P. N. Bhat
The present collection Waves is the translation
of 24 of Majboor's poems with different themes into free verse in English by
Arvind Gigoo, with drawings and cover design by Vijay Zutshi. It is dedicated to
Sahtiya Academy and Lenin Peace Prize Award winner late Dina Nath Nadim-the
doyen of Kashmiri poetry. A Portrait of Child describes the
innocence of a child and defilement of man though child is said to be the father
of man. In The Bronze Hand the poet describes the influence of
hand on different people. He is pained at the hand of one who reduced his home
to a shambles. In the Topsy-turvy Tree, he laments at the
degradation of human values. In Snowman, the poet speaks of the
helplessness of man at his having become a machine bereft of any human
qualities. In Fossil, he delineates the importance of a fossil
that hides the glory of past civilization. In Painting, the poet
draws a painting of the Ganga flowing from Lord Shiva's hair down to the earth
to make it beautiful. The poet desires to merge with the painting to make world
worth living. He feels lonely like a star of the poem The Star That Fell
where he says:
I am lonesome like you,
I am lonesome like a milestone.
In The Coming Millennium, Majboor is confident that knowledge
will spread once again, purity will reign supreme, darkness will disappear, fear
will go as weapons of destruction would be destroyed and love and peace will
prevail. In The Fowl. the poet satirize the wonton desires of men quarrel
among themselves for a fowl that is eaten up by someone else. In The City
he speaks of a camel that has run amuck. Nobody cares to hold it because all the
citizens are masters of their own. This kind of individualism has ruined them.
This is rightly apt in the context of his own community. In The Hungry Man
he equates wealthy people with rag-pickers. The latter puts even a stone
in his sack which he picks on the way for it might get him a loaf. This is a
sarcasm on the present society having deep and wide chasm between the rich and
the poor. In Lover, the poet is hopeful of a better tomorrow out
of the present chaos and despair when he
New twigs will sprout.
the mirror will speak,
the earth will smile,
the rising sun will watch
her dream and her dance.
In the Chiselled Words, the poet says that his
old poems have lost meaning in the present context. So he chisels new words of
hope and sympathy, love and beauty which will wash away paleness of the earth,
sweeten the stale conscience of man and light the dark meandering streets. In Secret
he speaks of the glorious past that was his and now has become a sheer memory.
Again, in Wilderness, the poet says the tree, water and light-
symbols of life and human civilization-have been snatched away from him
and he gropes in the darkness. Being a poet, he still hopes that his castle,
though of glass, will not shatter as it holds his glorious past so dear to him.
In The Dance is On. he presents two pictures, one of desolation
and the other of hope. It is the trauma of Kashmiri Pandits and their present
struggle which is depicted in this short but crisp poem. Again, in Rootless,
he is surcharged by the environs of his dwelling place before the forced exodus.
It was so beautiful and picturesque on the bank of stream, says he. His house
has been reduced to ashes, belongings plundered. Now that gives a desolate look.
The gun of the militant has shattered his past, present and future. He says,
and your future
fall to pieces before the gun.
The victim is broken and the fate is sealed. In Prison,
Majboor feels that all Kashmiri Pandits have become prisoners at their present
places. Their heritage has gone to winds, their past is burnt. But he still
hopes that blossoms will bloom even in the dry sand.
At the end of the book, there is a long poem titled To
the Swan. The poet pines for his birthplace, his home, its beautiful
surroundings, its glorious past, its beautiful men, women and children who loved
one another. He speaks at length about Kashmir to the swan and requests it to go
there and see for itself as to what has happened there, why and how have the
people there taken up guns to kill their own brothers, spread hatred and chaos,
bring darkness all around to the beautiful vale that belonged to great seers who
spread knowledge, peace and love. The poet is depressed by a deep agony that
tears roll down his eyes. At the end, he requests the swan.,
Fetch me a swig of water
For I am parched.
Translation cannot substitute for the original. Yet Arvind Gigoo, through his competent translation, has done justice to Majboor's poems.
The get-up and printing of the book is very fine. Drawings of Vijay Zutshi