Indian English poetry has been moving in phases. However, no certain path has been there to be traced – the growth of Indian English poetry has been there without tags, classifications, collective ideological conscience or uniform idea. Nevertheless, there have been English poets in India who have done their best in bringing out their expressive poetry as well as carrying the weight of Indian conscious, together, and, wonderfully. Today, I am going to write about a book that was published, digitally, in May 2020, Moving for Moksha, by Alok Mishra, one of the emerging Indian English poets and also a well-known literary entrepreneur who is advocating for Indian conscious with respect of English literature.
Moving for Moksha is a poetry collection with poems that depict personal strife of the protagonist. However, once we begin reading the poems, it feels like everybody’s story with no one being the exception there. On first glance, the poems are more personal, subjective and momentary. You can sense a regret for personal loss, failed relationship, or grief for something missing. The imagery is very provoking and a reader who has read enough of contemporary as well as classic poems might make quick judgements.
‘Uncertainty. Shadows of doubts
linger.’ I drew random patterns
on the sand with my index finger.
Lines express too many emotions at once. Patterns on the sand are likely to be unsolid and transitory. The lines that lead to these patterns on the sand are itself explanatory – shadows of doubts and uncertainty. The title of the poem, And I thought, explains many things as well. However, once we read the concluding lines, many things become clear again and the readers are left satisfied with a sold state of mind displayed by the poet. There is a dialogue that is going on – between the poet’s superconscious mind and Him, God, perhaps. The lines that conclude the poems are:
‘my random lines on sand will be
‘erased. What am I now? A ruddy rage?
‘He said losing and winning matters not at all!
‘He told! Unbecoming is a part of becoming again…’
Unbecoming is a part of becoming again… and there are many lines and assertions like these which are directly extracted from Hindu scriptures. So, the poet has tried to transform his personal grief into a kind of universal grief that we all have. Once you begin reading Moving for Moksha, you will understand many things just by reading the context, as explained in the very preface of the poetry collection.
As for the technical aspects of this collection, you will find a very surprising element inside. The subsequent poems, except the first one, begin with the thought, line or words that finish the preceding poems. And not only that, every beginning line of every poem in the collection form a poem together – a poem that is included at the end of the collection. That was something very sharp, wonderful and also an arduous achievement for a poet. Poems, each of those, are of 13-lines. There is one exception, poem number 3. However, I am not sure why this exception has been there… Lyrical qualities of the poems reflect lesser than they are present. You can feel the tone if you read the poems with a calm head.
Commenting upon the poetry collection as a whole, I will say that Moving for Moksha begins with a search for ‘something’ and ends with a conclusion that we just need to have faith… faith in Ishwara, faith in Bhagwan, faith in Sri Hari… we can be there, at the bank of that Kshir Sagar… the collection ends:
‘Where are you?’
I did not utter once.
She and I were one!
Alok Mishra’s collection is a must-read for Indian poetry lovers. Those who are not from India might find it difficult to connect to all the allusions that have been made; most of the allusions come from Dharmik scriptures and books and that might be a difficulty for non-Indian readers. However, minus the allusions also, there is too much to read! Get a Kindle copy now and enjoy your hour-glory! The link to buy to the book is below:
Review by a contributor, for Intellectual Reader
Moving for Moksha: Poetry Collection by Alok Mishra – Book Review
- Intellectual Reader's Rating
A poetry collection by an emerging Indian English poet that you cannot miss… read it to understand how personal griefs can be your door to unlock the wisdom you need… enjoy it!