ARUGAN: Tamizhachi Thangapandiyan; Uyirmai Padhippagam, 11/29, Subramaniam Street, Abhiramapuram, Chennai-600018. Rs. 110.
IN THIS era of post-modernism and ethical relativism, one cannot go for an absolute definition of anything, especially in the field of arts, and more so, in poetry. “When the lips have spoken, loved accents are soon forgotten” says Shelley. To annotate a poem is to write its obituary.
Dr. Sumathi, aka Tamizhachi Thangapandiyan, says in her introduction to Arugan , a collection of 39 poems, that her poems are “not emotional experiences recollected in tranquillity, but a spontaneous outcome of an integrated moment, when realism and imagination merge into a vision, perceived in eloquent silence.”
In one of her poems she refers to “the still and overwhelming silence after the heavy rains” that puts to shame the linguistic arrogance, which, a poet calling it poetry, ventures to display it on paper.
If words were to grow wings, what would happen? She discusses this issue in one of her most elegant poems. Happy and excited, they start flying, conversing with each other, perhaps, announcing the freedom of speech and thought, but suddenly they were restrained by the most ancient and experienced Word, biblical in its antiquity, “no talk while flying.” The words, stripped of their luminous wings, are grounded.
T.S Elliot said, “No poet has his complete memory alone,” which means, he carries his heritage in his memory. Some of the poems in this collection bear continuity to the classical Sangam poetry of the distant past.
AMERI'KAAKAMMA KADHALU: Vanguri Chitten Raju; Pub. by Vanguri Foundation of America Inc. Vanguri Foundation, Satya Sai Puram, Kuntloor Village, Hayatnagar Mandal, Hyderabad-501505. Rs. 200.
HUMOUR IS at its best in this collection of stories by Chitten Raju and it comes naturally as an extension of his creativity. He has an uncanny ability to look at different life situations humorously or satirically, setting the reader to laugh not just at that moment but every time his mind reverts to it.
His first person anecdotal narration of every-day happenings is rib-tickling and the wife's character, named ‘Queen Victoria', delivers sharp punch lines and jibes throughout.
Chitten Raju's satire on day-to-day affairs has an appeal of its own. To mention a few delectable stories: ‘Viraallala Veta' is a funny take on literary events, donations, and megalomaniac literary fraternity. ‘Microwavopaakhyaanam' depicts the ordeal a couple goes through when their age-old Microwave oven breaks down.
The author has a knack of coining words and this goes to add flavour to his writing. ‘Emo. Emo', ‘Ameri'caar'u koothalu', and ‘Mari konni Kaalakshepam Kahaneelu' are among the other stories that reaffirms his position in the league of humorists of Telugu fiction.
Reviewing the book has been a refreshing experience.
AKKALDAMA-ORU SNEHAVILAPAM: Thariyan Koshy; Rainbow Books, Chengannur-689124. Rs. 100.
THE 30 essays presented in this book are marked by vivid depiction and rare insight. Thariyan Koshy has endeavoured to look at his own experience and what he saw around him from the standpoint of Christian values, and in this he seems to have succeeded. For the readers, it turns out to be a rare experience, especially because he draws Biblical parallels.
In the New Testament, ‘Akkaldama' is a potter's field near Jerusalem and used as a burial ground that acquires notoriety. Innovatively, Biblical incidents are elucidated and developed into short stories. For instance, two housewives, Mary Kutty and Gracy, are neighbours but one cannot stand the other being happy.
Mary Kutty is convinced that the agonies Gracy goes through are but a punishment by God for the misdeeds she had committed in the past. Here, the author cites the relevant passage from the Bible, and a brief incident that relates an amazing prayer and promise involving two criminals hanging on to the cross at either end.
An adept in arriving at maxims that suit individual experiences, Koshy has humour flowing naturally and spontaneously in his writing. What is more, the effortless ease with which he gets to the bottom of every happening he recounts is remarkable.