“You gave me the earth
On which I could build
A home good enough for you to live in;
Come, when you find time from all our other chores
Maybe on some weekend, come”
Gulzar’s poetry looks at the human mind and explores emotions that are so known yet unknown. How often we neglect things whose values we know yet not realize. Even in this small verse, found at the back of this book, Gulzar’s different perspective shines through. It gives to me a sense of God being there, yet not there, for he is everywhere and not here. It makes me wonder, “Is God neglecting us or looking at someone else at the same moment?” and it inevitably answers in the latter, though with the smallest moment of hesitation. It is God that his poem “We are both walking on either side of the road” explores.
“He is under the illusion
That I am still searching for Him
I have this doubt that He may be the one
Who seeks to hide from me”
How often have we felt the same, that God is hiding from us. It’s a small gem, this poem.
He looks at life and observes it as it passes by; at a traffic signal, on a cold morning, or life in the mountains. And it’s these small observations that make one more thoughtful than before. Some are easy to imagine, easy to picture in our mind, and others take more time to understand. But it’s poetry, meaningful as it should be, and contemplative at best. One for my collection, and one to think about re-reading.
Title: Neglected Poems
Translator: Pavan K Varma
Publisher: Penguin Books
Price: INR 250
(24th December 2014)