Time of Intolerance, Time of Incessant Condolence
“Your personal Spring’s flip-flops are lost in the Almond Mountain
While my personal writing-stance is missing in the Almond Mountain”
Recently, Utpal Kumar Basu— an eminent Bengali poet passed away. I was transcribing an interview of a veteran Bengali filmmaker when I heard the news. A sense of loss slowly overpowered; like rain-bearing clouds that spread fresh moisture on the first autumn leaves.
The poet of ‘Almond-mountain’ has simply left his ‘bashonto diner choTi’ under an Almond orchard. Now the orchard has to guard them… The valiant style with which he proclaims his loss of ‘personal spring’s flip-flops and personal writing-stance’, a discrete and strange wisdom of loss grows inside me. I start to feel that nothing is personal in this world.. I remember the feeling of being submerged in the profound depth of ‘nothing’ so intensely a few more times… when I read James Joyce or Keats. I can hide my entire solitude within a meager ‘nothing’. The Almond orchard or the mountain— or, the sound of the lost flip-flops reminds repeatedly that losing oneself is the easiest thing to do. But it’s never easy to find!
But how do we teach this to our young ones—especially to them, who are being brought up by a generation which is divergent by its own rights. When confronted with experimental style of poetry they still ask, ‘what do you mean by this poem?’ or, even better— ‘why do you write poetry? They’re not going to make you rich!’.
It sounds so bitter! Bitterness begets resentment and thus the distance between the ‘aam’ Bangali reader and a poet who tries to express something new in Bangla grows out of control. I realize the ego of the word ‘aam’; but as a poet of the new-age postmodern era, I’m no more ready to deal with such questions.
Money is important. But it is ‘nothing’ in such trying, turbulent times, when intolerance is devouring our society. How do I show the path of the ‘Almond-Mountain’ to a child, I wonder!
Cover Photo Credit: Debarshi Sarkar