Two men . Gopal Lahiri and Vikram Karve . Former is an admired poet. Latter; a fabulous writer. I had the privilege of reading both of their works. Glad that I did. And here is what I picked up from their respective works.
Let me start with Gopal Lahiri’s ‘Silent steps’ – “Truth is in the Nature”
A book of poems that from the word ‘go’ takes you into a world where Nature dominates. Nature that soothes, loves, destroys, coaxes you to move on, believe in yourself, appreciate beauty and so on. The poet simply loves to liberally spray terms like “blue sky”, “glowing sun”, “rainy clouds” “barren trees” et al throughout. Consequently, his readers are removed from the material world and transported to a place where they might find themselves alone enjoying and experiencing variety of emotions, of course amidst nature. In fact, many a time one finds herself willingly attempting chasing certain vague ideas in a poem that loves to tease and disappear behind a moving cloud as suddenly as it appeared. The readers, then have no alternative other than to keep moving on this sweet and sour journey and be awed by its mystic beauty till they reach the very end. During the pleasant journey they may like –
“To inhale the smell of spring
To walk anywhere everywhere”
Or to face -
“The challenge of life
Amidst glowing Sun.”
Or even feel -
“…the fragrance of your presence
As if the flowers blossoming all around”
With its powerful thoughts on different aspects of life, expressed through beautiful imagery and lyrical terms, I would recommend this book to all who after a hard day’s work want to feel soothed and refreshed.
Simultaneously, I read Vikram Karve’s ‘Cocktail’. His book of short stories clearly depicts my own belief- “Relationships have indefinite dimensions.”
The slick, lucid, engaging and extremely fascinating stories bring out the various aspects of the complex human mind and its resultant behavior. Close relationships play a major role in bringing out the true nature of Man and his thought process. The author’s uncanny ability to bring out the human reasoning and logic applied to fulfill his desire or self - justify an action is simply amazing. Even the myriad of emotions from lust, love, anger, pathos et al that guides an action or evokes a reaction has been easily portrayed in a ‘stay- glued’ manner. Stories like ‘Miscalculation’, ‘Every dog has his day,’ ‘Love trap’ raise pertinent questions on faith in a relationship.
The anguish of a married woman whose husband is obsessed with his female colleague to the extent that he even wants to buy the curtains of the house as per her liking rather than the wife’s wishes, has been beautifully crafted and depicted in the story SPDP. Similarly, Chilled beer left me feeling chilled. The extent to which a person especially a woman can fall just to kill the very person whom she must have loved once, in a well planned and cold blood manner was beyond comprehension. Also, the twist in the tale (that I will leave you all to wonder…), kept me intrigued till the last pages.
The best part about the collection is that each of the 27 stories brings out a new facet of human relationship in a supremely engaging way. As a fiction writer who loves to write on relationship issues, I am more than glad to have read “Cocktail.”