am no voracious reader. At best, I can term myself a 'casual reader'. But,
one evening, when, courtesy Shri Moti Kaul, I received a copy of Dr.
Agnishekhar's book titled
, I couldn't
leave the book until I devoured all the 159 pages of this engrossing and
thought-provoking collection of poems at one go. I wondered, what made me
to cling to the book so assiduously. Was it 'Satisar' - the caption given
to the first set of 34 poems which mesmerised me, or, was it the historic
nostalgia of my native land, which held me spellbound?
Going through 'Ek to Chountees' poems of Satisar Section, wherein
the poet has brought alive the mythical and the historical characters of
Satisar in a smooth cascade-like flow of his verse, I felt as if one more
'Tarang' had been added to Kalhana's Rajatarangini, which could aptly be
called the 'Trasdi Palayan Ki' tarang.
It was evident how deeply the sensitive soul of the poet had been
lacerated by the forcible eviction of our community members from their
native land and the subsequent afflictions of body and mind that they have
undergone in the hostile climes and antagonising atmosphere. Every little
poem is a cry of agony of the poet's mind and each line oozes the pain
which makes reader bleed in virtual reality.
Even in the second segment , the poet is
pained at the lip sympathy with the CAUSE of the brethren settled abroad,
or the apathy of the powers that be, in the country. The lament and the
anguish of the poet is amply reflected in each poem.
It has been paradoxical tragedy of 'Nagas', the original
inhabitants of Satisar to have suffered at the hands of Pishachas even in
the pre-historic era, as recorded in Nilamata Purana. Even later recorded
history is replete with instances when 'Nagas' have been forced to flee
from their native land under the terrorising rule of 'Malechhas'. So our
lament is genuine.
Our community, no doubt, has suffered a grave blow since the
upheaval of 1990, which has brought us to near-disintegration and has
created political and intellectual vacuum in the community. But does that
mean we should become a 'quom' of 'Rudalis' - beating our chests and
crying all the time. Let us not cry any more. Let us resolve to put an end
to this perennial lamentations.
Dear Agnishekharji, it is for the intellectual people like you who
are blessed with 'Saraswati Prasad' of effective oration and powerful pen
to realise that nothing shall be achieved by lamenting over our past. You,
I am sure, shall be well aware that our Seers have exhorted in many of our
scriptures that continuous lamentation puts our conscience
in a gloomy mode and the urge to act gradually ebbs and withdraws.
Finally, in the process, the pulsating energy of the soul
gets into limbo. In such a state of resignation and surrender one could
easily fall asleep under the of your
thus would pave the way for inertia to envelope us.
I would like the poet in Agnishekhar to ignite the fire
and raise it to pinnacle to inspire our young generation
who would no more lament but engage themselves in constructive work which
would make them proud of belonging to Satisar.
You can do it.
Here I would like to conclude
with a few lines borrowed from , your fellow-poet:
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