PIJUSH DHAR lived in Shillong for four decades and he was known by the epithet ‘Poet of The Hills’. For twenty five years he edited ‘Pahariya’ a Little Magazine which means ‘Of The Hills’. There he published Khasi, Assamese, Bodo poetry, etc., into Bengali. For these years Dhar was a painstaking Cultural Ambassador by which he promoted indigeneous poetry of North East India to the rest of the country. This collectin is a superb anecdotal record of Dhar’s infused lyricism, witout any arcane or hyperbolic pretensions.
The waves roll on.
The sky’s fraction of water
and Cherrapunjee goes splashing”.
(“Meghalaya” page 18)
Elsewhere in this poem the sensuousness continues tinging it with coloration and exuberance of a finely tuned instinct:
she clasps you
with her stony lips”.
(“Meghalaya” page 19)
In “Three Young Men and the Yellow River” Dhar portrays the art of living of a rustic people in communion with Nature.
The poem “A Forlorn Community Street” is allegorical where the ‘Community Street’ is a symbol of life’s vacuity. Dhar achieves this with almost a ferocity and yearning of hope:
“a forlorn community street
desperately clings on to
(“A Forlorn Community Street” page 25)
In “A Heartful of Umiam” once again Nature’s calling and love are intertwined:
“Dates tinged with pink.
...the mind flutters
like a luminous garment
...with a heartful
Umiam the beautiful lake on the Shillong Guwahati road is certainly a Wordsworthian ‘Spot of Time’.
In “This Mountain” Pijush Dhar reasserts his affinity and deep seated bonds with the hills:
“Sometimes, here, on
Clouds settle down
...This land, this
seems to be the scent of surma”.
This sums it up, his love for the hills, his wanderlust. He desires that the hills “Make an Orchestra of Me”
(title poem, page 54)
These poems are all translations from the Bengali into English.
Pijush Dhar is a deeply sensitive poet, a poet of Nature and the Hills; embedded in the best Romantic sense. His poems are a pleasure to read, and give to them a quality of prosodic melody. He has now settled in Calcutta, but I am sure that the Hills will never ‘leave’ him.
I have always held a strong contention that local indigeneous poetry of North East India should be represented to the rest of the country through its beauty, sensuousness and innate lyricism. It is poetry that makes inroads into the heart whether it is in Assamese, Manipuri and Khasi. In editing “Pahariya” for over two glorious decades, Pijush Dhar has done just this rendering yeoman service to the world of poetry, as well as by self financing this Little Magazine.
For this itself he deserves true accolade apart from his fine credentials as a poet. Pijush Dhar's “A Forlorn Community Street” has been published by Writers Workshop Calcutta, has 58 pages and costs Rs. 100.
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