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Food for Thought

"The truth doesn't need to justify anything, it's the lie that
keeps on continually trying to cleanse itself."
~ Amritbir Kaur


The past stood witness to my present uncertainty while future was evasive. And it is this uncertainty of the present and the evasiveness of times to come that gives birth to poetry and poetic words. The standstill time stays put, the moment doesn’t pass, yet the day is gone. In gathering these moments the life is gone. What gives us a reason to wrap up these bits into one whole is our dreams, the reason to live. Dreams, even while staying silent, speak volumes. Give words to your dreams and they come alive!

Turning the pages of life I find some words half-baked, some half-erased, others half-written. I choose to tell those tales now.
I too have grumbled at bitter loss, have experienced the pain of being a lost winner, my eyes have had tear behind laughter and lips trying to hide pangs of pain. Yet I always believe one should hold on and keep trying to string the fallen beads. In the end, the story of what has been will connect to what will be, though the moorings of the past will never be snapped!


~ Amritbir

Book Review: ‘The Asocial Networking’

‘The Asocial Networking’ that runs into one hundred and fifty chapters provides us the author Dhiraj Kumar’s musings on the real and online worlds. The book is probably the first of its kind that tells a lot of things about socializing on the web – the do’s and dont’s, the art of masking, growing more vulnerable. 
The book begins with changing scenario of online networking; the first chapter being ‘Once upon a time humans lived offline, then networking came along and nobody lived happily thereafter’. Now what was that! The title of the chapter or the summary itself? And anyway who wants to know that the author has “blocked the updates of all my so-called friends who shout from rooftops about small achievements.” I am sure many would have unfriended him after going through his book.
Another glaring defect in this book is that it has too much of emphasis on Facebook. One might be left wondering – when talking about social networking why is it that various other social media are not discussed at length? 
 One aspect of the book that will strike you as a reader is novelty of the subject. The book has a certain innocence about it.
Nobody might have expected a serious indepth psychological analysis of using Facebook. The language of the book is simple and straight forward.
There’s one suggestion for the publisher as well. Instead of placing the page numbers in the inside corner of the page, they should be placed on the outside corners or at the bottom of the page in the centre or outside corners. The binding of the book makes them a bit less noticeable the way the layout is in this book. 
The chapters are short and crispy. Neither of them is too long. But then they are not interesting either. Who would like to know what messages were sent out by the Professor to his students? Or what would happen if egotists or snobbish people join Facebook? 
On the positive side, the book pours out before us the imaginative and psychological working of the Facebook users. It enlists in its own unique way the do’s and dont’s of using Facebook, while enumerating its pros and cons side by side. I loved the sheer simplicity of the book and the way writer goes on to unfold with much ease, the activities users indulge in on Facebook. The book might be helpful for Facebook addicts, who rely on the counts of ‘likes’ for their photographs and statuses as food for their soul. You never know the book might cure a Facebook addict of his insane ‘obssession’ with ‘likes’. Amen!

Book Review: Wings of Silence

The book ‘Wings of Silence’ presents us before us a typical household, where a differently-abled child is not well-adjusted. The author, Shriram Iyer, brings out well the intricacies of a developing relationship between two brothers, Saurav, the younger one and Raj, the elder one who is deaf. Very beautifully the writer exhibits the psychological factors behind the behaviour of Saurav and his father, Akshay towards Raj. The book provides an interesting reading and moves at an optimum pace. Although the storyline and the woven fabric of the plot is quite appropriate, yet there are times when the reader is led astray from reading the book. For instance, the conversation between Saurav and Aunt Sheela in Chapter Two, where Aunt Sheela tells him how Raj cared for him during early childhood. The tete-e-tete though meaningful isn’t quite an interesting one and could have been more spontaneous and conversational one. Even the language could be improved here and there. Here are a few instances: 
“Even Aunt Sheela joined us as she dressed up as a skeleton.” (page 17) 
“..with all the deficiencies that I have I am still his older brother.” (page 32) 
That was about the error or shortcomings of the book because after you are so engrossed in swaying with the characters and the story that you forget all about them. They simply don’t exist thereafter. 
 The book ‘Wings of Silence’ is not just another book on relationships. The author goes on to make some very profound and thought-provoking statements. “Papa had written off Raj at the age of fourteen.” (page 21). Now this statement says it all. It sums up in just ten words the attitude, thinking and bent of mind of a father towards his ‘not so normal’ child. And remember, this attitude is not just that of Akshay, Raj’s father, it represents a large section of our society. 
As far as characterization is concerned, it is not a grain less impressive than beauty of the book. The beauty of Raj’s character is that inspite of the fact that we see Raj fight a losing battle, we never pity him. This is because the feeling of anger dominates in us that is directed against the insolent behaviour of his father towards him. Akshay Sethi earns all the ire of the readers. He has been pushing everyone in the family to their limits. And it is this pressure that exerts itself too much on Saurav and finally the dam of tolerance and submission gives way. We as readers react with every move of Saurav. Even hen he is unable to oppose his father even when everyone knows that the latter’s behaviour towards Raj is far from being considered even human, let alone being considerate and warm; we feel helpless why isn’t Saurav voicing his concern for his brother Raj? We embark upon a journey that Saurav undertakes; we understand his feelings, we sympathise, we empathise with him. 
And when with Raj, we lend a patient heart to let him communicate his feelings, urges, curbed desires, buried ambitions, broken self-esteem and his injured soul. This is wherein lies the beauty of Iyer’s characterization. Full credit goes to Shriram Iyer for presenting such lifelike characters, that are so true and believable. 
As far as the plot is concerned we have to execise Coleridge’s ‘willing suspension of disbelief’ at times. But Iyer makes it a point not to present before us a Utopian land, where there is the ‘and they lived happily ever after’ kind of feeling. It must have been the perfect finishing touch had Saurav been able to achieve his stardom in tennis once again. But as a writer who does justice to life, he doesn’t let the book have a perfect ending as is never guaranteed in life. 
 ‘Wings of Silence’ is a well-researched book. To add to it, with the London Olympics 2012 happening, the book could not have come out at a more opportune time. 
This review has been posted as part of the Book Reviews Program by Blog Adda.

Interview: Vol. I, Issue 4 – Culture Special


Vol I, Issue 4: July – Sept. 2012

Prof. Lalitesh Mishra interviews A.K. Chaudhary

A.K.CHOUDHARY in an interview with Prof Lalitesh Mishra , H/D of English , B. N. Mandal University, Madhepura, Bihar .

ARBIND KUMAR CHOUDHARY, the prominent literary luminary , and the awarded editor has been glittering in the sky of creative horizon with his nine poetry collections in English entitled:

1. Eternal Voices (2007),

2. Universal Voices (2008) ,

3. My Songs (2008) ,

4. Melody (2009) ,

5. Nature Poems (2010),

6. Love Poems (2010),

7. Nature (2011) ,

8. Love (2011) and

9. The Poet (2011)  besides two refereed literary journals Kohinoor and Ayush to his credit.

Dr. Choudhary has been reviewed and interviewed across the globe. He is also the founding father of International Association of Poets, Essayists and Novelists at Begusarai, one of the founding members of World Literature Society, Tripura and member of a number of literary organizations and literary journals. He has earned name and fame as a poet and editor in a short span of time across the globe. To create literary sensation across the globe is the message of his creative world. His glittering biography is included in Cambridge Dictionary of English Writers (2009) , International Dictionary of English Writers, S. Korea( 2010), and World Poetry Almanac (2009) due to his great contributions to English literature. A critical anthology on his poetical works “Poetic Pigments of A. K. Choudhary” is already published in 2010 besides a number of research papers. He is now honored with –1.Life Time Achievement Award , 2010 by International Poets Academy , Chennai, 2. Mandakini Award, 2011 by International Poetry Society, Bareilly , and 3. Editor of the Best Literary Journal , 2011 by Teresinka Pereira, president of International Writers & Artists Association, USA.

Here is an excerpt of the interview of A.K. Choudhary with Prof Lalitesh Mishra :
Who are your favourite poets and why ?
The classical writers, Tagore, Aurobindo and medieval saint poets have remained my ideal because Indian cultural prosperity has been enriched and brought to light by them.

Do you sit and think through every word of every stanza or do you just write freely and allowing the words to follow?
Ideas is the natural flow that flashes all on a sudden across the mind . But its poetic form requires alternations, selections and modifications to suit its ultimate poetic purpose . I am choosy in words , stanzas and other forms that suit my poetic temperament most.

When you finish writing a book of poems , what happens next ?
The completion of one poetry book gives not only intense joy to the heart but also accelerates the intensity of its composition to its utmost degrees even amidst the humdrums of life.

Are you still ambushed by memories of your childhood ?
The childhood reminiscences are still alive in the imaginative fertile land of my mind that germinates in my creative works time and again

What is your biggest struggle with your writing ?
The educational anarchy, suitable publisher, proper critics and, above all, inspiring spirits are the biggest struggle with writing in India.

Do you write with a particular reader in mind?
If my poetry book fails to soothe my heart, I think it a failure in myself . So far the readers are considered, they are secondary , not primary for my creative soul.

What kind of poems do you write?
All kinds of poems – sensuous, imaginative, satiric, emotional, love and a number of others are germinated from my mind from time to time.

What is poetry’s place in the 21st century ? Where do you feel your poetry fits into this?
Very frankly I do admit that the novels of the novelists have superseded the poetic world in this century, still the situations are flourishable for the poets. I am confident that my poetry will go up even amidst the poetic nebulosities prevailing world wide in the womb of time.

Do you consider yourself successful ?
While I assess myself as a poet ,I find myself far behind from the race of a number of prominent poets. My heart gets consolation while I behold my peer groups far behind from my poetic records earned by me in a short span of time . However I leave the answer of this question upon the shoulder of the critics to judge in how water mark I am.
How do you see the role of the critics ?
The critics share our joys, not pangs. The critics are expected to play the role of the judges who should be away from their own literary tastes, temperaments and techniques.

What is the general message or concept in your poetry ?
It is not only the message of my poetry to show the mirror to the society but also to guide how to deal and handle with these things in a particular circumstances.

Where do you get your ideas for poems ?
My ideas comes from the objects of nature, social surroundings and day to day happenings of life.

Do you get inspiration from your readers ?
Yes, the readers positive response inspires all creative spirits including me.

Have you ever thought of writing your own biography ?
Biography has been generally considered a bundle of falsehood that hides a number of dark aspects of the concerned author. However, I will think of writing in the evening of my life.

What is next on your agenda as a writer ?
My tenth poetry book ‘Leader’ is under active preparation and hope to get it published by this year.

What is your innovative poetic technique for which you are known worldwide ? Give an example if any.
Innovation, and exploration are my poetic fort all through my poetic rosarium. The blending of the east and the west, the classical mythical messiahs, explored new and compound words, and, above all, the sequence of the ascending order of the alphabetical words in a quatrain are the innovative technique of which two examples are cited here for your convenience :

“ The enigma, facetiae and genre
Heal the infidel’s conjecture
That enrich the oeuvre
Of the father figure.”
(The Poet, P. 43, Stanza. 128)

The ascending order of the alphabetical words — e (enigma), f (facetiae), g (genre), h (heal), and I (infidel) is wreathed in a single quatrain in ‘The Poet”.
“ Love’s mace
Noyances the opulence
Of the perforce
For the quiescence.”
(Love, P.46, Stanza. 272)
The muser can also taste the composition of the ascending order of the alphabetical words — l (love), m (mace), n ( noyance), o (opulence) p (perforce) and q (quiescence) in this single quatrain.