Poetry can be a very powerful tool to convey earnest and important messages in an emphatic yet creative way. While novels tend to be long and often become too weary to carry on if they bear messages of grave importance for readers to realise, poetry can communicate much in just a few lines. And this quality, with many other features, makes poetry the most viable option for authors who have to express their concerns, worries, joys, sorrows and many other emotions. And I have been through one such poetry collection recently – Melodies of Society by Arav Rajesh, a young poet of 16. The poetry collection is not voluminous. It is about 55 pages of poems, illustrations, some opinions and critical remarks by notable people in India about the poetry of Arav.
I wonder, while my mind ponders about my beloved and all,
Oh, what was their struggle watching me tumble and fall!
The pill, for the dreaded consequences it brings,
It drives away the tremors of my wounds and my stings
These are the lines from Arav’s poem My Mellow Pill. In this poem, the poet has tried to enter into the minds of those who indulge in substance abuse. And if you are looking for some context, data, facts and figures about the subjects that the poet has dealt with, you can read it right at the beginning of every poem. This poem tries to break down the mindset of those who indulge in drugs and lose their precious lives, trouble everyone around them and eventually perish. Likewise, in another poem about the same issue, the poet has tried to make the readers understand the consequences of such a hazardous passion for drugs.
Other issues that Arav dealt with in this debut poetry collection are India as a nation, terrorism with reference to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, politics and its absurdity, society and its follies, child labour, and some dreadful aspects of the recent global pandemic, COVID 19. The poems Slain Dreams, This is Our Nation, and Farewell to Friends are powerful and charged with a melancholy rhythm that does not let the readers rest in peace – compelling them to think about the issues raised by the poet in a poetic expression. There are many things about the writing style of Arav that may be judged for many reasons. However, there is nothing but appreciation for the intensity and passion with which he expresses his concerns for the issues he discusses in these poems. In one line or just two, he has been able to convey generational messages. Look at these lines taken from the poem Abuse which discusses an attack by the Taliban on the democratic system in Afghanistan (and terrorism at large).
The fragrance of the youth has been replaced with the omniscient
stench of blood.
It gnaws its way through the cold morning air, from the trees to
the sky, from the graves to the mud.
Arav writes directly from his heart (like most poets do). However, to be honest, there is more to poetry than expressing your heart on the pages you ink with your emotions. Nevertheless, these poems are also equipped with contemporary issues and do connect with readers at an intellectual level as well. And therefore, the emotive expressions somehow find balance in the intellectual equivalence that Arav has chosen carefully (surprisingly at this young age). Well, critical readers might find the lyrical and rhythmic trade for the substance and proper diction at times. However, that does not change the thematic depth of the poems.
Poems and illustrations make a good company together. Young readers will also enjoy reading the poetry collection, thus. Those who have been following Indian English poets for some years will find this new entrant a welcoming sight. Melodies of Society rings the alarm bells and announces the arrival of a young poet on the horizon of Indian English writings. You can become a part of this collective thinking that we have to do in order to understand the issues raised by reading a copy of this short but impactful poetry collection. Grab your copies from Amazon India today. Click the link below:
Review by Manish for BookWorm Reviews
Melodies of Society by Arav Rajesh – Book Review
- BookWorm Rating
Melodies of Society by Arav Rajesh is a short poetry collection with very intense and emotional poems that will provoke many thoughts in the minds of the readers.