Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

ENGLISH

Small Reflections: (Poems) by Dr. K. V. Raghupathi; Writers Workshop publication 162/92, Lake Gardens, Calcutta 700 041\5 Hard; Rs.100/-, FlexiRs. 80/­

Desert Blossoms: (Poetry) by Dr. K. V. Raghupati, Writers Workshop publication Calcutta, 700 045; HardRs. 60/- FlexiRs. 50/­

Echoes Silent: (Poetry) by Dr K. V. Raghupati, Writers Workshop, Calcutta; HardRs. 60/- FlexiRs. 40/­

The Images of a Growing Dying City: (Poetry) Dr. K. V. Raghupati, Writers Workshop Publication, Calcutta; HardRs. 80/- FlexiRs. 50/­

In the Ruins of Time: (Poetry) by Pronab Kumar Majumder; Writers Workshop, Calcutta, HardRs. 100/- Flexi Rs. 60/­

The blurb says that the Writers Workshop is a non-profit and non-political organisation (established in 1958), consisting of a group of persons who agree that English language has proved its ability to play a creative role in Indian literature through original writing and tracscreation. It not only publishes a periodical THE NEW MISCELLANY devoted to creative writing, but also publishes books of its members and associates the criteria being high imaginative awareness and mature technic. The publication is somewhat on co­operative lines, the writer, besides retaining the copyright, purchases 100 copies of the book in addition to the fixed number of free copies given in lieu of royalty by the publisher. Printing is done on hand operated press and bound in handmade cloth and the whole process is claimed to be a cottage industry style low-key entrepreneurship.

The finished product is of course, pleasing to eye and is a visual compliment to the efforts of the publishers. Who deserve appreciation for the excellent work they have been doing. Not that, printing errors have been completely eliminated, the bane of any publishing effort. But these have been extremely rare.

The poetry pieces of the two writers, Dr. K. V. Raghupati and Pronab Kumar Majumder richly partake of the muse on the various topics on which they write. Dr. Raghupati says -

“Who am I to tell / this incorrigible decadent world / I am this / I am that?”

“I am simply a human being/a human and a being/I give and share what you love most/I do not give and share what I hate most” Well that sets the trend. An absorbing reading.


- Vemaraju Narasimha Rao

ESSAYS ON MIDDLE BENGALI LITERATURE: Edited by Rahul Peter Das. Published by Firma KLM Private Ltd., Calcutta. 1999. Pages 228. Price Rs. 300 (library edition)

The articles presented in the book give a rare insight into the Middle Bengali literature, mostly from the religious and socio-cultural studies, covering the period from the thirteenth to eighteenth century. The middle Bengali literature of this period mirrors the life and times, of the kings, the merchants, the common people, the inter-personal relationship among the communities, their history and culture, their socio-religious customs and manners.

Two aspects of the period are prominently dealt with in the book. The first is about the Hindu classical literature with its myth and folk-lore of gods and goddesses of the old Bengali classics. The discussion on the snake goddess and Siva, the Lord of the Plough, as the god of agriculture is of significance. The influence of the Bengali Muslim literati and the process of Islamisation in Bengal is the second aspect. The conflicts and tension the Bengali language underwent in the period of transition from the old Bengali to modern Bengali is discussed with special reference to the Islamic tradition for Bengali muslims which gave them the needed identification.

The contributors of the articles are professors and field experts stationed in different centres of learning situated in U.S.A., Germany, Bangla Desh, Australia and Sweden who have done in-depth study on the spot in the different aspects of the life and literature of the middle Bengal period.

The essays under study will be of special interest to research scholars and students of middle Bengali literature.

- D. Ranga Rao

PERSPECTIVES OF SAVITRI: Volume I. Editor: R. Y. Deshpande. Publishers: Sri Aurobharati Trust, 5 Kumaran Street, S.V.P. Salia, Pondicherry, 605012. Pages: ix 566. Price 300/.

Though Sri Auroinodo is by no means “popular” the title of his epic Savitri is not totally unfamiliar even to the so-called common reader. Savitri is often prescribed at the postgraduate level and is often chosen by researchers to earn their doctoral degrees. The volume under review and the one to follow it are meant to provide the general reader, the student and the scholar with the best that has been thought and said on the poem. The editor of the volume is not only an authority on the poem but familiar with the best work that has been done. The first volume includes the work not only by Sri Aurobindo but by academic scholars who have specialised in the epic. Most of the writers whose work is included in the Volume belong to the yester-years. The second volume will present the work of the specialists writing today. It will also include work of the yester-years not included in the present volume.

Sri Aurobindo’s Letters to a disciple on the poem help us to form an idea of the kind of poem we have before us. The Mother throws light on the uniqueness of the poem which deals with a theme and vision that have been dealt with by anyone before. She emphases a fact that academicians often forget that it is not possible to understand Savitri unless one rises to a very high level of consciousness. But she says at the very start ofher talk to a disciple that one need not understand the poem in the usual sense of the work. Reading it in the right way helps to raise one’s consciousness.

The best pieces in the work are by the Master’s direct disciples two or three of whom were closely associated with the work one way or the other.

- K B. Sitaramayya

ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY, HEALTH Environment, Energy, Health–Prof. V. Vidyanath Pp 252 Rs. 500/-­
Publishers: Gyan Publishing House, 5, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110 002

Perhaps the most burning problem of the day that is confronted by any nation is environmental pollution. Realising the gravity of situation many intellectuals are seriously applying their minds to tackle the dragon in their own way. Prof. V. Vidyanath is one such person who has been striving hard to alleviate the problem through his writings. His latest book “Environment, Energy, health” projects the problem in its true dimensions and colours. It contains three parts the first dealing with pollution causing hazards like waste products. Global warming, Ozone depletion, Acid rain, Noise pollution etc., There are altogether 19 thought provoking articles. In three chapters of Part II the author described at length alternative energy sources. In the five chapters of Part III he deals with health related topics. The Chapter “Vegetarianism - running to four pages is a testimony as to how seriously he applied his mind to the problem. The book is a must for all English knowing readers.

K. R. K. Mohan

HITTING HOME, byRajendra Singh, Writers workshop, 1999, Calcutta, pp. 33, Rs 80/-­

Although Indian English poetry has been burgeoning fast, perhaps because of the fact that the sensibility of the Indian English poets is not sufficiently rooted in the Indian tradition and literature. Indian literature in all regional languages and especially in Sanskrit has a lot of reflective, philosophical, aphoristic and satirical poetry. But the Indian English poet has yet to drink deep into the wealth of native literature by dewesternizing himself. Rajendra Singh’s Hitting Home is a slender volume of ninety nine limericks rhyming aabba. Traditionally a limerick is a light-hearted poem on a single microscopic theme, and is a part of folk poetry. But limericks can be adopted to suit the changing times and requirements. Rajendra singh has to be congratulated for the fact that although he has adopted the western limerick form, he has infused it with the native Indian spirit.

The thematic range of these limericks is vast, touching upon miscellaneous aspects of Indian life, -- from social to political; from economic to religious and from moral to non­moral. These limericks are very interesting poetic utterances which appear to be simple and light-hearted on the surface, but at a deeper level hit you at the right spot. They are straightforward, bold, candid and transparent. The poet lashes on the of humanity for their double-talk and double-dealing and hopes for a better world in future.

Most of the limericks are concerned with political life in India - like corruption, money-mindedness, opportunism, fraud, greed, brainlessness, shamelessness, callousness, criminality, devilry, violence and unreliability etc.

Whereas the politician (generally brainless) belongs to the first order of corruption, the (brainy) bureaucrat belongs to the second order of corruption. In a limerick (No: 44) the poet describes the bureaucrats in a very candid manner.

Some limericks deal with the social life in India showing one kind of absurdity to answer another kind of absurdity. Some limericks show the irony of international economy, globalization and the exploitation of poor countries by the rich ones.

The limericks in this collection cover a variety of themes, satirise all kinds of evil and awaken the reader to the harsh realities of life. They can easily be compared to sparkling gems. They entertain the reader without taxing his brain. One wishes Dr. Rajendra Singh would continue to enrich the limerick mode by writing on a still wider range of topics.

- Dr. Basavaraj Naikar

EXPECTATIONS, by Hazara Singh, Private Publication, Ludhiana, 1999. pp. 118, Rs. 50/-­

It is a pleasure to note that Indian English Poetry has been growing gradually and steadily in quality as well as in quantity. So many new voices are heard from different corners of India recently. Since the big publishers in India encourage only the established poets for commercial gain, budding poets or lethargic ones must either fade into oblivion or come out with their own private publications, thereby putting the big publishers to shame. Hazara Singh’s Expectations is a comprehensive collection of his poems, including those of his earlier volumes such as Aspirations and Yearnings.

Singh, who is now in his seventies, was influenced by Rupert Brooke’s war poems in his younger days. Himself a freedom fighter, he was arrested in connection with his participation in the save INA campaign. A patriot qualified with degrees in literature and law, he has looked at life from an idealist perspective. The form of his poetry is classical in the sense that he follows rhythm and rhyme patterns. The thematic variety of his verse holds a mirror to his deep and wide experience of life. On the whole, one may describe his poetry as reflective or philosophical. In the use of musical cadences and ebullient emotion, he appears to be a romantic. The themes of his poetry range from the biographical to the cosmic, from the topical to the universal, from the historical to the contemporary, from the meta-literary to the metaphysical and from the physical to the religious.

The collection contains sixty-seven poems in all. In the opening selection, “New Year Wishes and Greetings,” Singh says: “New and old are mere man’s view of time. They are the Eternal’s rhythm and rhyme. Time is ever young and knows no wrinkles. As red as a rose each morning twinkles.” A majority of his poems are philosophical in nature and romantic in style, and his themes include the human spirit, culture, loneliness, religion, science friendship, internal enemies, forgiveness, sobriety, tension, hatred, and self-knowledge. On the whole, the poet emerges as a dreamer and an optimist in spite of occasional elements of social satire. Some of his biographical poems pay tribute to such great souls as Raymond Griffith, Abraham Lincoln, Rabindranath Tagore, and Gandhi in Africa. His patriotic poems on national heroes like Kartar Singh Sarabha, Bhagat Singh, and Udham Singh are written in sonnet from and glorify the sacrifices of the great martyrs of Punjab. A few poems touch on contemporary matters such as China-­India relations and project the poet’s optimistic hope about better understanding in the world.

One of the striking features of Expectations is its inclusion of several reviews and appraisals of Hazara Singh’s early poetry and an interview with the poet, under the title “Matter”, which will help lovers of poetry and researchers alike with pointers for further study. Though singh is not well known to South Indians, his poetry, with its serious philosophical approach, romantic ebullience of emotion, fresh imagery, and rich musical diction, cannot be ignored by an Indian English critic. His verse is easily comparable to that of Tagore, Naidu Kashiprasad Ghose, V. K. Gokak, and others. It is high time for Indian English critics to include his verse in new anthologies for a more comprehensive understanding of the growing body of Indian English poetry. Kudos to Hazara Singh!

- Dr. Basavaraj Naikar

TELUGU

a) AMERICA ILLALU: Short stories by Kamala Chimata; Vanguri Foundation of America, Houston, Texas, (USA); pp 75; US $ 10/-­

b) MAVURI KATHALU: By Damaraju Satchidanada Murthy; Vanguri Foundation of America, Houston, Texas, USA; pp 90; US $ 10/-

c) AMERICA TELUGU KATHANIKA: Ed. Dr. Pemmaraju Venugopala Rao; Vanguri Foundation of America, Houston, Texas (USA); pp 119; US $ 10/-­

d) LOKANIKI CHATIMPU: (Verses) by Dr. Pemmaraju Venugopala Rao, Vanguri Foundation of America, Houston, Texas, USA; pp 128; US $ 10/-­

The four publications brought out by the Vanguri Foundation of America, deserve credit and applause for their content and production. Dr. Chittan Raju is a committed promoter of literature in that part of the world and deserves our thanks for his tireless efforts in encouraging writers in Telugu and publishing their works.

The first book is a compilation of recollections and reminiscences of an Indo­American house wife, Kamala Chimata is a gifted writer and wafts gloriously on the wings of the muse, when she recollects her childhood days, her marriage and there after; a la PURANAM SITA, reaching the heights of imagination and nostalgia. The reader will empathise with her. A loveable reading.

Mavuri Kathalu, by Damaraju Sachidananda Murthy comes form no less a storyteller, a keen observer of nature and a commentator on rural life of Andhra countryside. For that matter the rural setting could be anywhere in India or any other country. His characters are easily identifiable rural folk and they stride in all the splendour across the stage as in real life. His dispassionate and realistic account of the recent Telugu Maha Sabha in America vibrates with fervour and good humour and has an instant appeal. The book is an enjoyable reading.

Lokaniki Chatimpu Westward Ho! One of the delightful verses by Dr. Pemmaraju Venugopla Rao is about Lord Venkateswara’s westward travel. His consort Padmavathi advises him that in these hard days, it will be very hard going to live in caves and dark caverns. Bhudevi advises him not to allow messy incense smoke or oil lamps or coconut pieces strewn around. Not even plantains which can cause several allergies. Sridevi whispers into His ear not to allow any other God near around and Her place should be to His left. Narada insists that the proposed temple should have modern amenities like air conditioning filtering, modern lighting etc., which are enjoyed even by ordinary mortals. The devotees being selfish care more for their comforts and ignore the Lord’s. He strongly advises to instruct the sthapathi accordingly. Garuda advises the Lord not to appear in black granite and had better change to white marble and have a better lighting system with halogen lamps etc., Bhoodevi rushes forward to advise him not to keep silent like a rock but ask for what all is needed. She even tells him not to forget the hard-ships they had after leaving the milky ocean, only to reside in some dingy dark temple. That was how the American Andhras built the Lord Venkateswara temple in America according to the specifications given by all, making it a resort for pleasure and piety. Dr. Pemmaraju Venugopala Rao is at his height of imagination in such pieces, like “Oordhwa moolam” (the American Telugus are on the other side of the globe and are literally and figuratively feet up and heads down compared to us), “Mandooka prasna” and “Koopastha mandakam”. Only a versatile genius like Dr. Venugopal Rao could have written such poetry based on atomic physics with Vedantic concept.

“Lokaniki Chatimpu” is a refreshingly invigorating compilation of splendid pieces form the pen of Dr. Pemmaraju. Kudos to him!

“America Kathalu” is a new compilation of promising and well-established writers edited by Dr. Venugopala Rao and engage the reader’s attention.

All said and done, the four volumes of Vanguri Foundation bring not only credit to the Foundation but also to the efforts of the Telugus of America to catch up with the writing on the main land.

- Vemaraju Narasimha Rao

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