Skip to main content

Why I am a poet

BRAJESWARI Raaikishori
Aamaai dayaa karla naa
Aamaar sanger sangi sabaai gelo
Aamaar jaowa holo naa… 

Bishnupriya Manipuri poet, Champalal Sinha, traces the origins of his poetic consciousness.

Champalal Sinha

CULTIVATION of poetry, study of poetry, service to the nation, society and the like are all that my life is exactly about. I am still alive because I was attracted to all these virtues at the right age. Many a cyclone of distress, shock and penury blew over my head, and keeps blowing even now; but against all odds, I am indifferent and unshaken only by virtue of my cultivation of poetry, study of poetry, and service to the nation and society. Among all these, cultivation and study of poetry inspire me the most to be resolutely self-confident.

The study of any branch of literature shows one the right path of life, gives immense pleasure, inspires one to work and leads towards light. However, no other branch of literature can be a parallel to poetry in providing one with the pleasure of creation, awakening in him a sense towards his work or duty, and making him rich in metaphysical wisdom, which is why poetry is the origin of any literature in the world. Though I was inspired immensely to write poetry by the melodious songs of Ojha Senarup (a poet and singer of repute), I was attracted to poetry since childhood. My Baba (papa), more often than not, read out and sang the poems of Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul Islam, Jogindranath Sarkar, Rajanikanta Sen, Kusumkumari, Priyangbada, Mankumari and others. He also sang the songs of the Azad Hind Fauj and that of the Swadeshi Movement. Baba was blessed with a melodious voice, and was enviably skilled in the art of tune, note, measure, speed, ascend, descend, and such other nitty-gritties of songs and music. That way, if I say that his name Surasingh or Surachandra is significant enough, it will in no way be an exaggeration.

It was a Friday in 1966/67. It was my birthday. After his catnap in the afternoon, Baba washed his face and sat on a low floor stool on the verandah. He yawned and stretched. I was lying prone on a cot near the left side of the door, and reading. “Master, fill a hookah of tobacco, and give me. Where is your mom?” Baba said, and yawned again. Baba used to call me master, fondly. I filled a hookah with tobacco and handed over the hubble-bubble to him. “Fan it with your mouth till smoke comes out,” Baba said, and started to hum a
song, that, after a while, came out in a free-flowing voice —

Aamaar saadh naa mitilo, aashaa naa purilo,
Sakali phuraaye jaai maa…

(My desire remained unfulfilled, hopes remained unmet, Mother (Shakti), let me go exhausting all)

The lyrics of the song, its sentiment, meaning, Baba’s sweet voice, the sweetness of the tune and the accurate maintenance of musical note, time and measure kept me spellbound within moments, and an imaginary world started to engross me.

Tears kept dripping down Baba’s cheeks, and he was wiping them out while puffing the hubble-bubble. He started another song —

Brajeswari Raaikishori
Aamaai dayaa karla naa
Aamaar sanger sangi sabaai gelo
Aamaar jaowa holo naa…

(Radharani of Brajabrindavan has not been generous on me. While all my colleagues have got her blessings, and departed, I have got stuck)

Tears kept dripping down his cheeks.

Baba was a man of a contemplative turn of mind. He was too emotional. I have inherited a great deal of his emotion and sentimentalism and perhaps that could have been the true inspirations which inclined me towards poetry.

Be that as it may, I shut the book remembering that, since my mother was not around, it was my duty to offer Baba a cup of tea. I rushed to the hearth, ignited the fire from paddy husks kept nearby as firelighters and put the kettle over it.

The remnant of the song, on the other hand, kept humming in my ears. I was filtering tea with a wire mesh.

“Master, where does the smoke come from?”
Baba asked me.
“I’m preparing tea,” I responded.

“Hari, Hari! (Oh God! Dear me!) As if my throat is wet. Bring it soon. I have to go to the front hamlet. I have something important there.” Baba left for the hamlet after taking tea. Baba is no more, but his sweet voice still overflows on the verandah, the yard and the entire house. Wherever I tread, I hear his sweet voice that still touches me. Why will I not be a poet?! Why will I not write poems!

I am not immortal
Like everyone else,
What will I leave behind
As my parting gifts?
Who knows
when will the void
A shedding flower leaves
On the branch be filled?
I know not who my heir is,
Or would be.
As heirloom, I have only
My unfulfilled wishes,
Pen, papers, rivers,
Canals, streams, the sky,
Factories, machines,
protests, agitation,
Love, affection,
And the entire world.
I will take my lethargy
With me, of course.
Oh, my ‘heir’,
Have you born, or not?
I am waiting for you,
Day in, day out.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (www.sevensisterspost)


Popular posts from this blog

The 'Star' Krishankant Sinha of Space City Sigma

By RK Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi It is a myth that the all-knowing Internet knows everything. One such myth relates to old television stuff aired on Doordarshan before 1990. Search in Google “Space City Sigma”, the search engine would throw up reminiscent results from the people who still long for those days. Those days were really golden days. Krishankant Sinha in the role of Captain Tara in Space City Singma For those who have watched Doordarshan some 15 to 20 years back, am sure they will have nostalgic memories of it. The days when possessing a now ubiquitous looking television set was a luxury. It was a neighbour’s envy product. It was a visual product to showoff, to flaunt that we have a television set . Those were the days when black and white, locked television was rarely found in homes. The days became immortal for teleserials like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Swami’s Malgudi Days (Ta-Na-Na-Na…), Ek-Do-Teen-Char (Title song: Ek do teen char, chaaro mil ke saath chale to

Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Thakur, the great saint of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Community was born on 26th October, 1871, in a remote village of Cachar district called Baropua in the state of Assam. He was born to a Xatriya Manipuri family. His father Sri Sanatan Pandit was a Sanskrit teacher and mother Srimati Malati Devi, a house wife. Sadhu Baba from his childhood was indifferent to all worldly happenings. He was engrossed in chanting the name of Lord Krishna. Along with other students of his age, Sadhu Baba started taking lessons of grammar and other spiritual literature from his father. At a very young age he lost his mother but he was brought up with utmost love and care by his step mother. At the age of eighteen, Sadhu baba lost his father, so, to continue his spiritual education under the guidance of Rajpandit Mineshwas Swarbabhwam Bhattacherjee, he went to Tripura. But within one year he made up his mind to visit all the holy places and as such he took permis

Shastriya sangeet exponent no more

Post Bureau, Silchar/Guwahati (Mar 31): Renowned Shastriya Sangeet (Uchchangik) exponent from the Barak Valley and gold medalist (1983-84) from the Bangiya Sangeet Parishad, Calcutta Guru Motilal Sinha breathed his last at 10 pm on Friday at his Bhakatpur residence on the outskirts of Silchar town. Born in the family of Ojha Deveswar Singha and late Kusumleima Devi on Poush 11, 1330 Bangabda, Motilal Sinha had his graduation in vocal music (Bisharad in Shashtriya Sangeet) from Bhadkhande, Lucknow and master’s degree (Nipun with gold medal) from the Bangiya Sangeet Parishad, Calcutta. In 1960, he started teaching classical music (vocal) at Silchar. He had a long stint in the Silchar Sangeet Vidyalaya as its honorary principal since 1960. He also worked in Government Higher Secondary and Multipurpose Girls’ School, Silchar, and retired in 1985. He had received the Assam State Award as an ideal music teacher. He had a stint in conducting a programme on the teaching of Rabindra Sangeet