Author: Sudhir K. Arora.
Publisher: Prakash Book Depot, Bareilly, 2011.
Price: 80/- 136 pp.
Reviewed By: Mrs. Madhuri Bite Managing Editor
The Criterion: An International Journal in English
Sudhir K. Arora’s book, Niranjan Mohanty: The Man and His Poetry gives more information about Niranjan Mohanty, a wellknown Indian English poet and his poems. The book is divided into eleven chapters and each chapter describes the creative literary work of Niranjan Mohanty. The first chapter, Niranjan Mohanty: The Man, gives biographical
details of Mohanty and how he develops his skill of writing poems. In the second chapter, Silencing the Words: The Jungle of Obscurity, Arora analyses Mohanty’s first collection of poems. The collection contains fourteen poems that reflect intellectual snobbery to the extent that they have become obscure to the reader who fails to make out a proper interpretation. The poems in this collection do not speak their meanings at the first reading and so remain silent reflecting the very spirit of the title. Through this collection he made himself adaptable and acceptable in the literary world and his later collections prove this veracity of truth.
The third entitled Playing the Game of Life: A Commentary on Oh This Bloody Game!, the second poetic collection of Niranjan Mohanty contains fifty-two poems. Through this poetic collection, the poet has come out of the jungle of obscurity to the light of maturity. Oh This Bloody Game! manifests poet’s candid articulation of contemporary reality. No doubt, the game of life is bloody but he knows how to play. The poet has given words to the experiences which he has got as a result of his minute observation and prompt reaction. Chapter four entitled Prayer to Lord Jagannatha: An Epitome of Jagannatha Culture presents the Jagannatha culture which has entered the life of the Orissan people is a culture that demonstrates communal harmony and religious tolerance. The poet prays to Lord Jagannatha tolerance and love because Jagannatha culture never differentiates between the rich and the poor.
The fifth chapter Learning through Touches: A Critique of on Touching You and Other Poems, presents his another poetic collection before the readers. On Touching You and Other Poems, comprises forty poems is the fourth poetic volume from the pen of Niranjan Mohanty. Through the touch, the poet in Mohanty has attempted to present the facets of life metaphorically his deep regard for traditions and culture of which he is a part. A close study of the poems in this volume reveals that the poet in Mohanty has succeded in understanding the meanings of the facets of life through touching. The sixth chapter Reading
Life Lines: A Critique of Life Lines related to Life Lines (1999) which is the fifth poetic volume of Niranjan Mohanty contains forty-four poems and the volume has acquainted the reader with the self and beyond the self without losing the touch of reality. The poems in Life Lines, reveal almost all the aspects which constitute life. In a true sense, thematically and technically, Life Lines is celebration of life lines that have tendencies to appear and disappear.
Chapter seven named as Celebrating Womanhood: A Feminist Reading of Niranjan Mohanty’s Krishna, highlights his long poem Krishna (2003) which is distinctive because of ascription of the human qualities to Krishna, the Hindu deity. Through this poem Mohanty presents the picture of woman’s predicament in an orthodox society in which woman is still treated as a second rate creature He has thrown light not only on the unjustified treatment given by man to woman but has also stressed upon much needed progressive attitude of man towards woman to ensure a sustainable relationship between the two. The compatible relationship between man and woman is the only guarantee of that love and dedication which are essential to keep the two bound with each other.
The eighth chapter entitled A Peep into Niranjan Mohanty’s Tiger and Other Poems is his seventh poetic volume. The volume contains ninety poems which illustrate tiger in the form of hunger, sex, death, silence, dream, waiting, time and creative process. In this volume, the poet in Mohanty celebrates the rhythm of life with a poetic vision that explores the spaces with such specs as make him see life in rainbow colours. In the ninth chapter A House of Rains: A Critical Study, Arora studies A House of Rains, a poetic volume of Niranjan Mohanty from the critical perspective. In A House of Rains memory plays a key role as it becomes the vehicle that carries him to his ancestors, granny, and his dear ones and also makes the presence possible despite of absence. The multiple voices of rains also tune the cadence and rhythm which form Mohanty’s creative process that demonstrates a chart of his
poetic genius which is on the way of progress from the literal to the metaphoric and the symbolic.
Chapter ten highlights the Postcolonial Consciousness in the Poetry of Niranjan Mohanty. Mohanty’s postcolonial consciousness can be seen in his treatment of Indian culture which he has imbibed in his life and according to the norms of culture; he lives and feels satisfaction within. In the Conclusion Sudhir Arora said that Niranjan Mohanty is an illustrious Indian English poet chiefly because of his skill in evolving a particular idiom which he employed for articulating his belongingness to his roots, landscapes and Jagannatha culture. The poet in Mohanty weaves thoughts and feelings to make a rich poetic texture. The book Niranjan Mohanty: The Man and His Poetry, is very useful to provide a deep information about Mohanty’s poetic skill and his various perspectives which reflect in his poetry.