Hindi literature has come to a diverse stage today. We have many authors, poets and experts who share their art with the readers on a frequent basis and it has really helped in raising the bars of graphical representations where readers of Hindi literature are discussed. Many books by many authors simply mean many readers with a rich foundation for choices and they will certainly read. In this series, we have to give the credit where its due and emerging authors, poets, shayars and writers of all the genres in Hindi are to be credited because they have emerged with a distinct fan base – Gautam Rajrishi, a retired officer of the wonderful Indian Army, is an author and a poet. His previous book that I read was Hari Muskurahton Wala Collage, a short story collection dedicated to the Indian Army. The latest book that I read from his is a collection of short, lyrical and romantic poems – Neela Neela. With recommendations and appreciation from the established names in Shayari and lyrical Hindi poetry, Gautam’s latest attempt is made for the readers of the day – youths and young people who like short but sentimental, lyrical and emotional poetry.
However, more than that, when I analyse the lyrical quality and the poetry by Gautam, I am sincerely amazed by the choice of imagery and also a subtle message that modern Hindi literature has for us – it doesn’t shy away from using what was considered strictly for English or other languages erstwhile. For example, the poet is remembering his beloved and he tries to capture the emotions in words:
“गिरी हैं झील में जो चंद पत्तियाँ चिनार की
सुना रही हैं पानियों को धुन कोई सितार की
नहीं है स्वाद तेरे बिन धुएँ में इसके…आ भी जा
कि ज़िन्दा हो वो ख़ुशबू फिर बुझे हुये सिगार की”
The use of imagery is modern, appealing to young readers and certainly romantic. Gautam Rajrishi has used the same kind of comparisons and analogies in most of his poems and the poetry has been successful in getting the attention or perhaps arresting it as well, most of the times. Though the poems are romantic in general choice of theme, a reader can feel various emotions embedded in the poems – melancholy, loss, love, attraction, rejection, joy, sorrows, life, death… the emotions are various and vivid. You can relate to most of them.
“जुनूँ सर से फिसल कर दिल में जाने कब उतर आया कि या अब तू है या कोई नहीं तेरे सिवा मुझको
बिना तेरे अरे ओ देख हूँ टूटा हुआ कैसा मुझे आ जोड़ दे वापस…गले आकर लगा मुझको”
It was certainly a mixed experience reading this collection because it raises questions, answers those, makes me understand things and makes me forget them as well… the collection is certainly animated and happening and you can feel it as you keep reading the poems and reach the end. Choice of words, use of language, rhyme and lyrics… things are well placed and nicely done by the poet. However, to understand things at times, the collection demands expertise in the Urdu language. Though extremely difficult or relatively rarely used words have been defined by Gautam, it still comes to the reader’s nativity.
To conclude, the collection Neela Neela is not neela actually. It has most of the colours that we find in human emotions and it is a good collection for a nice Saturday or Sunday for the lovers of Hindi poetry. You may get a copy on Amazon India and read it right now. The link to buy the book is below:
Review by Amit for Indian Book Critics
Neela Neela by Gautam Rajrishi – Book Review
- IBC Rating
A romantic poetry collection that covers most of the aspects of human emotions and youthful romantic imagery… a good contribution to contemporary writing in Hindi.