Truth has many faces and all of them are true. Likewise, poetry has many doors to be opened by the poets and all of them lead to the same destination – the good, the charming and the true. Poems by Piyush Rohankar are wonderful, dedicated mostly to love, arousing aesthetic senses and not very deep to confuse the readers with the pain of delayed decoding.
Narcissistic Romanticism is a collection of 89 poems by Piyush Rohankar. Published in 2015, this is the second poetry collection by the poet who is also an IAS officer. When I picked up this book, I was expecting something usual, traditional and casual. In turn, and also quite surprising to me, I was drawn into reading the poetry collection. The very first poem, To Love Her is Like a Journey, attracted me and I would certainly love to quote a few lines:
“Oh her beauty and my youth,
Had led me to into believing that life would go on forever,
Oh to love her is like a journey,
A journey of million miles…”
The content is certainly interesting. The poem is romantic, affectionate and light. Piyush’s imagination meets the suitable words here and the same is the story in almost each of his poems in the collection. As he writes at the very opening of the book, ‘dedicated to the fairer sex and to the lovers of poetry…’ the poems are mostly romantic and addressed (assumption) either to a lady or written for a lady.
However, that’s not the entire story of Narcissistic Romanticism. Piyush Rohankar has also made the most of his modern learnings and ancient knowledge. His poem Nirvajuana is a perfect blend of the ancient and the modern. You might have guessed the wordplay already – Nirvana + Marijuana = Nirvajuana. He laments the growing isolation in the world of so many people in this poem and also the lust of enjoying one’s own existence by letting it burn in the fire of self-exploration in an otherwise means.
The poems are sometimes almost the reflection of Piyush’s heart and mind. ‘Turkish Princess’ lets me assume that the poet’s personal love might have a lot to offer… At times, the pessimistic tone of the poet’s words let me feel as a reader that he might have suffered from personal losses on many occasions. At times, the high note and the sonorous tune of the poems let me assume that the poet is just taking a high stand and looking down at the world full of hopes and despairs.
On the slippery side, a critical reader can safely assume that the poet has to work on syntax, the formation of ideas and finding the right expressions. Well, I am quite right in saying so but only for the ‘critical readers’ of English poetry who often come from the literary background. Otherwise, for casual readers, the poems are quite expressive and well-formed.
So, the poems by Piyush in his second collection, Narcissistic Romanticism, are vivid in tone but almost the same in theme – love, a hidden lady and some random thoughts around these two. While the poems are suitable for random reading by the lovers of poetry, they lack depth, at times, that is sought by the critical lovers of critical poetry. At the same time, poetry is an open medium, really open to everyone to express views; and so has been done by Piyush in a straightforward way. I do admire it! I will advise the casual readers of poetry to go through this collection and try to find what the poet might have to disclose to them. You can get a copy of the book from Amazon India by opening the link given below:
review by Amit for Indian Book Critics
Piyush has expressed; Piyush has sung; Piyush has composed. All of them, together, make a worthy collection of poetry that will certainly be liked by the casual readers of Indian English poetry.