Essays on women poets

C. G. Rishikesh

PENNEZHUTHTHU— Kalamum Arasiyalum: S. Vijayalakshmi; Bharathi Puthakalayam, 421, Anna Salai, Chennai-600018. Rs. 70.

THIS BOOK is a collection of essays on some of the more recent women poets in Tamil. They were written by the author, herself a poet, in the literary journal Semmalar.

Among the poets discussed are: Malathi Maithri, Suganthi Subramanian, Thamizhachchi Thangapandian, Balabharathi, Bharathi Krishnan, Kanimozhi, Thamizhnadhi, Fahima Jahan, Geethanjali Priyadarshini and Sugirtharani. (The chapter titles and the table of contents fail to mention the names).

While the works of each of these poets get critical treatment with excerpts from their oeuvre, the preface offers an overall view. The afterword assesses the output of a few other poets. The verses of the women poets record the realities of the times as they are. Voices are raised against male dominance. Problems relating to the home and workplace are recorded. The very body, motherhood and the joys of parenting are celebrated. Just as the usefulness of modern gadgets such as the mobile phone is appreciated, there is concern over the poor people having to run after the water-tanker for their daily needs.

A fleeting view from a speeding train is as good a subject as the digital banners of political bigwigs looming at us from street corners.

A girl who has just attained puberty succinctly declares that her mother can pry into her privacy only in a certain obvious manner but cannot really enter her mind — this is the first call of freedom. The metre in these poems is contemporary; the language, simple; the effect, immediately palpable. The fact that the titles of the poems are not enclosed in quotation marks is a drawback as we read the text.


Extraordinary writer

V. Gopalakrishna

K.P. PURNACHANDRA TEJASVI— Life and Writings: Karigowda Beechanahalli, Sahitya Akademi, 35, Rabindra Bhavan, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi-110001. Rs. 150.

A POPULAR writer, Tejasvi was different from the rest in many ways. After completing his higher studies, he took to farming in a forest area, rather than go for a lucrative job. He revealed, in an introduction to one of his books, that he was greatly influenced by the philosophy of Lohia, the artistic ways of Kuvempu (his father) and the experimentation of Karanth. True to this statement, his creative works showed his deep concern for the under-privileged and spoke about the struggle for social rights and the movements for protecting the natural environment and the interests of farmers.

Initially, Tejasvi brought out a collection of Navya poems, which he confessed were urban-based and anti-life. Thereafter, he started writing about the people around him. This self-correction won him admirers, and a host of young writers followed him.

A master story-teller, Tejasvi had an element of suspense built into his writings whatever be the core theme. In this book, his works are presented under different heads such as novel, poetry, critique, travelogue, environmental stories, and translations.


Candid chronicles

K. K. Gopalakrishnan

CINEMA SAMSKAARAM:Adoor Gopalakrishnan; Mathrubhumi Books, Cherooty Road, Kozhikode-673056. Rs. 70.

ADOOR GOPALAKRISHNAN needs no introduction to the astute film aficionados the world over. The book under review is the fourth from him, comprising mostly articles already published elsewhere and a few written to enrich this collection.

The agony, aspirations and tribulations of a penniless novice with no Godfather to support him, but imbued with firm aesthetic perceptions are unveiled in the first chapter. This hardly two-page piece was his maiden venture on graduation from the film institute.

The Myth , a film of 50-second duration shot with a borrowed camera and left-over film roll and with no dialogue, was among the 20 best films of the world selected for the Expo-67 at Montreal.

Citing examples, Adoor tells about the significance of the many facets of nature as characters in his films. The processes that a film goes through at his hands from the conception stage, and the rapport he established with cameraman Mankada Ravi Varma and producer Ravi are narrated.

The book provides a glimpse of the formative years of Malayalam cinema. The part related to Adoor's artistic life contains reminiscences his association with eminent persons like M.F. Hussain, Madhavikutty (Kamala Das), and actor Oduvil Unnikrishnan (Nizhalkoothu), composed in catchy lines.

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