Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review: Melodies and Maladies: A Bouquet Of Love Poems by Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee

Being a poet from the city of joy is in itself a matter of great depth, liveliness and emotions as well. Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee is a poet of similar joy, holding the truest emotion of love from each spheres of life as the city holds in its heart.

Dr Bhattacharjee has come out with his recent collection of melodious and beautiful poems through his book Melodies and Maladies. 

The central thematic concerns of the poetry of Dr.Ratan are largely the same themes that defined Romanticism, especially among the younger love poets of modern era: beauty, the passions, nature, political liberty, creativity, and the sanctity of the imagination. What makes Dr.Ratan’s treatment of these themes unique is his philosophical relationship to his subject matter—which was better developed and articulated than that of any other  poet  of our time—and his temperament, which was extraordinarily sensitive and responsive even for a Romantic poet, and which possessed an extraordinary capacity for joy, love, and hope. Dr.Ratan  fervently believed in the possibility of realizing an ideal of human happiness as based on beauty and love, and his moments of darkness and despair almost always stem from his disappointment at seeing that ideal sacrificed to human weakness.

Dr.Ratan’s intense feelings about beauty and expression are documented in poems such as You the Definition of Beauty and “I Miss You Most ” in which he invokes metaphors from nature to characterize his relationship to his art. The center of his aesthetic philosophy can be found in his  passionate love poems in which he argues that  love  brings about moral good. Poetry, Dr.Ratan  argues, exercises and expands the imagination, and the imagination is the source of sympathy, compassion, and love, which rest on the ability to project oneself into the position of another person.

Dr Ratan is a craftsman, who admires the sense of love as the utmost emotion of spirituality. In his poem “Life is meaningless Without You” he gives his love the most special feeling by calling himself meaningless without his lady love. To quote his words:

You came into my life  
Like a blazing star or a comet  
You filled my heart with joy  
You took my pain as if it was yours  
Like an angel on the earth  
I could not believe  
You gave me love  
that no one ever could  
With the soft sweet words  
you whispered in my ears  
You made me realize  
that I was in Love  
You made me realize  
Life is meaningless without you .

For Dr. Ratan, the beauty of love is important in each and every form. He finds love in all the zest of life. His tender love for his daughter is visible in the poem “Why your Dad waits for you, My Daughter?

My daughter, how shall I tell you the truth 
It is really very tough to be an ideal dad 
When you were a wonder kid with all your talents 
And I could not make you either happy or glad 

Love for his child can be seen in a new avatar in another poem “The Woman With the Laptop Grew in the Parent's Lap”

Love likes privacy, and so abides in our hearts
But when the beloved is a priceless beauty
Love permeates the soul,
Then feelings all, suddenly go beyond control.
What is this special feeling, for a child
Or for a woman whom I saw in her parent’s lap

Understanding the beauty of love, Dr. Ratan never leaves the deeply rooted hypocrisy and cruelty inherited in society. One of such examples is his poem “They Tore the Petals of a Budding Flower” which he decided to write on the Delhi Gang Rape of a young female doctor.

Light breaks when darkness sets in 

Drop by drop. On the Highroad that glitters with neon light, 

Love begins when the words of farewell were uttered

And Damini, you are not alive in spite of all the fight.
Never will it be uttered Damini 
You cried it out in the cursed bus, Save me, anybody there? 

But they tore the petals of a budding flower 

When the Delhi Gurgaon Highroad was slippery 

With your blood, loud with your cries in the moonless night 

Reverberating all over there… 

But they dared to tear the budding flower.

You gave the fight and they killed you Damini 

They killed womanhood, the mother, daughter, the sister in you 

All in one night… just one night…

The well-known secret about the talent of Dr. Bhattacharjee’s writing is; he takes inspiration from anyone, without the knowledge of that person and ends up by writing a supreme piece of verse through his conversation. Hope he keeps carving such pieces with similar intensity in future too.
About Dr Ratan Bhattacharjee

Dr.Ratan Bhattacharjee is  at present the Chairperson of the Post Graduate Dept. of English and  is also associated with teaching in the PG Dept of English of Rabindra Bharati Univesity , both  in regular and distance.He is  the Executive member in the International Advisory Board  of International Theeodore Dreiser Society, USA. articles and poems are published in numerous journals and magazines in India and abroad. He  was associated with the Indian Association of American Studies (IAAS) as a member of the Executive Body and  now he is  the Founder Director of the newly inaugurated  Dattani Archive and Research Association (DARA) , Kolkata. He edits the Journal VIEW ( Voice of Indian English Writers) . His  papers have been accepted for the International Conference at Romania organized by the University of Craiova. He contributes to The Washington Post and The Guardian UK as a free lance journalist. His   poetry is published in and  regular write-ups are there in ,, (

Voice of  and and in Times of India Timeline. He has to his credit nearly 10 books and 500 articles on Indian English, American and British literature)

Email address    :

Original publication in SAHITYA ANAND
Vol 1 Issue 3 June 2013


  1. I am overwhelmed by the great appreciation of my poems in Melodies and Maladies . Varsha analyses so well without deviating from the emotional approach to them. The image of the City of Joy at the backdrop of her thoughts enriches the criticism with a profundity that is usual with Varsha's presentation of ideas. I feel thankful to her to be the first reviewer of my poems.

    1. The pleasure is all mine Sir! Reading and enjoying your verses has always been a matter of immense pleasure for me. The credit goes to your collection Melodies and Maladies which has the power to make the reader drenched with poetic emotions . Hope to see more from you in future as well.

  2. U deserve it, Ratan da. Congrats n all the best.

  3. Book Review
    This is wonderful collection of love poems by Dr.Ratan Bhattacharjee. I am not sure who to give credit for this book to Dr.Ratan or his love. These poems are grand in their simplicity and creative imagery These book awakes feelings of love in readers mind, Dr.Ratan writes extravagant love poems, romantic in their sensibility. Moments in these poems will remind readers about their love to their beloved. The poem “Life is Meaningless without You” is beautiful poem. I like following lines from this poem.
    You came into my life
    Like a blazing star or a comet
    You filled my heart with joy
    You took my pain as if it was yours
    This line shows the imagination of Dr.Ratan, how he has compared his love with blazing star or a comet. These lines explain that people looks like blazing star/shines like a star when they are in love.
    You made me realize
    Life is meaningless without you
    These lines tell about how life is a meaningless without his love.he also given picture with this poem. This is condition of many peoples who are unable to get their love in life. They know that life without love is like desert in heaven.
    His poems also show the social awareness entitled as “They Tore the Petals of a Budding Flower”.
    You gave the fight and they killed you Damini
    They killed womanhood, the mother, daughter, the sister in you
    All in one night… just one night.
    Horrible it is to see a lover trying to save his beloved
    Who is being raped and killed before his eyes
    More horrible it is when all shouts for help
    Were drowned in the gloom of the night.
    This poem states the condition of women in the 21st century. This poem is based on real incident which happened in Delhi recently with girl named damini. It gives lights on the cruel mentality of persons towards women. It shows how they consider the women and Dr.Ratan Bhattacharjee rightly portrayed and commented the real situation of women in today through this poem.
    He has written many poems with different themes but all related somewhere with love. Love is basic instincts of all human being. We can conquer the entire world only through love. “I Miss You Most When You Don’t Miss Me At All” this poem reflects the incidents when poet misses his love for that he has given different example of like sky, cuckoo, apple, mango and so on through following lines

    When the sky becomes crimson red
    I miss you my dear
    When the cuckoo coos sitting on the palash trees
    Sweetheart I miss you
    When the apple turns red from green in Kashmir
    I miss you now and then
    When the boughs are loaded with mango shoots
    I miss you since the dawn
    I can say Dr.Ratan Bhattacharjee is an upcoming romantic poet All the poems are excellent simple in language so everyone can feel the love. The poems likes me most are Jab We Met*, Love is a Sapling That Grows, Sweetie, One Day I won’t be There, Your Smile is All Light, When I Go to Light a Candle…

    Mr.Bhise Ram B.
    Assistant Professor In Communication Skills
    Dept.of First Year Engineering Sciences and Humanities
    Saraswati College of Engineering
    kharghar, Navi Mumbai
    Maharashtra,India 410210 M.9960569238

  4. I have lost my words for the mind blowing appreciation by Ram Bhishe. His scholarship and poetic sensibility are really commendable. I dont know if the poems are really loved by them. But their love gave me a Niagara of inspiration and the emotions flow now in torrents.... thanks Ram Bhishe ... I m so thankful to you

    1. thanks for your reply sir its really motivating me .but i have tried my is my first book review

  5. Thanks Captain (Dr.) Arvind Nawale for your beautiful comments on the comments and appreciation of the scholarly readers of my poems. my regards for your encouragingwords

  6. Congratulations Sir! It is an astonishing piece of work. :)