Representing India in Poems

Review of Portraits of India; Sanjay Yadav; Worldwide Books 2011

– Murli Melwani

Writers like to experiment with the format in which they wish to present their musings. Vikram Seth’s novel in verse, The Golden Gate (1986) was a bestseller. There have even been autobiographies in verse. Swati Ganguly’s translation of the Chinese treatise of Thirty Verses on Consciousness, on an aspect of Buddha’s teachings, is an interesting experiment.

Now comes Sanjay Yadav with Portraits of India. This is a political treatise in verse.

I found the introduction where Yadav talks about the various types of meters an interesting refresher’s course. It was right of him to explain to the reader both the form of meter he chooses and his reasons for his choice.

In the first section, Yadav gives his poetic summing up of the qualities of various political leaders, past and present. Not everyone will agree with his assessments of the leaders India has had.

In the next section Yadav gives us his take on the state of the country and what ails it. These are the timeless problems that are found in the editorials of newspapers.

Most people will find Yadav’s opinions in, “Locals and Outsiders”, restricted in an age where there is a lot of social and professional mobility between people of different states and ethnic backgrounds.

The last three sections deal with places of Hindu pilgrimage.

The verse on Manmohan Singh exemplifies Sanjay Yadav’s approach and style:

“ There’s a true patriot’s heart within his soul,

And a granite will that seeks one goal

And India that stands mighty and tall

A prosperous India admired by all.

This grateful country will ever honour him

He is resurgent India’s synonym.”

India is so vast and its personalities, people, places so diverse that it appears overambitious to take representative examples from a few select areas and conclude  that India has been presented in a nutshell. Yadav would do well to expand his volume.

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Representing India in Poems, 6.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 at 2:22 pm and is filed under Poetry, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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