hidden soul, and human cocooned in the Earthly pleasures and face the ugly reality of the world we live in.
How entertaining is the book
Perfectly written poems that squeeze the thoughts.
A book of literary realism at its best!
(Reviewed by Swapna Peri)